Give us your elevator pitch: what’s your book about in 2-3 sentences?
It’s a collection of stories. Most of the characters work in some kind of made-up non-profit. Some of the characters appear and re-appear in subsequent stories, so it’s thinly linked.
Which character did you most enjoy creating? Why?
I invented this guy named Julian Walker—whose father calls him Cock Walker (as in “cock of the walk”). Julian’s father makes the family go to polo events. He introduces himself to wealthy polo-goers as a painter—they assume he’s a visual artist, but indeed he’s a housepainter. Julian’s mom get a little too drunk, his father disappears, and Julian has to drive the family car some 40 miles home.
I like to write dad-and-lad stories, with an adult narrator looking back at a time when his parents acted curiously, or questionable in terms of ethics.
Tell us a bit about the highs and lows of your book’s road to publication.
A slew of these stories were written at the beginning of the pandemic. I was on a real tear there for a short while. I didn’t really have any low points.
What’s your favorite piece of writing advice?
From Shannon Ravenel: “A great story’s ending kisses the beginning.”
My favorite writing advice is “write until something surprises you.” What surprised you in the writing of this book?
I didn’t know how difficult it would be to come up with viable, mostly-believable nonprofits.
Who is your ideal reader?
I think my ideal reader is a college-educated, slightly liberal, person with a sense of humor. It might be important to own that “willing suspension of disbelief.”
Inquiring foodies and hungry book clubs want to know: Any food/s associated with your book? (Any recipes I might share?)
No real recipes, but one story is narrated by a chef/restauranteur who runs a place called Periodic Farm-to-Table and Chairs. He’s big into gumbo and étouffée, plus makes kimchi out behind the restaurant.
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