The Mulligans of Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Jefferson Series #2The Mulligans of Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Jefferson Series #2
Don Reid
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Childhood pals Cal, Harlan, and Buddy were known in Mt. Jefferson for their troublemaking. But when World War II tears them apart, they wonder if their friendship will survive. In 1959, Harlan is shot---and Buddy and Cal are the first to arrive at his bedside. Can they discover who put Cal in the hospital---and why?
     

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DON REIDDon Reid, a member of country music’s legendary Statler Brothers, has
three Grammy awards, nine CMA awards, thirteen gold albums, eight
platinum albums, and is a member of the Gospel Music and Country Music
Halls of Fame. Reid has written several books, including O Little Town/
and One Lane Bridge. Reid lives with his wife, Deborah, in Staunton,
Va.

Favorite Verse: Luke 1:37 (NIV): For nothing is impossible with God.

 Our Interview with Don Reid

PLEASE TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF.

 I’m one of the Statler Brothers and we enjoyed 40 wonderful years in the country music industry.  I wrote and had recorded over 250 songs, wrote TV specials and TV series and wrote comedy for all those decades.  When we retired in 2002, I took a stab at writing books.  The Mulligans of Mt. Jefferson is my seventh book and my third novel. I have two wonderful sons to whom I dedicated Mulligans…and four beautiful grandchildren.  My wife, Debbie, and I live in Staunton, VA with our little demon dog, Lucy.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BIBLE VERSE(TRANSLATION TOO, PLEASE)?  WHY?

 I keep a little card sitting at my computer with these words written on it:
For nothing is impossible with God.– Luke 1:37
That is the NIV and I like this because I have been teaching Sunday school for 30 years and I find it very reader-friendly for everyone.

WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION TO DEVELOP THE MULLIGANS OF MT. JEFFERSON?

 I had written O Little Town and had fallen in love with the town and the era in which it was set.  I very much wanted to go back to that town and time and revisit some of those people.  It’s comfortable for me back there and very peaceful.

HOW MUCH OF THE STORY COMES FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE?

 More than I probably intended.  The town is certainly my hometown, Staunton, Virginia.
It sets in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley and when I walk the streets of Mt. Jefferson in the book, I’m simply walking the streets of Staunton in my memory.  The people are composites of those I know and have known.  I have never intentionally used a direct person as a character.  I may piece together different friends from my past and make one strong character, but that’s as close as I like to get.

HOW MUCH RESEARCH DID THE MULLIGANS OF MT. JEFFERSON TAKE?

 A bit.  It spans over three decades, so I had to be sure of historical bearings.  I had to be aware of the times and how they may influence speech and action.  I hate to read a glaring anachronism where someone might use a 60s phrase such as “Right On!” and the scene is taking place in 1955.  Or someone mentions a song title or a movie two years before it was ever released.  I think it’s important for the reader to trust the writer.  So, yes, I like to research.

WHAT ARE THE MOST INTERESTING FACTS THAT YOU LEARNED WHILE RESEARCHING AND WRITING MULLIGANS…?

 I learned how differently the Great Depression affected certain parts of our country.  Virginia, for instance, was not as deeply damaged because of our lack of industry.  We were more agriculture and tobacco and didn’t feel the impact that Illinois and Michigan, for example, felt.  The research also made me more aware, in real time, of just how close WWII and Korea were.  I was just a baby and have not always appreciated the sad fact that the wounds and effects of war were still so tender when we moved back into another conflict in only a few short years.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES YOU FACE AS AN AUTHOR?

 I think the biggest one is simply time management.  In my music career, I had to leave home to tour, record, do TV shows and etc.  Now I just walk up a few steps to the office and the computer and I’m at work.  And it is way too easy for Lucy, my little Cocker, to come in and want to play.  Or my wife come say, “Let’s go eat lunch.”  Or my grandchildren to stop by and want my time.  I gladly and lovingly give it, but then the story hangs in limbo until I get back to it.  And then, don’t let’s forget just the downright lazy days.

WHAT ASPECTS OF BEING A WRITER DO YOU ENJOY THE MOST?

 The control.  Knowing that I can take characters where I want and have them do what I want.  Of course, sometimes they balk.  Sometimes it just isn’t a natural move and you have to rethink it all.  I love this whole process.  I love finding that believable thread between life and fiction.

WHAT CLUBS OR ORGANIZATIONS ARE YOU INVOLVED WITH HELPING WITH YOUR WRITING?

 No clubs.  I have been writing all my life, either songs or stories.  I’ve also been reading and observing all my life.  And I’m a firm believer that you learn by doing.  That goes for writing or plumbing or sewing.  Learn by your mistakes.

WHAT NEW PROJECTS ARE ON THE HORIZON?

 I’m sure there’s another book coming.  I’ve put down some chapters.  I think I’d like it to be another in the Mt. Jefferson series, but we’ll see.  I sure like those people and that place.

WHAT MESSAGE WOULD YOU LIKE YOUR READERS TO TAKE FROM READING MULLIGANS…?

 I’d like them to come away smiling.  Maybe a tear here and there.  I’d like them to feel some of the emotion I felt when writing it.  We only remember people and things that touch us emotionally and I hope Mt. Jefferson does that.  I hope they’ll get a sense of loyalty from the friendships in the story; a sense of forgiveness and second chances.  But it’s really hard to say what each individual will get from a book.  That’s really up to each one of them.

WHAT WERE YOUR FAVORITE BOOKS AS A CHILD?

 My earliest remembrance of reading was The Bobbsey Twins.  Then I remember reading The Hardy Boys all summer long.

 

WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT?

 I have two sons, Debo and Langdon, to whom I dedicated this book.
They are my greatest achievements.

WHAT PERSON HAVE YOU MET IN YOUR CAREER THAT IMPRESSED/INSPIRED YOU THE MOST?

 I went to work for Johnny Cash when I was 18 years old (1964).  We traveled extensivelywith him for the next nine years.  He was abigger than life influence on me in many ways.  As a writer, he inspired me with the body of work he was in the process of producing.  I was seeing from the inside what he was made of and how he was sharing that part of his talent.  He gave me the best and simplest advice one writer could ever give another.  He said to me, “The best way to say anything is to just say it.”

 I have carried that with me all my professional life.  To me it meant do away with the flowers.  Cut to the chase.  Cut away the fat meat and get on with your story. He was a good teacher and a good friend.  I miss him.

WHAT DO YOU DO TO GET AWAY FROM IT ALL?

 Escape with my family.  We (our kids and grandkids) take off for the beach house each summer.  We have lots of family get-togethers all year long whether it’s going out to eat with the whole gang or them coming here for Friday night dinners.  God has been good in letting us all live in sight of one another.  We’re truly blessed.

IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU’D LIKE TO ADD?

 I’m just thankful for having the opportunity to write.  It’s a burden sometimes but always a privilege.  I’m truly blessed with tales to tell and a public to tell them to.  I thank God for all this and all good things that have come my way.


 
The Mulligans of Mt. Jefferson: A Novel - eBook

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