Author Interview – Darrel Sparkman – (Westerns/Action Adventure/Post-Apocalyptic/Historical Fiction)

Hey there everyone.

Here we are again with another fantastic insight into the mind of a published author and their writing experiences.

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For tonight’s entertainment and your pleasure, may I introduce to you all author Darrel Sparkman, who really sets the sparks flying in his action packed books.

Thanks for reading and buckle up for an exhilarating ride folks 🙂

 

Hi there Darrel, a sincere pleasure to have you over here with us to discuss your works in the genres of Frontier Western, Traditional Western, Post-Apocalyptic and Action/Adventure Fiction.

Let’s start with your books first. Can you please tell us a bit more about each of them regarding their plots/themes, the goals of their protagonists/antagonists and what sort of wild rides we can expect to be taken on with them.

Thank you, David.

I’ve written two frontier westerns.

Osage Dawn is an adventure set on the Northern Arkansas border of 1804, pitting a young trapper and his friends against a renegade Osage and his band. The renegades are shunned by their own people and make a big mistake. They kidnap Matt Crane’s bride-to-be. When they get her back in a daring raid, the battles are just starting. Love and adventure in frontier America.

Osage Dawn Banner Hi Res

Spirit Trail is the story of Sean MacLeod, set in 1820, who loses his family in a raid by Blackfoot warriors on the Northern Missouri river. His trail of retribution earns him the name Ghostrider, and proves the adage that revenge is a two-edged sword. Tired of the constant battle with the Bloods, he travels south into the wilds of the Ozark Mountains. His plans to rebuild his life take an unexpected turn when a local girl is taken hostage by the Osage. Her mother hears of Sean’s reputation and pleas for help. Haunted by his past, his choice is painful—turn away and do nothing, or get involved and risk losing everything once again.

Hallowed Ground is a traditional western set in a Southern Missouri town. The 1800’s are littered with incidents of murder that in modern times would be labelled as serial killings. In 1878, all a marshal has is gut instinct. Five young girls have been murdered. The home town sheriff calls in Marshal Coble Bray. Facing an ambitious judge, a gang of bloodthirsty vigilantes, and a countryside ready to explode—he’s trying to find a killer hiding in plain sight.

Hallowed Ground Cover

The Reckoning is a collection of twelve traditional western short stories with something for everyone. Featuring raw, down and dirty revenge, witches dancing in the moonlight, a de-frocked nun, undercover investigations, rescued maidens and gunfights in strange places. And fried chicken.

The Reckoning Cover

I’ve written three post-apocalyptic novels. After the Fall and a two-book series called Black Clouds Rising.

After the Fall is set years after an apocalyptic event. By modern criteria, the left and right coasts are barely survivable. The government was quick to cut off all contact with middle America. People left in what used to be the bread basket of the world are desperate, doing anything to survive. John Trent is a courier between the few army outposts left in the Ozarks. He stays alive by being better at surviving in the forest than those around him. He’s tired of the killing and fighting it takes to survive and wants nothing more than to retire on top of a mountain and watch the world pass by. Then he meets Katherine, who’s taking supplies back to her town. He knows there’s a killer working that forest who preys on women. Guess the killing’s not over. He’ll protect her even if she doesn’t want it. A fast-paced adventure with a frontier slant, After the Fall will give you chills because it can so easily happen.

AFter the fall cover low res.png

Black Clouds Rising – The Shepherd is centered around Springfield, Missouri. Through events easily brought about in modern times, fuel is no longer available. No fuel = no food delivery = starving and desperate people. The Shepherd isn’t set way after the trigger event, it’s during the event. Mason Law is a member of an elite group specialized in rescuing people from a hostile environment. When he returns home, Springfield is in chaos. A message is delivered from an old friend—get the general’s daughter to safety. The Shepherd starts fast and hurtles to the finish. Buckle up! Releasing 1st quarter of 2018.

Black Clouds Rising – Chrysalis takes the same event as above from an entirely different viewpoint. Colton Blaine is an out-of-work IT specialist with a wife, two kids, and a mortgaged house in suburbia feeling helpless when society crumbles around them. Does he know anything useful in this new reality? To survive, what does he have to become? Can he learn to be as brutal as those around him? A story of betrayal, new-found love, and survival at all cost. Releasing 2nd quarter of 2018.

