Gail's Book Nook

Monday, June 17, 2013

Looking Out the Window: Sweet Romance Author Larry Hammersley's a Chemist, Science Fiction Writer and Amateur Radio Buff. He Talks about his Latest Book, A Change of Heart.

Larry will give away one print copy and one e-book copy of A Change of Heart. To enter to win, leave a comment with your email address. To receive a free download of Larry's short story, "Ice Rink Romance," scroll down to "A Free Read."

Welcome, Larry. First, tell us a little about yourself.

I just turned seventy-five; married to Sue for fifty years, have two children and five grandchildren. I enjoy writing, amateur radio, jogging, occasional woodworking and being active at our church. I have a BS and MS in chemistry. I’ve been writing short science fiction (SF) stories for the past thirty-eight years. More recently I’ve delved into sweet romance writing and have several short stories on the internet as well as the new book, A Change of Heart.

What an interesting background to draw from for your writing. Lots of writers liked to read as children. How about you?  Yes. What did you read? Science fiction and fictional stories about animals, dogs and horses.

And now you're writing science fiction. Why do you write? I love the storytelling part about writing. It helps keep my mind active.

Tell us about your sweet romance,  A Change of Heart.
It’s about Leroy and Jody, who have had unhappy relationships in their childhood days. Both resolve to avoid getting hurt again. When they meet in college Leroy rethinks his resolve whereas Jody sticks to her convictions and is unwilling to let Leroy into her life. Leroy is in love with her and pursues her throughout college and in the workplace. At the end of six years Jody realizes Leroy should be in her life but he’s quit his job and has left.

What inspired you to write this particular book?
These characters first appeared in a historical short story, "Lab Partners," with Wild Rose Press. It was my first accepted story. I liked the characters and decided to cast them into modern times and give them closure.

That's great. I've heard of other writers expanding their short stories. Where do you get ideas for your books?
The short romance story ideas come from my college days although I had no romance to speak of in college. I use my experience in the academic aspects of college when I attended back in the 1950s.

In three words describe your style of writing. Descriptive, emotional, character-driven.

Does your faith affect your writing? Yes. How?
I keep my characters clean, although they must battle temptations. They overcome all obstacles in their path, be it seeking their love interest or dealing with dangerous situations such as in my science fiction writing. I’ll work in some spiritual truths here and there in my stories.

Do you put yourself in your books?
To some extent. I make my male characters the person I want to be. They are sympathetic, caring and have some outstanding ability.

Ah, that's great, Larry. What are you working on right now?
I recently finished a science fiction novel that will come out in October with Champagne Books.

What would you be doing if you weren’t writing?
What I have to do and what I want to do when not writing are two different things. I have to clean up some areas around and in our house. Also, my mom’s old place, which my son-in-law and young grandson are living in, is left to me to take care of. What I want to do is create a place where I can write and have my library for relaxing and reading, alone and isolated from TV, telephone, etc.

I think lots of us can relate to that. What is the coolest, wackiest, most risk-taking thing you’ve ever done?
Two things come to mind, one long ago as a kid and the other more recently. As a kid I talked Mom and Dad into letting me go sleigh riding in the dark down our country road. Well, the moon was shining. The ride started at the school house, went down past Jo and Louie’s house, around a right angle turn, down past our house and another turn then down toward our barn. The other more recent experience (2003) was participating in an international foxhunting competition. Mind you this isn’t the furry creature but a hidden transmitter hunt competing against men and women from the US and foreign countries. These transmitters were hidden in the deep woods of Ohio on one day and the deep woods of Indiana another day. I managed to take home bronze medals.

Wow! Two cool events. Congratulations on the medals!

Blurb for A Change of Heart
Leroy Doyle and Jody Stinson suffer unhappy relationships in school and plan to avoid that when they get to college. Leroy scraps that resolve when he meets Jody, but she won’t let him into her life. It takes her six years to wake up, but is it in time? Leroy has quit his job and left.

A Change of Heart excerpt

“I know your policy of avoiding men still holds…” Shocked, she stared at him. Could he read her mind? He added, “I came here with the intent of avoiding women, but I’ve recently rethought that.”
Jody wanted details and couldn’t hold back. “Somebody hurt you, didn’t they? I’m sorry—I broke my own rule of getting personal.”

