Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Interview with Rod A. Walters, author of Golden Gremlin

Golden Gremlin: A Vigorous Push from Misanthropes and Geezers
By Rod A Walters
Genre: Nonfiction/Humor

The worlds really needs that push, vigorous or gentle, from misanthropes & geezers, the world’s most valuable golden gremlins. Misanthropes pretend to not like or need other people, but in reality they merely prefer their own company much of the time. Geezers, besides that silly name, also like their own company quite well. Both share the virtue of seeing the world calmly. Written to make Dave Barry, Lily Tomlin, and Ben Stein laugh, Golden Gremlin: A Vigorous Push from Misanthropes and Geezers delivers the wisdom of a calm life, and the wisdom to like most of it and laugh at the rest. Heck, Barry lives in Miami, habitat of geezers,  and Ben Stein is one. You get pointy bite-sized life pointers from experienced gremlins, told in easy bite-size chunks. Laughter included in the price!. Two out of three wouldn’t be bad either.
Life is good! So laugh a little at yourself on the way through these pointy essays, and that will buy your laughing at the world’s simpler parts, guilt free.

Gremlin comprises about 70 short essays bundled into six topic areas:
NATURE: boys, poop, and carbon footprinting
WORDS: the real meaning of Caucasian
KITCHENS: Dollar Store kale
BUSINESS: stakeholders -- through the heart
HISTORY: when Hell froze, and how Earth Day got born
Golden boy gets to be GOLDEN GREMLIN (the ultimate “Gotcha’ last!”)
What things could possibly be more important!

Interview with the Author

What inspired you to write Golden Gremlin?

The muse hit me.


Anyone who says that actually and probably just fell asleep, and then dropped onto the floor, headfirst. Or maybe mumbled some bad words in front of his mother, or just numbed out sitting through a draggy class of some sort.

So much of everything around me screams to invite comments or backtalk, such as news people who use words badly, diet and food geniuses who want to save the world, business nonsense straining to crowd out actual good business practice, and historical events begging to be fixed. None of this needs commenting on, but that’s a good reason to do so anyway. Do write about it, I say. My wife has sometimes told me, “You are such a boy!” to which I answer, “Oh thank you, thank you!” This is not always smart, but it keeps the clever juices flowing for the next tranche of writing.

How long did it take you to write your book?

About 18 months. You see, I often joke about editing my stuff 19 times, and it turned out to be boringly true. That’s an average of 19 times, each piece, and then a half dozen or so more times while assembling the whole shebang. Most of the pieces also got vetted by reading aloud to a cluster of other writers, a practice which adds another edit or two most of the time. No one there ever says, “You are such a boy!” but I know some are thinking that. Good for both of us. All this fiddling around takes time to get everything done.

How long have you been publishing your work?

Since 1999.

What does your writing environment look like?

Organized. A typical desktop computer sits in the office for transferring handwritten notes and outlines from paper drafts. Yes, Virginia, there is no electronic-composing Santa Claus here, mostly just legal pads. Good-ole’ hard thinking with a bunch of yellow lined paper and pen (pencils basically suck—you have to sharpen them every 45 seconds) beats sitting in front of a computer screen, getting spell-corrected and basically barked at.* Who needs that kind of android sergeant in my face, keystroke by keystroke? So think about this: which is easier to carry about here & there, a computer, or pad & pen? Even laptop computers run out of electric. Pads don’t. Also ask yourself: can the NSA track me better from my laptop computer, or from a bunch of legal pads and yellow wadded up paper balls?

*grammatically, I could have said, “…and basically getting barked at loudly.” Editing can be tedious.

Do you have any routines to help you write?

Goodness, yes! I make it a goal to write “X” hours every day, except for Date Day—Wednesdays—with my wife. Or else. Now, there are certain things which do not count as “writing”: writers’ group meetings, reading & researching, practicing out-loud reading, doing marketing activities, organizing the book for printing, and doing interviews.

Doing interviews is far, far more fun than editing. For general writing, though, I find that writing a bunch of stuff down on paper right away works best for me. I have found that editing immediately along with writing cramps the power and the fun of a story. There’s plenty of time to do those 19 edits later. After all, I am such a boy.

About the Author 

Rod Walters lives and writes in upstate New York, an excellent place where one can truly prove he can be an all-season writer. Since he wants everybody to be all-season persons no matter what her or his lifestyle looks like, his writing tends sharply toward the practical—without turning into one of those godawful do-it-perfectly-yourself (DIpY) authors. Life, after all, is practical moment by moment. Certainly described “old enough to know better, and he might actually be,” his former life as Army officer, engineer, and administrative assistant could not have been better arranged to write both light and heavier pieces pointing to creating a balanced life. Chuckling at yourself usually makes a good start. Then again, who the heck wants to live a balanced life? He suspects that just about everybody does. That’s why he now writes. Although many friends nudge and badger him to Facebook- and Twitter-it-up, he tries not to spend 15 hours a day with circular and brain-dimming keyboarding activity. His books work better. 

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