This novel examines two features of modern-day life — military and civilian. Carl Norberg is an artist who serves in the American army at the start of a war in Asia that doesn’t go well. Readers also will enter the arts community in a large northeastern city where Carl decides to start his civilian career. Can a man who isn’t at home anywhere he goes use his talents to build a satisfying and fruitful life? Can he have a positive impact on the lives of people who come his way and who see his work? Does he find a woman to love?
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I wrote the early drafts of the military chapters of “The Hills of the Tigers” shortly after I received my discharge from the American army in 1968. This story is not autobiographical. Instead, I wanted to add a comment, based on what I’d learned, to the discussion about a great national trauma, The civilian chapters came about years later as I thought about a hint an editor gave me — that she liked the story but the ending seemed inconclusive. It’s not inconclusive now.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
My brain works a certain way. Give it something to feed on and it will take it apart and put it together a new way. My characters are a response to experience, to having read a fair amount of fiction, a desire to write it, and, as I say, the quirks of my brain.
I’ve been able to fulfill a lifelong dream by writing several novels that are now available on kindle direct publishing. Like many writers, I’ve done other things beside write fiction and these experiences have brought a great deal to my stories. Though I don’t write autobiographical fiction, four years at a large Midwestern university provided a framework for two long works. Hanging around the theater when I was younger gave me the background for another novel. My interest in American history, especially the colonial period, has provided material for several works.
“The Hills of the Tigers” leans on two areas of experience — 18 months I spent in Thailand as an enlisted man in the American army and 12 years when I lived in Boston and absorbed the city, its ways, and its people.
In later years, I studied theology at a Lutheran seminary in Indiana, with a year in Florida and worked as a pastor for 17+ years at a mining area in mid-north Ontario. I live in Toronto now. These years have had a less direct impact on my stories but daily contact with the Bible and the Christian faith for almost thirty years have surely made a mark on my stories as well as my life.
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