We’re thrilled to have here today Henry Henderson from Sandy Nathan’s new book, The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy. Henry is a 60-something doorman/guard at the Hermitage Academy & caretaker to Jeremy Edgarton (the hero of the book) who resides in New York City, New York. The time period is the last 22nd century.
It is a pleasure to have him with us today at Beyond the Books!
Thank you so for this interview, Henry Henderson. Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?
No, she set it down right. And she got me. It was kinda strange having that much attention put on me. I’m used to being in the background, y’know. “Good ol’ Henry.” That’s me. Rock o’ Gibraltar. So it was funny having anyone taking any interest in me at all, or writing about what I did.
Do you feel the author did a good job colorizing your personality? If not, how would you like to have been portrayed differently?
She got me right, all right. I’m old Henry, sitting out in the guard booth in front of the Hermitage Academy, letting rich kids and their folks in and out day after day. That’s not too glamorous a life on the outside, but it sounds like more if you know the whole story.
Lena, that’s my wife, and I, have took care of Jeremy Edgarton since he was a baby. He’s the hero of the story, and a real hero. He’s sixteen now. You know Veronica Edgarton, his mother? Or maybe you don’t. She is richer than they say, and more beautiful, too. And wilder. It’s all true.
She owned the building the Hermitage Academy is in; it used to be the Piermont family house in New York City. Jus’ one of their houses around the world.
Lena and I couldn’t sit by and let her push Jeremy off on maids and nannies who didn’t care ‘bout him at all. Especially after his daddy died so in so sad a way. We care about Jeremy. So we stepped in.
I go way back with the Piermont family, y’ see. Veronica’s a Piermont; her full name is Veronica Piermont Edgarton.
You see, my daddy was ol’ Mr. Piermont’s butler. Took care of him, and traveled with him ev’rywhere. I was supposed to grow up to be the same to young David Piermont, who was the oldest son and heir. Didn’t work out that way. Mr. Piermont died, an’ then David died three months later. All of a sudden, Veronica’s the heir, a woman. No one thought of that.
I wouldn’t work for her, rippin’ and runnin’ the way she did. Not right for her to be around Jeremy, the way she was. So I ended up a doorman instead of a butler. Guess sittin’ in a booth is as good as openin’ doors and polishin’ silver.
That writer got me right in the book, though she didn’t emphasize the fact that we was all in the Revolution, all of us, Veronica, too. If we’d won, none of it would have happened.
What do you believe is your strongest trait?
I’m good ol’ Henry, the rock of Gibraltar. You can trust me. I tell the truth. I watch out for those I love. I’ll watch your back.
I’m good ol’ Henry, the rock of Gibraltar. Might lack somethin’ in the excitement department. Wish I was more educated, too. An’ better looking.
If you could choose someone in the television or movie industry to play your part if your book was made into a movie, who would that be (and you can’t say yourself!)?
The actors in my time aren’t the actors in your time. But I’ll look on your Internet and see if any of ‘em fit. [Henry consults a computer.] Your computers aren’t much, either. I’ll tell you that. But, I figure James Earl Jones, Morgan Freeman, or Danny Glover could do it. Louis Gossett, Jr., too. Any of them would be OK.
Do you have a love interest in the book?
Oh, yes. My Lena is the love of my life. We’ve been married for . . . well, I don’t remember how many years. Forty? We have had some times, Lena and me––good times, almost all of them. We have two daughters, or we did until the earth blew up. Lena will always be the most beautiful, smartest girl, uh, woman, in the world to me.
At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?
I was worried all along in those days, with the revolution coming up and all. An’ people disappearin’ everywhere and no one sayin’ a word. Watched every minute. That makes you very nervous.
But when the cops pulled up in front of the Hermitage Academy that day, with me sitting out in the guard booth in front, I got real worried. And worrieder than that when the Feds pull up next to them and they’re all deploying weapons and putting on bullet-proof vests––and arguing about who’s got jurisdiction. Well, the Feds did, ev’rybody knows that. That’s when I lit out. I was nervous, all right. Worried as shit.
If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really not want to be and why?
Hmm. I wouldn’t want to be Jeremy’s father, Chaz Edgarton. As famous as he was, and as good a musician, Chaz wasn’t a happy man. [Henry thinks for a while.] You know, there’s one person I might like to be. I think he got kinda a short shrift in the book. He’s more than he’s made out to be.
That’s Arthur Romero, Jeremy’s driver. He’s made out to be just Jeremy’s driver at first, but he’s really a commando planted there by the military. I know that, because he ate at my house half the time he was in New York City, an’ because we’re friends. I’ve seen him drilling Jeremy, teachin’ him how to be somethin’ besides a nerd. Any man who can get Jeremy out from behind a computer and teach him how to shoot and fight is a miracle-maker, that’s all. I guess I’d like to be Arthur. He’s not stuck in a guard booth all day, shuffling and jiving to rich folks, acting like he ain’t got a brain in his head so they don’t turn him in.
