What if the current economy placed an increasing number of people into positions where bartering was their only way of survival? What if small town America was suddenly flooded with IRS Agents who came to destroy the very fiber of that cultural existence? The Secrets of Clayton County is being written as a Trilogy, in part to support the belief that bartering is a way of life more than it is a deliberate avoidance in paying taxes and as such, extends over more than two decades. The story of Sarah Hunter begins with her first position with the IRS office in Chicago – a job that brings her to Clayton County, Iowa, and being tasked to expose and break up what the IRS deems revenue generation in such a manner to avoid paying taxes. Sarah finds many secrets in Clayton County… secrets which ultimately change her life in unforeseen ways; realizing as much as things change, they remain the same.
New Beginnings: Book 2 of the Trilogy focuses on Sarah’s return to Clayton County, and ultimately becoming a thread in the fiber of a culture of community support. Sarah experiences myriad continued secrets throughout her years in this sleepy little rural community, and comes to understand there is no easy way to be a part of a community and not participate in its underlying culture.
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Much of my writing is dialog – developing the scenes, plot and characters more with the communications between the characters than descriptive writing. I like to add humorous twists even to serious topics and have a passion for bringing readers back to a simpler time in life… back to their roots.
What Advice Would You Give Aspiring Writers?
Secure the services of a Literary Strategist – – – there is no sense walking an unknown path by yourself. It is the little things that you don’t know that will make a big difference in the journey you take and the success you experience.
Each of these books is written from a genuine sense of knowing the community; author, Don Wooldridge, born and raised in Davenport, Iowa, and lived in the Mississippi River Valley for over 30 years. Grateful for the privilege of living along the Mississippi river, as a writer Don remembers the people of the small river communities and shares their faith that small town values and lifestyle will be everlasting.
Don’s education spans from Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas to Rutgers University in Brunswick, New Jersey. An accomplished writer, he spent 30 years in the technical training and development arena, as a technical writer, instructional designer, and interactive learning systems designer and producer. Wooldridge’s career took him far from his roots… throughout the US and Canada, as well as England, Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands.
Today, Don enjoys putting his voice to print, and using his writing as a vehicle for taking readers back to their own roots. Writing novels inspired by his heritage, Don always welcomes the opportunity to speak about bartering, the Trilogy, or his journey as an author.What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
My father and grandfather always visited about the topic of bartering; I saw it as a natural part of the culture of the small rural Iowa town in which I resided for close to 30 years. As I began seeing a resurgence of bartering occur, and hearing a lot of diverse opinions about it, it just made sense to increase the awareness of the facts that: A) the practice is not new, and B) although the IRS deems it to be a tax avoidance issue, it can – at many levels – be part of a much bigger cultural picture. Oh… and I thought I might as well throw in a bit of suspense and romance while I was at it!
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