The Write Prescription

Dean Carpenter: Former college baseball player, reporter, and surly bastard.

Also, painkiller addict.

The Write Prescription is a compelling tale focused on addiction, recovery, friendship, and the power of hope in the face of adversity.

“In this bromantic comedy, Bradley Guire writes with humor and compassion about the insidious toll of opioid addiction. With a terrific ear for dialogue and prose that flows like a current, Guire brings his characters to life on the page and sweeps you into their world. A charming and poignant debut novel.”

Boise author Kim Cross, New York Times Bestselling author of What Stands In A Storm

Guire spent twenty years as a journalist, winning numerous awards for writing and design. His experiences during that time led him to write his debut novel. He is a native of Alabama and a graduate of the University of Alabama. He now resides in Meridian, Idaho.

Published by Foundation Books. Available in hardback, paperback, and Kindle at Amazon.com.

Bradley Guire

An accomplished print production professional, he’s spent half his life in Idaho and has just published his first book, The Write Prescription.

Do you have a writing routine? Where and when do you write?

Nope. I write whenever the mood strikes me. I don’t want to structure it to feel like a job. I’ve got two of those already.

Do you have any patterns or rituals associated with your writing time?

I used to chain-smoke when writing, but I gave it up. I do like to pick a song that will set the mental mood of the chapter or scene, listen to it on repeat, to keep me in the mood I need to write it.

What do you do when you hit a wall with your writing?

I don’t. I don’t get “writer’s block.” I just write. If I don’t like it, I’ll rewrite it later.

Do you plan your book in advance (plotting and outlining) or are you a “discovery writer” (AKA “writing into the dark”)? Or are you somewhere in between?

A little of both. Once I have an idea and start outlining my characters and a story, I draw up a rough outline by chapter, coming up with scenes that will develop the character along the way, fun bits of dialogue, whatever. When I start writing, I may get new ideas. Or I may get them randomly while working or grocery shopping. Then I revise the outline. The outline is a “living document” that can change at any time. But I always have some kind of idea of where I want to end up.

What’s the last book you read that made you go “wow!”?

“Murder With a Capital C” by Max Cherry. It’s not out yet. I did a proofreading job on it and really enjoyed it. Great private investigator murder mystery.

What book or author do you find yourself recommending and why?

Some of Gregory Mcdonald’s “Fletch” novels. Rick Bragg. Kim Cross

What’s on your To Be Read pile?

I need to finally read “Salem’s Lot” by Stephen King. Usually, it’s the next Jesse Stone or Sunny Randal crime novel.

What advice do you have for readers?

Read for fun. Look for fun stories. They’ll make you love reading.

What author, past or present, would you wish to have a long conversation with? Why?

Rick Bragg: He’s more of a non-fiction writer and columnist. But he’s just Southern comfort for this Alabama native. He writes about things only my dad’s generation of the South can relate to. I met him briefly about 20 years ago and wish we had more time to talk.

Do you have early memories of reading or writing you’d like to share?

I grew up on Superman comics. Everyone though I was just looking at the pictures, but I actually followed the storylines.

What books and/or authors have most influenced you as an author?

Gregory Mcdonald, Stephen King, Rick Bragg, Robert B. Parker

What do you most enjoy about being a writer? What do least enjoy about being a writer?

I like telling a good story with interesting characters struggling with real problems, internal and external. I like tackling things I have experienced in life or seen during my years as a reporter. I’m not one for the world building needed for sci-fi or fantasy. I like the real world. It’s crazy enough.

What would you tell a new writer?

Don’t over-write. Just tell the story and let people enjoy the journey at a good pace.

Find Bradley Guire online

Ancient Passages

Joanne Pence is back with another in her contemporary mystery series with archeologist Michael Rempart. We’re in SICILY — at “Persephone’s Lake” which mythology tells is is the gate to the underworld.

This time Michael is guardian for a young teen half-sister who’s not making life easy. Add to this a genealogist, Eden, who through strange (possibly occult?) circumstances suddenly finds herself seeking Michael’s help to decode the mysterious Voynich Manuscript. Suddenly, the situation for Michael, Zoe, and even Eden, quickly goes from bad to worse.

Note: you don’t have to read this series in order, though it would help readers appreciate Michael’s backstory more fully.

Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, and Kobo in ebook and print.

