WALKABOUT (AN OPEN LETTER TO MY GRANDSON) received a 4+ star review, making it an IndieReader Approved title.
Following find an interview with author Ricardo Suarez-Gartner.
What is the name of the book and when was it published?
WALKABOUT (AN OPEN LETTER TO MY GRANDSON); Kindle Direct Publishing, March 13, 2020
What’s the book’s first line?
Kenny, I am writing this letter to you now, just in case that by the time you begin to ask yourself questions, I may no longer be around to try to answer them.
What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”.
A blend of memoir and family history, “Walkabout” is the author’s legacy to his young grandson in the form of an open letter. With honesty and love, this carefully researched book describes the ups-and-downs of a highly mobile family.
Located in a South American region often immersed in fratricidal violence, the story depicts conditions in ways seldom seen in history books. The narrative also glances at the conditions that drove some ancestors to migrate and that often brought misery to those uprooted against their will. Sometimes, the writer’s experiences while searching for his origins became risky adventures themselves.
Although the author’s family is unique in many ways, the life experiences portrayed in the book will resonate with readers whose predecessors likely faced similar circumstances.
What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event?
When I started the search for forgotten ancestors, 25 years ago, I did not think I would end up authoring a couple of books about that quest. It all began with archival searches, trips to small towns in South America and Europe, and even probing the arcane records of my DNA. The pursuit continued with many after-dinner conversations with elderly relatives, and the letter and email exchanges that followed added personal touches to the emerging tale. Family reunions and a family newsletter provided opportunities to distribute reports on the ancestry research.
All that work got documented in my first book, which is written in Spanish. Then, I decided I would meet the future generations more than halfway –by writing a lighter book in their mother tongue, English. “Walkabout” is my gift to them.
What’s the main reason someone should really read this book?
“Walkabout” is an account of the lives of a few people and a family’s experiences through turbulent times. Every reader has a story to tell. This book may encourage some to share theirs. It would make this world a richer place.
When did you first decide to become an author?
I researched my family roots out of personal curiosity. In the process, I discovered a lot of forgotten history –which I documented. Then a well-intended relative asked me: what will happen to all that work when you die? Having rescued those life stories, the least I could do would be to make them known.
Would you go traditional if a publisher came calling? If so, why?
I would welcome the experience, although I’m afraid I might not have the patience to follow through. I’d like to be proven wrong.
Is there something in particular that motivates you (fame? fortune?)
The shine in the eyes of those who come across their grrrrrreat-grandparents’ stories for the first time makes it all worthwhile…