Charles P. Patterson centers much of his life around his wife Tanya, and their six children: Ally, Nathan, Mathew, Katie, Brandon, and Abby. Author of The Futility of Work, when Charles is not writing you can usually find him spending time with the family or engaging in some manner of learning (whether direct, or through hobby). Over the years, Charles has held positions from hard-wood hauling to hardware engineering -- from door-to-door salesman to national trainer for a Fortune 500 company. While Charles has resided or engaged in extended travel to cities across the US, he considers St. Louis, Seattle, and Dallas to be his hometowns. Just as various places, occupations, and events have shaped Charles' life, they continue to be a driving force that shapes his work.
What are some of the works that most inspired you prior to becoming an author?
When I was about ten years old, my dad gave me his old copy of Isaac Asimov’s Understanding Physics: Volume II – which really turned me on to Isaac Asimov in general. I knew I was young and incompetent in many measures, which made it all the more fulfilling to read books on complex subjects that were described in a manner that a ten year old could understand (or at-least mostly understand). It lent a lot to Asimov as a writer, that he could connect with such a broad audience in that manner. I am fond of Isaac and Janet’s work in general. What captivated me was not that he wrote succinctly on any one subject, but that he wrote about everything that intrigued him personally. People typically know Isaac for his science-fact and science-fiction novels, while some know him for his writings on psychology, sociology, religion, Shakespeare, civilization, and etcetera. With over 500 published works, Isaac Asimov is as much an inspiration to aspiring authors (as a person), as his written words ever could be.
In Search of Schrödinger’s Cat taught me that things are seldom as they seem – and often, they are so much more. The idea of superposition should extend beyond physics to incorporate what we know (or think we know) about events in general. How easy is it to assume that a person is upset about one thing, or acting a way because of a certain occurrence, when the reality is quite different? In quantum physics, a single state is not realized until it is observed (the truth is known). We, likewise, should leave open to interpretation matters in general if we have not taken the time to ascertain the truth of the matter.
Then, there was the singular sentence in Sir Francis Bacon’s essay Of Friendship that pretty much defined friendship for me, “There is no such flatterer of a man, as is a man’s self; and there is no such remedy against flattery of a man’s self, as is the liberty of a friend.” Firstly, without the need of pointing out, we all require a bit of narcissism to survive in today’s society. As one of my favorite bosses once told me, “I’m not telling you to toot your own trumpet, but you have to toot your own trumpet to get ahead.” It was the second half of Bacon’s sentence that had a profound and lasting impact. A friend is not defined by the manner in which they agree with you, but in the manner of which they disagree with you – and yet continue to strive with you. As Bacon puts it, a friend has liberty. We grant them the freedom to disagree. Moreover, if a true friend has issue with the manner of a person, they are *obligated* (as a friend) to exercise their liberty for a person’s own-good. While this sentence shaped my views on friendship, I find that my views on what it means to be truly patriotic are not much different. I could write at-length of the things this sentence has taught me, but as a writer it taught me exactly how much meaning could be placed into a single sentence – if it is honestly written.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
A great majority of my downtime revolves around family. As a family, we enjoy: hiking, swimming, fossil hunting, visiting the local parks and library, and going to museums (when we get a chance to visit larger cities). Other than that, I tend to spend a good bit of time reading and working at various hobbies. Some of my favorite things include anything computer related, tinkering with electronics, fixing anything mechanical, and building things. As far as building goes, it does not matter whether it is playing Legos with the kids, working on a web page, or general construction – I just like building.
The defining characteristic of humanity has long been our work, but the question as to why we labor so has never fully been answered. Today, The Futility of Work takes a long-hard look at this question and more. Volume I delves into the inner psyche as to the universal forces that motivate us all into action.