Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Author Interview: Abel Keogh, Author of The Third

Joining us today is Abel Keogh, author of The Third. He is also the author of the memoir Room for Two as well as numerous short stories and poems. For nearly a decade he has worked as a professional copywriter and composed hundreds of print and online pieces of marketing collateral for technology, real estate, health care, and education organizations—including several Fortune 500 companies. Abel and his wife, Julianna, are the parents of three boys and a girl.

Thanks for joining us today, Abel. It's great to have you with us. Where did you grow up?

A small farm in Ogden, Utah.

When did you begin writing?

I wrote my first “book” when I was eight years old. I asked my parents for a three-ring binder with lined paper for my eighth birthday. I sat down and over the course of the next few days wrote my first novel. It was ten pages long. My mom saved it and gave it to me when I was older.

Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?

I do most of my writing after my kids are in bed. Most nights I’ll fall asleep writing. Sometimes I’ll get up early on weekends or holidays and try to squeeze in a few extra hours if I can. I’d love to be able to spend 40-50 hours a week writing, but until I can support my family by doing so, that’s not an option.

What is this book about?

The Third is a look at a “green” future where couples are limited to no more than two children. A woman named Teya becomes pregnant with a third child. She and her husband, Ransom, are then forced to hide from the Census Bureau Sentinels while they search for a replacement credit. It’s a story about love, hope, and what one couple will do to save their family. At its core, The Third is about freedom and oppression and what rights we’re willing to give up in order to “save the planet.”

What inspired you to write it?

I always wanted to write a story that looked at “green” future. I had several other ideas for the story before I settled on overpopulation and the two-child limit as a starting point. I can’t remember what one event or moment that made me want to write it. It’s been a subject I wanted to explore for a long time.

Who is your favorite character from the book?

Mona, Taya’s sister-in-law. I like the way her character came together. She doesn’t have any kids of her own but adores her sister’s children. At the same time she’s the director of the Census Bureau and the one tasked with enforcing the population laws. She’s the one who’s really caught in the middle between her love for her sister and her desire to enforce the population laws.

Who is your biggest supporter?

My wife, Julianna. If she didn’t give me time to write, The Third, Room for Two, or books that I’m working on now would never exist. I dedicated The Third to her for this very reason.

Who is your favorite author?

The economist and philosopher Thomas Sowell. He doesn’t write fiction but his ideas found in his economic and social philosophy books have had a profound influence on The Third and other novels I’m writing.

Was the road to publication smooth sailing or a bumpy ride?

It was a bumpy ride. The Third was scheduled to be published in 2010 by a different publisher but they were ultimately unable to take it to press. Thankfully, Cedar Fort expressed interest in it. They’ve been great to work with. The lesson in all this for aspiring writers is that the road to publication is never a smooth ride. As long as you have a good story and can write, your book will eventually find a home somewhere.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

The Third can be purchased online at or It should be available in bookstores as well. Since the official release date isn’t until April 8, I’m not sure what stores will stock it. Those who want signed copies can order them through my website.

Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?

Yes, you can find it at  You can read or download the first chapter of The Third or learn more about my other books and works in progress.

What is the best investment you have made in promoting your book?

The best promotional activities I did with my first book was getting in front of book clubs, classrooms, and other writing groups and talk to them about the themes or subjects in the book they wanted to discuss. Once you become a real person and not just someone who has a book on the shelves people are much more interested in your work. They’re the ones that really get the word-of-mouth advertising going.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?

Keep writing. The more you write the better you’ll get. Don’t let rejections stop you from writing. So long as you keep at it, your book will eventually find a home.

What is up next for you?

I’m finishing up the sequel to The Third as well working on a YA novel. I’ll also have darker, gloomy story I’ve been working on and off for a year but since it’s for more of a niche audience, it’s not at the top of my Writing-To-Do list. It’s my goal to have two of these three projects completed and out to publishers by the end of the year.

Thanks for spending time with us today, Abel. We wish you great success.


April 18th – David West

April 18th LT Elliot

April 19th - Guest Blog - Marcie Turner

April 21st - Heather Gardner

April 23rd – Elizabeth Mueller

April 26th—Kristin Centorcelli

April 28th—Elana Johnson

May 3rd – Wendy Hines

May 9th— Mindy Oja

May 11th – Rachelle Christensen

May 13th – Cheryl Malandrinos – blurb and interview, with review later

May 14th – Sheila Staley

May 16th – Kathy Habel

May 19th – Sharon Chance

May 25th— Tristi Pinkston

May 31st— Missie Burson

Look for reviews coming from these sites too!

Amber Argyle Smith

Heidi Durant

Bob McCarty

Susan Jensen

Tara Lassin

Elizabeth Jones

Greg Tidwell 

1 comment:

Abel Keogh said...

Thanks for taking the time to interview me. This is a great place to kick off the book tour.