•Please tell our readers a little about yourself.
I've always been something of an adventurer. As a younger man, I hiked in the Klondike Mountains, panned for gold from the Yukon River, explored the Arctic Circle and swam in the Indian Ocean, among other things. So, yeah, the adventure thing is a part of me. And that aspect, I feel very strongly, has inspired much of my writing.
Beyond that, I have a laid-back nature and don't get upset very easily. I have a small collection of drum sets, which I love to play whenever possible. I also collect antique bottles. I have some interesting one from ghost towns in Alaska. I also enjoy riding my motorcycle. But more than anything else I love spending time with family.
• Could you tell us a bit about your book and why it is a must-read?
Ever the Wayward Sky is a historical, action/adventure novel. It begins directly after the American Civil War ends. James Taft is a young soldier that has seen and taken part in some of the worst fighting during the war. When the conflict ends, he suddenly realizes he has survived the war but must now live with himself and the memories of those terrible battles.
It’s is an epic tale of one man's struggle to not only survive in hash situations and difficult regions, but to also live with a conflict inside him and somehow find a way to win that war inside. I feel there is something for everyone in this story. It has action and adventure but also deals with life and that is something we all have in common with this story.
• What inspired you to write your book?
I believe the same thing that inspired me to write many of my stories. There is a saying that goes something like this. If you can’t find a story you love, then maybe you should write it. I love historical tales and westerns. This story is like a western on steroids. It really is a western tale that transcends its initial setting.
• What was the most challenging aspect of writing your book?
The research was defiantly the most arduous. This story is has a historically correct back drop and though names and such are fictional, they more often than not have an actual counterpart. I loved learning more about that historical time period. But my writing was often slowed by hours of research to ensure validity.
• Do you have any unique or quirky writing habits?
I seldom have less than two book projects in the process at one time. Right now I have three that I am working on in earnest and a few more waiting in the wings. It may not be very unique or quirky, I don’t know. But, I have had other writers cringe at the thought.
• How did you come up with the title for your book?
Blood, sweat, axle grease, a few tears and loads of mental calisthenics.
• Is there a message you want your readers to take away from your book?
Mainly I want them to enjoy an adventure and feel that they have been on a journey. Other than that, the message would be to never give up hope.
• Do you have any advice for the yet-to-be-published writers reading this?
Find a higher reason than financial success to write for. After I decided that it didn’t really matter if ten or ten thousand enjoyed my stories, I began to write better and have more success. Art should never be motivated by a single desire of financial gain; it taints the core of what you create.
• What are you working on now?
At this time, I’m working on another historical fiction, a dystopian story and a science-fiction tale. Honestly I’m not sure which one will be released next. I’ve become a bit bogged down with pesky administrative stuff. Hopefully I’ll get another story out this year but it may be early 2018 for the next release.
• What is your preferred method to have readers get in touch with or follow you (i.e., website, personal blog, Facebook page, etc.) and link(s)?
My Facebook page would be the best bet. I’m not real easy to contact as I stay fairly busy. But, I do check that page reasonably often and the page manager has the ability to contact me for anything super important.
I also check my Goodreads page and get notices of messages from readers, so that method may work as well. I’ll give you the links.
The Civil War is over. But for Sergeant James Taft, there seems to be no end in sight. He had seldom considered what he would do after the war, because he never believed he would live through it.
James briefly returns to Pennsylvania in an unsuccessful attempt to work as a farmer. He then sets out to find peace and somehow vanquish the ghosts in his soul. What he can't possibly foresee, as he rides west, is the epic story of tragedy, triumph and finding oneself.
"It's unfortunate, but true, that darkness must often be complete before we notice the subtle glimmer of hope." - Doc Jefferies, Ever the Wayward Sky.
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About the author:
Oliver Phipps is an author, entrepreneur and adventurer. He served as a Paratrooper in the United States Army and studied at MSC.