Rick Fernandez – Author Interview

What is your most recent book? Tell us a bit about it.

It is funny that you should ask the question in that form. I have written four other books (none published) previous to this one. The title of my latest book is: An Uncharted Desert Isle

I tell the reader about myself, and how I found a more resourceful person on the inside, as a result of my severe head injury. I took rehabilitation by the horns, and utilized its many benefits. These pluses are rarely uncovered by the majority of other disabled. Almost from the beginning, I took pride in myself. By “use” of my head injury, persons flock over to lend me assistance. Tackling this giant is only as difficult as you make it.

I let people know of all the sacrifices I made, which turned out to be benefits in the long run. One of the best things I adhered to was my health maintenance. This fueled the fire of my rehab. Learning these tenets, was not at all difficult. And adhering to them, even less so.

My view of the disabled before my injury, was like the majority of others. I would never have accepted it, if it had been offered to me beforehand. However, noticing how it has changed my life for the better, I wouldn’t change a thing.

This book shows a brighter side of disability. I turned the many deficits into pluses. I don’t recall; of one negative that wasn’t turned around.

I now see the benefits that a strong family unit provides. It was my family, my parents, in particular, who made my voyage an easier one.

I fathered a son, right before my accident, and have learned of the many scars I have placed on him, in the aftermath. There is no way you can be an adequate father from long distance.

In school, I chose gerontology as my course of study. Even though long life is desirable–it is choking the life out of our youth.

I open people’s eyes about crime, and how to slow it down.

I discuss how good it feels to work. I can now do something for others.

Tell us something about yourself.

I am now a 57 year old male, have never been married, I grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles, CA, and not motivated to do much prior to my head injury at age 18. Before the accident I did the least I could to get by. My parents were born in Puerto Rico, and not very well educated. Amazingly, I found the joy of writing in the 6th grade, but never pursued it further than that. However, after my car accident, and subsequent brain damage, I found that writing was the easiest way to get my point across. I found 67 days in a coma to be quite eye opening.

What inspired you to write this book?

I have been around many disabled throughout my rehabilitation, and haven’t seen one who has the same spirit as I do, when tackling this giant. Disability has given me so much, and yet it takes so much from others.

How did you publish this book?

I self-published this book. I had written four other books previous to this one, with no luck getting published. However, if your name is Monica, or Sara, then you can have anything published (wether you wrote it, or not). Every word in my books, comes from “yours truly.”

How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?

My first English instructor at jr. college in ’76, only four years since my release from the hospital, in a “dumbell” English class, noted my ability to get my point across in print. All throughout my school years, I made it through class after class, through my use of the printed word. After I graduated from the second university I attended, and worked in my field for a few years, I began collecting notes. In this book (which I have since divided into four) I tell everything about myself, and how I handled a disability of this magnitude.

As soon as I learned the mechanics of writing, the hardest part for me was to stop. There were numerous amount of classes I would have failed, if I were not able to “write my way out” of failure.

How do you do research for your books?

The only other books I have written have been of myself. As soon as I sit down, the words seem to float on the paper. I merely put my thoughts on the paper, then organize them.

Did you learn anything from writing this book? What?

That’s a good question. I guess I have learned that some people (myself) can get their message across, other than vocally.

What types of books do you like to read?

This is very strange;. I have been told by several, to be a good writer, you have to be a good reader. I only read things that I have to. I have no speed, nor retention. I’ve always been this way. I feel very childish I STILL subvocallize, and can’t stop.

I never enjoyed reading. The only books I’ve read, were those that were required for classes. So, I would have to say, “I” am my favorite author. I say this because, this is something I do with little effort.

Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?

It’s funny you should ask. My first four books were written from ’89 to ’94. The book I have just completed was written from ’98 to ’01. Just a few days ago, my next book popped into mind. I would never be where I am right now, if not for YOU. My neighbors, teachers, doctors, nurses, counselors, job coaches, police, past friends, current associates, co-workers, etc.. I have yet to gather any notes, but I feel this will be quite enjoyable. I will be able to give thanks to everyone, and point out just how their assistance helped me.

What are you doing to promote your latest book?

I’m not doing much, but alowing a few of my co-workers to read it. I work for Services for the Brain Injured, in San Jose. If they find it eye opening, I’m sure they will let me know what I ca do with it.

Where can readers learn more about you and your book?

The book is available on Amazon.com.

I feel you’ll learn more than you’ll ever want to by reading this one, AND even more, with the four previous ones I have written.