I have to be careful how I answer this… I think if one recognizes the preciousness of tragedy in one’s life, and the power of those messages, then every day up until this point of my life I have lived. Have I attained this? I don’t believe I have found the magic in all lessons yet, but I believe I am moving in the right direction. So I suppose my best moment… is right now.
1) Where is your home town?
Garden Bay, British Columbia, Canada. It’s a small village on the West coast where my wife and I live in a small log home overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
2) How long have you been writing?
Over twenty years. I think my English teachers from High School would fall over if they knew that I was a professional writer.
3) Have you written other books in this genre?
No, this is my first work of non-fiction.
My first book is called, The Singing Bowl, a story of a Tibetan monk sent on a quest to find a book that has been lost to the world. I loved writing that story. It took 5 years to complete as the main protagonist travels the world. My second book is called, The Rubicon Effect. I have always wondered how the human species will react the day it is too late to reverse Global Climate Change. I was lucky, as one of the characters is a new Pope born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and he wants to change the church. This was published before the real Pope was elected!
I have two other children’s books under contract and my agent is presently negotiating a deal with another publisher.
4) How did you split the writing roles of these book?
Jeff and I worked well together. I think we both placed our egos aside and tried to be as honest and raw as we could in the telling of this story. We were both motivated because of all the unhappiness we have seen on our jobs. In co-authoring a book, I think both had to really listen to each other’s ideas and be brave enough to go down unseen roads. Jeff would come up with these great ideas and off the story would run down some avenue I had not even seen. It was fun to release the story a little bit and soon a third entity sort of formed that was not Jeff or I, but the story itself. It was a thoroughly grand experience, as it remains to this day.
5) What or who was the inspiration for this book?
Well, the main inspiration was a student named Penny. She was a boisterous and happy child who, because of circumstances not of her making, plummeted into a dark and bad place. But with the help of others she worked her way up and back to the life she deserved.
6) Can you tell the readers about the “Words” that people carry as stones?
Great question, Rosie! This is such an important part of the book… words have meaning. That may sound trite, but it is a vital concept to grasp in the telling of this adventure. Words can hurt worse than a knife and can help more than a stranger passing by and giving you money. They can weigh us down so we are lethargic, or inspire so we believe in ourselves. But Jeff and I wanted people to know that they have a choice which words to hold onto and which to let go. Words are like rocks and we can throw them at each other or share one we think is beautiful. It is just a simple choice.
7) When did the teacher first step out of the fast lane? What did he do?
To me there is no one moment where he steps out and decides there is another way. It is a process and we can tell if our process is working for us by the things that we hold dear. What we value, what is important to us, these concepts tell us where we are on our road. I think once he realized there was another way, he began his process, and like all those who take, the other road, he found it hard, and entirely worthwhile.
8) Would you say that too many of us on a roller coaster ride of life which we seem unable to get off?
Very much like the inspiration for this book, Penny, we all find ourselves in circumstances not of our making. Because of our culture, we are all on that roller coaster. And I’m not sure at all that life is meant to be lived that way. Like Penny, we find ourselves in a culture not of our making, but one that just appeared, and now we have to deal with it. Some go to the bad, dark place, others just survive, and a few, who have eyes and use them, find another road, a better path.
9) How can a person take the first step towards “Living in the moment?”
There are many roads to this “moment” but all start by having a need. Acknowledging that need, facing the dread, believing you deserve better. Then having the courage to take a deep breath and then do nothing. To let the moment come to you. To breath slowly and smile. We sometimes believe “the moment” is far away, but it isn’t. It’s right beside you as you read our book or contemplate this interview. The moment waits… but we have to slow ourselves and concentrate before we are one with it. And we have to do that… everyday.
10) A line from the book suggests that if we all live to be 100, we will be given 36,500 precious days. How many precious days of life have you lived and what has been your best moment so far?
A very, very tough question Rosie. You make me stop and think. If I can attain but a few precious moments in each day then I will be a very happy man. My best moment so far, is, as always, this moment right now. Why? Because there is nothing else.
Thank you so much Rosie for your insightful questions. I and very grateful for your time and for you taking your moment and sharing it with me.
So there you have it, got your taste buds tingling? Roy describes the book as non-fiction, but don’t be put off it can read like fiction, I loved the book, it inspired me. After I’d finished reading it I went out for a walk in the fresh air and sunlight just to let it all sink in and to live in the moment. It made me think about my Year of Good Deeds challenge, I’m way over 300 days of my 365 and this book made me realise why I was doing it. I have stepped off the roller coaster and am doing something I love and making a difference.
You can also read my reviews of Roy’s other books, The Singing Bowl and The Rubicon Effect here on the blog in the first half of May.