It’s 11:00 pm
It’s a long time since I have posted a 8 Questions interview here. But I’m going to try and do better at getting these posted,I like asking questions from talented people who I feel have something to say and share.
As some of you know,I wrote about my “meeting” writer Peter Gethers after I had finished his novel “Ask Bob”. If you haven’t read it yet,you can by clicking here.
As the days went on,I decided that I would venture forth and ask Peter for a interview.
I knew his latest book,a love letter dedicated to his mother called “My Mother’s Kitchen:Breakfast,Lunch,Dinner and the Meaning of Life” has just hit the bookshelves of bookstores around the country and he would be doing his promotional tour that will have him on the national stage.
Peter has had a very interesting life to say the least,not only did he make the Scottish Fold breed a household name,he has written a stage play (Old Jews Telling Jokes),produced a film (Lay the Favorite) but perhaps his most famous creation was fantasy baseball which is of course now ingrained into all of American sports. A remarkable life by a remarkable man.
Quite honestly,I didn’t think I would get this one but I do believe that Lori Ann gave me a helping hand here. So full of hope,I sent my request to Peter and despite his insane PR schedule,he very graciously agreed to answer a few questions. This means so much to me and I’m so very grateful to Peter for taking the time to talk with us and answer 8 Questions.
The most important question first;
Are you a Yankees fan and if so,how do you think they’ll do in 2018?
Mets fan. But more important, I love my fantasy baseball team above all.
What led you to write such a loving tribute to you mother?
If I could answer this easily, I wouldn’t have had to write the book. But, in a nutshell, I learned a lot of valuable lessons from talking to my mother and observing her, particularly at the end of her life, and I thought those lessons and my observations should be shared.
What are the three biggest difference between writing a non-fiction book
and a fictional one?
There’s really only one crucial difference between writing fiction and nonfiction. When writing a novel, you start with an absolutely blank page because everything must come from your imagination. You have a starting point and reality to fall back on when writing nonfiction.
You wrote several books under the name Russell Andrews,why did you decide to do that? What are the advantage/disadvantage of writing under a pen name?
I used a pseudonym for several reasons. The first Russell Andrews book, Gideon, was written with my then TV and film writing partner.The publisher did not want to names on the novel so we concocted a pseudonym. We stopped writing together after that book but I wanted to continue writing thrillers and Gideon was quite successful here and internationally, so I arranged to keep the pseudonym. The thrillers were also very, very different from anything I had written before and it made the transition a bit easier from a marketing standpoint. The more successful the books became, the more difficult it was to go back to my real name in the genre. Plus, there is something weirdly satisfied in hiding behind someone else’s name, even when it’s a fake name.
What was the first book to make you cry? (Where the Red Fern Grows was mine)
Hard to remember exactly. Either Uncle Tom’s Cabin or The Yearling.
What does family mean to you?
That is an overwhelmingly complicated question. Perhaps surprisingly, family does not mean all that much to me. I think family love and loyalty must be earned. I am much more interested in the family one creates as one goes through life than in the family we have via blood. The family we choose is the family that is all about love and support.
Which of your works are you most proud of?
Which book do you get asked about the most?
There is no question that the books I am asked about the most are the three books I wrote about my extraordinary cat Norton. I particularly love the third book in the trilogy because I think it combines great humor with real sadness and valuable life lessons. I have particular affection for my second novel, Getting Blue. That was by far the most difficult book for me to write, which is probably why I like it so much.
As one of the founders of fantasy baseball,what do you think of
the concept today?
I am the only member of the original Rotisserie League still playing fantasy baseball. I never stopped in that original league still exists with, other than me, all new players. Thus, I am the longest player fantasy sports in history. That should answer your question – I love it. Although draft day is the single most stressful day of my life every year. I am still astonished at the popularity of this little game that we started nearly 40 years ago.
Walk us through a normal day when you are in writer’s mode.
There is no normal day when you are a writer. Because I do so many things I rarely get to sit and write for long stretches. When I am working out a book, at some point, I go away for a month or a bit longer to do nothing but write. For those periods, a normal writing day is extraordinarily boring. I sit in front of my computer and write for hours and hours, I eat, and try to work out a bit. But basically all I do is stare at a computer screen and sweat and work.
Last question….do you still have cats and if so,how many and how did they come to you?
I have two extraordinary Scottish Folds. Harper is 15 and a half. Mitch is 6. Harper had a brother, but he died young. She grieved for quite a while and so I got Mitch (named after Robert Mitchum). They are both incredibly sweet and wonderful. Mitch has a touch of Norton in him – he is quite smart. After Norton died I really didn’t think I could get so attached to another animal but I love these two cats.
I like to thank Peter again for taking the time to chat with me. I like to thank you,the reader,for stopping by and reading this interview. This one is quite special to me and I am so glad I was able to share it here. Please feel free to drop a comment or question here. I will be forwarding on any comments to Peter.
Peter can be found on on Facebook by clicking here.
Peter is also on Instagram which you can follow Harper,Mitch and Peter himself by clicking here.
Peter also is on Twitter and you should follow him by clicking here.