In the Spotlight feature kicked off in April 2015 and is an opportunity for authors, editors and publishers (basically anyone in the book industry (yes, even bloggers!)) to connect with fans. There is an option to do an interview, guest post, feature a book sale or book release or a cover reveal. Best of all, it’s free! All you need to do is click on the image to reserve your spot!
Now on with the show!
In the Spotlight with Craig A. Hart
Welcome to Second Run Reviews, Craig! Thank you for being In the Spotlight. I appreciate you stopping by and answering a few questions. So let’s get things started.
In a tweet (140 characters or less), tell us a bit about yourself.
Stay-at-home dad of twin boys, writer, husband, arts lover, reader—not necessarily in that order.
Wow! I can’t imagine trying to keep up with twins! I have a hard enough time keeping up with one of my nieces or nephews at a time.
Please tell a bit about your journey to becoming a published author. What’s been the best things about it and the worst?
I wanted to write from an early age. My first “published” works were tiny paper books I created on my mother’s typewriter. I would fold sheets of paper in half and staple them together to make booklets. Then I would type the stories directly onto the pages–extreme self-publishing. My mother encouraged my ambitions and paid me five dollars for each completed book. That was the first money I made as a writer. From there, I began writing short stories and sending them off to magazines…and collecting a lot of rejection slips (which I still have in a binder somewhere).
I went off to school, got married, and drove a delivery truck in the day and wrote at night. I had a few false starts in publishing. My first book was self-published. I sold about ten copies. Another book was taken by a publisher and for that I received a single royalty check for $1.12 (which I still have in a binder somewhere). Fast forward to more recent days and my most recent novel, Becoming Moon, has been more successful: sales that actually bring in a decent royalty amount, peer recognition, and all that good stuff. The best thing about all this experience has been that I’ve been able to pursue something I love.
The worst thing is that it has often been a difficult road and sacrifices often must be made in order to stay on the path.
Well, most peer recognition is nice. Although I hear recognition from Erik Therme can be troublesome. 😉
Tell us a bit about your latest release. What inspired you to write it? Why should fans of Second Run Reviews consider reading it.
Becoming Moon comes from my own experience growing up in a repressively religious environment. Much like myself, the main character has his sights set on a life outside the church and pays a hefty price to pursue those dreams. He has success and failure, makes some incredibly poor decisions, but is presented with an opportunity for redemption if only he can reconcile with his own past and make peace with the man he has become.
I think Becoming Moon can be enjoyed by anyone with an interest in what it takes to be your own person against the odds or an interest in pursuing your dreams even though it seems like no one else understands you or, worse yet, actively tries to undermine what you’re doing. Individuality is a common theme in the book, but the story doesn’t shy away from examining the toll it can take on the individual.
I can’t wait to dig into my copy of Becoming Moon as well as my copy of Serenity. I certainly wish there were more hours in the day to read!
What types of books do you enjoy reading the most? What three books to you find yourself recommending to your fans over and over?
I enjoy reading the fiction of writers such as Jim Harrison, Cormac McCarthy, and Ernest Hemingway. I enjoy stark (some might say depressing) writing that looks at life with an honest, even pessimistic, eye. I often recommend The Sun Also Rises by Hemingway, The Road by McCarthy, and the short stories of Raymond Carver (especially “Cathedral”).
There’s certainly no question about it. You like books with a bit of meats and potatoes. I tackled Hemingway in college in an independent study course. His work definitely requires deep discussion. And I’m proud to say that did finish The Road by McCarthy.
What is your current obsession? Any secret obsessions you would like to share?
I cannot get enough of the Lost Generation, Paris Left Bank crowd of the 1920s. I have a special section of my bookshelf dedicated to books covering the era and personalities (Sylvia Beach, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, the Murphys, Joyce). If I could step into a time machine and visit, I totally would.
Ah, Paris. I have an obsession with the City of Light as well. I would love to visit it in almost any era, but I do agree the 1920s would be heyday with all the artists and authors.
I have a goal of visiting Paris in 2018. Want to contribute to my travel fund? Just kidding!
It’s been great having you In the Spotlight, Craig. I hope you’ll come back soon and tell us all about your new series, The Shelby Alexander Thriller Series! Good luck with your future projects.
Synopsis: Becoming Moon is the poignant coming-of-age story about a young man struggling to be himself amid pressure from a conservative family. Following his dream of becoming a writer, he turns away from everything he knows, and enters adulthood embittered, angry, and resentful.
As he struggles to make a name for himself, he is presented with the opportunity of a lifetime. Although it requires a betrayal of his principles as an artist, he resigns himself to what appears to be fate. The writer’s compromise brings money and recognition, but these are fleeting and he soon finds himself caught in a web of depression and financial hardship.
Desperate and sinking quickly, the writer begins taking trips to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where he hopes to reconnect with his muse. During one of these excursions, he meets Nigel Moon, a grizzled fellow author nearing the end of his career. Moon gives the writer a second golden opportunity and the chance to prove himself in the face of personal doubts—but only if the writer is able to set his past aside.
Equal parts witty and dark and wry and tragic, the text uses simplicity as its focus. Raw and honest, Becoming Moon is an unforgettable book about exorcising past demons and finding personal redemption.