If you could invite any 5 people to dinner who would you choose?
Simple. Ed, Lewis, Bobby and Drew. The guys who thought it would be a ‘gas’ to canoe down the Cahulawassee River. Add Cowboy Coward. the toothless mountain man as the fifth. If conversation lapsed, Bobby could entertain with his banjo. Bada bum bum bum bum bum bum Baaaah. Can you hear it?
If you were stranded on a desert island what 3 things would you want with you?
My wide screen TV. The cable box goes with it, right? Next, my George Foreman, figuring I’d be snagging sea gulls and crabs, maybe a dead seal. They’re all good fried. Lastly, my iPhone. I’d be arguing like crazy with myself, and hafta look up facts.
What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
It’s a tie between Oatmeal and French Toast, the first dishes I could rustle up for myself. But this goes beyond mere cooking. How about the presentation? With oatmeal, at first I just clumped it into a bowl and flooded the area with milk and lots of sugar. Later, I favored a thicker glob and went light on the milk. French Toast? Well, you can’t have just one piece at a time. Two slices, minimum. You can either nibble at the pair, liberally bathed in butter and Vermont Maple Syrup, or you can go after the two slices with a sharp knife, dicing them into squares that you then inhale with a liberal sprinkling of powdered sugar. Yum.
What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Hands down, Grasshopper Pie. In fact, Grasshopper Pie was the ice cream carton in which Maggie hid something very important to the story when the FBI came to search her home in my novel: A Bridge to Treachery. Smart girl.
Night owl, or early bird?
I’m a night owl these days. If I’m not up well past midnight, it’s a rare day. I’ve always got several projects cooking, video editing, a play in some stage of completion, a novel in progress, and posts to my blog. I dig exploring on the computer, and being a trial and error kind of guy, it usually turns into several hours.
What was your favorite book when you were a child/teen?
At fifteen, there were a couple of books that everybody was crazy about— me included. One was Peyton Place by Grace Metalious. Another, my favorite from that time, is Battle Cry by Leon Uris. It was a sensation in our sophomore class. It took our preoccupation at the time to a new level. The tattered paperback version that was making the rounds and finally landed in my sweaty palms portrayed some pretty graphic encounters, and those dog eared pages were as close as I was getting to the real thing. When the book made it onto the big screen, we all flocked to the Tivoli to watch Van Heflin, Aldo Ray, and Tab Hunter storm the beaches of Saipan. But it was Nancy Olson, Dorothy Malone, and Anne Francis, in their torpedo bras that stole the film.
If you could choose only one time period and place to live, when and where would you live and why?
The prairies of the West during the 1870’s. Fact is, I’d saddle up and join Woodrow Call and Gus McCrae on their Lonesome Dove cattle drive, if they’d have me. An uncomplicated time and place. People had to have some competence just to make it through alive. Lapses in morals were dealt with summarily by the people on the spot. It was mean and simple minded. But there was plenty of space for love and decency.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I was a sports nut. In our neighborhood, we could muster a dozen kids easy for a football or baseball game almost any day during the summer. I followed the Cubs, and would ride the train to Chicago to Wrigley Field for games. My hero was Andy Pafko. Sandlot baseball morphed into American Legion ball and high school teams, and eventually the big time: The Westmont Eagles, the local baseball team that had older guys playing. So, I dreamed of becoming a major
What’s the craziest writing idea you’ve had?
I thought it would be wild to write a farce based on some of the stuff that transpired at my workplace: a converted warehouse on West 33rd Street in New York that featured an indoor ice rink on the top floor. Imagine the possibilities for leaks. I actually managed to get the thing down on paper, and then did a script-in-hand reading of it at the local Opera House here in Maine. I still think it has possibilities. It’s a very silly play involving lots of characters, and lends itself to a production with local amateur thespians as a fund raiser.
What TV show/movie/book do you watch/read that you’d be embarrassed to admit?
I’m not embarrassed by the movie Bridget Jones Diary It’s just that I can’t stop watching it. I’m limiting myself to the first five minutes, at this point. I just have to see Bridget in her jammies plucking an invisible guitar, rapping away on imaginary snare drums, and wailing along with Jamie O’Neal; All By Myself
Print or Ebook?
I like the feel of a print book in my hands, and flipping back and forth to review things. More and more I’ve come to value the portability of an ebook. Right now, I’m sticking with print.
What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you?
When I was about to enter high school I was walking around the grounds with my Dad feeling a little intimidated by a fear of the unknown. He no doubt likened this pretty scary development in my life to his own experience as a fourteen year old arriving in this country from Scotland . He had a thick brogue, and was looking a little shabby in comparison to his new American classmates. He advised me to present a cocky countenance from the very first day.
“Throw one foot out in front of the other as you walk, scuffing down first with your heel”, he said. In other words: face up to new situations with bravado and never let them see you sweat.