Interview with Charles McNamara

You are fond of the Q&A style. Why do you like it?
It lets the reader in on the conversation rather than just presenting the answers. There is no paraphrasing. It allows the reader to get a sense of the qualities of the character rather than just a set of facts.

When I was publishing a newspaper in the early 1980s, I followed “Interview” magazine and tried to format a number of interviews that way. When I started Tributary (my on line interview magazine), I discovered “The Paris Review” and their Q&A author interviews
Your photos have a documentary style. Were there photographers whose work influenced you?
Two stand out right away -- Dorothea Lange and James Nachtwey. Lange was an American documentary photographer best known for her photographs of life during the Great Depression. She greatly influenced the development of documentary photography.

Nachtwey was a daring photojournalist whose first overseas assignment was to illustrate “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland. He has documented a variety of armed conflicts and social issues in South Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, Russia, Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.

And then there is my favorite, Chansonnetta Stanley Emmons. She quietly documented rural life in Maine in the late 1800s. Her brothers invented the steam-powered Stanley Steamer auto and several photo inventions. The photo inventions allowed her to create a large body of wonderful portraits. One of her brothers, F.O. Stanley, built the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado.
What are you working on next?
It is an historical fiction novel called "Ineke’s Mitten." It is the story of a skier and a rock climber, strangers, meeting in a snow-covered Vermont forest, who discover they both love winter sports yet both struggle with difficult life circumstances. The Army recruits them to become mountain infantry and together they lead the most daring nighttime mountain attack in U.S. military history.
How did you find the people you interviewed?
I will read about something, such as the Kit Carson County Carousel, and then call and ask about who did the restoration. One call leads to another.

I read “We Were Soldiers Once, And Young” and did a Google search for people mentioned in the book who might live in Denver and found Gordon Rozanski. His story broke my heart. One year in surgery to reattach his arm.

No matter what I am working on I love doing research and the Internet has made the process quite interesting and much easier than the old days of going to the library. Constant research has yielded a long list of people I could interview.

I took Robert Schulzs' class on retirement and found him very engaging so I asked if I could interview him.

I attended a concert given by an Irish group of minstrels named Colcannon. I introduced myself to Mick Bolger after the concert and got an interview.

I was in a small used bookstore in Littleton, Colorado, and met the owner who gave me a little background on his life as a missionary in Guatemala. After reading his book I called back to do the interview.
Where were you born?
My father was a career Army officer and I was born at Ft. Sill, OK, home of the artillery school. We moved soon after to Ft. Carson, in Colorado Springs, CO, where we lived for about four years. When I graduated from the University of Arizona with an Army commission, my first duty station was also at Ft. Carson. That’s how I got to know and love Colorado.
Published 2014-08-17.
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Books by This Author

Ineke's Mitten
Price: Free! Words: 59,160. Language: English. Published: December 23, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » War & military adventure
Two Norwegian sweethearts live in a loving community surrounded by traditions and friends until German occupation troops disrupt their lives at the start of World War Two. Forced to hide in America, the man faces a lonely ordeal to overcome grief and depression. At the point of despair, he is rescued by unlikely characters who unknowingly give him new life.
Shining Light. Revealing Conversations with Dedicated People.
Price: Free! Words: 33,180. Language: English. Published: August 27, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Personal memoir
Shining Light is a collection of 22 revealing conversations, including black and white portraits, with people who share amazing stories about their lives. As Muriel Rukeyser once said, "The universe is made of stories, not atoms."