Harry E. Mann was born and reared in the citrus country of central Florida. He enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1958. After basic training in Texas and technical training in Mississippi, he was assigned to a squadron in northern Japan. While there he helped to organize a church and in the midst of doing so heard a call to the Christian ministry.
After his military service, Harry studied for the ministry at Lee University, in Cleveland, Tennessee, the Virginia Union University School of Theology in Richmond, Virginia, and Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. He served as a pastor in the Church of God for five years. in the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church for twenty-six years, and as chaplain of a nursing home for five years. He and his wife Pamela now enjoy retirement in their home in St. Augustine, Florida.
Area of Town: St. Augustine, Florida
Genre: Historical Fiction
List of Published Works: Molly, Brothers and Generations
Website and/or Facebook: http://harrymannauthor.blogspot.com
Who or What Got You Started in Writing? Writing papers in college and seminary. I am also a voracious reader. After reading many novels, I thought, I could write something as good as that. One night on an emergency visit to a hospital to pray for a parishioner, I was asked to also pray for his biracial brother. As I drove home thinking about the contrast in their appearance, I thought, Here is as exciting an idea for a novel as I’ve ever seen. So I fictionalized the visit and then began to write the story. I worked on it for over thirty-five years, a little at the time. I completed the rough draft in 2003 and have been editing it since. Upon the advice of my journalist cousin, I split it into three books instead of one 699 page book. Book 1 is up on Amazon, I am negotiating on cover art for book 2, and I’m editing book 3.
What Do You Like Most About Writing?
Creating something out of sheer imagination.
What Inspires You As You Are Writing?
Watching the story take shape.
What Do You Dislike Most About Writing?
I’m too lazy to really work at it, and it takes time away from recreation.
Which Books Do You Read Most? (Top Five Authors and/or Series)
John Grisham, David Baldacchi, Dan Brown, Stuart Woods (Although I don’t enjoy his recent books. His Chiefs is one of my all-time favorites) I can’t think of another right now, but I read a lot of different writers. I’m presently reading The Malice of Fortune by Michael Ennis.I’ve also read most if not all of Agatha Christie and love the PBS films of her books.
What Do You Do To Relax? (What are your hobbies) Reading, watching TV, bowling, playing softball, singing in the church choir.
Do You Do A Lot Of Research For Your Stories? And if so, what sources do you find the most valuable?
I do as much as I feel is needed but no more. I’ve used libraries and the internet and personal interviews with folks who have experienced what I’m writing about. For example, I interviewed a World War I veteran for my first book, and he gave me a copy of his discharge. I interviewed another WW I vet who loaned me railroad maps so I could trace the steps of my character from Leesburg, Fla. to South Carolina for basic training.
What is the one piece of advice you would give to upcoming writers?
You must be driven to write even if you are never published.
And now the “Blurb” from Mr. Mann’s first novel Molly:
“Florida in the 1920’s was sharply divided along the lines of race, but those lines were less obvious in rural regions. Only child Molly Langford is raised alongside the son of her father’s black foreman, falls in love with him, and after his brutal death realizes she is pregnant with his child. Though her parents try to talk her into giving the child away, Molly refuses, committed not to give sway to the racial bias of the era.
When damaged WWI veteran John Carroll comes to work on the farm, Molly loves him despite his facial scars and they marry and have two children together. Despite the fact that John adopts her son, now that biracial child presents challenges for everyone, at every turn.
Molly is a novel that spans two decades in the lives of a family struggling to raise a biracial child in the midst of a racist culture and community. It’s the first of three books that follow the lives of the Langford and Carroll families over a period of thirty years, but it is a standalone novel.
This novel is as timely in our current day as it would have been before John F. Kennedy insisted on equality for all despite the color of their skin. A story that showcases the inner strength available by persons of strong moral fiber, it will engage readers in the journey like long-lost cousins.”
There are now three books in the Carroll Family Saga all available on Amazon.
Book One – Molly
Book Two – Brothers
Book Three – Generations