Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Bruce Sarte: Towering Pines Room 509

Bruce Sarte, author of Towering Pines, is my guest today. Welcome, Bruce.

Tell us about your book.

Thanks, Susan. Towering Pines Volume One: Room 509 is the story of Liam Rider who is a basketball star. I like to say he’s the guy everyone guy wants to be and the guy every girls wants to be with. But then in a fit of rage he ends up in jail on an aggravated assault charge and that leads him to being sentenced to military school. Military school brings a whole new set of problems for Liam between the upper classmen harassing him and being told he isn’t going to graduate on time he thinks his life couldn’t get any worse. That is until the nightmares begin and the ghosts start appearing to him. Luckily for Liam, he meets and befriends the mysterious and intriguing Lisbeth Harrington. Lisbeth is quiet and closed up but Liam and Lisbeth begin to get close and he shares the problems he is having. This leads to the two of the working together to solve the mystery of the ghosts and sixty year old murders before they claim Liam as their next victim.

This story has drama, mystery, a little romance, ghosts and magic!

How do you develop characters? Setting?

I find that the characters tell me what they want to do and how they feel. I put them in a setting and let them guide me. Quite often the idea I start with is only faintly reminiscent of what ends up on the page. I try and create the mood for them and just let them go!

What are your protagonist’s strengths? Flaws?

My protagonists tend to be wounded and vulnerable yet they put on a stronger façade for the rest of the world to see. In my first novel, Sands of Time, Sam Shepard drinks heavily to mask his pain and get through each day. He thinks he is hiding it from the world and while it is painfully obvious to those around him, he works hard at it anyway. In Towering Pines, Liam Rider’s cool athlete exterior is shattered in a moment but he fights hard to keep up the act until he learns that he needs people around him to save him. Both protagonists struggle heavily with the idea that they need help to be saved but they are also on a mission to save someone they care about. Both stories have a circular motion about them.

How does your environment/upbringing color your writing?

I really enjoy using the environment I grew up in as seed for my stories. Sands of Time is set in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ where I grew up and Towering Pines Volume One: Room 509 is set at Admiral Farragut Academy where I went to high school. I like hearing people say, “I know that place…” when they come to book signings.

How do you promote yourself online and off?

I do various book signings and appearances throughout the year as time allows. I am also easily found on various social media including Facebook, Twitter, GoodReads, ManicReaders and other sites.

Any current projects?

Currently I have two things I’m actively working on. I’m working on a short-story for the Bump In The Night anthology my publisher is putting together. It is a Towering Pines-based story starring Liam and Lisbeth who are called to a haunted hospital to banish the ghosts. The anthology will be out mid-October. The second thing is Winds of Change, the sequel to Sands of Time. It takes Sam Shepard and puts him in an all-new environment when he finds out his fiancée, Natalie, is kidnapped just before the wedding. More vampires? You’ll just have to wait to find out!

Where can folks learn more about your books and events?

I try and promote everything on Facebook and Twitter in addition to my own website ( and my publisher’s site (

Bruce, thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions. Best of luck to you!


L.C. Evans said...

Sounds like a good book. I was wondering as i read the interview if the author actually had firsthand experience of attending a military academy and then I found the answer.
Thanks, Bruce and Susan.

Bruce said...

LC -- thank you for your comment! It is always great to read everyone's thoughts. Hope you pick up a copy and enjoy it!