Prism Book Alliance would like to thank Paul Alan Fahey for taking the time to talk with us today. Don’t forget to check out our review of Too Long Among the Dead.. There is also a Giveaway, so don’t miss that.
Title: Too Long Among the Dead
Author: Paul Alan Fahey
Publisher: JMS Books
We are joined by author Paul Alan Fahey, who discusses his intriguing novella Too Long Among the Dead. Leisa also sneaks in a couple of questions about Paul’s great historical novel Bomber’s Moon …
1. Tell our readers about yourself … And about the books you’ve published.
In the late 1960’s, I taught high school English in Eritrea—then part of Ethiopia—for Peace Corps. When I returned to the states, five years later, I taught preschool at Jane Addams Hull House in Chicago; 1-4th grade reading at a private school for children with learning disabilities in San Francisco, and then for thirty years, I taught in higher education and provided services for adults with learning, physical, and emotional disabilities. I write the Lovers and Liars gay historical romance series for JMS Books, a small LGBT publisher in VA. I edited the 2013 Rainbow Award winning nonfiction anthology, The Other Man: 21 Writers Speak Candidly About Sex, Love, Infidelity, & Moving On. With the publication of Too Long Among the Dead, I’m hoping to continue this trend in writing more about the issues that affect a wider age range of the LGBT population, especially those who are ageing and dealing with disabilities.
I just love non-formulaic writing, and you honestly surprised me and broke my heart a little with the stories of the numerous TLATD characters who have experienced great loss during their lives – especially Emily. Without giving away too much about the book, how do you imagine Emily’s life 10 years later?
Emily’s life ten years later? Wow, You’ve just given me the possibility of a sequel. Would she be bored with childcare, of endlessly reading childhood rhymes, tired of hiding away in the shadows with a man who is
definitely from another era and a bit of a sexist, truth be told? Would she long for absolute reality, warts and all? Hmmm. We’ll just have to see. Thank you for asking. Now I have something to think about. Yippee!
This story isn’t a traditional “romance”, but the dynamic within the established couple, Hal and Gus, is … Well, not exactly what I expected (Again, Yay for non-formulaic writing!). If I ever “meet” Hal at a dinner party, why should I not pinch him hard on the arm for the way he treats Gus for most of TLATD?
I agree about Hal. I found him arrogant and full of himself while Guy was more self-effacing and loving. Especially toward his patients. Of all the characters, I think I identify mostly with the women. For some reason or other my writer pals have always said I write a lot in the female character’s POV. I think I have more empathy for them. Maybe I’m more like Caroline in Lovers and Liars than I think. 🙂
I truly enjoyed reading The Bomber’s Moon, and I was particularly impacted by the poignant manner with which you portray Leslie’s grief upon the loss of his loving partner, as well as the uniquely intriguing storyline. Did you have specific inspiration for Leslie’s character?
Thank you for saying that about Bomber’s Moon, especially since it’s the first novella in my WWII series. I’m never quite sure where the characters in my books come from. I can tell you I’m not really like any of them. I am emotional though, and I wanted Leslie and the reader to feel the pain of his loss in a very visceral way. I wanted him to be a character that would resonate with today’s readers. That’s why I gave him symptoms of PTSD—a condition familiar to all of us since 9/11—something Leslie would carry with him and have to deal with as the series progressed through the war years.
What are the last three books you read?
–Take Me With You by Catherine Ryan Hyde
–Death of a Crabby Cook by Penny Pike
–Days of Love by Elisa Rolle
If you could have dinner with 4-6 living or dead authors, who would you invite? And who would you ask to bring the wine?
–Dorothy Parker would definitely bring the wine and other more potent spirits.
Your book Bomber’s Moon is a historical set in WWII London. What led you to use this significant and turbulent period in history as your setting?
Childhood nurtured my interest in World War II, and it has continued unimpeded throughout my adult life. In the 1950’s, my mother worked in an upscale dress shop on the San Francisco Peninsula, and one of her customers was a lovely Englishwoman who lived through the London Blitz. I remember sitting at the breakfast table one day while Mother related to me this woman’s stories of death, courage, and the survival of the human spirit. I was completely fascinated by every detail. Years later, when I began writing short stories and novellas, I knew one day I’d write about this fascinating period in history. My dad was stationed in Antwerp and fought in the Battle of the Bulge, while my stepdad was in the South Pacific in Guam and Iwo Jima. I think I came by it honestly.
As the mother of a daughter living with physical challenges, I am particularly interested in your development of Mindprints, a literary journal for writers and authors with physical disabilities. Tell us about your experience with Mindprints, and how this journal has benefitted the writers and authors through the publication of their work.
I’m so glad you asked me this question. Mindprints, A Literary Journal was a labor of love in our disabilities program at Allan Hancock College, a community college in Santa Maria, California. The entire staff pitched in each year, reviewed submissions and ranked them, helped put the magazine together, distributed copies, and made our journal a two-time award winner from Writer’s Digest during my seven or so years tenure as editor at the magazine. Mindprints may be the one highlight in my teaching career I’m most proud of. So many great things to say about creating a forum and showcasing so many new writers and artists with disabilities from all over the world. Loved also that beginning writers could see their work published alongside more famous, well-established ones.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
When I started writing fiction some twenty odd years ago, the best advice I received while trying to juggle the elements involved in learning the craft—how to write dialogue, use POV correctly, develop a style, and a distinct voice—was to persevere no matter what. Don’t give up. Keep on writing and don’t stop.
