Another reason I love Twitter, it has introduced me to some really cool people. And without Twitter, I wouldn’t have stumbled upon Bart Harper and his books.
I had Bart send me both books, Adventures of a Fat Kid and The Gentleman in Room 205. I probably should have read the Fat Kid first, since it was his first book, but I grabbed the other one instead. I normally try to read a light book then a serious book and continue that pattern to switch it up.
Within the first page and a half of this book, I was wiping my eyes. I knew this book was based on the death of Bart’s father, which shows he is family man (it takes a lot to write about your family and a hard experience) but you don’t realize who someone is until you see how they feel about their family. Just in the prologue, I saw how much Bart’s dad meant to him and that set the stage for the rest of the book.
I am also automatically connected to this book because Bart’s dad had a stroke. Last Christmas, my Grandma had a stroke, so I definitely understand his pain from the beginning and I think that actually the connection intrigues me to keep reading.
And even though I knew this had a sci-fi twist, it wasn’t what I expected. It turned out to be much more. This is a great book. It’s a page turner, very creative and just the right length. Every chapter is a great addition to the book. There are many that by the time I’m done, I realize I could have cut the book in half. Not this one. Any longer and it may not have had the same effect on me.
I sent the author some questions. It’s nice to be able to chat with someone and get the answers to all of the burning questions that come up when you’re reading.
INTERVIEW WITH BART HARPER:
1. How much of this book is based on real life events?
-my father fell ill from a second stroke in 2007, we were in a nursing home for a year before he passed. He did have 17 brothers/sisters, grew up poor, was a football star, …..dad would have these breathing fits and was ventilated several times til i finally let him go one night when he coded, held his hand as he went, still having problems with that…don’t think it will ever go away….. There was a Lena (not blonde and beautiful tho lol, but very helpful) … max was based on my son Trey who went with me to visit grandpa. Mrs. Kessler, Mr. Pyle, and Mr. Rent were made up characters. Dad did want me to play football, and i was good, but I preferred basketball. He was a very caring father and put me first. Of course, my grandmother did not have an affair with superman lol……..
2. Did the idea for this book just hit you, or was it a work in progress deal? It had some twists and turns all through out it. Were those things you know you wanted to do, or did they come as you were writing (I want to write a book, these are things I think about when reading).
-to tell you the truth, i just typed and things popped in my head. No outline really! I typed the book in a little over a couple weeks. It was lacking, so i added the characters Max and Mr. Pyle, the demon. I can’t remember when i decided to make Mr. Rent an aging superhero, but like i said…i just let it flow. Most authors do a detailed outline, I just go with what pops in my head.
3. What is your favorite part of the book?
-Gee, I really love the part where Mr. Rent rises from the chair to go into the burning building and picks the cop up lol ( i get choked up when reading that part)….. I also like the part where the young man tackles the demon and flashes back to when he used to hit the old tackling dummy “Unleash it, let it go!” got choked up there too. And I like the ending where the young man realizes he has the powers too (Mr. Pyle shoots him)
4. Is there anything you’d change?
-MMMM there is always room for improvement. I wish I could have made the book longer. It seemed a little rushed, perhaps added more about when the father and son were younger! I had several people proofread it, and some didn’t get that Mr. Rent was a superhero, so I added more hints to the epilogue. I have some good reviews. My mother didn’t really get it. lol
5. What are you working on now?
-My next book will be called Pet Peeves. This will be like the first book “Fat Kid” ….comedy…….. this will also be the first book that i know of that is being written completely on facebook. Should be out in October 2009.
Most importantly: Where can people get your book????
-amazon, barnes and noble, target.com.. but for a better price and signed copies www.authorbartharper.com
I really enjoyed this book. It was a quick, easy read, but it was very creative and a great story. Plus, who doesn’t love a book by a local author? Drum roll please, I give The Gentleman in Room 205 4 bookmarks!