Limestone County is an action adventure set in modern times and coming out in 2018. Jim Lane is ex-military and ex-shadowy organization called The Shepherds, and retired on beautiful Stockton Lake in South-west Missouri. Through his girlfriend’s betrayal and his retaliation, he earns the attention of the Russian mafia. When their assassin misses his shot, Jim is plummeted into a battle with their increasing number mercenaries trying to kill him. With the help of beautiful county Sheriff Rita Morris, the mob soldiers learn a painful lesson. This ain’t the streets of Saint Louis and killing a country boy ain’t all that easy. Due for release 3rd quarter of 2018.

If any of your novels were to be made into films (or even a TV series), who would you cast in the lead roles?

I try not to picture anyone. As with all my characters, they’d have to be regular looking, normal people. The one exception would be The Shepherd. The dialogue between Sam Elliot and Mel Gibson in We Were Soldiers comes to mind. Sam would have to be the grizzled sergeant.

What would you choose as your own personal mascot or spirit animal when it comes to you and your style of writing?

The only thing that comes to mind is the signet popular with the 14th century merchant class. A sleeping lion surrounded by the words, “Wake Me No Man”. Most of my protagonists would be the sleeping lion. Do not poke them with a stick!

What do you think most characterizes or defines your writing? Do you have any writing quirks or themes that constantly crop up in your stories?

The most important thing I try to do is make it believable. The reader needs to be able to say, “Yeah. That right there. That could happen.”

An excerpt from my bio: Being raised in rural America bent me toward adventure novels and westerns, and I’ve been writing since I was young. Reading an adventure novel and wanting to get on to the next one gave me the style in my writing of picking a week or so in the protagonist’s life and riding hell-bent from problem to solution. My heroes are prone to suddenness of action and intent.

Writing can exorcise your demons, give you the pleasure of a story well told, and drive you to distraction. But it is always a ride worth taking.

What do you find the most difficult thing about writing? And what do you find the easiest?

It’s hard not to write the same old thing all the time. I don’t really like serials—the same hero rides from town to town, adventure to adventure. Although I’m being pushed to write sequels.

I’m a burst, seat-of-the-pants writer. Once the idea comes, I can’t type fast enough.

Banner with website logo

Who are some of the authors, poets and/or historical figures that inspire you?

I’ve read so many books, it’s hard to single one, or two out. I’ve read everything Louis L’Amour wrote, including short stories, poetry and essays. But there are many other authors that write equally well, especially those that get you deep into their characters.
One of my favorites is Walk With Peril by D.V.S. Jackson. In the front of my books, I always try to do a quote from The Poetical Works of William Cullen Bryant.

What sort of research do you do to write your books?

Read. Read. Read. Once a time-frame is set, I want to know what is going on in the world around them. What’s the political environment, what music, what events are going on that might be used in the story. Since most of my stories are from 1800 to 1878, I read old stuff. I have several books over 100 years old. Want to know about the frontier? The history taught now is too politically correct and slanted. The internet is full of journals written by frontiersmen and explorers, written at the time—sometimes having to be translated because their English isn’t the same as ours. One good example is the journal of Mountain Man James Clyman, available on Amazon.

Why do you write? What inspired you to become a writer?

I’ve always been compelled to write. Mostly it was poetry or short essays. I was in a book store and picked up an apocalyptic novel. After reading it, I commented to my wife. “I could do this a whole lot better.” She said. “So, do it.” I’ve been trying ever since.

What keeps you motivated during creative slumps? How do you deal with Writers Block?

Sometimes it doesn’t flow. I just do other things. Often, if I’m working on a full-length book, I’ll turn to short stories just to get the words going again. Or, go back and edit what I’ve already done.

promo

You have access to a time machine. What advice would you give to your younger self?

Get serious about writing earlier. Set aside time to do it. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve heard comes from Dusty Richards, author of over a hundred novels. In the face of procrastination, worries about research, formatting, how-to’s, what’s selling, and all those myriad questions facing first-time wannabe writers, his advice was short and to the point. “Write the damned book!” Worry about all that other stuff later.

How do you spend your free time when you are not writing?

