1. What (and how many) works have you released? What are they about?
My first book was a children’s book, “Slippery Willie’s Stupid, Ugly Shoes”. Released in Jan, 2011, it is about a boy who has slippery feet and slips, slides and spins all over the place. He has special shoes made for him so he won’t slip and slide but he hates them. He thinks that they are the stupidest, ugliest shoes in the whole world and is certain that everyone will laugh at him if he wears them. The book deals with accepting differences in others and shows how we are all different in one way or another. My new book, “The Priest and The Peaches” is a YA novel and was released Jan, 2012. It is the story of five newly orphaned kids and how, with the quiet guidance of the local priest, begin their quest to stay together as a family. The book shows the power and importance of family and how it is so important to L-Y-N (love your neighbor).
2. How did you get the idea for your work? What lured you to your topics?
We had a three year old foster son years ago who was so hyper and lacking of any self-control that he would run into things (the wall, a door, run off the front steps etc) but he never got hurt. That is where the idea for Slippery Willie came from and it grew from there. As far as “The Priest and The Peaches” is concerned my brothers, sister and I did lose our folks when we were very young and it was a difficult time for us. The book is a fictionalized story but the basis for it comes from the early years in our lives.
3. What scene, topic, or section was the most intense (or visual) for you to write?
There is a scene in the book that takes place between the antagonist, Beatrice Amon, and the priest, Father Sullivan. As I wrote the scene I could not believe how if actually made me emotional. I had not planned it and the words just fell together. It was amazing.
4. In the event that your book became a screenplay (or documentary), who would you like to see included in the casting?
Wow, I never thought about something like this. Okay, I’m a big fan of Robert DeNiro. He would be perfect for the character of “Pops”. Beyond that—I just don’t know. Maybe Matt Damon as Father Sullivan.
5. If you could meet anyone or see anything (characters, locations, events, abilities, creatures, etc) from your novel, who or what would you choose?
I would probably like to go to “Pops’” New Year’s Eve wake.
6. How did you go about selecting your cover?
I didn’t. My publisher, Tribute Books, had that done and I was blown away by it. I would never have come up with something so perfect. It tells a story all by itself.
7. Do you have any upcoming projects? When can readers expect them?
I am working on the sequel to the Priest and The Peaches. I have a ways to go on that. In fact, doing the on-line book tour has stifled me some in working on it. It should be done by the fall.
8. Why did you become an author (or start writing)?
I don’t know why. I always liked to write, even as a kid. But my life experiences detoured me. I am not complaining or making excuses. I did what I did when I had to and during that time being a writer would have been a luxury requiring time that had to be devoted to more pertinent things that were not about me.
9. What do you love the most about being an author?
The freedom to do your thing and write it down.
10. What or who inspires you to write?
I guess it is my life experiences in dealing with all sort of different people many of them being the poor and homeless as a member of the St. Vincent De Paul Society.
11. What is the top cause you champion?
Try not to pass judgment on others. You just don’t know the journey they have traveled. The old cliché, “Walk a mile in my shoes” is profound.
12. What advice do you have for anyone who is interested in becoming an author?
You must persevere. You must be thick skinned and accept rejection gracefully. Be a demanding taskmaster when it comes to re-writing and editing your own work.
13. What is the one thing your readers should know about you?
I have attained the rank of official “senior-citizen” (the gov’t says so and they never lie) and being a writer is what I call my “permanent senior moment”.
14. If you could do anything (for a career), besides being a writer, what would do?
Being a writer is as good as it gets and if I could have started 40 years ago I would have.
15. Aside from writing, what are your hobbies?
Sorry, I have no hobbies to speak of.
16. What is…?
a.…your favorite author?
Hemingway, for his simplicity.
b.…your favorite book or series?
Hemingway’s “Old Man & The Sea” & C.S. Lewis, 7 volumes of Chronicle of Narnia
c.…your biggest literary inspiration?
Walt Whitman’s “O Captain-My Captain” written upon the death of Abraham Lincoln
17. Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what artists? If not, do you have other muses?
Nope—I don’t know how folks can do that. My “muse” is rattling around inside my head and we have a grand time tormenting each other.
18. Is there anything that helps you write or is unique about your writing process?
Helps me write? You got me. I just do it. Unique? Maybe the fact that I use pen and paper. The keyboard comes later.
19. Which, if any, character do you feel has the most of your characteristics (behavioral or otherwise)?
Probably Teddy Peach. I’ll leave it at that.