Please welcome Chris Carey, author of Temporary Problems, to today’s author spotlight on Britbear’s Book Reviews.
John Fox has succeeded in a achieving a mundane life, the suburban house, the silver car, and the steady white-collar job. He doesn’t know anything is lacking, until he meets the woman who will be the love of his life, Sheri. Events conspire to separate the lovers, and in an attempt to avoid returning to the humdrum, John immerses himself in military life and ultimately the war in Afghanistan.
In Operation Herrick, John’s journey takes him from flying on secret Royal Navy helicopter missions, to eventually participating in ground combat operations with American Marines. He finds that war has its own allure of passion, terror, and humor, but at what cost?
Set in contemporary Britain and Afghanistan, Temporary Problems draws parallels between love and war, each having the power to heal and destroy.
Buy Temporary Problems at Black Rose Writing.
Hi, Chris. Wecome back to Britbear’s Book Reviews. Tell the readers–what was your inspiration behind Temporary Problems?
Do you know the saying that there is a book in all of us? Temporary Problems was the story inside of me. It’s a cliché answer, but it’s the truth. The book mirrors my relationships with love and war and how they have both affected me.
Who is your intended audience and why should they read Temporary Problems?
I had written this for broad-spectrum appeal, and I think I came close to achieving that. Most of the feedback from men and women has been positive but many agree it leans more towards a male audience. It is written from a man’s perspective.
The story is entertaining enough for light reading, but it also supports the deeper messages. There is coming of age, love, war, and even a bit of travel around Scotland. On the military side, it is written from an unusual standpoint.
How much of Temporary Problems is based in reality?
That is very difficult to quantify, it ranges from total fabrication to near word-for-word diary entries. Some of the experiences were not my own, and almost everything in the book has been fictionalised to a greater or lesser degree.
The messages and feelings in the book are real. Most of the events are based in reality.
There you go, a long and a short answer!
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
It was in first grade, my father inspired me.
If you had to choose, which writer(s) would you consider a mentor? What is the most important lesson(s) you learned from reading his/her writing?
I usually read non-fiction and am not fixated on any particular author in that genre. Of the fiction that I have read though, Tom Clancy is whom I have read most and so he must have influenced me a bit. On this project, Bing West did provide some sage advice that I embraced.
I was fortunate to recently read a manuscript by Rodney Page. That manuscript reminded me of some basic techniques for writing fiction, in particular methods to prevent over narration.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Yes! Writing from the female perspective is particularly challenging for me. I cannot count the number of times my wife laughed out loud at my attempts to write women’s thoughts and dialogue. Seemingly, I don’t understand women too well. Luckily I had a lot of much needed assistance with those parts.
How would you describe your writing style?
My wife strained to say, “contemporary, lively, and insightful.” She’s the smart one. I would call it rough, ready, and direct.
Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?
I have read all of my reviews and have thus far been able to reply to most of them. I am grateful to anybody who has taken the time to read my work and then taken even more time to review it.
At this stage, if somebody asks me a question, I’ll try and answer it, and then thank him or her. If somebody is positive, I like to thank them.
[With regards to] advice for handling negative reviews? I try to remember that peoples’ tastes in books are a lot like tastes in food and drink – they are all highly subjective. Although I want everybody to like my book, some people will not. Some suggestions I take on board, others I do not. And then I thank them.
If the reviews are in a forum like Amazon or Goodreads, etc., I look forward to reading them, but unless asked directly by the reviewer to provide a comment, I plan to leave those forums to the readers. The audience deserves to have their say without me chiming-in.
Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?
I can’t think of anything I would never write about, but I would have to find some aspect of it interesting. I can laugh at most things and that opens up a lot of topics, although the end product may not be what people expect.
What’s your next writing project? Can you tell us a bit about it?
I’ve got a few ideas for my next book project, with two front runners. I’m either going to write of my great-grandmother’s experiences around the time of the Russian Revolution, or a fast-paced military fiction piece set in the Middle East.
My great-grandma lived a very interesting life, especially early on, and my parents interviewed her in the early 1980s. It might be my first attempt at a creative-nonfiction/memoir, as her story is incredible. I may fictionalise it into a novel. Either way it would also be an incredible challenge for me. I mean, write a whole book from the female perspective? Daunting.
I learned from this book where some of my strengths are as a writer. Writing about the war, although emotionally difficult in places, was creatively easy for me. The words almost wrote themselves. I may write to my strengths and blow up Iran, ISIS, or maybe Detroit.
Thanks for the informative interview, Chris. Where can readers learn more about you and your writing?
About Christopher Carey:
C.G. Carey grew up in California and is a lifelong Oakland As fan. He enlisted in the U.S. Marines at 17 as an Infantrymen and later attended university in Scotland. He commissioned into the U.S. Navy where he went on to fly in E-25 off of the Eisenhower, Royal Navy H-35 over Afghanistan, and serve with the U.S. Army in Iraq. His awards include some Air Medals and a Combat Action Badge. He retired to Virginia.