Interview with Christopher Bacon

When did you first start writing?
I must be honest. I'm not a writer. Not of books, anyway. My book -- Quotations: Wisdom, Wit, and Movies -- is a compilation of other people's cleverness and insight.
What's the story behind your latest book?
While that's polite, it leaves the mistaken impression I've written other books. I've collected insights and witticisms about the human condition since I was a teenager (I'm 65 now). I would discover them in books, magazines, movies, TV programs, or radio broadcasts. I knew I would forget them if I didn't write them down, so whenever I encountered a remark that impressed me I'd get out my clunky Royal typewriter and hammer it out on a 3 x 5 card. That typewriter acted as my filter by forcing me to decide if the quote really justified the time and trouble it would take to type up.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Speaking as a compiler, I guess I created the book out of a desire to help preserve and share the thoughts of others that have stuck with me over the years. It's sort of a tribute to those people who helped guide or reinforce my thoughts and beliefs, or at least made me smile.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
It may be a bit premature to answer that. It would be a nice feeling if I've created something, via the auspices of Smashwords, that others find meaningful. If the book leads others to become familiar with the wisdom of La Rochefoucauld, Santayana, and Camus, or the wit of Will Rogers, Robert Morley, and Oscar Levant, or films containing clever dialogue like A Thousand Clowns, Harvey, and Breaking Away, I will feel that I and the book have succeeded. Even if that doesn't happen, you have to love the technology that Smashwords has brought to people who have something to share with others.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Recently, trying to get this book published has done that. Keeping my '77 VW camper alive and presentable has done that on occasion. A new showing by the San Pedro figurative artist, Mike Rivero, can get me excited. Even knowing I'm going to see a movie that has been critically acclaimed can put a spring in my step.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I try to improve my mind (newspapers, magazines, non-fiction books) and body (gym). Fortunately, we have a great local library. Unfortunately, we have no shortage of gyms.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
O.K., this is probably going to be pretty strange, but here goes (in no particular order and only truthful to the best of my memory):

The Consolation of Philosophy by Boethius. I read this in my freshman or sophomore year at the University of California at San Diego. It was required reading for a philosophy class. Boethius was a Roman consul who lived from 480 - 524 AD. He was eventually thrown in prison and executed for what I recall were false charges. While in prison he wrote this lovely book about philosophy and common sense. What impressed me was how insightful and logical he was about describing human nature so many years ago. As I recall, the second half of the book seemed to be almost a recanting of the first half in that it seemed to advocate a blind obedience to church and God. I always felt that the second half was a vain attempt to appease those that controlled his fate. The first part of the book is what appealed to me.

The Story of My Life by Clarence Darrow. This is a beautiful autobiography despite the bland title. You can see why he was so successful in the courtroom by how effectively he uses language. While he wasn't thrown into prison like Boethius, he had his own clouds hanging over him (possible attempts to bribe jurors, possible womanizing, neither of which he dealt with in the book as I recall). Like Boethius, a wise soul who knew human nature so well.

Notebooks Vol. II by Albert Camus. I thought everyone knew of Camus. Now I think most people don't. His Notebooks were published after his death. His demon was his health -- he contracted tuberculosis at a young age. What comes through clearly in this book is his passion for life and his search for how to live. Again, an author who was a master of human nature and who could express his thoughts elegantly and simply. Some people criticize his philosophy as being insufficient or a dead end, but for me he expresses the anguish and searching that all thinking beings face.

Autobiography of Bertrand Russell. Are you sensing a pattern here? I love insightful autobiographies and make no apologies. What intrigues me about Russell is his detachment from humanity. While I guess you could say he loved nature, it wasn't the nature of trees, flowers, or really anything actually living. It was waste places, stars, horizons, and the south wind. The message seemed to be that people can disappoint. Physics can't. When I'm most depressed, his viewpoint seems to be the most truthful and comforting.

Keaton by Rudi Blesh. It's the portrayal of Buster, a man who said nothing, suffered greatly (and not just in his films), yet brought so much joy to others through his work. What makes it so rich is Blesh's admiration for the man, and his being able to get Keaton to participate in its creation.
What do you read for pleasure?
In the past I have been known to read a spy novel by Le Carre, but that hasn't happened in awhile. I still can't recall any recent fiction I've read ... wait! Yes I can. I read No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy. But it was an attempt to understand the film better. Usually what I read is non-fiction that explains something I'm curious about. The last one of these was Flash Boys by Michael Lewis. Who knew you could write an exciting book about high frequency trading?
Published 2014-12-27.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Quotations: Wisdom, Wit, and Movies
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 29,780. Language: English. Published: December 20, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Reference » Quotations, Nonfiction » Entertainment » Celebrity culture
(5.00)
Here are 400+ quotations, collected over 40 years, that express wisdom or wit about humanity and the human condition. Also included are quotes from or about movies, our era's premier art form. Spoken or written by our contemporaries or those from ages past, authors include Camus, Darrow, Milos Forman, Gleason, Buster Keaton, Dick Lane, McCartney, Santayana, Vin Scully, Neil Young, and many more.