What is your motivation for writing?
Financial gain is less important to me than the completeness I feel when creating something. As an artist, I enjoy rendering expressive landscapes. In an abstract sense, painting and writing are very similar in nature: While the painter uses colorful pigments, the author employs the use of descriptive words and expressions to create his desired image. I experience the same exhilarating emotions when I am involved in either of these expressive art forms.
What will be your next writing project?
I intend to write a sequel to the existing novel, 'Southern Sanctuary'.
How do you handle it when a character in one of your true-life stories feels that you have misrepresented him?
First I offer my apologies if I have unintentionally mischaracterized him. I then point out to him that I have attempted to conceal his true identity by using fictitious names in the story. I then let the story stand as it is. If I am to maintain integrity, it is essential that I represent each character in the story with my own perception of that character—not as he perceives himself. Unfortunately, although I have honorable intentions, I sometimes characterize people differently from the way they would have me portray them. We seldom see ourselves as others see us.
While writing a true-life novel, what is your most obvious pitfall?
The biggest risk in writing stories about actual people and historical events is the possibility of my misrepresentation of an event or of a person. If I am mistaken about any date or sequence of historical events, I will have to live with the consequences. Even worse is my risk of mischaracterizing the characters in the story. Although I frequently use fictitious names, the character in the story can usually recognize his presence in the narrative.
When selecting your category for writing, what is your favorite genre?
I like to write true-life novels, mostly about conditions that exist within families and their reactions to unusual experiences and hardships. The contrasting emotions generated by family love, sibling rivalries, and complex family issues have always inspired me. I enjoy writing true stories with a strong moral conclusion in which the characters face great challenges and overcome obstacles to become better people.
How many books have you written?
I have written six books in twelve years, which averages two years for each book.. Blossoms of Winter and Maiden Harvest are true-life novels; Tom, Dick, and Harriet is a comical and sometimes poignant account of the challenges of aging; Southern Sanctuary and its sequel Southern Storm are historical fiction mysteries; and Random Reflections is a collection of short stories and whimsical poetry.