Attempts (Author Interview)

Attempts looks like a great book.  What can you tell us about it?

From one perspective, Attempts is about a young man’s challenges and journey, about persistence and finding one’s path. From a broader perspective, it is about the difficulties we face, humanity in general that is, in finding solutions when faced with larger conflicts, with wars. The story is set in a fictitious but contemporary world where these issues present.

Any plans to turn it into a series?

Not at this point. With each story I write, I tend to delve into different facets of our lives, and different challenges, so I tend to work with new characters and settings.

That’s an amazing cover.  Can you tell us about it?

Thank you. The designers and I wanted to express, first, the ideas of a journey and companionship; we also wanted to express the idea that at times it may feel you’re in it on your own, in a lonely and lifeless place, I think those are some of the impressions deserts and very dry places leave us with; on the other hand, such places also leave us with a sense of mysticism, and that is part of the story – mysticism and magical realism. Near the top of the cover, we wanted to express other aspects of the story. On the left is the idea of a violent conflict, a war; while on the right is one of light and hope.

What scene or section did you have the most fun writing?

Tough question, because many different parts were fun to write. That’s one great thing about writing, especially fiction. It’s a blank canvas, one that allows you to bring to reality and to explore whatever you can imagine or wish. Taking it a step further, and to try to answer the question, a part of the story deals with the supernatural and metaphysical. Those scenes were definitely loads of fun exactly because they pushed me to test my imagination; to think about and picture what might be if we were to access what we cannot see with our eyes.

What inspired the idea for the book?

In part my work as an attorney. I’ve been working on civil rights issues for a few years, and before that it was criminal defense. On most days, it was too painful watching, for one injustice, but also unreasonable and unproductive approaches in our judicial system. It’s as if we want to punish those struggling with poverty. It doesn’t make sense. And, to add to this, we often run into conflicts, on an individual level and on a much larger scale, where we don’t even try to find solutions. We don’t make sincere attempts. Instead, it’s as if we actively choose to jump the gun and seek punishment and conflict. So with this story, I wanted to express that punishment more often than otherwise is counterproductive. I also wanted to explore the idea behind finding solutions, behind sincere attempts at negotiating and seeking solutions rather than persisting with conflict.

How did you come up with the title for the book?

The story starts out with an attempted robbery. So the original title was Attempted Robbery. A few friends, however, commented that that title limited the book. I put a little more thought into it and worked with a good friend on the various ideas in the story. The ideas of making effort and persistence came up near the top. So Attempts… that is, working and making attempts toward redemption, toward doing good, toward finding solutions.

Did anything stick out as particularly challenging when writing Attempts?

Yep. A few things, to be honest. But one in particular was trying to express a fear in one of the main characters. For example, what fear would drive a person to leave his, or her, country? What fear so strong would push them to a foreign land? Working on that part, trying to express it, and be convincing enough so that a reader can connect with this character and understand the character’s reasoning, I found that tough.

What do you like to do when not writing?

Definitely read. There are some great books out there. One Hundred Years of Solitude is incredible. Also Salinger’s work. I hike often, and also like to volunteer as a sports coach for kids.

Where can readers find out more about your work?

For now, Amazon, Apple, and Kobo, and I am working to get my work into bookstores. A few bookstores in my area and Los Angeles are carrying Attempts.


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