Free time is hard to come by. I’m a ten to midnight writer. Days are usually filled with work, either with our business or just stuff that needs doing around the house. I have more time in the winter, so more writing gets done then.

Tell us more about your upcoming projects. Are you working on anything specific or have plans in the pipeline?

I’m currently working on a short story. I’m also working on Spirit Trail II. When it’s finished, I’ll go Hallowed Ground II. Both of those are started. That will take me through 2018. After that? There’s a few more stories rattling around I’m thinking about.

Finally, are there any nuggets of wisdom that you can impart to other aspiring writers?

I think the best advice is what I alluded to earlier. Write the book. Get an education? You bet, but don’t let it get in the way of your writing. Every bit of education will help you write the story in a more precise manner, which will help your editors, but it won’t write the story. Oh, and don’t quit your day job!

And that’s a wrap! Thank you for spending some time with us way out in The West Darrel, we can’t wait to saddle up and enjoy the rides from your books 🙂

Bio:-

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Darrel Sparkman resides in Southwest Missouri with his wife. Their three children and eleven grandchildren live nearby. His hobbies include gardening, golfing, and writing.

In the past, Darrel served four years in the United States Navy, including seven months in Viet Nam as a combat search & rescue helicopter crewman. He also served nineteen years as a volunteer Emergency Medical Technician, and worked as a professional photographer, computer repair tech, and was owner and operator of a greenhouse and flower shop.

Darrel is currently retired and self employed. He finally has that job that wakes you up every day with a smile.

You can connect with Darrel via the following Social Media channels:-

Blog/Website:- The Website of Darrel Sparkman, Author
Facebook:- Darrel Sparkman, Western Writer (FB)
Goodreads:- Darrel Sparkman (Goodreads Author)

You can buy his books here:-

Buy Darrel Sparkman’s books in the UK/Europe

Buy Darrel Sparkman’s books in the US/Rest of the World

If you too would like to be interviewed on my blog at TooFullToWrite and you have a book or a series of books that you would like us to chat about then fill out the Contact Me form here with your details and we can arrange a future interview slot.

Still want more? Well, Darrel’s books are well paced, action packed and atmospheric in the extreme. For more articles on the theme of ‘Atmospheric’ then check out the links below:-

