How did you come up with the title of the book?
The book title underwent an unexpected metamorphosis. Why? Because the book did also. The original draft presented the Peach siblings as adults, living their lives, each having their own families etc. At a get together they were reminiscing about their early years. The first title might have been “Back in the Day”. That was sort of lame. The story was also too confusing. Anyway, things began to change and ultimately I simply took the reader back to 1965 and began from there. Enter Father Sullivan and the antagonist, Beatrice Amon. Result, “The Priest and the Peaches”. When I began writing this book that title was the furthest thing from my mind.
What were the challenges to getting the book published?
There have been quite a few reviews where two comments impact me about the work. They are, “It was an easy read” and “I loved the characters”. That tells me that if you can actually put together a story that flows freely and engages the reader you are well on your way to overcoming the principle challenges to becoming published. The trick is to NOT fall in love with what you write. Respect the person who will be reading your work.
What book are you reading right now?
At this very moment I am reading (or studying) a text-book titled “Child Welfare—case-studies”. The reason is—research for my current project which is the sequel to “The Priest & The Peaches”. I also have started reading a 1996 publication titled, “The Search for The Shadowman” by Joan Nixon which is a YA novel.
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
My first book only made it halfway through the first draft. That was 25 years ago. There were so many things going on back then I could not focus. It is still sitting in a box under my desk. I plan to pull that out one of these days and actually finish it. Some quick math tells me I was 41 at the time.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Sure—be tenacious, never quit and make sure you’re work is mechanically sound. Be prepared to re-write and edit over and over. Don’t count on spell-check and computer formatting to do it for you. If you write any slang dialogue the computer will tell you it is wrong. Remember that a machine does not know everything.
What are you currently working on?
As mentioned above, the sequel to “The P & The P”. I have neglected it somewhat as I have journeyed around on the book tour but it is foremost in my mind. I’ll give you a “peek”. The youngest Peach kids, Joey, now 7 and Beeker, 11, spend their summer vacation out in the country with friends of Father Sullivan. They meet a strange young girl in the woods. I’ll leave it at that.
Favorite Book?—————“The Old Man & The Sea” by Hemingway.
Favorite Author?————-toss up: C.S. Lewis/Hemingway
Favorite place to read?——wherever it might be quiet
Favorite Genre?—————I have to go with YA.
Last fun one:
If you could choose to be a character from any book, who would it be and why? I’ll be honest here. 20 years ago I may have answered this question as asked. So, I thought about this and have come to the realization that the answer is, none. I would not want to be anyone else, real or fiction. Each and everyone of us is unique in our own way and, to paraphrase Popeye the Sailor, “I am what I am.” It works for me.