Interview with Bob Smith and Sara Rhodes, authors of Iniquities of Gulch Fork

In the worn and tired town of Gulch Fork, Arkansas, certified nursing assistant Samantha Caminos heads to her patient Rob Dean's home and wonders how she can find common ground with the aloof, disabled Vietnam veteran who suffers from not only PTSD but also severe neuropathy caused by Agent Orange. As Samantha approaches the house, she has no idea that very soon their lives will take a new turn. Gulch Fork, a town once filled with Ozark tranquility, takes on an aura of evil when bizarre events begin to affect Rob and two other war-scarred veterans, Peter Ness and Ron Woods-Samantha's father. But when Samantha learns that two elderly couples without living relatives in the area have fallen prey to fraud and embezzlement by a man who claims to be a pastor, she sets out on a quest to piece together a complex mystery fueled by those hell-bent on taking advantage of citizens too fragile to defend themselves. In this compelling novel based on true events, three veterans seeking peace and serenity from PTSD fall victim to injustice, prompting a young health care worker to investigate the evil that has infiltrated their once peaceful Arkansas town.


Can you tell us what your latest book is all about? 

This is a book about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from two viewpoints. A) From a Vietnam veteran who spent one year in a war zone. B) From the daughter of a veteran with PTSD who’d grown up as the victim of one who suffered from PTSD. 

How did you come up with the idea? 

Our personal experiences with PTSD, alcoholism, being taken advantage of by red-necked miscreants. 

What kind of research did you do before and during the writing of your book? 

None necessary, due to our personal first-hand experiences. 

Can you give us a short excerpt? 

 After living in Spain for a number of years, Rob had decided to return to the United States. Spain became too expensive, and Islamic terrorists had blown up a hotel only two blocks from where he lived. Rob chose to come to the northwest corner of Arkansas, seeking peace and tranquility. He thought it was the safest part of the entire country. As a child living in Oklahoma, he had immensely enjoyed coming to Arkansas for a weekend visit with relatives. But that was before his parents divorced and his mother remarried. As things were going now, Rob started to wonder if coming to the Boston Mountains wasn’t such a good idea after all. 

In your own experience, is it hard to get a nonfiction book published today? How did you do it? 

It is difficult, because you need an expert on the subject to authenticate the contents. Ours is not considered nonfiction.

Bob Smith is a naval officer who had Agent Orange spilled on him in Vietnam and suffers from severe PTSD in addition to disabling neuropathy. After living in Spain, he returned to America and settled in the Ozarks, where he is happily pursuing his dream of writing. Sara Rhodes is a wife, mother, and certified nursing assistant who originally lived in Alaska before moving to the Ozarks with her family. Bob is her former patient whose teachings about PTSD helped her recognize her own father's battle with it. Both Bob and Sara find animals to be a great source of comfort.