So tell me, who is Randy Attwood.?
I grew up on the grounds of a Kansas insane asylum where my father was a dentist. I attended the University of Kansas during the troubled 1960s getting a degree in art history. After stints writing and teaching in Italy and Japan I had a 16-year career in newspapers as reporter, editor and column writer winning major awards in all categories. I turned to health care public relations serving as director of University Relations at KU Medical Center. I finished my career as media relations officer of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Now retired, I am marketing the fiction I’ve written over all those years. And creating more.
I can see you’ve already had quite a career, but now that you’re retired, I’m sure the adventures will begin. Being an author is a lot more involved than most people realize.
So whacha got for me today?
Growing up on the grounds of a mental hospital and working in the cafeteria that fed its 1,500 patients meant I got to know a lot of crazy folks. “Write about what you know,” goes the adage. “Crazy About You” is told in first person from the point of view of a high school student who will have a week that grows him up far faster than he could have every wanted. Crazy is a coming-of-age, murder mystery, thriller story. It’s my most downloaded and purchased book with 17 five-star reviews. You can see them here.
Not too many people can write from firsthand experience in a mental hospital. Already your story sounds very intriguing.
So who’s starring in this 2 dimensional script read of “Crazy About You”?
Brad Adams is a high school junior. He’s a folk singer and a dreamer. When his dad, the mental hospital’s dentist, goes on a work trip, Brad has no idea that he will spend the week grappling with questions about sexuality, sanity and death. And some of the answers aren’t pretty.
There was once a time when hearing of a teen grappling with questions of sexuality meant that someone was having their first crush. Teens are so mature these day and subjects that were once taboo are now being openly discussed in healthy ways. This definitely sounds like a tale that will appeal to a wide audience.
Past, present, future, is there a rhyme or reason to your writing?
I write by the seat of my pants. A scene or situation or character comes to me and I start creating that scene and character and see what happens. I never know the ending of a story when I start it. I used to be upset when people would ask me how much of “Crazy About You” really happened. Then I realized that the writing created a reality for those readers. And that’s what I’m trying to do with words: create a reality.
I try to write by the seat of my pants, but I think I need a better belt. It never goes well for me. I need to plan; however, I do appreciate the creativity of others who can simply write.
What author(s) has most influenced your writing? Why or how?
Like my own writing, the taste in fiction is all over the map. Joseph Conrad was an early influencer. So was William Faulkner. Philip K Dick‘s science fiction grabbed me when I was in high school. I’ve read John D. MacDonald‘s Travis McGee series several times. Ditto, Adam Hall’s, Quiller series. Erich Remarque did some many other wonderful things than “All Quite on the Western Front.” Walker Percy, Evelyn Waugh, Robertson Davies and, of course, Elmore Leonard.
I think I’m detecting a theme here. Lots of crime fiction and thrillers here, but that’s great for influence and inspiration in your genres.
Whose brain are you just itching to scratch?
Joseph Conrad. We seem to know so little of what he was like as a person.
Nice choice and for good reason.
Who is so you and why?
I seem to connect deeply with many of Eric Remarque’s characters.
Fair enough. We can’t all always identify with just one person or character, but I can understand relating to many.
What’s your ideal reading spot for your next highly anticipated read?
Outside when the weather is nice. Right now I’m reading Camp Concentration by Thomas Disch, which I’ve had on my shelf for decades and just reading. It’s brilliant.
I also enjoy reading outside though I hardly get to do it.
What was your favorite book or story, pre-teen years?
The Black Stallion series. I liked the character and set up and looked forward to the next tale. I’ve only tried to do one series, the Phillip McGuire series and found out how difficult it is to achieve.
I tried to read this book as a child, but had no luck. I never seemed to warm to books about animals, mainly horses, but I don’t mind to watch the film versions. I’m sure it’s all psychological.
There is more fun and insights to this interview, visit the Eternal Curse Series Blog for the full experience. For more information about this author, Randy Attwood, please visit the links below.
Blog: Attwood Collected Works
GoodReads: Randy Attwood
Facebook: Randy Attwood
LinkedIn: Randy Attwood
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords