Interview with J. Alec Keaton, author of When Love Never Ends

Publisher: Two Harbors Press

Publication Date: October 15, 2013

Book Links:  Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Interview: Please tell us about your current release.

‘When Love Never Ends’ is the love story of Sam and Sara, once separated, reunited, and then lost to each other again, this time for good… unless Sam can find a way to change their destiny. It is based on the story of my friend, Sam Stephens.  Sam’s tale was an unhappy one, so I have added some fiction to give his story a happy ending from a tragic situation, though a majority of the story remains factual. The names of the characters involved have been changed since many of them are and may be still living.  Here is a brief synopsis of the story:

Sara was the girl of Sam’s dreams. He wanted to be with her, and she with him.  But plans for their happy future were crushed when Sara’s bigoted father, Ralph Henderson, found out about Sam’s mixed Japanese-Caucasian heritage. Sara’s father refused to allow his daughter to be involved with a “breed,” and devised a cruel scheme to separate them for good.  Sam walked away from Sara, and they went their separate ways: Sara got married, and Sam threw himself into work, becoming a very successful lawyer for a prestigious law firm. Yet still, Sam could not fill the hole in his heart where Sara once belonged.

Years later, Sara seeks legal help with Sam and their feelings for each other are quickly rekindled. Just when it seems that they will be able to have a future together after all, catastrophe occurs and Sara and Sam are separated again, this time for good.  After months of heartache and depression, Sam reaches out to his friend Dr. Jeremiah Ebenezer Pike, a grief-ridden college professor who lost his wife four years ago.  Ever since her death, Dr. Pike has been obsessed with the concept of time travel, and though Sam once scoffed at the idea, the improbable now seems his only hope: to travel back in time and change the order of events—to change their destiny.

Can you tell us about the journey that led you to write your book?

Sam and I grew up in an era, shortly after the war where for those of Japanese ancestry it was an onerous time with racial slurs commonly used. Sam was Eurasian and it was much more distressful for him not being fully accepted by the Japanese or the Caucasian community. Fortunately, he had an English surname and looked more Caucasian than of mixed race, so he could easily pass. Regardless, he was proud of who he was and did not hide the fact that he was of both Japanese and Caucasian ancestry.

Sara was the love of his life, and the day Sam tragically lost her he changed from a kind, generous and amicable man to an angry, self-destructive alcoholic. Our friends and I tried to help him from his drinking and abusive lifestyle, but he refused any interference from any of us, so we were at a loss of what to do.

Since he wouldn’t seek professional help, I decided to write a story about the love he and Sara shared during their youth and again when they met each other thirteen years later. Sara’s bigoted father was the culprit in breaking up their relationship and causing them to go their separate ways. After presenting him with what I had written, I waited for his reaction to it, each time we saw one another.  As weeks past into months, he never mentioned anything about it, therefore, I assumed he didn’t even bother to read it. I did, however, start to see some changes in his lifestyle and he was slowly becoming the man he used to be.

One day he came to see me at my office and handed me the dog eared, wrinkled pages of my manuscript. He just said, “Thanks. You’re a good friend” and left. Nothing more was mentioned about what I had written.

On July 24, 1981, my friend, Samuel Harold Stephens passed away. The story I had written for Sam was not intended for publication, but I decided to rewrite it and have it published, so those who read it will know that Sam and Sara were real people and that life truly is a short time, when love never ends.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

I’ve tried to establish characters in my writing to bring them to life and make them seem real, as if they actually exist or have existed.  In many cases, my characters are based off of people I have met throughout my life. I also try to add humor and emotion to show the characters’ personality, as well as portray some sad and tearful moments to pull the heart strings of readers. As I start to write, the story unfolds in my mind and I see far in advance as to where I want to go with it. The ideas come to me to move the story along as well as form dialogue between characters. In the course of writing my novel, I have gained a lot of respect and admiration for professional writers, which has been one of the many perks or writing I have encountered.  Although at times writing my novel has been very tedious and not as easy a task as it may seem, the whole experience has been very rewarding for me.

Do you plan to write any subsequent books?

I have completed my second novel, which is a story of a group of coeds and their trials and tribulation of college life at a private university in Los Angeles, living on the third floor of Harrington Hall. The fictitious school, Beaumont University, was established by a group of business men who graduated from prestigious schools back East, and their intention was to make this university the prominent ivy-league school of the West Coast.  Similar to When Love Never Ends, I have taken several true incidents that have occurred over the years and built a story from it. Presently, I do not have a title for this novel.

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1 comment:

  1. Hey! Booknut 101, fellow book blogger here. I nominated you for the Liebster Award! Please accept!

    Best wishes and happy reading!


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