Interview with Bob Smith and Sara Rhodes, authors of Iniquities of Gulch Fork

In the worn and tired town of Gulch Fork, Arkansas, certified nursing assistant Samantha Caminos heads to her patient Rob Dean's home and wonders how she can find common ground with the aloof, disabled Vietnam veteran who suffers from not only PTSD but also severe neuropathy caused by Agent Orange. As Samantha approaches the house, she has no idea that very soon their lives will take a new turn. Gulch Fork, a town once filled with Ozark tranquility, takes on an aura of evil when bizarre events begin to affect Rob and two other war-scarred veterans, Peter Ness and Ron Woods-Samantha's father. But when Samantha learns that two elderly couples without living relatives in the area have fallen prey to fraud and embezzlement by a man who claims to be a pastor, she sets out on a quest to piece together a complex mystery fueled by those hell-bent on taking advantage of citizens too fragile to defend themselves. In this compelling novel based on true events, three veterans seeking peace and serenity from PTSD fall victim to injustice, prompting a young health care worker to investigate the evil that has infiltrated their once peaceful Arkansas town.

What is your favorite quality about yourself?

Bob- My PTSD nags at me if I don’t complete a task.

Sara- Empathy

What is your least favorite quality about yourself?

Bob- Uncontrollable temper, a symptom of PTSD.

Sara- I’m the queen of procrastination.

When did you first know you could be a writer?

Bob- When I was in the second grade I wrote a one act play that was performed before a high school audience.

Sara- I’m a writer?

Who or what influenced your writing over the years?

Bob- A teacher asked me if I’d had someone else write something she thought was too good for someone of my age without special training in writing.

Sara- Life experiences.

How did you come up with the title of the book?

We had to find a word that described all the troubles our characters faced. Iniquities was the only word we could come up with that didn’t suggest a supernatural element of some kind.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Dealing with a health crisis in the middle of writing, then having to get back on track.

Bob Smith is a naval officer who had Agent Orange spilled on him in Vietnam and suffers from severe PTSD in addition to disabling neuropathy. After living in Spain, he returned to America and settled in the Ozarks, where he is happily pursuing his dream of writing. Sara Rhodes is a wife, mother, and certified nursing assistant who originally lived in Alaska before moving to the Ozarks with her family. Bob is her former patient whose teachings about PTSD helped her recognize her own father's battle with it. Both Bob and Sara find animals to be a great source of comfort.

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