Q – This is a very personal story which reveals a lot about you and your younger years. Did you intend for this book to be seen as an autobiography, or was your intention to pass on a message through the use of your own experiences?
A -The intent was more to get two messages across. One is that no one ever sees you as you do. Trust in who you are because that is what really matters. The second is that there will be times in your life when you feel as though you are alone and no one understands you; however there is always a higher power watching over you, maybe even guiding you. I am not a religious person, but do believe something is watching over us and that even if you make mistakes, you’ll still be accepted by that Deity if you allow yourself to be.
Q – In the book there is a list of 16 “lessons”. Are these “lessons” something which you structured for the book or is this list something you have been caring around, folded up, in your wallet for years?
A -They were more structured as the book came to me. I knew that certain people of my past had taught me lessons and as I began to outline the stories, the lessons came to me.
Q -Throughout the book Joyce is really the only female character who voices a negative view of your “activities”. Since the book has been published, has it been met by any negative responses?
A – I have had only one negative response, which came from a lady who wouldn’t read the book because of the title saying it was sexist.
Q- How long did it take you to write Sensitivity 101 for the Heterosexual Male: Lessons Learned from the Fairer Sex?
A -Obviously the stories have been with me for a long time. The overall process of putting it on paper, editing and then publishing it took about 2 years. Most of this took place on my many business trips as a way to pass the nights in a hotel.
Q – This is your first book; did you find the writing and publishing process at all daunting or intimidating?
A -I find writing a soothing way to relax, to remember old-times and to reconnect with my inner self. The publishing part was more difficult. I used a POD (print on demand) company because I needed this book done quickly for my 30th high school reunion. AuthorHouse gave me the opportunity to do that. I am now looking for a literary agent and a traditional publisher so that I can get it into more retail outlets. I caution new writers—do your homework—there are many scams out there just waiting to take your money. I found it better to rely on professionals, like my editor and others that I have met through the process, rather than searching on the internet and settling for whoever pops up. The only thing I would change, and will if an agent accepts me, is the title of the book. I think I can find a better one that more people can relate to—one that brings to life better the struggle a divorced child has as they search for the two desires all humans share: to be accepted and to be truly happy.
Q – When you are not writing where would we find you?
A – Mostly at work or spending time with my ten year old son and my wife. I enjoy baseball and horse racing.
Q – Who do you take your inspiration from? Do you have a role model?
A – I don’t have one particular role model. I find that everyone has something to offer to you, if you take the time to discover it.
Q – Who is your favorite author?
A – As I get older I read less and less. Growing up I really enjoyed reading about “real” things and people, or least situations I could relate to and see myself maybe living out. I really wanted to see how all of us being so different could just get along.
Q – What are you currently reading?
A – Right now I am not reading anything as I find more pleasure in the writing aspect rather than the reading.
Q – If you could be any character from any story, who would you be and why?
A – I relate to Charlie in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. His life wasn’t what he wanted it to be, yet he always looked on the brighter side and treated people with respect and understanding. In the end, he got what he wanted by being a sensitive and sharing human being as those around him, all who were selfish and only looked out for themselves, got what they deserved.
Q – I notice on your website that you plan to publish Sensitivity 102: Choices this year. What can we expect from this book?
A – This will be a continuation of the life you read about in my first book. It will start just after the character celebrates his eighteenth birthday and goes until he passes away. It again will take pieces of my real life and then will weave in situations (some real and some made-up) and some more of the people that I have met and show the reader how the lessons I learned earlier affects the decisions that need to be made. Hopefully I will be able to again share laughs, tears and enjoyment as I hope the readers may learn even more about themselves in the process. I am sure the book’s title will change after my editor gets to it.