Arthur’s real educated. Most people don’t know about that, but he told me some about his past. The part that isn’t classified.
I’d like to be Arthur Romero. He knows how to fight back. Also, (Henry clears his throat and grins a little), that writer didn’t quite make out how good-looking Arthur is. All that weight-lifting and running and such as sure done wonders for his physique, y’ know what I mean? His face doesn’t need any help either. Women look at him.
So, I’d like to be Arthur if I couldn’t be me. But then I wouldn’t have Lena for a wife, so I’d be the loser on that one.
Excuse me, Henry. I asked who you would not like to be.
[Henry hits his forehead with the heel of his hand.] Isn’t that just like an ol’ man? Who wouldn’t I want to be? The general, of course. Worst man that ever lived. A killer who controls the United States and Russia and the rest of the world. He’s killed more than anyone in history. You know that, don’t you? Though how could you know? Our world is in your future. Lord have mercy on us all.
How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away?
Well, y’ know, we all knew what was coming, and it came. I didn’t know all that was coming. Guess I feel good about that.
What words of wisdom would you give your author if s/he decided to write another book with you in it?
I’d like her to stick to the truth, just like she did with this book. Show what people do and what they say. Don’t colorize it to make it sound fancier. Life is exciting enough in my time. Don’t have to do much to it to make it interesting.
Thank you for this interview, Henry. Will we be seeing more of you in the future?
Oh, yeah. I’ve already lived through the sequel. That’s written and out in print so people can read it. Now, I dßåidn’t think any of us would make it through that one.
Sandy Nathan writes to amaze and delight, uplift and inspire, as well as thrill and occasionally terrify. She is known for creating unforgettable characters and putting them in do or die situations. She writes in genres ranging from science fiction, fantasy, and visionary fiction to juvenile nonfiction to spirituality and memoir.
“I write for people who like challenging, original work. My reader isn’t satisfied by a worn-out story or predictable plot. I do my best to give my readers what they want.”
Mrs. Nathan’s books have won twenty-two national awards, including multiple awards from oldest, largest, and most prestigious contests for independent publishers. Her books have earned rave critical reviews and customer reviews of close to five-star averages on Amazon. Most are Amazon bestsellers.
Sandy was born in San Francisco, California. She grew up in the hard-driving, achievement orientated corporate culture of Silicon Valley. Sandy holds Master’s Degrees in Economics and Marriage, Family, and Child Counseling. She was a doctoral student at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and has been an economic analyst, businesswoman, and negotiation coach, as well as author.
Mrs. Nathan lives with her husband on their California ranch. They bred Peruvian Paso horses for almost twenty years. She has three grown children and two grandchildren.
Her latest books are The Angel & the Brown-Eyed Boy, Lady Grace: A Thrilling Adventure Wrapped in the Embrace of Epic Love and Sam & Emily: A Love Story from the Underground, which are all part of the Tales from Earth’s End series.
You can visit her website at www.sandynathan.com.
Follow her on Twitter: www.twitter.com/sandyonathan
To purchase a paperback copy of Sandy Nathan’s The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Angel-Brown-eyed-Boy-Sandy-Nathan/dp/0976280906
Purchase at Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-angel-the-brown-eyed-boy-sandy-nathan/1028502802?ean=9780976280903
Tomorrow morning, a nuclear holocaust will destroy the planet. Two people carry the keys to survival: A teenage boy and an intergalactic traveler.
By the late 22nd century, the Great Recession of the early 2000s has lead to a worldwide police state. A ruined United States barely functions. Government control masks chaos, dissenters are sent to camps, and technology is outlawed. War rages while the authorities proclaim the Great Peace.
Finally it all breaks down. We’re in New York City on the eve of nuclear Armageddon. In the morning, ultimate destructive forces will wipe out all life on earth. Only Jeremy Edgarton, a 16-year-old, tech genius and revolutionary; and Eliana, the angelic, off-world traveler sent to Earth on a mission to prevent her planet’s death, can save the world. Join Eliana and Jeremy as they begin a quest to save two doomed planets … and find each other.
Winner of Four National Awards:
● 2011 IPPY (Independent Press) Award Gold Medal in Visionary Fiction.
● 2011 Indie Excellence Award in Visionary Fiction (Winner of Catergory)
● Best Books of 2011, USA Book News:
- Winner, New Age Fiction
- Finalist Fantasy/Sci-Fi