Read more on Joanne Pence’s website.

Libraries in Danger

Here’s how it’s going with that foot-in-the-door approach to quashing one of the oldest institutions in our country, the public lending library. (ref: the Franklin collection as the first public library in the United States)

  • Boise’s Public Library is updating their system to deal with complaints in compliance with the new law. (Despite the assertions of the supporters of the law, most or all libraries had processes in place to deal with ‘offensive’ material.)
  • Donnelly’s Public Library, however, will shut their doors to the under-18s since they’ve not the size to deal with the logistical implications of compliance. Under-18s will only be admitted when in the company of a parent.

After a review, if the library disagrees with moving the material, the person filing the complaint can sue for $250 in damages. Complaints can be filed by anyone and the law applies to any community schools in Idaho, as well as those in public and private schools.

The law goes into effect 1 July 2024.

Photo by Chris Karidis on Unsplash

Idaho Prison Historical Podcast

From the Idaho State Historical society’s newsletter comes the discovery of a longstanding podcast, “Behind Gray Walls,” covering stories from the Old Penitentiary:

…a podcast about Idaho history, true crime, and the stories of the inmates who lived here, written and produced by two employees of the Idaho State Historical Society, Anthony and Skye. Named after a biography written by inmate Patrick Charles Murphy,

Read more about it and catch up with the, at this count, more than 90 (!!) episodes they have in the can.

Soundcloud links are on that page, and it’s also available through your Spotify account. Episodes range from half an hour to nearly two hours.

Enjoy history!

Image copyright Idaho State Historical Society, from their website referenced above.

A Garden of Stories in Star

The Star Branch Library Annex will again “Writers Read” on Tuesday 14 May.

(They’ll take a summer break afterwards and restart in September.)

You may remember us mentioning it last year.

It’s a rare treat wherein authors read live from their works and then answer questions from the audience.

The 14 May event will begin at 6 p.m. No reservation necessary.

You’ll be hearing from these authors:

Enjoy!

Garden image from LOC.

The Twisted Road

This new A. B. Michaels book (we just profiled her) is in pre-release at a reduced price! If you’re a fan of historical mysteries — this ticks all the boxes.

It’s difficult to run a law firm
when you’ve been arrested for murder.

1907: Rising from the devastation of a massive earthquake and fire, San Francisco is once again on the move. But a strike by streetcar drivers threatens to halt the Golden City in its tracks. Protests turn to violence and violence leads to death. Soon a young guard is convicted of willfully killing a protester and the public is out for blood.

Jonathan Perris, an immigrant attorney from England, has opened a law firm with an eye toward righting wrongs, and the guard’s conviction may fall into that category. But the talented barrister soon finds his newfound career shaken by a tragic event: the gruesome homicide of the beautiful and mysterious Lena Mendelssohn—a woman he’s been squiring around town.

Available at Amazon. Visit the author’s website for more.

A. B. Michaels

Ed.: I love this circuitous journey!

A. B. explains: “I started out thinking I’d write romance, so one of my first books was Sinner’s Grove, which is contemporary romantic suspense.  But I wanted an origin story, so I wrote The Art of Love, which takes place in Gilded Age San Francisco. The books I’ve written about that time period work better as historical fiction than historical romance, so I’ve switched from the romance genre.

“I love history so much that my origin story has evolved into a six-part series called THE GOLDEN CITY, which was one of the nicknames for San Francisco at the turn of the twentieth century. I also completed the contemporary romantic suspense trilogy I originally envisioned, called SINNER’S GROVE SUSPENSE, that follows descendants of characters from the historical series.  And now I’ve embarked on a third genre, historical mystery, with my newest novel, The Twisted Road.  It’s the first book of my BARRISTER PERRIS MYSTERIES, which features characters introduced in THE GOLDEN CITY.

“It’s a good thing my books are all stand-alone reads; otherwise, it might get confusing!”

Do you have a writing routine? Where and when do you write?

Oh, I wish I did – I would be so much more productive! I primarily write in my office (coffee shops are too distracting!) but I’ve been known to write scenes out longhand wherever I am, as the muse strikes. That often happens right before I go to sleep or right when I wake up. I also work out story problems during that time.

Do you have any patterns or rituals associated with your writing time? 

