- A Reason To Be is semi-autobiographical. Which parts are truth and which parts are fiction?
The emotion is 100% NF. The dialogue is essentially 100% F. The events are 25% F. 75% NF.
2. Do you hide nest egg(s) in your story? Something that appears over and over again?
Not sure what you are after here, but I’ll give it a go.
Little dougie in the prologue is the youngest but plays the lead. Role I was the youngest but behaved like the oldest. Gordon’s wife Joan took in the bastard child Timothy. I am a bastard child. Joan is heroic. Timothy and Alexander did not get along. My older brother and I never got along. Timothy tries to make amends by feeding his brother information. I tried to make amends with my brother but it didn’t work. My father was disloyal to his wife. I find that very wrong even though I was a product of his adulterous behavior. That effected my Extreme dedication to my sick wife. My grandfather John’s forgiveness of his father Timothy effected my Ultimate forgiveness of my father.
3. What part of your ancestory shocked you the most?
My grandfather john Gordon affair with a maid. Also Alexanders relation ship with Alexander Hamilton and the NYSE. And his winding up In debtors prison for a land grab.
4.Was there anything you didn’t get to include that you wanted to?
I should have spent more time acclaiming my wife Grace as my love, my life, my inspiration.
5.How did you decide what history to include?
Hard to say. It just flowed. I could have doubled the length of the book if went into all the detail at hand. It’s a story of survival, history and romance. Tried to create a balance.
6.What do you think is the ethics of writing historical history into fiction?
The author has a responsibility to make what is implied to be “history” is as accurate as possible
7. Are Douglas’s ancestors in A Reason to Be synonymous with the ancestors you uncovered? How are they different?
8.What inspired you to turn your ancestry into a novel?
The emotion is 100% NF The dialogue is essentially 100% F The events are 25% F. 75% NF. I found it difficult to call it NF. So I changed the names.
9. What was the hardest part to research?
I had a cousin In Toronto who completes a lot of the research. Murray McCombs an another Mary McAdam helped quite a bit. I had to get into detail and that became tedious. Sometimes contradictory info which I had to sort out. I went Scotland and visited the Ancient Mac Thomas meeting place. Also Belfast. They huge reservoir of info on the clans. I found all of it interesting and distracting. High level of depression. The distraction was therapeutic.
10. Which was the funnest part to research?
The travel part
11. Did you take any pilgrimages with your research ? If so where?
Yes see previous
12. Did you always intend to be an author?
I wrote short stories an submitted them to colliers and Saturday evening post. From 9 to ten years old. Got interested in virtually everything thing I was exposed to. Wound up Science and engineering. Always intended to write again someday. Alzheimer’s derailed me. But was encouraged to pursue writing for therapeutic reasons.
13. What was like writing about Alzheimer’s? What did you learn through writing about this disease?
I learned the most about while I was trying to cure her. Sole care giver fo 6 years. Would not accept it. Covered it up until I couldn’t get out of bed. I learned writing could be therapeutic but nothing new about the unholy disease. I struggle with depression. It’s getting better though.
14. What did you learn about yourself through your journey?
I have always been considered intellectually strong. I personally knew however that I was emotionally Very sensitive relative sickness and death. I am an scientist but Also an artist. That may explain it.
The fact that I survived the ordeal with Alzheimer’s was surprising. I m emotionally stronger than I thought. Love and devotion came into play. However Having said that as I said I still struggle with depression.
15. What part of your history gave you the most pride?
I’m proud of them all. Learning about them gave me a better understanding of myself. They were all survivors. They all had a reason to be.