|LBP Author Brian Porter talks about his book, Dreams of Arcadia, and a few things that wrapped into it!
“Dreams of Arcadia is the story of Nate Holub, a recently divorced Houston veterinarian with two teenage daughters. When Nate accepts a job in his father’s hometown, he must adjust to the rigors of the new job while reconnecting with his extended family. In doing so, he encounters an unexpected mystery surrounding his father’s death many years before. Nate must reconcile the past while trying to find his place in the world.
The novel is inspired by my life experiences. I grew up and practiced veterinary medicine in South Central Texas, the setting of the story. This is a unique and colorful region that does not fit the typical stereotypes for the state. Readers may be somewhat surprised by the setting, as well as the gritty reality of rural veterinary practice. Many of Nate’s harrowing work experiences are my own, although some were embellished a bit for dramatic or humorous effect.
I wrote the type of book that I enjoy reading. I’ve always liked stories about families with rural/small-town settings, an element of mystery, and historical undertones. A few books I’ve enjoyed in this vein are Richard Russo’s Empire Falls, Annie Proulx’s The Shipping News, and Tom Franklin’s Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter. Family secrets that span generations are very compelling to me. I’m fascinated by how we are shaped by our past and by the landscape in which we live.
My goal for this novel was to make it both entertaining and meaningful. The central theme is the vital importance of maintaining our relationship with nature. Nate’s search for peace represents our broader search for a hopeful future in an increasingly chaotic world.”