I don’t know if I was inspired as much as goaded. By a bunch of people. The ones who, after hearing me talk about some of the wilder happenings in my life would say, “You should write a book!”
Q. How would you describe this work to someone who’s never heard of it?
A collection of autobiographical short stories centered on life-changing events: first skydiving lesson, first white water rafting expedition, first Olympics. You know, the fun stuff!
Did you find the sequels harder or easier to write than the first installment?
Much easier. By the time I sat down to write volume two, I’d gotten enough practice. My style was set, I’d had plenty of time to think about what stories would fit, that kind of thing.
Have you always been interested in writing this story or did you find this story accidentally?
I can’t recall ever wanting to write memoirs. So I guess you could say they found me.
What about your story makes it unique?
The fact that I’ve done so many different kinds of things. There aren’t many folks I know who jump out of planes for fun, compose music, write screenplays, and ride a unicycle.
Can we expect a sequel to the sequels or is this it for Danger Boy?
I’m in the process of finishing volume four as we speak. That one ends with a reference to the title of the opening story in volume one, so I’m almost hoping the series cycles around and stops there. Although, if it becomes popular, I might have to do another one. And I haven’t quit being semi-crazy yet, so there’s more material being created all the time.
What can we expect to see from you soon?
I do have an entirely different type of project in the pipeline. A creative non-fiction book based on my parents’ lives during the Second World War. They met while my dad was playing trumpet in my mom’s father’s bar in Jackson, Michigan. He was immediately drafted and they wrote letters back and forth for the duration. She had to finish high school, he went on to fight in both North Africa and at Normandy, was badly wounded and almost didn’t get home. Good stuff.
What is your favorite word?
Obstreperous. I actually stole that as a favorite from a roommate back in the day.
What is your least favorite word?
Prejudice. I grew up during a time when diversity was just beginning to be recognized as an asset. Sadly, there hasn’t been as much progress in that area as I would have hoped.
Who is your favorite author?
William Gibson. I found Neuromancer shortly after it was first published. Knocked my teeth out.
If you could have any (but only one) super power, what would it be?
Teleportation. I go through a lot of shoes!
If you could pick the brain of any writer/poet/artist from anywhere across space and time, who would it be and why?
Thomas Pynchon. I consider myself and much of our current version of Western civilization a product of World War II. His take on that particular conflict in Gravity’s Rainbow has always fascinated me. I’d love to sit down and compare notes.
What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
Conductor for a world-class orchestra. I got a taste of it in high school. I was elected Student Conductor for the spring concert a couple of times, and when our band director was out with a hernia for a few weeks, he assigned some of us to take over, running the band through songs we’d already learned. Then he sent in a new piece - one that we ended up playing at the annual state-wide band competition that year - and gave me the task of conducting it.
What profession would you not like to do?
Anything retail. Customer service is not my thing.
If Dante’s Nine Circles of Hell existed, which circle would you be trapped in and why?
If there’s a level where all you do is yard work, I’d be there. Hate it and avoid it at all costs. So, for the sin of feigning a bad back to get out of doing it, well…you get the picture.
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