J.E. Hall is a graduate of the New York Institute of Technology, after growing up in Long Island, NewYork. In his debut novel, The Wall, it is evident that his interest in politics helped shape its content. For his second novel, Two Men With a Mission, Hall focused on another one of his major influences–the concern for the environment. Once again, another interest is explored in the writing of his current novel, Angie of the Garden. This book reflects the author’s interest in history.
J.E. Hall is currently working on his fourth novel.
Thanks for the interview, J.E.! Could you please tell us a little bit about your book?
Angie of the Garden is a story about a psychiatrist named Hollis Simms. He is an affable individual who is dedicated to his patients, and his family. Hollis is married to a provocative and wealthy woman named Olivia: their irrepressible teenage daughter is named Annabelle. She used her considerable resources to purchase the estate called Fairhaven for them to live in.
As a boy Hollis found a diary written by a woman named Angie Barton buried in a garden. The journal told of the hardships and deprivations suffered by the woman from Boston as she traveled on the Oregon Trail. She became his first love. One evening as Doctor Simms walked past a garden on the estate he encountered the spirit of Angie Barton. Hollis learns that she worked at Fairhaven as a house servant after returning from the west. He cannot fathom how this adventurous woman could have come to such a station in life. Hollis decides that Angie must have experienced some kind of trauma. During her subsequent appearances he entices her into recounting the long trek westward in order to discover the cause of her malaise.
Hollis’ obsession with the woman from the past also begins to strain his relationships with those closest to him. Hollis is determined to find the reason for Angie’s moribund spirit. In the end he does, and Angie finds peace. Then a chance encounter reveals something else about the woman in the garden.
How did you come up with the title and how much say did you have on the cover design?
Angie is the spirit of a woman form the 1800s that Hollis encounters in a garden. Since this was self published I designed the cover.
Do you have a favorite line or excerpt that you would like to share from your book?
“I was a child of God! Now I’m no better than one of the wolves on the trail!” Angie
What is a typical writing day like for you?
I generally write for a couple of hours in the evening. I rent an apartment in a quiet neighborhood, and at night it’s particularly quiet.
What are some ways that you like to relax?
Walking in a natural setting and listening to music.
What author/s do you think are overlooked in the writing/reading world today?
The most underrated work I’ve ever read was The Magic Journey by John Nichols.
What author would you most like to meet and why?
John Irving. I’ve always enjoyed his characters.
Do you have any upcoming projects that you would like to share with readers?
I’m currently shopping around a science fiction manuscript entitled Bad Wine, Crappy Chocolate. I’m also writing a comedy entitled Save Us From Miss Simpson.
What is something about yourself that would come as a surprise to many people?
I’d say it’s that I’m an accountant. Most people think that those in my profession aren’t imaginative enough to create fiction.