A career working with teenagers on the fringes of society has made me both sensitive to and appreciative of the complexities of character and the struggles, inner and outer, that we all wrestle with in one form or another. My writing emphasizes character development over action. Reading in a wide range of genres and working to develop what little musical talent I possess occupy my time and, I believe, serve as complements to my writing. As a lifelong Southerner, the rhythms and cadence of the Southeastern United States influence both my spoken and written voice.
Books by Jim Hartsell
What Readers say on Pushing Back
A compelling read!Created on 07 November 2016
A Powerful story!
In Pushing Back, Jim Hartsell’s sorrowful but powerful and brilliantly written story of a young man named Boone whose family has been torn apart, is one of the best books I’ve ever read. Told in first person, the emotions this story evoked in me were incredible as Boone lives “on the edge”, finding hope and learning to trust through evolving friendships with Gamaliel, Gamaliel’s daughter Carrie and Nancy. I experienced Boone’s fears, his isolation and his uncertainty in intimate detail as he is forced to face many daunting personal issues alone. You can’t help but root for Boone and suffer with him as he struggles to survive.
SamA broken boy from a broken home, angry and bitter, discovers his inner strength while he struggles against poverty, rejection and lonliness. Sixteen year old Boone Hammond is forced to become a man before his time, with a man's need for love and companionship.A compelling read! *****BJ Gillum ~ Author TN
My Latest Blogs
I had no intention of writing a series when I began “Pushing Back”. The story of Boone, a sixteen-year-old East Tennessee boy who is trying as hard as he can not to turn out like his daddy, quickly became what we as writers hope for and occasionally achieve, where the story takes over and we’re just trying to keep up. Boone is young and sometimes foolish, impulsive and quick to anger, insecure, and doesn’t have money, looks, or connections to help him over the inevitable rough spots. But he’s trying, which I guess makes him more like the rest of us than not, and I thought it was a nice little stand-alone kind of story.
He would not, however, stay out of my head. So here we are, with at least a two-book series, and the third one is already sneaking around in my head. Not quite ready to come out yet, but it’s there.
“Matching Scars” continues Boone’s story, and most of the same players are back. One notable addition is Tiny, who I thought was going to be a minor character. So much for planning ahead. I’m releasing it on March 18th; the Kindle version is available for pre-order starting this morning. I’ve dropped the price of the Kindle version of “Pushing Back” to 99 cents for those who haven’t read it yet. It’s a necessary intro to “Matching Scars”.
The evolution of my newest book, "Father and Sister Radish and the Rose-Colored Glasses", is somewhat circuitous. When my wife was very young, she had pet chickens, two of which were named Father and Sister Radish, because of their red feathers.
A couple of years ago, we were at my sister's house and Suzanne was telling stories about her pet chickens, including the problem of aggression among members of the flock. My brother-in-law found an article (on the internet, of course) about goggles for chickens that were used to minmize the aggression. The goggles were red, which of course meant the chickens were wearing rose-colored glasses.
From that came the notion of a little girl who, when she sees how well the glasses work in her little flock, wonders if the same thing would work on a new kid in her class who bullies the other children. And so the story was born.
The illustrator, A. B. Walker, is someone I've never worked with before but will certainly work with again. I found her (on the internet, of course) through contact with her father, a graphic designer.
We approved the proof yesterday, and the book will be listed on Amazon on my author's page (amazon.com/author/jimhartsell). If you want to see the proof, I'll have it along with my other books at Ijams Nature Center on this Sunday, December 4th, from noon to 5 pm for their Holiday Market. Hope to see you there; there will be many fine artists and craftspeople, and I have heard rumors of food trucks and a beer garden.