Stephen Petty – Loneliness

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

My book is Loneliness. It’s about two people, Carol and Gary, that fall in love but life isn’t always pleasant and they divorce. Gary rebounds because he’s a normal guy and adjustment to life is easy. He has friends, meets people easily and gets along with most people. Carol is a princess, born to a wealthy family and she doesn’t get along well with people. Unfortunately for Carol, Gary meets and falls in love with another young woman and life seems to be good but Carol, without the social graces slips into loneliness: drinking alone, being picked up by men, used and dumped. Gary does get married but diabetes enters his life and changes things dramatically. The story is about how people adjust to things (or don’t adjust) including diabetes, especially diabetes, and the unseen consequences it can have on life.

Tell us something about yourself.

I’m now 59 years old. I live in Davenport, Iowa and I attended Northern Iowa where I was a Speech Pathology major but the debilitating problems the people had were too much for me to overcome, emotionally, so I didn’t graduate. I was told, in 1971 by an English professor, that I write well and should consider a career writing. I didn’t until 2007 when I wrote ‘It Was Right…’ While that hasn’t sold well at all, I learned a great deal about writing and what it takes to be a writer. I am still learning and hope ‘Loneliness’ will be successful. I’ll make changes, eventually, to my first one and we will see what happens.

What inspired you to write this book?

I wanted to let people know some of the problems that diabetics encounter. I passed out at work. I was hospitalized and I woke up a week later. I lost an entire week and that is frightening but others have lost much more time. When I say lost, they simply cannot remember what happened and that’s very scary.

How did you choose the title?

I have lost a great deal thanks to diabetes including friends. I know loneliness.

What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?

No one wants to publish a new author so trying to get established is the second biggest obstacle. The first, of course, is writing a book that might be interesting to others. I’m skilled at writing about feelings so I can’t say I’ve overcome the obstacles, I just let my feelings show on paper so that allows me to convey what I wish to say, how I want to say it and, hopefully, lets people feel what I’m trying to convey.

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

I always enjoyed writing and I was told, frequently, that I was good at it. I’m not egocentric so I didn’t take the advice to heart until I was 55 years old. I was disgusted with what I was doing, alone, and just sat down and started writing. I’ll probably die at my computer but it is what I love doing.

Do you have any writing rituals?

Not really unless you consider doing research for things a ritual. I do try to write about five pages per day but those pages don’t always make my final cut.

How do you come up with the names for your characters?

Names. I select names that I like, names of people I have known or names that I think fit a character I’m trying to develop.

Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?

Absolutely!!! I learned that I must read, re-read, then re-read again to be certain I’ve said what I want to say and how I want to say it.

If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?

I would follow my dream at a much younger age AND I would have overcome my sadness about the people I was trying to help with Speech Pathology so that I could help them. I would do both.

What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors? Why?

I like to read books that have a lot of relationships because that is what life is, relationships. I tend to avoid sci-fi, horror, westerns and things of many different genres because I like reality and the interaction of people, good and bad. What happens between people is life. I love Steinbeck, Hemingway, Updike; I enjoy Greg Isles, John Sandford and Patricia Cornwell.

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

I am working on my next book. It is about a young man who kills his abusive father and, after 13 years in prison, is released. He has to adjust to a world that has changed a great deal. He learns about women, about work and about life, sometimes painfully.

Who is the perfect reader for your book?

My perfect reader is someone that doesn’t want fantasy, likes relationships and love, someone who wants to read about what happens to other people LIKE THEMSELVES. I’m not a writer of love stories but love does happen. I write reality. Having someone write reality means the reader is safe from the things that happen in life in my work, are safe reading what I create.

Where can readers learn more about you and your book?

I hope they can learn more about my work from an upcoming blog (don’t have a name yet), and from Strategic/Eloquent Publishers.