I would like to welcome Jack Strandburg into the Author Spotlight. Mr. Strandburg wrote a novel entitled Hustle Henry and the Cue-Ball Kid in the mid-1980s. It wasn’t until the 1990’s that he decided to pursue the dream of becoming a published author. In February 2013, Solstice Publishing published the book.
Welcome Jack! I’m happy to have you in the spotlight. Please tell us about Hustle Henry and the Cue-Ball Kid.I fell in love with writing when I originally wrote this book in the mid-1980’s. Hustle Henry and the Cue-Ball Kid is a fiction work of Western humor with an interesting and amusing cast of characters.
This is their story:
Clarence Flannery was luckier than most men his age to discover his life’s ambition, particularly in the unpredictable years just following the Civil War. Born with an unmatched skill to play pool, he left his home in Kansas when he turned twenty-six and traveled throughout the Southwestern United States to make his mark as a legendary pool hustler, with every intention of amassing a fortune in the process. Clarence needed help for both support and protection, and recruited James Skinner as his partner, along with nine other highly-skilled pool players to assist him in his quest.
Wanting to be included in the same sentence as Attila the Hun and Alexander the Great, Clarence changed his name to Hustle Henry, Skinner became the Cue-Ball Kid, and the eleven men would go down in history as The Hole-in-the-Table-Bunch, known far and wide for hustling wannabe pool sharks out of their life savings. All goes to plan and life has a rosy and profitable outlook, but Henry and his men want more than what pool halls and saloons offer, so they decide to challenge the more affluent clientele on a riverboat.
Initially, the venture proves profitable, but the millionaire tycoon and owner of the fleet of riverboats, takes exception, and intends to bring down the Bunch and thrust Henry and The Kid into a life of destitution.
Taking along the Kid’s girlfriend, Penelope Henderson, the Kid and Henry flee to South America – where there will be a final showdown.
Wow, that is a great storyline. Where did you get the inspiration for this book?As the name suggests, the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid inspired me to write with a more humorous approach.
What would you say is the most challenging part of writing a book? Deciding on which path the plot will take. There are so many what-if situations that are intriguing and interesting, deciding is always the toughest part for me. I know it is far better than writer’s block.
I couldn’t agree more. I fear the day my characters stop chatting in my brain. Do you have specific techniques you use to develop the plot and stay on track?I spend a lot of time on design and outline and attempt to answer all issues and questions and what path the plot will take to try and produce a road map to follow from A to Z when writing the draft. The advantage to this approach is once I start writing the draft , ideally I’ll have very few false starts or run into a part where I feel part needs to be rewritten, which often means rewriting, adding, or deleting scenes.
I believe outlining is a sure-fire way to ensure I don’t hit that blank “wall” at some point in my manuscript — especially hundreds of pages into the story. Jack, please tell readers where they can find your book.
Thank you again for sharing your story with me today. Enjoy the rest of the week. For more of Jack Strandburg’s interview, please visit www.farmingdale.patch.com
**Katie McKnight is the author of Secrets Revealed, a suspenseful-romance. To learn how you can shine in the author spotlight, please visit www.katie-mcknight-author.com or www.facebook.com/katiemcknightauthorpage