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City in which you reside: Frederick, Md.
Day job: Freelance writer
Book title: "Chasing Chickens: A Love Story"
Genre: Literary fiction
Synopsis of book: Set in the 1980s, "Chasing Chickens: A Love Story" is a story of deep-seated injury and longing for love and wholeness, as well as a commentary on 21st-century American social, political and religious issues. Walter, an intellectual writer for a book publisher, is assigned to write the introduction for a controversial book on religion. As he struggles to write a suitable intro, he goes through a series of encounters that nudge him away from his cerebral lifestyle toward one of greater personal integrity, love and creative insight.
What is your day job?
A former naval officer and award-winning reporter, I'm now a freelance writer with published credits in outlets that include The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Baltimore Examiner (religion and business reporter), Hagerstown Magazine and others. "Chasing Chickens: A Love Story" is my first novel.
What inspired you to write the book?
A broken love affair along with other life ordeals and a stint as the religion reporter for The Baltimore Examiner moved me to muse on love, faith, reason, religion, suffering, liberalism, conservatism, economics, male-female relations and more — and try to address all in one serio-comic novel. "Chasing Chickens: A Love Story" was the result. In many ways, the book is a 500-page love letter to a gal I fell for here in the area — but, alas, to no avail.
Are there other, established authors whose styles are similar to yours?
I'm thinking maybe J.P. Donleavy ("The Beastly Beatitudes of Balthazar B," etc.), Walker Percy ("The Thanatos Syndrome"), Graham Greene ("Our Man in Havana") and maybe John Fowles ("The Magus") and Nikos Kazantzakis ("Zorba the Greek") as inspirational, if not stylistic confreres.
What themes did you want to present to readers?
Ancient, enduring and basic ones that have challenged thinkers for ages and influence current thinking and political theories — religion, sex, politics, male-female relations, atheism, science, faith, social convention, workplace dynamics, economics and the writing profession itself. The concept of an existentially blocked writer finding redemption may sound a familiar theme, but this narrative surrenders stunning, Eckhart Tolle-like insights, a suspenseful plot line and a satisfactory dramatic resolution — as well as, possibly, reader catharsis and answers to current and age-old questions.
What is your favorite part of the book?