Below is a Q&A session in which I was interviewed about my upcoming novel, Green Bay Outsiders. You’ve been hearing a lot about it. This interview takes readers more in-depth about what inspired me to write the story and what I hope it accomplishes.[Read more…] about Interview With the Author: About Green Bay Outsiders
The worst dream I ever had in my life was when I was a boy, probably six or seven years old. I remember it vividly. I dreamed it was the middle of the night and I was standing on the unlit landing at the top of the 2nd-floor staircase in the row house where I lived with my sister and my parents, looking down into the foyer. The light was on down below and my mother was preparing to go out the front door. “Where are you going?” I asked, a note of panic in my voice. “I have to leave,” she said. “But I’ll be back in the spring.”
In my dream, I knew it was the beginning of winter and so it would be three or four months before I saw her again. The prospect of not seeing one of my parents for that long a time seized me with an unspeakable dread. Decades later, in real life, I still remember the power of that dream, and it disturbs me like few things ever. I woke up sobbing in my bed and my parents, who must have heard me having a bad dream from their bedroom, were sitting beside me, my father rubbing my back. [Read more…] about What It Means When People Leave and Other People Arrive
Back at the State University of Binghamton, where I was a creative writing student in the mid-1990s, I wrote a short story called “Shakespeare’s Night on the Town”. It wasn’t a very good story–overly moralistic (hey, I was raised Catholic!) and slightly naive. It was also a very long story. I told my professor, Liz Rosenberg, that I struggled to write short stories. “Maybe you’re a novelist,” she responded. I have never forgotten she said that. It resonated at the time, and it continues to resonate now.
[Read more…] about The Accidental Novel: How Green Bay Outsiders Accidentally Became a Book
Life is full of disappointments and this is especially true, in the novel Billy Maddox Takes His Shot, of Hector Maddox, father of the novel’s protagonist, Billy Maddox. Hector collapses in an existential fit of grief and disbelief when his youngest son, Matthew, is killed in a gun battle between drug mules and Border Patrol agents on the Maddox family ranch in Cochise County, Arizona.
The death of a family member can be devastating beyond belief but, as many a life coach has been known to say, it is a measure of our success in life to determine how we respond to tragedies.
[Read more…] about The Heavy Price of Bitterness (Billy Maddox #4)
Life is full of disappointments. Life is suffering. All things must pass.
Anyone who ever wanted to pinpoint the source of some of life’s major pain points would do well to heed these oft-used expressions. Billy Maddox Takes Shot, my novel about the life of a young Border Patrol agent in southern Arizona, takes aim at the latter (“All things must pass”) though in a less philosophical and more violent manner.
[Read more…] about The Inevitability of Loss (Billy Maddox #2)
Any life coach will tell you that memory represents one of the most challenging areas in people’s lives. Remembrances of past pain, conflict or misfortune tend to make one hesitate to act. Fear, concern and even bitterness tend to be the offspring of bad experiences, and the impact of memory is no less a feature in some of literature’s most compelling stories. Hamlet broods over his father’s death at the hands of his uncle and mother’s deception. Rochester’s wife goes mad in Jane Eyre and her imprisonment in the attic (the metaphorical equivalent of one’s mind) to hide her from the public eye represents one of the most pleasantly lurid manifestations of the way memory never dies — if you’re into that sort of thing.
Memory is not only a reality, but a crippling one for Billy Maddox, the young protagonist at the heart of the novel Billy Maddox Takes His Shot.
[Read more…] about The Crippling Effect of Memory (Billy Maddox #1)