Final Grains of Sand by David Harder (Author Q&A)

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Title: Final Grains of Sand
Author: David Harder
Publisher: Ambassador International
Release Date: April 23, 2018
Genre: General Fiction

How well do we truly know people?

When James Kreider receives the devastating news his life is being cut short with cancer, he is immediately filled with shock and disbelief. At 60 years, Jim is too young to die and believes he has a whole life ahead of him. When the reality of his impending demise sinks in, Jim methodically prepares for his final days, including trying to heal old wounds. With a dash of life’s regrets and unfinished business, Jim’s hours are spent pondering the legacy he will leave for his friends and children.

In preparing for the end, Jim selects five individuals to represent his life at the funeral service. This group includes Jim’s boss, his personal physician, a neighbor, the pastor of his church, and a woman whom Jim was involved with in a long-term affair. None of the individuals know each other or why they were chosen. Summoned to the office of Jim’s attorney, the representatives disclose emotions and information few individuals want to hear. Reluctantly, they agree to share every facet of their friend.

Jim’s story not only transforms the five representatives but alters the lives of the funeral guests.

At the heart of Final Grains of Sand,this thought-provoking novel gives readers an opportunity to pause and reflect on the way they see others, as well as how they portray themselves to those around, and to help readers realize the value of one’s life is less about the length of time, but rather how we touch other people through our actions and words.

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When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I entered college at age 40 and prior to this, I averaged poor grades in English and hated reading. Several influential individuals taught me how to read and write because earlier, I failed miserably at both. Fiction allows a person the freedom to create anything. Once I began writing, it completely infected my DNA so that I cannot feel whole unless I’m writing a story.

What inspired you to write Final Grains of Sand?

An individual once told me about her father who had recently passed away. It got me thinking about how little we know someone. We can describe a single facet of someone based upon our experience at work, school, church, family, or our neighborhood. To gain a complete picture of someone, we would need to combine all these perspectives. Final Grains of Sand does just that for James Kreider.

Imagine your novel was to be turned into a movie. Who would you want to play the lead characters?

The arduous task of taking 80,000 words and converting or reducing it down to 120 minutes for a movie, is mind-boggling and expensive. It explains why the books are more detailed than the movie. I’ve had interest from a few sources in converting Final Grains of Sand to a screenplay. I’m not sure who I’d choose to play the characters, but if I were to guess:

James Keider – Dennis Quaid or Kevin Costner

Nathaniel Martin – Denzel Washington

Dr. Thomas Nolan – Hal Holbrook

Pastor Michael Richards – Stephen Collins

Joe Langley – Larry the Cable Guy or John Goodman

Arleen Chenair – Christina Hendricks

With this list of well-known actors, the budget on this movie would be through the roof!

Tell us about the themes of your book.

A message of love, redemption, and forgiveness is woven into the story.

If you could spend the day with any of your characters, who would you pick? What would you do?

I think Nathaniel Martin is an interesting man. A whole story could be created around this one individual. Another is Michelle, Jame Kreider’s secretary. She is a quiet but resilient character and I would like to know more about her.

Do you do any research while writing? If so, what are some of the most interesting research you’ve come across?

I spend a lot of time researching material for my stories. I want each person to be believable and I want the details of them and their surroundings to be accurate. I research clothes, mannerisms, language, and jobs. For my newest book, “Persuaded: The Story of Nicodemus” I needed to research everything about first century Hebrews and Romans. For the most part, there was a dearth of knowledge written that would help me. Eventually, I was able to hone my search words and find obscure writings that shed light on many topics. One such issue was first-century Jewish burial procedures. Nicodemus and Joseph of Aramethia performed the tarah (burial) of Jesus. I wanted my story to be correct, but I was having trouble finding any information about first-century tarah’s and how they’re performed. Eventually, I discovered an Israeli author who wrote an article on the subject.

What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

I wrote a novel titled “Second Harvest” about a man who discovers love late in life. It was written around the 1880-1920 era. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a publisher interested in the book. When I ran the manuscript past a slew of readers and critics, I received rave reviews. Publishers told me the market isn’t interested in books of this era at the moment. It was a shame too because I love the story.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with good or bad ones?

I read every review written about me—good and bad! For every review, I gain insight into the story and myself as a writer. I learn and I apply what I’ve learned to my future craft.

What do you hope readers will take away from your novel?

I’ll quote some excerpts from my reviews, which sums up the answer to your question:

“The novel makes you ask yourself questions about your life and about the people around you.”

“Do we truly know people? A thought-provoking book about 5 people who are gathered together to reflect on one man’s life after he dies.”

“At the heart of this book, the reader is given an opportunity to pause and reflect on the way we see others, as well as, portray ourselves to those around us.”

“An absolutely wonderful, entertaining, and deeply touching novel that captures the ingredients of life!”

“A very thought-provoking book about how our everyday lives affect others and how they perceive us.”

“Makes you think about your own life and how what you do impacts others.”

“Many times since I’ve reflected on whom the five people would be that I would choose to speak about me after I’m gone.”

“I was able to feel the emotion you relayed in the story.”

“I was touched in many ways throughout the story. I laughed, I cried and I shook my head in thoughtful agreement about the many lessons received.”

“The book certainly got the reader to really think about the choices we make and the moments missed to connect with others.”

“We each leave an imprint, never knowing what act or action makes a difference-positive or not-on those whose life we walk through.”

“It was well thought out and put together. It certainly contains a message that we all need to heed, regarding how we affect those we encounter in our lifetime.


David Harder has been writing for more than twenty-five years. His novels are inspiring stories about individuals who influence their world in unique ways.

David grew up in southern California and served in the US Navy during the Vietnam conflict. He traveled the world for businesses with cutting-edge technologies in computer and data-storage. As part of his career, he wrote for trade journals and created marketing materials within the computer industry. A graduate of San Jose College with a degree in business, he also studied at Santa Clara University towards a degree in international business.

After retiring, David focused on two passions: writing and clay art. He uses his wheel and clay during demonstrations in churches to deliver a powerful testimony, visualizing how God shapes our lives for different purposes-no matter how old we are, and even if we seem to be a failure.

David is a graduate of Vineyard Institute in biblical studies and leadership. He resides in the Prescott area of Arizona.

CONNECT WITH DAVID: Website | Facebook | Twitter


(1) winner will receive 1 print (US only)

AND (1) winner will receive 1 ebook (open internationally except where prohibited by law)

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight May 14, 2019, and last through 11:59 pm May 21, 2019. US only. Winners will be notified within 2 weeks of the close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

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