Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Come meet Gary Stelzer - author of The Cost of Dreams!
Shared by Kristi Herbrand
Please help me welcome Gary Stelzer to Books and Needlepoint today. He is the author of The Cost of Dreams, the first in a series of books, which came out in October.
Hi Dr. Stelzer!
1. I found the back story of The Cost of Dreams fascinating. Can you share with my readers where the idea for this book came from?
Fundamentally, from my own innate sense of outrage at the level of injustice befalling the ignorant and destitute of our world’s societies. I just don’t care for societal unfairness in which persons and families, through no fault of their own, get ground into dust in an unfair social setup.
2. I believe this is the first book in what is to be a series - have you started work on the second book?
There will be four more novels (assuming brains hold out), the next of which will be set in New Orleans during the time of Katrina. A time and place in which another several thousands of human beings found themselves trapped by the ill convergence of a natural disaster and the abject neglect of the social contract we have with each other to care for our fellow humans - preventatively and at the time of needed rescue.
The third novel will be set in Detroit, the epicenter of America's industrial collapse.
3. The next two novels sound very good also! I like the way they center around a certain area/event in the country. Was The Cost of Dreams your original title or was it changed upon publishing?
The first, and very different draft, had a different title, The Disappeared One.
4. At what point did you decide to give up your medical career and become a writer?
I had worked almost three decades as a physician, a very interesting and stressful job. But certain features of the work were becoming untenable. Not the least of which was the unaffordable barrier to care for more and more people. I’d spend a half-hour to an hour with a person outlining what they needed done, only to find it was totally unattainable for cost reasons. Over and over, all day, day after day and getting worse all the time. Very frustrating and very defeating for patients and doctors alike.
Plus, I have always loved writing very, very much. It was not a hard shift and I could not be happier with the change.
5. What was your journey to publication like?
Circuitous and unpredictable. But honestly and ultimately very enjoyable – and supremely educational!!
6. Do you have a favorite place to write - or any "must-haves" in order to get the creative juices flowing?
No – a boring tiny office in my small city house. A little cabin on a small lake is not bad either. Privacy and quietude are essential. And a healthy block of time to let the head settle into the work.
7. Sometimes I find that privacy and quietude are necessary for me to do anything! What was the hardest part about writing The Cost of Dreams?
Accepting after the first couple drafts that I had no notion of what I was doing. And that I needed the attention of a real pro – I obtained an astonishing editor. Very, very key.
8. That is good to know. I have a daughter who is an aspiring author - she is working on chapter 3 of a book as I write this. If you had to summarize your life and give it a title, what would that title be?
9. If you could have lunch and chat with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
William Faulkner and Uncle Abe Lincoln. Because of their lack of fear at facing reality and answering the call of their time. Also because they were true children of the enlightenment and because I’d like to ask them a few questions about the predicaments of their own time.
10. Great choices - I would find this a tough questions to answer myself! Have there been any surprises upon publication of The Cost of Dreams or during the blog tour?
None, other than every minute of it is all new to me. I’ve liked it very much. And in the mid-winter, I’ll be at work on the next book.
11. Is there anything else that you would like to share with my readers?
Demand, and you will receive, books and talks that are relevant to the time in which we are living. It is what I demand of my writing.
And, keep reading and be well!!
Thank you Dr. Stelzer for taking time to answer these questions for me!
I will be reviewing this book this week. You can learn more about Gary Stelzer at www.garystelzer.com.