My Interview with Terry Gross

DSCN0535I can say with considerable certainty that I will never be interviewed by Terry Gross on Fresh Air, unless perhaps I publish a string of blockbuster slasher/romance novels or become the first human male to give birth to a gorilla. Still, a man can dream. Here’s how it might go.

Terry: Today I am interviewing author Gene Twaronite, as part of our new series on writers you’ve never heard of. Hi, is this Gene? I’ll be doing the interview with you today.

Me: Yes, this is Gene. Wow, I can’t believe it’s really you! I’m so excited to be on your program. I’m a huge fan. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve fantasized about ….

Terry: Yes, yes, let’s get on with it, shall we? Gene, could you tell us how you feel about the fact that you are currently ranked the nine millionth most popular author on Amazon, just behind Arthur Slobnick, who wrote a book of Christmas verse for his dog?

Me: Writing isn’t all about fame and money, Terry—is it OK if I call you that? It’s about expressing yourself, and sharing your words with others. It doesn’t matter how many books you sell or who’s heard of you. The important thing is that you’ve created something unique in the world. To quote a poem by Shel Silverstein: “Put something silly in the world that ain’t been there before.” And by the way, my rank this morning is actually 8,997,332, but who’s counting?

Terry: I’ve always loved that poem and yes, your stuff is pretty silly. So you don’t care that no one has heard of you and you make only a two-figure income? And please call me Ms. Gross.

Me: Sorry, Terry, I mean Ms. Gross. Well, sure, I wouldn’t mind selling a lot more books or receiving some literary acclaim. But it’s really about living an authentic life and putting your work out there. Long after I’m gone, my books will live on, bringing enjoyment to new generations of readers.

Terry: Gene, now don’t take this the wrong way, but it’s unlikely your books will live on if no one buys and reads them. They’ll just fade away in the cloud. You’ll be one more of the tens of millions of writers who aspired to fame and lost. Fifty years from now, no one will have heard of you. There will be no trace of your ever being here.

Me: Gee, Ms. Gross, you really know how to hurt a guy. Yet you say it in such an upbeat, caring voice.

Terry: Sorry, Gene—reality sucks. You and all the other authors out there need to hear the truth. You’re never going to be number one on Amazon. Stop living in a dream world. Maybe there are other things you could do.

Me: Excuse me, Ms. Gross, but when are you going to ask me about my books?

Terry: OK, we still have oodles of time to fill and as long as I’ve got you here, let me ask you about your first novel The Family That Wasn’t. Your main character John Boggle has this crazy hyphenated name: Bazukas-O’Reilly-Geronimo-Giovanni-Li Choy-Echeverria. Weren’t you worried about offending people with hyphenated names? It sounds like you’re making fun of them. Do you ever get complaints from them?

Me: Actually, I was trying to show why this family I had invented was so crazy that they insisted on keeping all those names. I wasn’t trying to make fun of anyone but these fictional characters. No one’s ever complained, but thanks to your question they probably will now.

Terry: Your sequel My Vacation in Hell must have been really tough to write. You show John Boggle being sexually abused by his fake Uncle Vinnie. The experiences you describe are so vivid. Tell me, were you ever sexually abused?

Me: You know, that’s the first thing my wife asked when she first read it. It’s as if she thought I couldn’t write such realistic scenes without actually having had the experience, and she’s my biggest fan. But no, to the best of my knowledge, I was never abused.

Terry: Still, you must have felt something as you wrote those disturbing sex scenes. I know that, as a writer, you have to project yourself into the life of your characters, to feel what they feel. Now you don’t have to answer this if it makes you uncomfortable in any way, but were you sexually aroused while writing them?

Me: OK, in the first place, it is perfectly possible to write about sex without getting physical. Second, I do find your question offensive. Is that something you ask all your guests? Did you ask Hillary or Bill O’Reilly about their sexual life?

Terry: Well, it does sometimes help to keep the conversation going. Sorry if I offended you, and no, I didn’t ask them that, but maybe I should have. Can just see the look on old Bill’s face. Well, I see our time is about up. Our guest was author Gene Twaronite. I really enjoyed talking to you, Gene. Could you tell us a little about your next book? Oops, sorry—out of time. Best of luck to you. Bye.

New Review of The Family That Wasn’t

Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers’ Favorite5star-shiny-web

http://readersfavorite.com/book-review/14076

The Family That Wasn’t: A Novel by Gene Twaronite is an ideal story for teenagers. John Boggle always wanted a dream family; rich and perfect and a family that appreciated and respected him for what he was. Then he finds his dreams coming true. His family suddenly becomes rich and he becomes John Bartlett who lives in the rich Bartlett mansion. But after a while he starts missing his old, poor Boggle family and he starts searching for them. The search for the Boggle family takes him across the USA and he meets various types of people on this journey.

The story has many shades; it is dark, funny, and peppered with a bit of whimsy. The continuous supply of donuts is one whimsical aspect of the story. John’s travels across the USA and his meeting people changes his perspective of what a family is. The story is appealing to adults as well. The book is fast paced so that once you start reading you might not want to put it down. The book has a lot of messages for readers. I liked the character of John. He is a fun character, a normal thirteen-year-old boy who changes in the course of the story and ends up being wiser. The author has a done a fine job of blending some dark moments, humor, and charm effortlessly. This book will make us rethink the definition of a perfect family and the perfect life that we all want.

‘Tween Author Presentation

Local author Stephanie Jefferson and I had a wonderful time sharing our books and writing styles with a warm, receptive audience. Thanks to the great staff at Peregrine and to all who came! https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=501303986630617&set=a.501303929963956.1073741848.305325316228486&type=3&theater

New Edition of The Family That Wasn’t

To mark the publication of a new Amazon edition of my novel The Family That Wasn’t, I am offering a free Kindle version this Saturday and Sunday (8/17 & 8/18) only.  http://www.amazon.com/The-Family-That-Wasnt-ebook/dp/B00EG0D5QQ/ref=pd_rhf_se_p_d_2

Print copies of this and my other two books (Dragon Daily News and My Vacation in Hell) will also be available at the ‘Tween Authors Event at Peregrine Book Company in Prescott, AZ, on Saturday, Aug. 24, at noon.