How long have you been writing?
I started writing in 1991 after I retired from 16 years as an elected member of the local board of education. I always wanted to write and decided that was the time to get at it. All my children were out of high school and launched into college for the first time and I figured it was my turn to do what I wanted.
What inspired this story?
Actually it was my first exposure to cremation ashes when my mother-in-law died. They were sent to us in the mail and I was surprised how heavy and how gritty they were and it was quite a problem deciding just how to dispose of them. In truth we scattered them on a windy day in Cleveland and the ashes did end up in our faces. The whole affair raised some interesting circumstances and possibilities which got me to thinking about it and my friend John Ravenscroft said to me, “Story, story” which led to Private Services. My mother-in-law was a wonderful woman whom I loved. This story is not about her.
You mentioned in your bio loving flash at the moment. Tell us why.
I’ve had three years away from writing and my efforts to get back to it have been helped by flash experiences where you write without time to think about how hard it is and how intimidating it is and how much of what you once knew you have forgotten.
Where is your favorite place to write?
I write in my office on the computer, usually early in the morning when my mind is making the transition from sleep to waking. That is my best place and my best time.
If someone wanted to make you fall in love, what book should he buy for you?
One he had written that was filled with secret messages only I would understand, and that made me laugh at least once a chapter.