Meet the Author: Bart Stewart

Bart Stewart
Good day, I’m Bart Stewart! My thanks go out to Ciska for letting me tell you a bit about myself and my debut novel. I have one other book on Amazon, a collection of surreal fantasy stories that I self-published in print format in 2006. The response from reviewers was quite favorable for it. That book is called Tales of Real and Dream Worlds, and it won a finalist prize at the National Indie Excellence Awards in 2008. Seven years is a long time, but I have gone through dry periods before. What brings me back to writing is difficult to say. The stories keep coming to me! At times I feel compelled to write them.

The “Great Recession” derailed me terribly as well, but now I am back with a novel which I think will move you. Painter of the Heavens is literary suspense, dealing with a woman who begins a love affair with a charismatic fellow who turns out to be a con artist. We don’t know if he is planning any evil moves against her, but he is definitely hatching a fraud plot, specifically a forgery of a historical document that he believes will net millions at auction. He needs an accomplice for this particular scheme, and his eyes turn to Penny.
Penny Sturdevant has just been through a bitter divorce. The marriage was supposed to have lifted her out of the gloom of the impoverished life she had always led before, but over time her husband turned cold and boring–emotionally unavailable. In an act of great personal bravery, she left him, and all the security he represented. Now Penny is ready for something real and positive in her life. She ends up with Lyle Chilton.

He is the manager of an indie bookstore in an old house in the woods outside of Chapel Hill, North Carolina (Penny’s home town.) She meets him quite by chance when she discovers the store while out driving around. Lyle’s impact on her is heavy and hypnotic from the start. She finds him even more compelling and charismatic as she gets to know him, during a series of dates that unfold in the first third of the book. Penny is hopeful for a relationship, as he is sexy, alluring, and intellectually interesting. (He is a poet, and six original poems appear in the book.) Unfortunately, hints of a dark side to his personality start turning up, here and there. He was eccentric at the start, but disturbing statements and moods appear along the way. Penny shrugs it off, as the good times are sweet.

I envisioned Lyle as a deeply conflicted personality, as are most people who turn to crime. He is a somewhat unusual, exotic mentality. Penny I see as being someone you might actually meet, at least here in the United States, and probably around the world. She has a poignantly simple desire to live a fulfilling life. She wants to be “part of something,” she says. She wants a happy love life, but also to be part of something beyond that. Her needs are quite healthy. The pathos of the novel is her struggle to attain these basic needs. The suspense of the novel is that we don’t know just how bad this bad guy is. The point of view of the novel is entirely Penny’s. We don’t know what’s kicking around in Lyle’s head. He seems enormously suspicious, even menacing, as time goes by. Is this scammer capable of genuine love? He claims he loves her, and wants to share his life with her, always. These matters are unresolved as the plot unfolds.

Painter of the Heavens is character-driven noir fiction, “A Novel of Crime and the Heart.” It is presently available only in digital format, but you can read the first 25 pages for free on its Amazon page:

A friend convinced me to pluck three of the scarier short stories from my first book and release them as an eBook on Kindle. Thus, here you will find the trilogy of The Statuary Cats :
Management assumes no responsibility for any fright-induced heart attacks.

Meanwhile I am hard at work on my next novel, hoping for a 2014 launch. Certainly there will be no more seven-year droughts in literary output from this desk, I guarantee. Please follow me on Twitter, @BartStewart1, and scroll through my cantankerous blog at

And remember, ultimately, we’re all indies.

- Bart Stewart

Boston, Massachusetts
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1 reacties:

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09 December, 2013 delete

Hello Bart Stewart! You book sounds really interesting, especially the deeply conflicted personality part. Those types of characters always make the best ones :) Good luck with the book and thanks for telling us about yourself!