Comsie: What was the inspiration for this particular story? What can you tell me about that?

John: My original plan was to write about my descent into alcoholism due to low self esteem and self-hatred, but when I started talking about ‘my boy’ the story took on a life of its’ own and pretty much wrote itself. I kicked ideas (and memories) around in my head for two or three days (and nights) then I just sat down and wrote it.

Comsie: Approximately how long did it take you to get it all written down? Was it just a stream of consciousness thing where you started and just didn’t stop until it was done? Or did you have to slave over the details and such?

John: It only took a couple of hours to type it on the computer, because I had it all thought out in my mind.

Comsie: How was it, taking on the challenge of such controversial subject matter? Was there anything that you worried about as far as reader response?

John: At first, I only shared the story with a few trusted friends, but later thought that it deserved a wide audience, and I wanted to show that one can be a ‘boy lover’ without being a creepy pedophile.

Comsie: Me being me, I’m huge on details in the stories I read and write, and there were some places in “The Journey” where I definitely wanted some more information. Spots in the story where an entire chapter could be spent tackling a certain issue or scene. An example would be the conversation with Leif’s dad. There’s soooo much more that I want to hear about that whole thing took place! Hehehe! Is this a part of your writing method? As it does begin to read like a collection of memories as it would probably exist in my own head if I were thinking back on it. So it may be intentional.

John: Well, it’s just a thumb-nail sketch, an over-view of my life. I wanted to keep it short so people would actually read it. ‘Bud’ was an older friend, a mentor if you will, and I trusted and respected him.

Comsie: So is ‘Bud’ still a part of your life now? Or was that just a moment from the past?

John: I moved a couple of times and lost track of Bud. Last I heard, he had become a minister. I was able to track down Leif, but he was married and didn’t really want to talk to me any more.

Comsie: I’ve also received a variety of other short stories from you, and I was curious about what keeps drawing you back to writing these tales out and sharing your memories with us?

John: I think that my life experiences are interesting enough to be talked about; and maybe show others what we have in common. That is, if you look for similarities, we’re more alike than different.

Comsie: What would your say your dream project would be? If you could start work on a big, heartfelt, story tomorrow…what would you big opus be about?

John: Believe it or not, “The Journey” is my ‘magnum opus’. I’ve been told that it looks like the outline of a story that could have 10 or 12 chapters, but I’m afraid that it is already in its’ finished form. Other little sketches that I’ve scribbled are just more commentaries & observations on my life.

Comsie: Why not expand?

John: I don’t have the imagination to create conversations that may or may not have happened, I wrote what I wanted to say, and that was the end of it.

Comsie: Is there anything that you’ve taken away from your experience writing this? If you were to write more, what would you do differently? And what would you do the same?

John: The whole experience told me that my own personal integrity is very important; after all, I have to live with myself. As far as any re-write, that’s not going to happen. I’ve looked at it a couple of times, but only to correct spelling errors, and a brief revision to make it easier to read.

Published June 16, 2018