The Booktopia Book Guru asks
Ten Terrifying Questions
1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?
Born in Denver, raised in San Diego, schooled in public institutions. Many colleges but no degree.
2. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why?
Writer, writer, and writer. It was the only thing I did that got me notice among my peers.
3. What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?
That you had to be self-destructive to be an artist.
4. What were three big events – in the family circle or on the world stage or in your reading life, for example – you can now say, had a great effect on you and influenced you in your career path?
Reading The Grapes of Wrath at age eleven and realizing you could use words to change lives, working at a convalescent hospital at age seventeen and seeing those who’d watched the system and the model and the “dream” they’d trusted all their lives fail them, hopping a freight train to New Orleans at age eighteen with no money.
5.Considering the innumerable electronic media avenues open to you – blogs, online newspapers, TV, radio, etc – why have you chosen to write a book? aren’t they obsolete?
This is truly a terrifying question, but I’ll say that I’m rather like a blacksmith who’s shoed horses all his life and one day looks up to see the streets filled with automobiles.
6. Please tell us about your latest book…
Love and Terror on the Howling Plains of Nowhere is about my neighbor, the brilliant and good-natured math professor at our local college, who disappeared one winter day shortly after he arrived and was found three months later burned beyond recognition and bound to a tree in the hinterland south of the campus where he taught.
7. If your work could change one thing in this world – what would it be?
The speed of human evolution.
8. Whom do you most admire and why?
George Orwell, who took tremendous risks and wrote about these experiences with depth, wisdom, humor, and style.
9. Many artists set themselves very ambitious goals. What are yours?
My happiness has always been grounded in simplicity, which is a very complicated thing to achieve.
10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?
Don’t forget to live.
Poe, thank you for playing.
by Poe Ballantine
At age forty six years US author Poe Ballantine ends his nomadic lifestyle and brings his beautiful wife from Mexico to Chadron, Nebraska, and becomes a father to a son who may be autistic. His neighbor, a math professor at Chadron State College, disappears and three months later is found burned to death and tied to a tree in the woods. What happened to him? Was it murder? Suicide? Poe and a cast of memorable characters from Chadron aim to find out.