New Book ‘The Curse of the USS Annie Oakley’ – Q and A with author Joe Terry

the curse of USS Annie oakley

A new book by Author Joe Terry, ‘The Curse of the USS Annie Oakley’  is being launched in Cork City Library on 18th June at 7pm. We feature a Q and A session with the author below the description.

On learning of the assassination of his godfather, President John F Kennedy, Boston College undergraduate DANIEL KELLY believes Communism is behind the unlawful killing, a backlash from the Cuban missiles crises. Beside himself, Daniel makes a spur-of-the-moment vow, dedicating his life to combating communists, the purveyors of evil.

So as to advance his pledge, he joins the Navy and becomes an aviation pilot. Assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Annie Oakley, operating at Yankee Station off Vietnam, he gets stuck into fulfilling his personal mission in a practical way.

On a rest-and-recreation visit to Hong Kong from the Vietnam War, he meets and falls for a beautiful singer, CHRISTINA ALZONA. His liaison with her sets off a change in his general attitude; towards people with skin less white than his, and towards the enemy.

How is he to cope with his dilemma; his longstanding commitment to combating the purveyors of evil, precariously balanced against his new-found standpoint?

Q and A with author Joe Terry

What writers have influenced your writing?
A host of 20th centaury American writers, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Philip RothCormac McCarthy, John O’Hara, Ernest Hemingway, Harper Lee, J.D. Salinger and John Steinbeck. Closer to home, George OrwellJames Joyce, D. H. Lawrence, Joseph Conrad, John McGahern and William Trevor, and lastly Chinese writers, Han Suyin and presen day bestseller Yiyun Li.

Where do your fictional characters come from?

First off, they don’t come from watching television, videos or DVDs. I’ve never watched a video or DVD, wouldn’t know how to operate them. On rare occasions when I’m asked to look out for something on the TV, I struggle in turning the set on and selecting the required channel. My characters are a composite of real life people whom I’ve met, and from people I aquatint myself from reading fiction and non-fiction. I’m a chatty person, a trait inherited from my mother. I invariably open up conversations with strangers. My characters traits come from my imagination and from people that I’ve come across growing up, through formal education, work experience, sports, and social associations.


When do you write? 

Before I retired, I would often have a cat-nap at the end of my working day, before or after dinner, for an hour. From 7pm, I would aim to write till midnight, but often when on a roll till two. Since I retired, I write during the day and evenings mainly. Sometimes, when a lot of stuff is going through my head during the night and I can’t sleep, I type for hours on my Ipad. I find the still of the night a great inspiration for developing ideas.


Where do you write?
Primarily in what I call my writing studio, converted attic space with a fixed stairs, a walk in door, carpet, heating radiators desks, computer printer and shelves of books, but without a phone.

From my studio, I can not hear the house phone or door bell ringing. But I can hear the thud of a car door banging. Expecting family, in particular grandchildren, when I hear the thud, I leave my writing behind to engage with my visitors.

I can not write on holidays. When my daughter had a house in Biot France, I purchased a fold up table and chair and set up a writing station with a lap top computer in a spare first floor bedroom. But I could not write. Again, when my son hosted me to Agaete, Gran Canaria I tried the same but my writing head would not work. My attic writing studio is the only place I can write effectively.


What is your writing process?
I write with my fingers on the keyboard, my eyes and head alert; never longhand. I can hardly read my own handwriting.


You’ve written two books simultaneously. How long did it take, and how did you manage juggling the two? Do they differ in style?
From conception, over ten years elapsed before I published both within two months. I’m a slow coach in comparison to Ian Fleming who I believe churned out his James Bond series one every seven weeks. Even though one novel is not in particular meant to be a sequel of the other, both have some common characters and scenes associations. Both have different styles, one written from the third person point of view and the other the first person.


Have you an interest in short stories. Have you written any?

Yes, I have an interest in short stories. I’m an avid fan of William Trevor’s in particular. I have written unpublished short stories, but novel writing is my true love. I occasionally write letters of topical interest to the newspaper editors.

What was the hardest part of writing your novels?
Writing them was a challenge, but a pleasure all the way.

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