I’d say no, except that I can’t write in, say, fifteen-minute spurts and then go fold laundry or something. I need to know I’m not doing to be distracted for an hour or more to really make progress.

I guess a ritual might be that I always read what I last wrote before adding to it. Of course, I spend way too much time tweaking the old before moving on to the new. I envy those writers who can blast through a first draft from start to finish – wow!

What do you do when you hit a wall with your writing?

I distract myself, which is all too easy to do, but whenever I have a quiet moment (not just around bedtime), I’ll find myself thinking about the issue that’s holding up the story.  Eventually I come up with something, at least until I send it to my editor, who either confirms or nixes my solution.  She will often have suggestions which, if I like, I’ll build upon.

Do you plan your book in advance (plotting and outlining) or are you a “discovery writer” (AKA “writing into the dark”). Or are you somewhere in between?

Definitely in between.  I don’t outline, but I do write a narrative of the various subplots of the novel. Those help me get from point A to point B as I write.

What is the last book you read that made you go “Wow!” 

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles.  Loved it, loved it, loved it.

What book or author do you find yourself recommending and why?

Erik Larson, because he writes nonfiction as if it were fiction. He often takes two completely different storylines and draws them increasingly closer as the book unfolds.  I used that technique with The Twisted Road; I hope readers find it effective.

What’s on your To Be Read pile?

The Splendid and the Vile (Erik Larson), The Covenant of Water (Abraham Verghese), Travels with Charlie (John Steinbeck), No Graves as Yet (Anne Perry) and various mysteries set in my time period (early twentieth century). 

What advice do you have for readers? 

I would suggest that readers be kind to writers when they make what you perceive to be mistakes (because sometimes there’s method to their madness) and of course, shout it to the rooftops when you like their work!

What author, past or present, would you wish to have a long conversation with? Why?

I’d have loved to talk with Anne Perry, who recently passed away.  She wrote historical mysteries, and I was captivated by her William Monk series. Perry herself was convicted of murder when she was a teenager and spent time in prison, so it would be fascinating to know how it affected both her personal life (e.g., she never married) and her work.

Do you have early memories of reading or writing you’d like to share?

I remember always wanting to read the original rather than an abridged version of any book, and yes, I devoured Nancy Drew mysteries! I didn’t major in English or creative writing, but I did make a living as a promotional writer for many years.  I think that’s partly why I took so long to jump into writing full-length fiction: because I wrote during the day, that itch was scratched. 

What books and/or authors have most influenced you as an author?

Charles Dickens was important to me because he always tells a good story; he also gives the reader someone to root for. Jane Austen is right up there, too, because she demonstrates that the key to keeping a reader interested is the depth of the novel’s main characters and their relationship to one another.  I recently read a novel (which shall remain nameless) in which no character was sympathetic, and therefore I cared nothing about what happened to them. If I hadn’t committed to reading it for my book club, I would have tossed it. I know others can find merit in such stories, but not me.

What do you most enjoy about being a writer? What do you least enjoy about being a writer?

There is very little that can match the joy (and relief) of having created an entire novel filled with characters who go through incredibly difficult situations, and who come out changed for the better (most of the time), according to your particular set of values. When you spend so much time with these fictional people, they almost feel real. To think that most of them (except for historical figures I sprinkle here and there) came from my head is pretty awesome! The part of the process I enjoy least is having to promote my books after I’ve written them. I’m not very good at it; I’d much rather be working on the next book!

What would you tell a new writer?

In my humble opinion, the most important quality of a productive writer is perseverance.  As I’ve often said to people who ask how I do it, I say it’s a simple matter of three words, “butt in chair.”

You will invariably have times when you think your work is terrible, or you can’t think of how to solve a particular story problem, or perhaps you’ve grown sick of the story itself.  Any of those feelings can make you want to give up. Don’t! Just keep at it and eventually you will finish. Whatever it takes, make sure you have a qualified developmental editor (or perhaps really good beta readers) who will honestly review what you’ve written. Take their advice seriously, even if you don’t agree with everything they have to say.  No matter how experienced or prolific we are as writers, we all need an objective eye on our work before it’s published! When you do all that, you’ll have the satisfaction of holding something in your hand that you created – something that others can enjoy and maybe learn something from, and something that will survive long after you’re gone.  What’s better than that? 

Find A. B. Michaels online