Who would like your books?
Pretty much anyone who grew up in the 60s and 70s, especially in Norman, but really, anywhere in the Southwest, or even beyond. If horny toads and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were a part of your childhood, these books are for you! I’ve actually had great comments from readers all over the USA!
Why did you write "More Memories" and "Memories" instead of a novel?
I sort of answered that in the first book’s intro. In short, I blame journalism! I always wanted to be the next Joseph Heller, but my training was in journalism, and my first half dozen jobs were as a reporter or editor. I write fast and short. The Memoire style suits my writing style.
How can you be so sure about your “Memories” from 50 or 60 years ago?
Ha, well, I have sort of a ‘videographic’ memory. I can actually see them in my head while I’m writing. Let’s just say I’m 100% certain that what I’ve written is way more accurate than what you read in the mainstream media! And bending the truth for a laugh is a time-honoured tradition in the writing craft.
What are you favorite "Memories"? Can you name one or two?
Boy, that’s a hard one. My favorite stories depend on my mood. But in general, if a story makes the reader laugh out loud, it probably made me laugh, too.
I loved writing about horny toads, goat heads, Cowboyin’, and playing non-stop with my best-friend Steve. And I really loved my grandparents, so those “Memories” are very close to my heart. In the new book, "Sonny's Got Worms" and "Wiener in a Jar" killed me!
You seem to have bled a lot as a kid. How did your Mom cope?
I really did, and I have no idea how Mom coped. I didn’t need to be triaged every single day, but it happened a lot. I could really feel that stupid nail that went through my foot when I wrote that “Memory”! Man oh man!
Did you think you’d covered all the important stuff in the first “Memories” book? What made you decide to write another?
I answered that in the Introduction to “MORE Memories of an Okie Boomer”. In short, I really thought I was pretty much done with my childhood memories after the first book. But I got some wonderful responses to the “Memories” I posted on Facebook groups. One girl I went to NHS with said one of my Memories made her laugh out loud, and she kept thinking ”that poor woman” about my Mom! Her comment instantly gave me ideas for two or three other “Memories”, and one thing led to another. Pretty soon I had a sequel!
Will you ever write an actual novel?
Who knows? I owe my son a family history, so that’s the next cab off the rank. I haven’t decided how to write about my years as a police reporter in Waco. A lot of that was awful. But in retrospect, a lot of it was hysterical, too, so who knows?
Are you a “hootis” kind of guy or more of a “putter-onner-thingee” person like your Mom?
Hootis. Definitely a Hootis kind of guy. I hope I make my Dad’s cousin, Sonny, proud. If this comment makes no sense, you need to read my first book!
Are there any “Memories” that you just couldn’t write about and why?
I kept a whole LOT of high school football antics secret. Maybe I’ll use them for a novel one day. More than a few of my old teammates should worry a LOT about that, ha!
Anything else you want to write about?
I’d love to collaborate with my son and/or Missus on picture books about “Anna’s Farm”. Our NZ farm boasts: pet dogs and a barn cat, pet chickens and sheep and alpaca, cows and horses, wild turkeys, possums, ducks, egrets, hawks, "endangered" kiwi birds (!) and the occasional wild pig. Anna and Eli both have WAY more talent than me. I’m just a writer. Anna is an incredible artist, and she injects beauty into everything. I met her when I was an editor on The Singapore Monitor. My son, Eli, is a professional musician (keyboard). He also has my skill as a writer and his Mom’s artistic talent. I’d love to work with them, but who would be the boss? Probably not me!
Who are your favorite writers?
As far as writers who make me laugh, it’s old school ... I’d say Art Buchwald, Mike Royko, Dave Barry and, at the top of the list, Ross H. Spencer. I really regret losing my “Da-Da Caper” collection. When I worked on the Waco Tribune-Herald, I actually wrote a book review about a couple of Spencer’s books, and he sent me a thank you note! I still have that somewhere. I also love all the Jack Reacher books. And the best writer of them all is G.K. Chesterton.
What single question have readers asked you the most?
Two, actually. 1) Whatever happened to Dean Blevins' pink dress. 2) How did Steve and I survive our childhoods. Maybe I'll answer those one day!