“That’s okay and I’ll not ask you to reciprocate by revealing your reasons for avoiding men.” He drew a deep breath and continued. “Sarah and I liked each other from grade school into our senior year when some new guy came in and swept her off her feet.”

“I’m sorry, Leroy.” Jody really was. Her jilting was different but she knew how he felt. Well, maybe, because her reaction was anger while Leroy’s seemed to be sadness.

“Thank you. That means a lot,” he answered in a subdued tone. “But I’m over her now,” Leroy added with an upbeat voice.

She witnessed his deep breath, knowing he was about to say something of great importance. His inhaling outdid others.

“I’d like to be your friend and I don’t mean like, well, you know a boyfriend type relationship. I know you’d turn thumbs down on that. How about it?” he asked. What was she to say? She knew a “no” would hurt him and at the same time it would keep him at arm’s length.

Reviews of Larry's Short Stories

"Small is Beautiful"
I enjoyed this tender romance between Brad, the basketball player and Judy, the petite chemistry major. The way Brad took up for Judy made me long for a simpler time when men were Kights in shining armor who rescued their damsels in distress, and cherished them.

The chemistry between Brad and Judy is real enough to be felt. Mr. Hammersley has a gift for vivid description, whether it's a scene or the character's facial expression or his/her stance. I look forward to reading more of this talented writer's work. By Laurean Brooks (on Smashwords)

"Photo Beautry"
Smitten with the modeling pictures he's seen of blonde beauty Gena, Dave Canter pays three grand for one dinner date with her. For the Indianapolis wood crafter, that's a large sum. But no amount of money is too much to just meet Gena.

Gena's attitude is cool at first and Dave's nervousness is apparent. But he remains the perfect gentleman.

It doesn't take long for Gena to realize that Dave's interest in her is genuine. Between Gena's flights to Paris, and other job-related trips, the two find time to be together.

Their relationship blossoms. Still, Dave hesitates to pop the question. What would a glamorous lady like Gena want with an ordinary wood crafter?

The story holds several surprises. I am impressed with Mr. Hammersley's unique ability to tell a story and his use of vivid description. As a reader I could envision every facial expression and movement. I was pulled into every scene and felt the attraction between Dave and Gena.

If you aren't a Larry Hammersley fan yet, you will be. His stories just get better. I highly recommend this sweet romance, "Photo Beauty." Laurean Brooks (on Smashwords)

"Motorcycle Woman"
My only complaint is that it was so short! I loved this story and wish it had lasted longer! This was a sweet clean romance with motorcycles thrown in! Such a nice story and the characters were enjoyable and you can relate to them. It was a short story but you got enough history to feel empathy for the characters and understand what was going on in there heads. There was suspense and it just kept me interested and reading! Really would recommend this book! By Shannon (on GoodReads)

Links to more reviews of Larry's short stories
Long and Short Reviews:

You Gotta' Read Reviews:

Two Lips:

Larry Hammersley’s seventy-five, married to Sue for fifty years, has two children and five grandchildren.  He has a BS in chemistry from Purdue University and a MS from Indiana University. Writing for thirty-eight years, he has several short romance stories as well as a sweet romance novel, A Change of Heart, on the internet.  He began his writing career selling short science fiction (SF) stories and has a new science fiction book coming out in October with Champagne Books. When he isn’t writing, he enjoys jogging, amateur radio, occasional woodworking, and church work.

Larry's Buy Links

A Change of Heart, go to Author Search and Click on H, Larry's Short Stories, Motorcycle Woman. stories on Wild Rose Press, Small Is Beautiful, Photo Beauty


Ice Rink Romance


Miss Mae said...

Hi Larry! And Gail, thanks for having him today. Larry is a superbly clean, talented writer and I love the idea that his stories are set in the college campuses of the '50's or in the future on faraway planets. :)

Fantastic interview and I loved learning about the sleigh ride and fox hunts. :)

June Foster said...

Larry, best wishes on your book A Change of Heart. I love it when guys write romance.

Larry Hammersley said...

