So I’ve mentioned this blog interview I did. What I have NOT done yet (like an idiot) is LINK TO IT, or TWEET IT yet. The irony is I have NEVER had so much fun with an interview. I don’t know whether it was the GREAT questions or my mood or the ordering of the questions or all of the above but I even reread it and enjoyed learning about myself! THE INTERVIEW of my life, so far, was conducted by the author Michael Lorde (author of BLIND VEIL) and a long-time writer friend (if you can count months as “long-time”—give me a break, I have only been working with other authors for ten months)!! You can read the whole interview HERE!
So one of Michael’s questions was the standard “When did you know you wanted to become a published writer?” (Although I personally thought the professional part of putting that question together was adding “published”—whole different question than “when did you first want to be a writer?”. For me anyway.)
So I answered the question, but the next night I woke up in the middle of the night—no, not screaming or sweating but really thinking about when I first became a reader, why, which books, etc. I think for most of us readers, we all have “that book” or “that time” in our lives. Well my semi-touched, TV-watching Aussie, Bandit heard me get up and wanted an ear scratch. (Bandit’s father is nicknamed “Forest Gump” because of his “aw shucks”, laid-back personality and we realized right away Bandit was special in that wonderful kind of way, so I started calling him “Sling Blade”.) I looked at Bandit, all groggy-eyed, and I called him “Nunzio”. Well, I think technically I thought it first, thinking, but then saying “You’re our Nunzio!”
The thing is, I was in that half-dream state and I was back in my bedroom in high school and I could see that cheap little bookshelf that I was just starting to fill with books. Slowly but surely. Aw, it was a treasured time in my life and it filled me with all that excitement inherent in discovering the WORLD OF READING.
Back during that time, when I first became a reader, the FIRST book that made me call in sick to school so I could keep reading was “The Sword of Shannara” by Terry Brooks. It was a high school library copy–a miniature hardback that was like 4″ x 3″ and made the 800-page book look like a TOME. A good friend (Gaston Gosar) turned around in one class or another, handed it to me, and said “Here, I just finished this, it’s great—read it.” So I took it home and read it. I called in sick the next day, in case you missed that.
(By the way, speaking of “missing” I miss the days—and the books—that used to suck me in so much I literally could not put them down. I know that’s become a little bit of a colloquialism and/or cliche, but man, I don’t find many books like that these days.)
Back to Nunzio. I read a paperback then—actually bought it, I think—called “Nunzio”. Couldn’t put it down. Now let me say there are a lot of books and television shows that I thought were GREAT back in the late seventies/early eighties (and some songs) that I am embarrassed to say I adored back then. In other words they just don’t stand up today. Thing is, they still take us back, don’t they?
Journey, “Can’t Stop Believin’”. That song comes on and I am right back in high school, loitering in the hallway on “the ramp”, totally in love with my girlfriend, sure that all life held for me was one grand success after another. Oh, and a yacht.
Well I don’t know if Nunzio still holds up or not, but I am going to FIND OUT! Turns out, after doing a few minutes of research, “Nunzio” was actually first a screenplay and then a movie. The book was simply the screenplay (or movie) turned into a book (One of the less-glamorous truths of Wyoming is we had ONE static-filled TV station and we couldn’t afford cable—we lived outside of town and, to quote my father, “they’d have to dig a trench—do you have any idea how much it costs to dig a trench?”).
Anyway, I’d never seen “Nunzio. I just thought it was a book. Well have you heard of an online bookstore called ABE Books? I’ve used them for 10-15 years although I’m still not sure if it’s ABE (as in Abe Vigoda) Books or A-B-E Books. Whatever it stands for, there is nowhere better I’ve found (not even Powell’s Books online, although I got to visit their original brick and mortar in Portland—WOW).
A used copy of “Nunzio” the book is on it’s way here from, I believe, Ohio. Here’s a story for you (along the lines of finding a book you might never):
One of my aunts published a “dime store romance” back in the day. Literally got published. It was called “Getting it Right” and I had never read it (see, I, too, was one of those crappy family members who doesn’t support their own authors. I was also eight, but the fact is, it just wasn’t my genre). Anyway about a year ago I decided I wanted to see if I could use ABE to find a copy. They found ONE. It’s the fewest I have ever seen come back in a search, seriously. And it was in Tennessee of all places in a bookstore I bet wasn’t bigger than a milk cooler.
(SIDE NOTE: I love to peruse old bookstores. I’ve found a bunch here in Denver and the suburbs (one was right across the street from where we lived at the time) and I visit them and just smell the smells. I finished my entire 21-book Travis McGee collection (written by John D. MacDonald, in case you don’t read my blog or just crawled out of a cave) by getting one here, one there at used bookstores (now I look for all the other John D. books—he published like 79 books total)!
But it is so cool because ABE network you with these tiny, 900 square foot bookstores tucked away in little towns all over the world. I’ve found treasures in the UK (a lot), Germany, I think…I’ve gotten personal thank you notes, trinkets—and every package, when you open it, has that smell.
Glorious. Like an orgasm. Difficult to describe and entirely personal.
That’s it. If you haven’t visited ABE, do. If you already do and love it, keep on keepin’ on.
Oh, and did I mention I just released a BOOK?
Click the pic.