Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Interview with Bob Smith and Sara Rhodes, authors of Iniquities of Gulch Fork

In the worn and tired town of Gulch Fork, Arkansas, certified nursing assistant Samantha Caminos heads to her patient Rob Dean's home and wonders how she can find common ground with the aloof, disabled Vietnam veteran who suffers from not only PTSD but also severe neuropathy caused by Agent Orange. As Samantha approaches the house, she has no idea that very soon their lives will take a new turn. Gulch Fork, a town once filled with Ozark tranquility, takes on an aura of evil when bizarre events begin to affect Rob and two other war-scarred veterans, Peter Ness and Ron Woods-Samantha's father. But when Samantha learns that two elderly couples without living relatives in the area have fallen prey to fraud and embezzlement by a man who claims to be a pastor, she sets out on a quest to piece together a complex mystery fueled by those hell-bent on taking advantage of citizens too fragile to defend themselves. In this compelling novel based on true events, three veterans seeking peace and serenity from PTSD fall victim to injustice, prompting a young health care worker to investigate the evil that has infiltrated their once peaceful Arkansas town.


Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it? 

This is a book about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from two viewpoints. A) From a Vietnam veteran who spent one year in a war zone. B) From the daughter of a veteran with PTSD who’d grown up as the victim of one who suffered from PTSD. This story is based on actual facts, particularly abuse by a rednecked bully who preyed on infirmities of others. 

What were some of the biggest challenges you faced writing it? 

Bob- Health. I knew if I didn’t keep positively occupied with writing the book, I wouldn’t be alive today. Sara- Time. I had to divide my time between family, work and writing. We made it work though. 

Do you plan subsequent books? 

Possibly, if time and health permit. 

When and why did you begin writing? 

Bob- I mainly began writing as a form of therapy and to keep my mind off the man to whom I loaned money to help him over a rough spot only to see him turn around and swindle me out of money and cattle. Sara- Bob asked if I’d like to help him write a book, I said yes. I also felt that my story should be told so that others in my situation would realize that they aren’t alone. As a child it would have been nice to know that my father acted the way he did for a reason, PTSD. 

What is your greatest strength as an author? 

Bob- Plugging away. Sara- I can type really fast. 

Did writing this book teach you anything? 

Bob- Perseverance pays off and proves that an idol mind is the devils workshop. Sara- That I need to expand my vocabulary and learn to diagram a sentence.

Bob Smith is a naval officer who had Agent Orange spilled on him in Vietnam and suffers from severe PTSD in addition to disabling neuropathy. After living in Spain, he returned to America and settled in the Ozarks, where he is happily pursuing his dream of writing. Sara Rhodes is a wife, mother, and certified nursing assistant who originally lived in Alaska before moving to the Ozarks with her family. Bob is her former patient whose teachings about PTSD helped her recognize her own father's battle with it. Both Bob and Sara find animals to be a great source of comfort.

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