I’m pleased to present author Clark Farley! Thank you so much for joining us here, Clark. I look forward to learning more about you!
Real Estate Broker. (one-time commercial fisherman and short-time cab driver… in the bio section of my query letter I refer to my professional resume as an example of a ‘liberal arts work history’.)
‘Blogdominion’ and ‘Almira’. Neither yet published, they are available to read online at http://www.jukepop.com.
Connecting With Clark:
Blog (Primary internet touchpoint)
And now we dive into Clark’s head to discover more about him! 🙂
What do you write, Clark?
What’s your favorite book of the books you’ve written?
Who is your favorite character in one of your books?
Almira (Ristani) Gulch from the book ‘Almira’
Please tell us a little about your current writing project (your work in progress)
‘Almira’ is the story of Almira Gulch, the character played by Margaret Hamilton in the movie, ‘The Wizard of Oz’. The story opens with Dorothy Gale, upon her return home after her first year in college (Sarah Lawrence), learning that the new high school had been dedicated to the same Mrs. Gulch who tried to take Toto, Dorothy’s dog away just hours before the terrible Storm of ’37 destroyed much of the small town of Circe, Kansas. Unfortunately for Dorothy, Mrs. Gulch is in the hospital in what appears to be a coma. Dorothy tries to reconcile the differences between what she thought was true and the reality she faces, including how she could have missed the fact that it was, ‘Mrs. Gulch’ not ‘Miss Gulch’.
Our story quickly branches to Lawrence, Massachusetts in 1912 where we meet 16-year-old Almira Ristani . We follow as Almira, a remarkably intelligent and strong-willed girl grows up in the New England mill town amidst the birth pangs of the workers rights movement in America. After the tragic death of a friend during the Bread and Roses Strike, Almira leaves with her husband-to-be, Sterling Gulch. We follow the young couple through their life all the way up to 1939.
We follow Dorothy Gale through the summer of 1939 as she discovers secrets about her family, the way of life in a small mid-plains town and, ultimately the reason why the woman sleeping in a narrow bed in the charity ward of the local hospital did what she did.
Dorothy Gale learns about life and family, Almira lives a dream and dreams of family. Two characters that many people are familiar with are part of a story that is both familiar and startlingly different than what we all believed we knew about this beloved tale.
Who is your favorite character in a book written by someone else?
It sure isn’t Auntie Em! (‘Almira’ joke, you’ll laugh once I complete the book and get it published, of course.) (Hee, hee–sounds intriguing!!! -Amanda)
I’ll have to go with don Juan Mateus, the protagonist in Carlos Castaneda’ s wonderful series of mysto-anthropologic novels, ‘The Teachings of Don Juan, A Yaqui Way of Knowledge’. The character of don Juan as protagonist, is both wise and funny; a killer combination in any character.
Please share a few details about your writing process.
So far, my writing process has been totally ‘seat of the pants’.
Blogdominion (and current wip, ‘Almira’) were written a chapter at a time and posted, once a week on the http://www.jukepop.com. The story unfolds for me by the chapter and as I learn it from the characters in the story. Sort of like daydreaming except grammar and spelling counts.
Where have you traveled? Where do you hope to travel?
Meteor Crater, AZ
The Stanley Hotel, Estes Park CO
Bonneville Salt Flats, UT
Key West, FL
Hope to get to:
The places occasioned by the characters of my stories. For ‘Blogdominion’ that will entail going to Maryland, Massachusetts, Utah and Illinois. ‘Almira’ will produce a simpler but more far-flung itinerary: Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Kansas, Philadelphia, Missouri and France. (damn you! Gavrilo Princip)
Are you a Mac or PC person?
PC (and that choice does indicate a difference among those who might answer it sincerely. Yes, the Wakefield Doctrine again)
Android or iPhone? Or are you more of a flip phone kind of person?
Black socks, white socks, or funky colored/patterned socks?
Patterned black, white and beige
How do you take your coffee or tea?
Flavored coffee, except for Sunday morning writing time, then it is fresh brewed with heavy cream.
What did you want to be when you grew up at age 5?
A real person*.
(*a trick answer but nevertheless a sincere one. The trick part is that to understand how it is a sincere (and, oddly enough, true and correct) answer requires an understanding and appreciation of the Wakefield Doctrine. (Which, by the way, would also provide an answer to the Tee shirt question.))
What motivated you to write what you write?
I started a blog to see if I couldn’t popularize the Wakefield Doctrine ( a personality types system). The blog was reasonably successful, especially in exposing me to more people who enjoy writing than I would otherwise have come into contact with, here in the ‘real’ world. Being essentially a written medium, writing blog Posts and participating in various activities online, such a writing contests and bloghops, I found my comfort zone expanding, so naturally I thought I should write a book. (lol) After several less than successful attempts, I decided that I needed to increase my skills in ‘the writing thing’. Since practice makes perfect, I started to write ‘Blogdominion’ as a serial story, the requirement to produce on a schedule providing much need accountability. Funny thing about my wip ‘Almira’, the basic idea for the story came out of a bloghop. There is a (weekly) bloghop called, ‘Six Sentence Story’ and, for whatever reason, one week’s prompt word resulted in a story about how the new high school in Dorothy Gale’s hometown of Circe, Kansas
(replacing the old high school destroyed in a certain F5 tornado) was dedicated to Almira Gulch. The book started there and I’ve been trying to keep up with the story ever since.
What makes you choose a particular character to develop? Do you have any special techniques for developing characters?
Not aware of picking characters, they seem all to be ‘walk-ons’. Except when there is a reality tie-in, as is the case with ‘Almira’. In this story there were already characters populating the world (of the story), i.e. some, but not all, of the people from the Wizard of Oz movie.
What do you want to be remembered for?
The Wakefield Doctrine (the theory of clarks, scotts and rogers)
Wow, Clark, great stuff here! I look forward to reading your stuff! 🙂 Thanks for allowing me to interview you! -Amanda 🙂