I’ve published four books on the Kindle/Amazon platform, and self-published another. The one I’m focused on today is Fourth and Forever. Genre is difficult to pinpoint – it has shown up as Men’s fiction, though women love it equally well. Originally I called it mainstream fiction, though I’m no longer sure there is a stream running through the main body of readers. Most recently it has been mentioned as a boomer book. If I were forced to put it in a single genre, it would be inspirational fiction or maybe just, a good read for everyone, though I’m pretty sure that isn’t a category. The short answer is, Fourth and Forever falls into a number of categories and doesn’t fit into anyone of them. Fourth and Forever is available as a Kindle book or a paperback, both from amazon.com.
Give us a one sentence synopsis.
Fourth and Forever is the story of a man who lost his wife, thought that meant he had lost everything, then discovered that wasn’t true, and built a new life based on his relationship with his son.
Who are the main characters and who would you like to see portray them in a movie?
The main characters are Josh Edwards, a 44 year old Vietnam Vet, and his 18 year old son Bobby. I wrote the first draft more than twenty years ago. In that time, my choice to play Josh has changed a number of times, as actors, like books, age.
Today, I think I’d opt for either Matthew McConaughey (43) or Josh Brolin (44) to play Josh. I should note that Denzel Washington, George Clooney, and Kevin Spacey have all been serious contenders for the role, then they turned 50.
I don’t have a choice to play Bobby, since I don’t know any 18 year old male actors. That is probably a product of my being 70 years old.
Tell us about the story, but please don't reveal too much.
I unintentionally created a marketing obstacle for the book when I titled it Fourth and Forever, which implies that it’s a book about football. It isn’t. The book is about relationships, compassion and love. It also includes a lot of first-hand knowledge about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; what it is, who is affected by it, and how to deal with it. All of that is there, strung on the framework of a story about a man who retires from the Army and joins his son as a freshman at the University of Montana. Of course, the fact that the man, Josh Edwards, becomes the starting quarterback for the University of Montana Grizzlies probably has a lot to do with people’s idea that it’s a football book.
What inspired you to write this book and how long did it take?
From 1985 through 1995, I was a professional speaker, a trade I plied in 48 states, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and tough it was, Tahiti. On my first trip to Missoula, Montana, in November 1987, I left my hotel for an early morning run. I crossed a footbridge and found myself on the campus of The University of Montana just as the first snowfall of the season arrived.
I stopped on the edge of the football practice field and stood a long time in the early Sunday morning silence, as the snow quickly covered the ground. In those magic moments, at age 45, it came to me that I could play football on that field. Instantly the whole story, with the exception of the parts about PTSD sprang into my mind.
I wrote the first draft, between speaking engagements. It took less than a month to make it presentable. But, it was too short to be a novel, so I stuck it in a desk drawer. Then in 1993, I organized a group of Vietnam Veterans – Vietnam Veterans Southern Command. The experiences that came from Vietnam Veterans Southern Command gave me the material I needed to finish the book.
Other books I’ve published on the amazon platform are,Another Place Another Time, Maddog and Miss Kitty, and Southern Investigation.
Which authors inspired you, your style?
There is only one. Before I tell who it is, I should note that I’m only considering author’s with a body of work, not one or two books. By that method of reckoning, I must exclude To Kill a Mockingbird, Gone With the Wind, and a number of other single book authors that I love. However, in all honesty, the one I’m about to mention overshadows them all, as far as I’m concerned. His name is Nevil Shute – actually that’s his pen name. His “real name” is Nevil Shute Norway. He used the pen name to protect his engineering career, since, in the beginning, he wrote only to pass the time after a long work day. Shute wrote twenty-two novels and a play. I read him continuously and learn more with every re-reading of his work. My favorite Shute book is Round the Bend, followed closely by Trustee from the Toolroom, and then whatever I’m currently reading, which, today is So Disdained.
Where can we learn more about you and your books?
I have an Authors Page on Amazon, and three active blog sites: http://bertcarsonauthor.com/ , http://www.bert-blogging.com/ and http://anotherplace-thebook.blogspot.com/ - and one other website that isn’t active, but still has a lot of good content http://bertcarson.com/
How can we follow you? Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc.
All of my social media links are here http://bertcarsonauthor.com/ scroll down the page and you’ll find them near the bottom of the right side column
Is there anything else you would like us to know?
I’m in the process of working through the final edit of the sequel to Southern Investigation called Southern Investigation-Tucson. I’m also writing a three volume series called The Mystic Trilogy – the first book in the series is The Sages. It’s being serialized and published in episodes by Venture Galleries – The tenth episode was just posted – click here to read it.