Sixteen-year-old TOM ALLEN’s life is imploding. His father banished Tom from his life; Tom’s stepfather is entirely too interested in commenting on Tom’s behavior. What makes it worse is that his stepfather’s comments are usually right on target. Then Tom’s beloved grandma suffers a stroke, which leaves his mother emotionally distant. Meanwhile his older sister is too sophisticated to worry about his concerns. When Tom reads an old family memoir from his grandma’s cedar chest he becomes intrigued by his ancestors’ accounts of their struggle to form one unified family from two shattered families. They face man-made and natural dangers while they battle to survive smoldering conflicts in “Bleeding Kansas” that will soon erupt into the bloodiest war in American history — the Civil War. With the help of family and friends, past and present, Tom gradually comes to terms with the pain and possibilities of his own family. HEARTLAND was a finalist in the 2010 Young Adult Novel Discovery Contest sponsored by the Gotham Writers Workshop.
Warren Bull has won a number of awards including Best Short Story of 2006 from the Missouri Writers’ Guild, Great Manhattan Mystery Conclave short story contest, The Mysterious Photo Contest in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine , and Best short story in Strange Mysteries Anthology. He was a finalist for the Young Adult Discovery Award in 2010 and a Derringer Award in 2012. He has more than forty short stories published, novels, ABRAHAM LINCOLN FOR THE DEFENSE, HEARTLAND, MURDER IN THE MOONLIGHT available at http://www.warrenbull.com/kindle_editions.html and a short story collection, MURDER MANHATTAN STYLE available at http://www.warrenbull.com/ and http://store.untreedreads.com/ HEARTLAND is available in paperback from Avignon Press. He blogs at http://writerswhokill.blogspot.com/ He is lifetime member of Sisters in Crime and an active member of Mystery Writers of America.
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I wrote a short story for a contest sponsored by the Great Manhattan Mystery Conclave. I was lucky enough to win. The members of the family kept popping up to tell more of their story. I have several other short stories about them. I finally noticed I had enough material and wrote a novel for them.