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Beneath the Surface authors meet book lovers at Johnson County Public Library

By: Rebecca Herman
Freelance Writer

Larry C. Timbs and Michael Manuel, authors of “Fish Springs: Beneath the Surface,” met with local book lovers to discuss their current book, upcoming sequel, and rumors of a movie. The meet and greet took place at the Johnson County Public Library.
Timbs explained that the core of their story was originally written down by his father, under the title, “Tragedy at Old Fish Springs,” and that Manuel read the book and was so intrigued by the story that he decided to write a screenplay based on the book. Some years later, the two men met and discussed rewriting the story, but wanted to add some fictional elements in order to flesh out the story.
“We took some literary license and expanded the story, but we have been faithful to the core,” said Timbs.
Timbs and Manuel have especially enjoyed working on the dialogue of the first book and now the upcoming sequel, titled, “Justice for Toby.”
Trying to capture the true essence of how people talk and live are important to the two authors because these features are what makes the story come alive.
“We try to capture the dialect. I like to call it ‘Mountainese.’ Sometimes, when I am in the area, I hear someone say something and I think, ‘write that down, real fast,” said Timbs.
Timbs read an excerpt from “Fish Springs” and listeners laughed along during a snowy scene with a teenage boy who stumbles upon a slumbering bear and has to decide what to do to survive the night. Listeners related to the dialect and enjoyed lines like, “Dad said the God awfullest worst thang you could do was git between a mother bear and her cubs.”
Manuel also discussed the time spent doing the research that is required when writing historical fiction. He said that they do online research, speak with local historians, and even use locals and their personal knowledge of the area and people in order to get accurate information. Both authors want their books to be entertaining but also realistic and as historically accurate as possible.
“The Civil War is the backdrop behind these stories,” said Timbs.

To read the entire article, pick up a copy of this week's Tomahawk.