What’s your favorite thing to do outside?
I coached youth baseball for many years. Last time was in 2004. Surprisingly, and I am a "grandpa," I was recruited to coach again. The local Little League called my son and asked him if he would manage a team. He asked me to be his coach (nepotism--lol). Anyway, we have a team of 7 & 8 year olds (one is my grandson) and we had our first practice the other evening. Two of the kids are "special needs" children. Five of them cannot even catch a ball. This will be a fun springtime. Stay tuned. They call me "coach gee-pa." Gotta love it.
Has a review or profile ever changed your perspective on your work?
It is interesting how reviewers can come up with so many varied takes on the same story. I read them all and I do pay closer attention to the negative ones. This is the audience too and their take helps me to learn how different folks can be. I do not think that a review or profile has ever changed my perspective. You certainly cannot please everyone so, as a writer, I do not take offense at negatives. I must admit, I did have a review posted not to long ago that was not just negative it was almost angry. Since I have received so many positive reviews I was a bit taken back. This particular review bashed everything, spelling, punctuation, grammar, even the character of the priest. Funny part of it is, I did not even know who they were.
What's your vision of a perfect society?
In my book the acronym, L-Y-N is used by Pops. He has taught this to his kids and when he holds up his thumb and pinky that is the sign for it. Many folks in the neighborhood are aware of it. It means Love Your Neighbor. Therein would be the answer to a perfect society. As long as pride is in us as a people it will never happen here.
What's your definition of happiness?
Happiness is something that is inside you. You do not need money, or power or position or anything like that. Look at Whitney Houston. She had everything; money and fame and fortune but was she happy? How does someone like Mother Theresa remain so filled with peace and contentment. She literally had nothing. But she emptied herself for others. So, if I were to place a definition of "happiness" in the dictionary I would describe it as "the ability to empty
yourself for others."
What's the weirdest thing that has ever happened to you with a fan?
Okay--I am getting a kick out of this. I'm don't know if I actually have any fans. Maybe that is the weirdest thing of all.
What advise would you give to inspiring authors who want to get their stories published?
It is imperative to "stay the course." You have to work at this. You have to deflect criticism and accept rejection. Norman Mailer's, "The Naked & The Dead," was rejected 12 times. Joseph Heller's, "Catch-22," 22 times; Louis L'Amour was rejected 200 times before he caught on. Nicole Langan, my publisher from Tribute Books, reminded me that it is "a MARATHON not a sprint," so, I keep on trudging along.
Who inspires you?
People that inspire me are those that face adversity with a smile on their face. (Have you ever sat in a room where a dozen or more folks are undergoing chemotherapy treatments and some of them know that they are terminal. Yet, invariably, the majority are laughing and joking and have become friends with each other It is a beautiful thing. Folks who readily accept responsibility for their own action and do not always say, "It wasn't my fault. This one did this or that one did that". That is an example of what my inspiration is.
Do you write with music? Why or why not?
I find this question intriguing because I must have been asked it a half-dozen times. The answer is no and I do not know how people do that although a lot of writers must. It would completely distract me to listen to music and write.
What are your comfort books, books you can read again and again, that foster and rekindle your desire to write?
Hemingway's "The Old Man & The Sea" and C.S. Lewis', 7 volume "The Chronicles of Narnia."
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I always liked to write, even as a kid. It just took a heck of a long time to actually be a writer. Many detours along the way. But I was where I was when I was supposed to be there. It is all "good."
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I have begun the sequel to The Priest and the Peaches. That is a work in progress and, truthfully, I have neglected it somewhat as I travel around doing the virtual book tour. But answering question and doing interviews and guest posts etc has been a great experience and, as a writer, has helped me greatly.