Jim Farrell – The Inspired Mic Spotlight – May 5th, 2015

The Inspired Mic is now entering its third year! We began this wonderful trek at The BeachHouse Beanery in May of 2013. This May the 5th, we return to The Beanery and our roots! The Inspired Mic boasts writers of all genres, magicians, musicians, mentalists, actors, motivational speakers, painters, just to name a few. The write-ups you will be reading on this site were all written by the presenters as a way for you to get to know them. Pick your tickets up now, because they are $10 in advance, $15 at the door! You may get tickets in person at Change Jar Books, Flagler Beach Gift Shop, and The BeachHouse Beanery.You may also purchase advance tickets at The Inspired Mic

Jim FerrellJim Farrell

Jim Farrell is still promoting his first novel, Brooklyn Boy, and his collection of short stories, Kiss Me, Kate and Other Stories, but he is actively involved in the final stages of preparing his new novel, The Extraordinary Banana Tree (EBT), for publication.

He will be reading one of his short stories from Kiss Me, Kate at the April and May (2) Inspired Mics: Little Max and the Hooters Girl. The story is fiction, but those who know his grandson, Max, will recognize the truth underlying the fiction. Strangely enough, Little Max’s grandmother, Paula Felici, will also be presenting in April. Paula is a well-known and quite accomplished local artist who works out of the Salvo Art Project. Jim’s son married Paula’s daughter. Jim and Paula both live in Palm Coast, and Little Max now lives in Ponte Vedra, just south of Jacksonville. Jim and Paula can often be seen on the sidelines of Max’s lacrosse games cheering him on.

Jim introduced his new novel, EBT, and the heroine, Cheryl Flynn, to the world at the March Inspired Mic at Leroy’s 19th Hole.  Cheryl Flynn was aboard the C5A that left Saigon on April 4, 1975, as an escort for a group of Vietnamese-American orphans being airlifted to Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines.  The plane, and this is actual history, crashed thirteen miles southeast of Saigon.  The novel moves back in time to follow the career of Billy Dobson, who was Manager of Flight Operations for Air America on April 4,1975.  The reader does not re-arrive at April 4, 1975, until Chapter Twenty-Eight and, even though Cheryl reappears in Chapter Five and is prominent throughout the novel, the reader does not know if Cheryl survives the crash until we reach Chapter 28.  Don’t ask Jim.  He won’t tell.

Jim Farrell was Manager of Flight Operations for Air America in Saigon, so the story, and it is fiction, is based on many actual experiences he had in South Vietnam and other locales in Southeast Asia.  Although the novel tells the story of the fall of Saigon and of the events leading up to it, it is not a war story.  It is a love story set in a time of war.  I think the reader will love the relationship that develops between Cheryl Flynn and Billy Dobson that starts when they meet on the beach in Nha Trang, a piece of Heaven on Earth, in April, 1973.  And although the story is based on fact, it is a novel. It is fiction.

Jim is currently working with his very attractive niece, Tara Collinson, who will be the model for Cheryl Flynn on the book’s cover. Tara’s fiancé is working to create the proper background for Tara in the cover photo: the blue and silver Air America helicopters, for example.

Jim falls in love with all his heroines:  Cheryl Flynn in the Extraordinary Banana Tree, Anita Sanchez in Brooklyn Boy, Sandy Roberts in the “Mark and Sandy” stories (eight) in Kiss Me, Kate.

Jim is currently also working on a new collection of short stories, tentatively called The Committee and Other Stories which he plans to get published after EBT is out and available.  The title story is about Homeowners Association self-appointed enforcers.  Anyone who has lived with a HOA Agreement has met these busybodies.  Other stories deal with the teenage trauma of moving just before beginning high school (Rebecca), high school problems (Fight on a School Bus), the at times unbelievable self-absorption of the elderly (Where’s My Car?), Internet sex solicitation (Adriana), and three stories about a US Army Captain who takes R&R in Perth, Western Australian, and meets the love of his life. (It All Started One Saturday in Perth; Marcus and the Schoolyard Fight; The Rhode Island Visit.)  The exotic heroine of these final three stories, Sky Winters, is trying to crack the trinity of Cheryl, Anita and Sandy.

Jim’s first two books are available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, paperback or Kindle/Nook, and at Change Jar Books in Flagler Beach.  Brooklyn Boy is even available in a hard cover edition from Amazon for those who want the very best.

The Extraordinary Banana Tree will also be available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and also in the same formats as Brooklyn Boy: hardcover, paperback, Kindle and Nook. And, of course, at Change Jar Books. He promises to let the world know when it is available.

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