Why Write “Bula Bridge”
First you have to understand, I love the Bridge Street area of Ashtabula, walking the couple of blocks that make up a gem of a neighborhood with good restaurants, shops, an ice cream store and a chocolate shop. But that doesn’t explain why I’d write a book about Paiute Indians from Utah and why they’d end up in NE Ohio.
For that you have to start with the first book in the series, “War Party.” I wrote that as a stand alone novel with no intention of writing a sequel. That is until readers who liked the book began asking when the next book in the series was coming out. I didn’t know what to say. I had no plot in mind, no next book, nothing. But then, a co-worker at the Presrite Jefferson plant told me about the 1876 Ashtabula Railroad disaster (more info at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashtabula_River_railroad_disaster ) and an idea began to germinate. What if terrorists decided to make copycat a train wreck in the same town that had a famous one? And with Tommy’s ability for visions, he might see it as a forewarning. And then what? Well to prevent it from being a short story, I thought maybe the vision showed the attack but doesn’t have a headline with it so they’d have to figure out where this was going to happen. Readers had overwhelmingly agreed that Tommy needed to be the main character this time, which he is, but I really liked Johanna and she just had to be a part of the story, a big part. And as I wrote the book she developed into someone special.
When I visited the neighborhood where the climax for the story was going to take place, I found this house on the corner near the targeted railroad bridge. Aha, I thought, a vacant house on a quiet residential street right where the terrorists will be. That has to be part of the story. At the same time I took the photos of the rail bridge that became the book’s cover. Fun to get so involved in your own fiction.