Wednesday, February 23, 2011

BLOG BOOK TOUR: Letters From Wheatfield by Patrick Shannon

Outskirts Press author, Patrick Shannon, is taking his latest book, Letters From Wheatfield, on a virtual book tour and stopped by here for a visit. 

Time Ninja book cover


What do you do for fun if you live in a small rural town, dauntingly far from the nearest city's plentiful amusements? Upon what resources do you draw to spice up your existence? Letters From Wheatfield provides the answer - and it isn't always pretty.

The fictitious town of Wheatfield is a tiny island in a vast sea of wheat fields and cattle ranges. Its nearest neighboring towns, similarly small, are well over the horizon. But its isolation has no effect on its inhabitants. Theirs is a society of mirthful, blithe, spritely wags - a condition abetted by the presence of not a few eccentric individuals.

In Letters From Wheatfield, two transplants from Manhattan write to a cousin back home about the remarkable community that has assimilated and transmuted them - much to their amazement and great pleasure.

R&T: Tell us a little bit about Letters From Wheatfield. What is it about?

PS: It’s about a couple from Manhattan who retire to a tiny Montana town and discover a virtual “parallel universe” of eccentric folks and wacky situations. They send letters to a cousin back in Manhattan, vividly describing their hilarious encounters.

R&T: How did you come up with the idea for your book?

PS: Actually, from living here in my adopted town of Conrad, Montana. Approximately 40% of the stories in the book are based on actual events here, gussied up by my imagination, of course.

You see, Montanans, in general, are very witty people, and the residents of Conrad just seem to have a greater share of that trait. So when you have a town full of congenial, fun-loving characters like that, you have a community that is one heckuva good time.

And there is another factor. Like my fictitious town of Wheatfield, Conrad lies within the “Pixie Triangle” – an area where loony things just sort of happen. For example, there was an incident recently, in a nearby town, that would have 
been a surefire candidate for the Wheatfield Book Of World Record Vegetables. (I swear this is the truth. I have the newspaper clipping to prove it.) A black bear was trying to force its way through a woman’s kitchen door, and she successfully beat it off with a giant, 14-inch zucchini from her garden. The article included a picture of the zucchini and a yardstick. Now, if you can live in a place like this and not write a book, there’s something wrong with you.

R&T: What types of readers would be interested in this story?

PS: I think anyone who has a sense of humor and likes to laugh will find it worth their time. If they happen to come from or reside in a small town like Wheatfield, I think they will readily identify with the crazy stuff that can happen.

R&T: What is special about your book?  What differentiates it from other books in the same category?

PS: I think the fact that so much of it is based on actual situations gives it an authenticity that otherwise wouldn’t be there. Several of my reviewers who have small town backgrounds have commented on this.

R&T: Have you published any other books? Do you plan to publish more?

PS: My first book was for young readers in the 10 to14 age group. Its title is Viva Cisco and, in keeping with my style, it is humorous. I have a third book ready to go. Its called Viva Laughter, and I like to think of it as my tour de force as a humorist. If I can get the necessary releases for my use of a few well-known names, I will try to get it published.

R&T: Thanks for your time, Patrick! We look forward to learning more about you as you visit other bloggers!

Andy Schoepp
Patrick Shannon, author of the young reader's book, Viva Cisco, currently resides in Conrad, Montana. After serving in the U.S. Coast Guard, he worked thirty-three years for a major oil company, bringing him rich experiences from traveling in Asia, the Middle East and the U.S. Born and raised in Southern California, Shannon attended East Carolina and Oklahoma Universities and UCLA. He is a member of Phi Kappa Phi scholarship society.

For more information or to contact the author, visit