What is the last movie you watched in the theatre? Did you buy popcorn to eat during the movie?
–Authors Anonymous with Kaley Cuoco Sweeting, Dennis Farina and Chris Klein. Our California Central Coast local hero, Dave Congalton, scripted the film. We had a special showing in a very grand and stylish movie theater in San Luis Obispo. Loved every minute of the event. No popcorn. I was too dressed up for a change! 🙂
What one food can’t you possibly live without?
Chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate.
What’s your favorite season of the year? Why?
Autumn. Growing up and living most of my life in California, I never had the chance to experience a real New England fall. Leaves turned a bit but nothing like they do in the Midwest and on the East Coast. Finally in the early 1990’s, I took a position as professor of special education at Green Mountain College in Vermont and had four glorious autumns in a row.
What one character in your books do you most relate to? Why?
Hands down it’s Caroline Graham in my Lovers and Liars gay wartime romance series. I introduced Caroline in the first novella, Bomber’s Moon, as a secondary character, but as I continued writing the series, she became more and more important to the storylines. And to me. She keeps me on track when I’m writing and is the one person the other characters depend upon during those uncertain years of WWII. Her village cottage is a safe haven for her little gay and straight family, and other characters are drawn to her like metal to a magnet. Caroline’s smart, sassy, and has a sharp sense of humor. All of the qualities I look for in close friends.
What is the coolest place you’ve ever visited or vacationed?
In January of 1969, in my early twenties and in my first year as a Peace Corps teacher, two of my friends and I climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in East Africa. It was an amazing experience. Africa is definitely the coolest place I’ve ever lived. I re-enlisted in Peace Corps and later taught for the Ministry of Education in Addis Ababa. Five years total.
What one place that you’ve visited or vacationed do you NEVER want to go again? Why?
It wouldn’t be a place but a time. I never, ever want to live through anything like the fourth decade of my life—the 1980’s and the AIDS epidemic.
Now let’s play this or that!
–Morning bird or Night owl? Morning bird
–Cats or dogs? Shelties
–Salty or sweet? Sweet
–Mountains or beach? Mountains
–Movies or books? Books
–Golden oldies or New pop? Golden oldies
–Waffles or pancakes? Waffles
–Hot or cold? Hot
–Hugs or kisses? Kisses
–Freckles or dimples? Dimples
–Tan or burn? Tan
–Teacher’s pet or Bad egg? Teacher’s pet
–X-Men or Avengers? Avengers. (I’m thinking of that great 1960’s British TV series with Diana Rigg and Patrick Macnee, of course.)
Psychiatrist Haleigh Hugo thinks he’s found the perfect setting for his experimental treatment plan—Devonshire, an isolated home in the middle of a small lake in the high Sierras. Dr. Hugo’s office mate and life partner, Guy Sanford, is unconvinced that the benefits of the treatment plan outweigh the risks, but soon gives in to the charm and boundless enthusiasm of his lover. Dr. Hugo’s subjects are six female patients who have failed to make what he considers significant progress in one-to-one therapy. They all share something in common: grief over the loss of a loved one, a psychological barrier that prevents them from moving on. Hilary Colbert lost her life partner to a serious illness; Jennie Travers no longer trusts her unfaithful husband; Meeda O’Connell’s infant son died in his crib; Vera Field wakes from a coma to learn her father has committed a brutal and senseless crime: Sarah/April Preston no longer knows who she is and suffers from a loss of identity; and Emily West has psychic abilities yet longs for a normal human existence. The six patients, accompanied by Drs. Hugo and Sanford and their psychiatric assistant, Ms. Katherine Lansing, descend on Devonshire for a weekend of intense therapy; yet within its walls lives a terrible and painful secret that haunts anyone who comes near.
About the Author:
PAUL ALAN FAHEY writes for JMS Books. He is the author of the Lovers and Liars gay wartime romantic suspense series, and the editor of the 2013 Rainbow Award-winning anthology, The Other Man: 21 Writers Speak Candidly About Sex, Love, Infidelity, & Moving On. His first LGBT novella, The View From 16 Podwale Street, published by JMS Books, won a 2012 Rainbow Award. Over the years, Paul’s writing has appeared in numerous literary journals such as Byline, Palo Alto Review, Long Story Short, African American Review, The MacGuffin, Thema, Gertrude, Kaleidoscope, and in a variety of fiction and nonfiction anthologies from Carry the Light, Cup of Comfort, My Mom’s My Hero, to Writing on Walls, and Somewhere in Crime. He lives on the California Central Coast with his husband, Robert Franks, and a gaggle of shelties.
JMS Author Page:
Paul Alan Fahey has kindly offered an e-copies of Too Long Among the Dead and Bomber’s Moon to two lucky commenters.
Contest will end 7 days from original posting date (or as stated on the Rafflecopter) at 8pm CDT. Must be 18 or older to enter, void where prohibited.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
|This post may contain affiliate links.
|Prism Book Alliance® assumes no liability for the ownership of photos or content used in guest posts and interviews. The post author assumes all responsibility and liability for this content.|