Q. What inspired you to write the novel Cadillac River?
A. I used to teach for a number of years and I witnessed things I never thought were possible.
Q. What kinds of things?
A. Things you couldn't talk about.
Q. And so, what is the book supposed to do, or what is it about? These things?
A. It's about powerless kids who don't have the strength to change anything. In the book, I give them access to power, and that is through people who fix things with their own set of rules.
Q. Interesting. When did this story develop?
A. I wrote this many years ago as a screenplay, and it had some hope and made its way to the desks of production companies, but my best opportunity came when CA Times Publishing bought the rights to it.
Q. What do you hope to accomplish by telling this story?
A. It really was written for myself to make me a better father. I don't want my daughter to grow up like these kids. I hope it will make people think about what they are doing and how easy it is to influence a child and how hard it is to be a good man.
Q. Is the story any good?
A. I wrote over 100,000 words and ended up throwing out more than 50,000 of them because I didn't like it. It took me about 3 years to really write something that I felt had potential, and this is after twenty years of holding onto it in my mind from a screenplay that never quite made it. I had some success with the first book in 2012 that sold about 400 copies a month, but I never finished the story, so this has been rewritten and completed finally after all of these years.
Q. Is it any good?
A. As far as if it's any good, I'm not sure if something like this can be. I see so many people writing about situations like these, reading about things like these, and sometimes I can't even explain why it needs to come out this way, but it's from the heart and I hope that's enough.