I am pleased to welcome a new-to-me author to the blog today!
Terry Barnes won the 2005 Christian Writers Guild Operation First Novel contest for his first novel, “In Everything Give Thanks.” His second novel, “Whispered to the Heart,” also explores the fundamental questions of life and faith. His latest novella, “As the Leaves Kiss the Stream,” is a story of conflict and grace between a father and his seventeen-year-old daughter, in the context of fly fishing in the Ozarks. His writing shows the quest for meaning in the swirl of life, a struggle common to humanity. As for literature, its purpose is to illustrate truth with such words that will capture the heart and soul of the reader. Terry is also an online adjunct professor of religion for several major universities.
Connect with Terry at his website – http://terrybarnes.us
Terry’s latest novella, As the Leaves Kiss the Stream, released August 2016 from eLectio Publishing.
… a story about a father and his seventeen-year-old daughter. He is a missionary; she is a problem.
A father takes his troubled seventeen-year-old daughter on an autumn fly fishing trip to the Ozarks with the hope of restoring her back to the family. Yet that hope appeared impossible amid their deep conflict and strife.
But as they camped and fished, the Ozarks began to speak to their hearts, and on one cool October morning as they fly fished beside the cold waters of the pure stream, everything forever changed.
For the tears of a father … are as the tears of God … that fall silently and caress the one beloved, much as the autumn leaves that gently fall and kiss the stream.
Hi Terry! Welcome to the blog! I start all of my guests out with a fast four:
Terry: Apples generally, and apple cider more specifically.
Carrie: Apple cider is just the best!
Terry: Summer, especially late summer, that time of year when the leaves begin to change color and fall from trees, and the days grow cold and gray. You know what I mean, that period of summer from early October through Thanksgiving.
Carrie: haha!! We usually call that “fall” or “autumn” 😉 but around here it stays summer until after Thanksgiving anyway.
Terry: Dogs, because of character. To paraphrase Twain, heaven goes by favor for if it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.
One cannot say such things about cats, at least with a straight face.
Carrie: This is so very true. And my dog Zuzu says you’re her new favorite author. (She’s pretty fickle though)
Terry: Though I enjoy green tea, I must pick coffee, freshly ground and French-pressed.
Carrie: I am trying to develop a taste for green tea… I don’t think I will ever develop a taste for coffee.
Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?
Terry: I think my superpower choice would be able to write or say the correct words all of the time. For such words, as Solomon so aptly noted, would be like apples of gold in settings of silver.
Carrie: That’s such a great word picture, isn’t it? And an admirable superpower.
Who is your favorite book character from childhood?
Terry: I always found Huckleberry Finn intriguing. Moreover, I’ve always been swept into the magical world of the story as he narrates his tale. Huckleberry Finn, the novel, was in some ways a turning point for me, and I noted as much in a recent blog post. https://tbpapascorner.blogspot.com/2016/11/miss-stuver-doc-savage-and-make-believe.html
For me, the make-believe world of story is to show us something about reality, and Huckleberry did that.
Carrie: Twain did that often – reflecting reality through his make believe worlds. My favorite thing about story is that nearly all stories also reflect The Story, God’s story of redemption, even if they don’t intend to do so. I love spotting it!
Writing spaces are as diverse as authors and books. Where is your favorite space to write?
Terry: I’m an online, adjunct professor of religion as well as a writer. As such, I have an office in my home. Here I can escape to write and work, and here I’m surrounded by books, pictures of grandchildren, and a messy desk. However when I am just reading, I will take the book (or my iPad) and retreat to my recliner in the living room.
Carrie: I think the messy desk is a prerequisite for being either a professor or a writer!
Fly fishing plays an important role in the setting of your novella As the Leaves Kiss the Stream. I must confess to being traumatized by a fish attack (long but amusing story) while fishing as a child and have not fished since. So I must know – why fly fishing? 🙂
Terry: Fly fishing is a great sport and indeed is the center of the story. In fact it is the hub that all story action touches in some way. But there’s more. In the story, fly fishing actually becomes a metaphor for both life and faith, just as the Ozarks themselves merge from setting to character. So fly fishing is indeed very important to the story.
Carrie: I love that the fly fishing becomes a metaphor and the Ozarks become a character. Stories like that always pique my interest!
As the Leaves Kiss the Stream is about a missionary father, his troubled teenage daughter, a fly fishing trip, and a lot of grace. Which character touched you the most as you wrote this novella?
Terry: Dad; he is the narrator of the story. Some who have read the novella have commented that it must be autobiographical (it is not). Others believe it is a story about Erin, the teenage daughter. This also is not true. The story is dad’s telling of the events and how he changed. As such, he is the character who touched me most.
Carrie: Getting that front row seat to how the dad changes … I’m looking forward to reading this even more now!
What do you most want readers to take away from As the Leaves Kiss the Stream?
Terry: Though this appears to be a simple story about a difficult relationship between a father and his daughter, it is actually a story about grace and redemption. The story tells of reconciliation within a family, but shows the redemption that we all need with God. The takeaway from the story is that picture of redemption.
Carrie: Grace and redemption are two of my very favorite things to read about – and talk about 🙂
Again thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.
Terry: Some time ago, I read where only a small percentage of people can name all eight of their great-grandparents. This motivated me to begin researching my own family history; in the process I’ve made some interesting discoveries. Whatever comes next in my writing will likely flow from this research.
Terry is giving away a copy of As the Leaves Kiss the Stream to one of my readers! Due to shipping costs and international giveaway regulations, this is open to the US only. Giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies.
What about you? Do you enjoy fishing? Why or why not?
And watch for my review of As the Leaves Kiss the Stream tomorrow or Friday – with extra chances to win!