Following are my notes for the pre-selected questions Mary Eileen Williams asked on the June 26, 2017, Feisty Side of Fifty Blogtalk Radio interview. The actual interview can be accessed online here. (Miraculously I didn’t drone “ummmm” for fifteen minutes or say the word “absolutely” five million times!)
MEW: “Windows to the Soul” book description: An extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary man, Gabriel Hart—a grieving young father and widower—and the untold ways hope, loyalty and forgiveness are tested to the limit. How did the idea come?
DB: First of all THANK YOU, Mary Eileen, for having me on your show! The idea came many years ago as I walked through my neighborhood. A male voice (a muse?) cried, “She’s dead.” I pulled my jacket collar up around my neck because I was the only person on the street. The story was “told to me,” silently. I rushed home to write it down as best I could. The struggling songwriter that I was had no idea what to do with the story of a young couple, their little girl and a prisoner. But I felt an obligation to the characters, so I set out to hone the craft of writing a novel.
MEW: We’re told, “Write what you know.” How does that apply to your writing?
DB: My husband and I owned a hot air balloon business for several years, so yes that definitely informed me when I was writing one particular scene. And that scene appearing early on in the book, I believe, helped give the book credibility. Knowing terms and details about flying a balloon and a passenger’s experience on their first flight, and expressing both in a way that puts the reader in the balloon as both the pilot and passenger, gives the reader confidence that the writer is qualified to share a story.
Other aspects of the story I can personally relate to such as struggling with forgiveness, loss of loved ones … maybe not in the same way as the protagonist, but still my heart has been broken — as have most of us — in such a way in the past I remember I had no idea how I could or why I should ever crawl out of bed.
MEW: Your book explores the human condition — birth, death, love, loss and forgiveness. How difficult was it to delve into these deepest of themes?