- What are your top 3 tips to becoming a successful author?
I wouldn’t be so presumptuous to tell others what to do. But in my case I found these practices helpful:
1. Paying attention and being mindful to what’s going on around you
2. Taking notes and journaling your experiences
3. Having a burning desire to look at a blinking cursor for hours on end. And …..
4. Surrounding yourself with GREAT women editors — and repeating “Editors are my best friends, Editors are my best friends, Editors are my best friends ….”
- Childhood ambitions?
There were three of them: (a) NFL quarterback; (b) Indianapolis “500” driver; (c) Jazz musician. I did get to spend 25 years around NFL quarterbacks.The music of Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Dave Brubeck transports me into their realms as if I were there performing.
And for my 60th birthday, I got to ride in a two-seater Indy car driven by veteran “500” driver, Davey Hamilton around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Then they strapped me in all by myself to drive laps at speeds that would have put me on the pole for 1952 race! Technology is so amazing that a guy can walk in off the street and now do that!.
- Was it cathartic to write the book?
It gave me what I most wanted, which was experience writing a novel.The writing aspect challenged me intellectually, emotionally, spiritually and physically as much as the San Francisco 49ers and sports photography had done.
- What role does yoga play in your life?
My yoga practice began in 2006 after I suffered a significant back injury while shooting a 49er game in Denver. At first it was just about trying to improve my flexibility so I could again run up and down the sideline and continue my career photographing sporting events. I struggled with the yoga poses for a few years but stayed with it. And in time, both my flexibility and core strength improved as well as relieving my back pain.
I’ve now gotten in touch with the spiritual side of yoga. I’ve been blessed with having some outstanding teachers, especially those who establish a Stated Intention before beginning our practice, who have taught me mindfulness, that is, paying attention like your life depends upon it. I really wanted to include a yoga character and scene in the book and I think I did a decent job of doing that. The yoga studio mentioned in the book actually exists at Union and Laguna in San Francisco.
- Your book includes a scene involving Voodoo. Do you believe in Voodoo?
I don’t practice Voodoo. But in my travels with the 49ers through the years I made many trips to New Orleans and love the city. Voodoo is a significant part of the city’s culture and I always tried to visit the tomb of Marie Laveau, the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans. It’s all a matter of what you want to believe, as is true of all faiths. I will say I have asked for favors from Marie … and whether a coincidence or not … they did happen in time.
- Do you want to tell us what they were?
No. But if you ever visit New Orleans be sure to visit Marie’s tomb in St. Louis cemetery #1 at Basin Street and St. Louis and find out for yourself.
- What will your next book be about?
Like this one. A dual-plot, with raising tension about people forced to make decisions under intense pressure involving a sociopath. In researching this book, I became fascinated by sociopaths and found that 4% of the US population is sociopathic. They have a complete inability for love or empathy. Everything they do is an act they’ve learned. They cover their tracks extremely well, convincing people of their sincerity with exceptional charm. They are very charismatic. The sociopath’s skill set is extremely effective in today’s super-connected, but detached, life style.
Sociopaths are in positions of power and influence all around us.They are hard to get to know because they are chameleons, changing into what they need to be at any particular moment. They appear so normal, but when people realize who they truly are – the victims go into denial about having been duped by a sociopath.You can’t change sociopaths, nor can you ever defeat them. All you can do is get out of their way because they are EXTREMELY destructive people! Perhaps you’ve experienced one?