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Advice from IR Approved Author Rodney Nelsestuen: “Regardless of whether you are published or not, don’t hesitate to call yourself a writer.”

Too Many Stones received a 4+ star review, making it an IndieReader Approved title.

Following find an interview with author Rodney Nelsestuen.

What is the name of the book and when was it published? 

The name of the book is Too Many Stones, published January 29, 2024.

What’s the book’s first line?

“Just a few miles west of the farm, over the ridge, the storm begins to form.”

What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”.

Set in the rural Midwest in the middle of the last century, Too Many Stones illuminates a woman’s life in her pastoral setting as she is surrounded by people and events that change the course of her life and could easily overwhelm her. From abuse as a teenager to loss as a mother, the struggle is great and survival not assured, and yet she determines to prevail.

What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event?

This book was a quarter century in its making. I listened to the people of my parents’ and grandparents’ generation, all farmers in the rural Midwest, as they told their stories about the challenges they faced and overcame, even with imperfect results, and how that made them appreciate life and what they were given. More specifically, in the main character, Evelyn, I see the women of the middle of the last century, including my own mother, as they found ways to care for their families when that seemed impossible during the Great Depression, and how they navigated an imperfect world, including poverty, and throughout their continuous struggle and setbacks built families and lives amid the larger stage of world events, all with an unwavering grace.

What’s the main reason someone should really read this book?

Too Many Stones illuminates how life’s challenges, even crushing loss, can be overcome through courage and determination and that the successes and failures in life can result in a life well lived. As an historical novel, readers will be able to experience the lives of these characters as witnesses in a literary sense, while also considering how the events and reactions to those events might serve as metaphors, or maybe even guideposts, to apply in their own time and place.

What’s the most distinctive thing about the main character?  Who-real or fictional-would you say the character reminds you of?

As the main character, Evelyn’s positive nature and determination gives her the capacity to rise above the monumental challenges and disappointments in her life. She finds her way forward despite her own human imperfections and insecurities to ultimately embrace what has transpired across the decades as a life well lived.

Is this the first book you’ve written?

No, I have written 4 novels over the years, but this is the first novel I’ve published. But I previously published a dozen short stories and three nonfiction works in a variety of literary journals. I also just published my second novel as of March 2024, and have another planned for publication in late 2024 or early 2025.

What’s a great piece of advice that you can share with fellow indie authors?

Regardless of whether you are published or not, don’t hesitate to call yourself a writer. Even without a keyboard or pen or pencil, you are a writer, whether consciously thinking through a project or letting it simmer on the back burner to enrich and deepen what will ultimately be written. Trust that you are, in fact, a writer.

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