Where in California did you spend the majority of your childhood? What are the best and worst parts of growing up in Cali?
a. After leaving San Francisco, most of my childhood was spent in the Southern California area, between Huntington Beach and Redondo Beach.
b. Growing-up in California was incredibly relaxed for most kids. Unfortunately, the holistic, laid-back culture in California was negatively impacted as drug use permeated the high schools around 1968.
When did you move to Canada? How does life there differ to the life you were used to on the American coast?
a. I came to Canada in 2004 as part of my consulting business. Got married after being here a couple years, then divorced. I have a daughter now, which is the primary reason I stay in Canada.
b. California and the Toronto area (where I now live) are very multi-cultural, so that was an easy adjustment. It is less relaxed in Canada, but living on the beach is a hard act to follow.
When did you first know you wanted to be a writer? Who was the most supportive among your family and friends?
a. I was in high school when I started thinking about writing. Life events moved me in a different direction, but that proved necessary to my future with writing.
b. Nobody really knew I was writing, except a few people. I don’t think it was really an issue of support as much as just an acknowledgement of the fact.
Name one thing that you learnt during your time as a US Marine that you wouldn’t trade for anything.
a. Never quit, no matter how difficult things may appear.
What motivated you to write “The Irreducible Primary”? Who or what were some of your most interesting subjects for the poems in this book?
a. My experiences over the years led to the book. Although I do not discuss myself at all in the book, I also do not write anything that is not based on my own experiential journey.
b. None of the poems are based on anyone, but instead reflect my observations of life. I’m very attuned to human energy movement around the globe and the poems often translate that movement to words.
When writing the poetry for this book, did you write them with the intention to compile it all into a book later on? Or did you write the poems first, during your free time, and then decide to make a book out of them?
a. Interesting questions. I had written very little poetry since high school. When I was writing the initial drafts of the book, it was handwritten in several journals. I was always making these side notes on the pages. It struck me one day that the side notes were almost in haiku form, so I started playing with them.
b. The poems started flowing as the book came closer to completion. I realized that free verse better expressed my inner thoughts and over twenty of the poems were added to the book.
What do you hope to achieve with this book? What are some thoughts or views you express in this book that may not be very popular or sit very well with some people?
a. The primary objective of the book is to provoke thought. We need to seriously consider what drives human interactions and why we are so opposed to each other and nature.
b. I am certain my views on religion, politics, and government will not be comfortable for many people. However, those three elements are the most divisive amongst the human species. Applying a spiritual, or cause and effect perspective to these conditions reveals the potential for evolving out of the chaos that surrounds us. Whether we realise it or not, spirituality is the prime basis for all relationships.
How long did it take you to finish writing “The Irreducible Primary”? Do you plan on writing anything more soon? If so, when can we expect a release date?
a. The initial draft took about three years and was over three hundred pages. I wasn’t comfortable with it and put the manuscript away for awhile. When I started working with the book again I decided it was too long—there was too much to digest. So, I cut the length to keep readers engaged.
b. My next book, “Noesis”, is nearly finished and I expect a Spring 2018 release. After that will be a follow-up to “The Irreducible Primary.”
Why did you choose that particular book cover for your book? When you look at your book, what does it mean to you?
a. The cover photo reflects the potential balance between the human species and nature. The expressions almost dare the reader to engage in a unique way of thinking. The child is waiting for the adult response.
b. The book is an energetic challenge to the consciousness. There are layers of sensations to be experienced when reading the book. Each subsequent reading will bring different insights to the reader.
What were your favourite and least favourite parts about writing and publishing your book?
a. There is nothing about writing that I do not enjoy. Even the so-called writer’s block situations are just opportunities. If I feel like I’m struggling a few good meditation sessions can open many doors. Or, sometimes I just grab my cameras and head out for some street photography.
b. Publishing and marketing is another matter. I have a couple acquaintances who were completely scammed by publishers. Even with the more reputable self- publishing firms, I do not see definitive evidence of those firms demonstrating an inclination for long-term relationships with writers who plan multiple books.
c. For marketing, the writer must commit a set amount of time to this effort. It’s a balance of marketing the published book and dedicating writing time to a new book. Considerable research is required on the marketing side. I had a publisher offer to provide a marketing strategy (or plan) for a significant fee. When I received the plan, it was nothing more than all the information I had already obtained freely, from internet sources, with my own research. There is no shortage of “money traps” for aspiring writers.
d. Some very good book marketers do exist, but they prefer good sales performance and reviews before they accept a book project.
Why do you write poetry? Who are some of your favourite poems and the poets by them?
a. Poetry is my preferred method for expressing my observations and is often reflective of my own inner work and meditations.
b. Kahlil Gibran has always been one of my favourite poets. Particularly, his poem “Faces,” is reflective of stages in my life through my youth, the Marine Corps, the law enforcement years, and the spiritual growth that weaved itself into the journey.
Are you more of a paper back kinda guy or an eBook kinda guy? Why?
a. I was a hardback guy. I never liked paperbacks. Over time, I have gravitated towards the eBook.
b. I have owned something over 600 or so books. They take a lot of space and I eventually donated all except maybe 150. The world of eBooks is so much easier. Having said that, I still buy hardbacks for my daughter, who is the most avid 11- year-old reader I have ever known.
As a two-time cancer survivor, what advice do you have to offer people that are going through difficult times?
a. Be very aggressive in the battle and take care who is around you and how they influence your thoughts. I was a cancer patient who did not want people around me, despite the challenges of the treatment protocols and the cancer. Even with good intentions, people were resigned to my demise and that is a powerful energy with immense negativity. Between both battles I only had one friend that was beneficial to my situation. If the right people are available, accept that opportunity.
b. There are three essential elements to a cancer battle and post-cancer life:
i. Spiritual basis
ii. Disciplined vegan dietary regimen (this must be researched by the patient)
iii. Physical fitness (especially weight bearing) and yoga.