1. Weekly Photo Challenge: Transformation – whippetwisdom.com
2. Oh! Those Tree Fairies…. – Branching Out
3. About Siphons – A Unique Title For Me
4. Soundscape – Sandmanjazz
5. Apple mints and rainbow unicorn farts. – awesomeloopy
6. One Shy Peek – Harlem Cafe
7. Atmospheric Head Spaces Cleaned Out and Reconsidered – Shelby’s Starlit Crossing
8. Fated – Musings
9. The Realisation Of Being In Love – Specscladeyes
10. Tanka: Floating Cloud – whippetwisdom.com
11. Visit to Jog Falls – Writingio
12. “Atmospheric; Short story” – Expedition Overlanding Nomadic Adventures
13. Random Thoughts – The Bonny Cat
14. drops on the beach, a haiku – chaitanya
15. On the way home – bushboys world
16. ATMOSPHERIC INFECTION – Rainbow
17. Pressing Pressure – Debbie Gravett
18. Sofalarity – Revolving Around Life
19. thoughts on paper – One word prompt: Atmospheric
20. Swell Time – Lunar
21. They, You and Me – wintery morning….
22. Thanks, but I’m not giving… – Its a wonderful life.
23. Atmospheric Entry – Brainpan Data Dump
24. And life emerges – The Chaos Within
25. Foto-Blog – Theo Herbots #Fotoblog
26. A tenantable revival – Quaint Revival
27. Bliksem / Lightning – Theo Herbots #Fotoblog
28. Love Coach Laura Harju – Atmospheric changes
29. theblackwallblog – What Defines You.
30. Atmosphere Inside – Around the World
31. Good Morning – Theo Herbots #Fotoblog
32. Roots – Theo Herbots #Fotoblog
33. Marawi: Breathe or Live? – Youth ‘n Faith
34. Chicken Brain – An Extraordinary Discovery
35. Climate and atmospheric conditions – Revolving Around Life
36. I Do It By Myself – Organising Life
37. Too Soon? – neilsworldofenglish
38. atmospheric – Litterbox Riot
39. Let’s go to the movies… – Mum’s the Word Blog
40. An atmospheric trice. – Unexpressed thoughts.
41. Don’t take yourself too seriously ALL the time… – Cupcakes and Razorblades
42. Love and The Brood of Vipers – The Irreverend
43. Are we killing oxygen? – DeepikasRamblings
44. Musings Of Nature – Rusty Old Car : The Untold Journey
45. Pens and Pearls – Atmospheric
46. Changes – Words in verse
47. Under Pressure – Leigha Robbins
48. Writer’s block – Ambrose X
49. A Life Retired Blog – Atmospheric programming
50. Run for the Perfect Relationship – Vj Dogra
51. SAND DOLLAR SEASON – Spirit’s Atmospheric Change
52. Making it write – Hogs’ Pudding and Breast of Spring Chicken
53. Prohibition – The Introspection Connection
54. Nature’s gifts… – afaceinthecrowdblog
55. Birch Church – Ragged and Rusty
56. Notes to Women – Love in the Office
57. Once a Day Photos – Atmospheric
58. Atmospheric – The Swamp Scene – The Long and Short Stories of Life
59. The Hockey Mom Fit Life – Super Saturday
60. Atmospheric – Poet Girl Em
61. Square Lines – Shingaya Square – Wells Baum
62. browney237’s Blog – The Diary of a Slow Traveller- Quaint or Odd, The Howtown Hotel, Lake District
63. An Atmospheric Ambient – A Simple Girl’s Daily Life
64. theempathyqueen – Need versus Want
65. Na’ama Yehuda – Atmosphere
66. Blue Hour in Buenos Aires – Ostendnomadography
67. The Good And The Bad Of It – Kinda Sorta
68. Change in Mood – Wind Kisses
69. Every Kind of Way (microfiction) – stephentotheplate
70. Bomen / Trees – Theo Herbots • Hobby Fotografie
71. Walk with God – High Above or Deep Below
72. A Nightmare – In the Driver’s Seat
73. Two Up – I Suppose It Had To Happen Eventually.
74. HUGE CURLY HAIR GIVEAWAY + CURL PRODUCTS I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT – A Day with Alex
75. Orion’s Belt – Vignettes from a Writer’s Den
76. Think of the Ways – Fluffy Pool
77. Atmospheric – Sgeoil
78. For Much Deliberation – Atmospheric…
79. Light Up, Light Up – Snapshots: Styles And Smiles
80. What Atmospheric Pressure Reveals A Dark Intent? * Plunder My Art
81. I Can’t Keep Count – authoranonblog
82. Space – I am a paradox.
83. Thankful For: Holiday Season – MindEscapes
84. Life Change Blog – Atmospheric
85. The Home Of DJ Sung Mo Koo – “Who You Gonna Call? Encore!” by JAY-Z Vs. RAY PARKER JR.
86. Peanut Gallery 24/7 – I’m Loving Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect”
87. Ride Hard: Nerves Aplenty – Redux Of Rex
88. Atmospheric – Covert Novelist
89. Class Reunion – Generally specific
90. Eleventh Day Moon – Thoughts of Words
91. Frank Prem – tambo
92. Musings and My Two Cents – He Sets the Atmosphere
93. More than Nostalgia – Author Flawed to Perfection
94. Anton’s Ideas – WHEN IT MATTERED
95. Between the seasons – Whisper
96. Shail’s Nest – The tales that graffiti tell
97. Regen / Rain – Theo Herbots zorgt voor uw webwinkel online
98. Is this it ? – myworldview721
99. Where you live and breathe – Lost and Found in Louisville
100. juantetcts – Daily Post/Atmospheric
101. Read the room… – Hurdles & Girdles
102. A forest burning with copper leaves – Sarah’s Crazy Mind
103. Sense of Place: Dusk Falls Over Moorland – Susan Rushton
104. A happy start… – Silly Shruti
105. Yoga Poet – Nothing is impossible
106. Atmospheric – The Bag Lady
107. B-day – Run and Travel
108. Word Play… Work in Progress.
109. Atmospheric – Cambodia – My Dusty Flip-Flops
110. mylocalweb – The atmospheric conditions
111. Hot Dogs and Marmalade – Another Sunrise Post
112. copypower – Atmospheric
113. teleportingweena – Revival – Atmospheric – Daily Post – NanoPoblano – Day 18
114. Nan’s Farm-Inside Out – Owl and Mouse – All about Senses
115. The atmospheric ups and downs of extreme motherhood – Teresa Berkowitz
116. The Skies Are Changing – Blissfully Bianca
117. Atmospheric (Daily Prompt) – A STARfisher’s Blog
118. Piper’s Adventures – An Atmospheric Thanksgiving
119. The World Outside the Window – Portrait of a Day
120. Atmosphere – Megha’s World
121. Seasonal Mythology and Magic: Atmospheric Short Story – Chronicles of an Orange-Haired Woman!
122. Dancing Echoes – Atmosphere
123. Till This Cycle Breaks – Wings Of Poetry
124. The Consulting Writer – Iced Mochas For Everyone! How I Enjoyed The Justice League
125. Writer’s block – Melancholy Keys
126. Light Words – Daily Post Atmospheric Conversation
127. Music – cocoa2
128. Muse of the Day – Everyday Strange
129. New Speak – This, That, and The Other
130. Saturday six-word story: Atmospheric – writingiswonderful
131. The Pack Leader – arpi3site
132. Frank Prem – cosmic oneness in a bedroom universe
133. Atmosphere of Seasons – The Story Addict
134. The Cat Chronicles – Daily Feline Prompt: Feline Atmospherics
135. Frank Prem – atmospheric brooding
136. So-Do-Me – artiche
137. Frank Prem – The Atmosphere Is Not A Perfume
138. Pressure Point – The Fuzz
139. SERENDIPITY – ANOTHER GREY DAY – ATMOSPHERIC MORNING
140. India’s Capital’s Present Condition – Angelin Veronica
141. Let’s Talk About Music – Sketches By Nitesh
142. Migraine!! – This Girl’s Got Curves
143. Atmospheric – All About Writing and more
144. KO Rural Mad As Hell Blog – night
145. KO Rural Mad As Hell Blog – day
146. THE ICONOPHILE – A Sick Thought
147. Misifusa’s Blog – Atmospheric Change – Do You Feel It Too?
148. Protest – fighting for what we believe (Atmospheric) – Lived in UK Living in Taiwan
149. Ibiza – 2013 – Mistyroads
150. Atmospheric Setting – Blase’ – My heart, mind and soul…transcribed!
151. Atmospheric – Melinda J. Irvine
152. And then there was one – Surviving the storms of life
153. Atmosphere – I’m a Writer, Yes, I Am!
154. The Ruin of a Formidable Kingdom – Journeys of Len
155. sonja benskin mesher – . red .
156. Above, Solo. – Zeckrombryan
157. Fall Rushes In – Random Daily Thoughts
158. Atmosphere – The Inkwell
159. Grammy Writes – Fog – a Haiku
160. Dronstad – Current status on the 42. Cyber Corps (log 2)
161. Overcoming Regret pt. 1: Good Grief – Stew Rd.
162. Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss – Atmospherical Conditions
163. I love winter atmosphere – Karyn’s Domain
164. NanoPoblano, day 18 ⋆ Obsolete Childhood
165. Atmospheric :: Flowers – tea & paper
166. Planet Pressure – Pearson Fiction
167. lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown – Stormy Weather
168. Burmese Days – Don’t hold your breath
169. Atmospheric – Image & Word
170. Atmospheric – THEGIRLVERSUSWORLD
171. The Clouds Are Heavier Than the Mountain – Nes Felicio Photography
172. Contributing To Your Growth – emotionsoflife2016
173. Vexed – THEGIRLVERSUSWORLD
174. Narutomath96 – Before Winter comes
175. The life of B – Atmospheric
176. { It’s 4:30 a.m. } – My Word Soup
177. Wild Daffodil – Sandra’s Silly Saturday

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2 thoughts on “Author Interview – Darrel Sparkman – (Westerns/Action Adventure/Post-Apocalyptic/Historical Fiction)

  1. What a wonderful Blog. I’m reading After The Fall now and I’ve read Hallowed Ground. Linda Broday recommended your wonderful book Hallowed Ground to me. I just love your writing. May you & your family have a blessed Thanksgiving and Christmas.

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