Hi Miss Mae. Thanks for coming by. Sorry I was tardy about commenting. someone at the gym wanted to talk as usual. I'm glad you like my college and space settings. The sleigh ride was cold and invigorating for a kid. The runner tracks from earlier in the day glistened in the moonlight. I appreciate your kind words.

Larry Hammersley said...

Hi June: Thanks for commenting and your well wishes. My romance writing may be more successful than my science fiction writing. Well, I'll find out after this present novel has been out for awhile and my SF novel which will appear in October.

Linda Weaver Clarke said...

Wow! Seventy-five years old and married for fifty years and writing romances! I would love to read his works. I bet they're great. My husband has a Nook, so I would like to put my name in for this one.

Larry Hammersley said...

Hi Linda: Great. Good luck on the contest. I would appreciate your feedback whether you win the digital or spring for the purchase if you don't win. I loved writing this story and finished the draft in four months. Thanks for coming by.

Laurean Brooks said...

Hi Larry,

Congratulations on all your success. You have a unique writing voice. I enjoy reading everything you write. Your characters are real (they touch the heart) and your scenes so descriptive I think I'm there.

What is this foxhunting? I've never heard of such a thing. And you walked away with bronze medals? What did you have to do to get those?

I disagree that your romance writing may be more successful than your science fiction. Give your science fiction a chance.

I foresee it taking off when your book is released. I'm no authority, but I wasn't a science fiction fan, either, until I read through the story of Mona and Kramer. It was beyond intriguing.

Laurean Brooks said...

I forgot to say.... Please put my name in the hat for a print copy since I don't have a Nook or Kindle.

Larry Hammersley said...

Hi Laurie: Glad to hear from you as always. Foxhunting in the amateur radio world is looking for a hidden transmitter using your direction finding equipment to locate the hidden transmitter. This can be quite challenging since the signals at 146.565 megahertz are prone to refect off buildings, hills and such like giving false directions for the transmitter you are hunting. Our local radio club has a hunt every third Saturday evening. Whoever wins on the least mileage driven is the "fox" next month. The International Foxhunt I was in involved walking to find the transmitters. Very strict rules were involved with that since it was an international competition with people from Japan, Russia and other places in it too. I had to borrow Russian equipment for one of the frequencies. I fell twice in the woods so the Russian rig was pretty sturdy. Thanks for your many kind words and I wish you luck on the print copy. I have always appreciated your support. It means a lot. Incidently, just now I've started working with the editor on that science fiction novel coming out in October featuring Cramer and Mona. I'm so excited about it but it will be a lot of work for going through the suggested changes.

Larry Hammersley said...

Laurie: I forgot to answer your question on how I got the bronze medals in the International foxhunting. I had to finish in a time that beat everyone else, except of course the gold and silver medal winners. We had three hours to finish and I finished in a little over two hours. My running ability helped me there despite falling flat on my face during the hunt in eastern Indiana. By the way, the briars in Ohio and Indiana in the deep woods were brutal. I actually won four bronze medals. One each was for the international competition at two different frequencies and one each for the US competition. They were held simultaniously. Also it was according to age group, mine being at that time 65 and over men. thanks again for asking.

Finbar said...

There is no doubt this blog has some of the most interesting authors in the world on it. A chemist who writes for fun and hunts radio signals? Wow. There is simply no end to the creativity here. Good luck with the book sales, this is all very interesting.

Larry Hammersley said...

Finbar: Thanks for coming by. Speaking of my novel, I just received a letter from a friend, Janet, who said she enjoyed this clean romance. I wonder if she is the first person to read it. Anyway, good luck on the drawing.

Lindi said...

Nice interview, Larry and Gail.

Larry Hammersley said...

Hi Lindi:Thanks for stopping by. Best wishes to you.

Deborah M said...

Enjoyed the interview and I hope I'm still writing at the age of 75! Keep up the good work.

Deborah Malone
"Death in Dahlonega"
"Murder in Marietta"

Larry Hammersley said...

Deborah: Thanks for coming by. I hope I can keep writing for more years to come. My boss said when I retired my mind would turn to mush. I'm hopefully proving him wrong. Best of luck on your stories too.