My Father’s Son is Andy Symonds’ debut novel. Symonds has been writing ever since he was a child. In this novel, Nathan is a young man whose father, a decorated Navy SEAL, is killed in combat. Nathan becomes the man of the house, but has to rely on his father’s teammates and friends to teach and show him what it means to become a man. The struggles and challenges of adolescence are amplified by his father’s death.
Select bloggers were provided with a Q&A with Symonds.
Q: Other than writing, what is your favorite hobby or thing you do for fun?
A: Anything outdoors. I still play ice hockey weekly, and love to surf, snowboard, run and stay active. And of course reading.
Q: How long have you been writing? How many books have you written – including those unpublished?
A: I’ve been writing since I was about five years old. In fact, after my parents would put me to bed, I would take out a notepad and pencil and write short stories, songs and poems. At one point my sister could hear the scratching in her bedroom and told my parents she thought she could hear mice. I never fessed up as to what the scratching really was. I wrote my first novel, The Adventures of Ricky and Jimmy, when I was eight or nine. It’s probably buried in my parent’s attic somewhere.
Q: What genres do you like to write about? Do you also read those same genres?
A: I love military fiction, to both read and write, but I write across all genres. In addition to the follow-up to My Father’s Son, I’m writing a YA novel about a boy who goes missing on a family vacation.
Q: Why did you write your book? Is it inspired by true events?
A: I wrote this book because, as the son of a 33-year Navy vet, I am all too aware of the sacrifices military families make. That’s a story that’s not told enough. The story is inspired by many real events, stories soldiers, SEALs, and families I have read about. One in particular, Fearless, by Eric Blehm, about SEAL Team 6 member Adam Brown, really struck me. I couldn’t stop thinking about what his son had in front of him as grew up without a father.
Q: How did you begin your project? Did you write outlines and character profiles, jump right in or focus on one section at a time?
A: I never write outlines. I think characters, and stories, have a life of their own, and that comes out as they and the story develop. I have a basic of idea of who I want to write about and what generally happens, and then let them tell the story.
Q: Where do you like to write? Do you have a “ritual” you do before writing?
A: I can write anywhere. Quiet is nice, and a cup of coffee certainly helps the creative process. But writing doesn’t start when you sit in front of the keyboard. You have to be thinking about the story and characters constantly. I get a lot of ideas when I’m sleeping, believe it or not. And at the gym, or beach, when I can let my mind wander. Then I take some notes on my iphone so I don’t forget.
Q: What is your next project?
A: A lot of readers have been asking what happens to Nate after My Father’s Son. I never planned to write a sequel, but I am working on a follow-up with a lot of the same characters. But it’s a different type of story, more of a fast-moving action novel.
Q: Who do you ask first to look over your writing?
A: No one.
You can find Andy Symonds at his website www.andysymonds.com, on Twitter @fatherssonbook and Instagram @myfatherssonbook.
My Father’s Son was published in August of 2015 and is available on Amazon: