And Eve Said Yes by Mark Scheel
1) How did you get your start in the literary world?
Since college I'd harbored a dream of one day being a writer, especially a novelist. When serving with the Red Cross in Germany in 1972, a friend and I collaborated on a motorcycle article and it was published worldwide in Cycle Guide magazine. We were paid $120 and I was hooked.
2) Can you tell us a little more about what you do?
I've taught English in college long ago and been a library information specialist. Now, since retirement, I write full time. I write in all genres and on multiple topics and have published widely in periodicals. My latest book, a fiction collection, will launch the middle of October. I describe much of my "creative writing" as writing of yesterday for the reader of tomorrow because life today makes no sense. For example, my novel manuscript The Potter's Wheel is set in the street scene of Hollywood in 1967. Yes, those times were frenetic, but "logically" so.
3) What is your favorite part about being an author?
The satisfaction of finishing a project, then having it published and my knowing that readers whom I'll never know or meet will read it and find something there of value emotionally and intellectually and perhaps even gain a new understanding.
4) How do you get your inspiration?
Quite frankly, I've come to believe in a real "muse"--that is, "spiritual guides and helpers"--and so I largely live the material and then they convert it into artistic expression when I sit down at the computer. It's truly a collaboration of matter and spirit. Of course, I read other writers too, and they can trigger ideas and motivation.
5) Of all the characters you've created, which one would you like to see come alive on the silver screen?
My main character in The Potter's Wheel, Mel Steadman, a naive youth of the sixties. Maybe seeing him interpreted on the screen might help me understand aspects of my own youth more fully. I did some dumb things and took some really crazy chances then. My survival is testament to the reality of guardian angels in addition to the muse. LOL
6) What is the funniest thing to happen to you in your career?
Being assigned as an English graduate student the task of chauffeuring the famous poet Adrienne Rich to the airport after a reading (she absolutely detested young men, palpably) and driving into a dark storm. She queried me nervously about tornadoes in Kansas and I told her one could swoop down on us any second. I sinfully delighted in observing her white-knuckled grip on the dash the remainder of the trip.
7) Can you tell us a bit about your book?
Well, as the Amazon description begins, "And Eve Said Yes--Seven Stories and a Novella presents the reader with a compelling assortment of characters wrestling with life challenges against the backdrop of various world religions." The novella itself depicts a young man's quest for absolution from guilt (death of a co-worker), the discovery of a soul mate and a re-connection to humanity's Almighty Source. One might also characterize it as a 21st century pilgrim's progress offering a fresh and modern perspective on "The Most High." I also like to think of it as fiction for those disenchanted with formal religious dogma who still yearn for something beyond self. And the reader will meet some fascinating characters!
8) What is your next big project?
I've half-completed a memoir with the working title Blossoms on the Vine: The Road and the People. It focuses on those individuals I've encountered living my life who had the most impact on me and my thinking. Kind of a combination of the old Reader's Digest "The Most Unforgettable Character I Ever Met" series with Robert Fulghum's "Kindergarten" wisdom.
9) Anything else you'd like to add?
After 40 years of trying, I finally acquired an agent for my fifth book and she placed it with a major publisher. My hope is that this will be the breakout that gets my work read more widely. I feel a profound sense of gratitude for each and every reader who discovers my words and identifies something of worth therein. An excellent cross section of my writing can be found in my blog collection The Pebble: Life, Love, Politics and Geezer Wisdom