… And me without a ten million dollar promotional budget. Welcome to my bandwidth! I’m Bart Stewart, and this site deals mainly with my literary work, which continues to trickle out despite set-backs Dostoevsky never knew.
My novel Painter of the Heavens is character-driven crime fiction. A woman in search of a satisfying life becomes caught up in the vicious cycle of a criminal scheme concocted by her new boyfriend. I focus more on the minds and personalities of the two lovers, although the fraud plot devised by this chap is so audacious and brazen in itself that it speaks volumes about him. One would have to have self-confidence somewhere on the psychopathy spectrum to try it.
Penny Sturdevant is a woman in transition in life. Just turning thirty, and newly divorced from a man who had lifted her out of poverty but then turned cold and emotionally unavailable, she is struggling through the days. The story begins with what she sees as her big break-out into happier times – meeting the charismatic indie book store manager, and poet, Lyle Chilton.
In Painter of the Heavens the point of view is all Penny’s. Not knowing what is going on in the head of the inscrutable Lyle leaves us to ponder just how bad this bad guy might be. He can be great fun. He’s loving and fulfilling for Penny. She is intrigued and then enamored by him. But Chilton is a cypher who moves from the eccentric to the suspicious, and beyond. Simmering suspense builds into real danger as the story plays out.
Set in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with stops in London, England, and the desert of west Texas, Painter of the Heavens takes place in recent history – the turn of 1989 into 1990. The length is about average for a novel. One reviewer called it a “riveting and intelligent novel” which he compared to Carl Hiassen and Elmore Leonard! There’s a reason for the title. Read it on your Kindle and you’ll see.
(All contents of this site Copyright Bart Stewart, 2014.)
Then we have Tales of Real and Dream Worlds. First published in 2006, this collection of short stories racked up several strong reviews, and won a Finalist prize at the 2008 National Indie Excellence Awards.
The surreal, the unreal, and the all-too-real intertwine in Tales of Real and Dream Worlds. These nine tales are strange fantasy fiction in the school of Richard Matheson, Rod Serling and HG Wells. Scenarios range from a family’s entanglement in the 1938 War of the Worlds radio hoax, to an otherworldly day in the life of a honey bee. From the carnivorous menace of The Statuary Cats to the poignant fate of the Brickworker, the goal here is providing a work-out for your imagination. Then we have The Jingle, an advertising ditty you will not be able to put out of your head. Ever. This is wild fiction that has drawn rave reviews. Check out the Critics Page on this site.
The book contains elements of horror and suspense, but no over-the-top splatter gore. The age range for this one runs from teenager to geriatric. Tales of Real and Dream Worlds is available on Amazon. Or Paypal $10 to firstname.lastname@example.org for a signed copy. (Free shipping on those) Let me know if you want it signed to anyone special, or just dedicated to Ebay.
This is a chance to pick up a first printing of the first book of an author who has at least three more books in mind for the future.
All essays on my blog may be quoted in whole or in part as long as the author and this website are credited. Thanks for your time. I’m not here to waste it.
– BART STEWART