Thursday, October 18, 2018

Silver Dagger Tours: Poohsticks Bridge

Poohsticks Bridge
by The Birch Twins
Genre: Romantic Fiction

Beginning as a childhood game, Poohsticks Bridge tells the sweet story of a friendship between two children that, through the years, blossoms into adult love with an unbreakable bond and faith in one another. John and Melissa are tested throughout their lives by hardships, pain, and separation, yet their love and determination to live life together to its fullest never falters. In today’s culture of having everything, this couple shows us how a few, simple things can lead to a satisfying and fulfilling life. 

Poignant in the extreme, you’ll want to keep the tissues nearby. These two will make you laugh, cry, and fall in love ... with life and with them.

I write under the name “The Birch Twins.” Helen, my twin, didn’t live to see life, and so I write for her. I’m a full time poverty stricken doll artist who took to writing as I seemed to spend more time writing out little back stories for the characters I created. My first book The Life of LOL was written in five weeks, and was about gangsters, grifters and drifters. Lots of cartoon slapstick violence mixed with a serious message.

Poohsticks Bridge, the new novel, shows my twin’s voice at is strongest as it tells the story of a little boy who begins to grow up lonely and alone, until he meets a little girl. It’s a glimpse of a life that Helen and I could have had together. She writes through me, I can feel her presence and hear her voice. Her tone is often wistful, low on movement, mature and often quiet, while I am brash and loud and full of silly car chases and boyhood dreams of rockets to the moon. We have the perfect writing partnership.

Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Poohsticks bridge?

John is the main character. He lives with his mom, dad and siblings in an old tumbledown ranch in the PNW. He’s a solitary little boy and spends more time with the ranch-hands than he does his parents. At Kindergarten, he meets a little girl, Melissa and they quickly become best friends. Throughout his life, when he’s with her, or when she is nearby, then he’s a normal guy, if a little quiet at times. He has a tendency to stand back and let her speak. When she is gone, his life starts to fall apart and a kind of darkness takes over his soul that he’s unable to conquer. Darkness, revenge and anger envelop him when she isn’t around to act as his anchor.

Melissa is the strongest person that I know. Her mother died when she was five, so Melissa has learned to rely only upon herself, and her friend and later husband John. She is capable and practical, light hearted and often brutally sarcastic. If he is the dreamer and the emotional one, she is his anchor and his rock. Their whole worlds revolve entirely around each other to the extend they have become a gesalt double entity, rather than a very close married couple.

How did you come up with the concept and characters for the book?

It just appeared in my head. Helen put it there for me to write.

Where did you come up with the names in the story?

Again, they just appeared right there in my head one day, back in 1999

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Writing about their separations was painful. I felt them suffer. So when they are reunited in Belle-Starr house, I cried tears of joy for and with them.

Tell us about your main characters- what makes them tick?

Probably each other. John and Melissa don’t see much of the world in the same way that we do. They only see each other. They can be standing in front of a spaceship crashing in front of the Empire State building and he’ll be oblivious, and watching the little curl of hair on her forehead. Likewise she’ll be watching that sideways smile he’s had since he was a boy, and doesn’t’ even know he’s doing. They won’t even see a spaceship is there. Their minds work in a different way to ours. They both had tough childhoods, so became each other’s anchor or rock early on. John and Melissa learned to cling together as they travel though the world to protect themselves. Other than that, they both have a fascination for abacuses and Lego, mainly due to childhood memories of those items.

How did you come up with the title of your first novel?

Just appeared in my head. “The Life of Lol”.

Poohsticks Bridge was originally entitled “The Masons of Belle-Starr”, until I realized it sounded like a TV show from the eighties. And bang, Poohsticks bridge appeared.

Who designed your book covers?

Longtime friend and professional book designer Sydney Blackburn

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Yes of course. That’s the curse of the artist. I’d change the whole “stranded in Mexico” scene to somewhere overseas like Thailand or something like that. Further away and more stranded.

Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?

I learned a great deal about advertising and marketing, and how to get the twins name out there, the steps to take to get people to buy it.

If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

Tricky one. Scarlet Johansson has the right deep husky voice, eye color and face to play Melissa, despite her short stature. I dunno about John in all honesty. Possibly Jeffry Dean Morgan. He has the right look. Lol, from The Life of Lol would only ever be Jaime Pressly

How did you come up with name of this book?

It just appeared BANG in my head one rainy afternoon

What is your favorite part of this book and why?

I think Melissa’s last day on earth is my favorite part. When Tweedle-dee and Tweedle-dum are finally parted (at least until they meet in the afterlife) 

If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?

I’d spend the day with Melissa. We’d take some snacks in her Hare Bear Bunch lunch tin and go down to Poohsticks Bridge to sit and talk. It’s enough to answer her and sit and listen to her voice and watch her laughter. It’d most likely rain, so we’d scurry off to the upturned boat shelter and eat our snacks in the damp. I’d take my coat off and we’d huddle in it, laughing that we were huddling in a rickety shelter when we had a nice warm house not too far away.

Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?

John and Melissa are their own people, but they’re loosely based on myself and my twin, Helen.

Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?

They always have control of the story. I wanted them to sell Belle-Starr house, but they simply wouldn’t allow it.

Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.

Because in this world of fancy gadgets and this mentality of “want it all,” John and Melissa demonstrate that none of that is of any importance. Poohsticks bridge is a blueprint of how to live a happy life full of love despite poverty, a demonstration of how togetherness can overcome all obstacles.

Have you written any other books that are not published?

Only works in progress

What did you edit out of this book?

Dozens of fun scenes that didn’t seem to move the action on. I could make a book full of cut scenes.

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!

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