Imagine attending a parochial grade school for eight years, never missing Sunday Mass for twelve years straight, memorizing catechism, playing by the rules… but not knowing God. Not knowing for sure you’ll make it to heaven, and not even knowing why you’re here. Sadly, there are many with a similar experience. Ed Rothacker was one of them. His journey to find the truth began in an unlikely setting…a night club. How did he finally find peace with God and experience total forgiveness? “Keys to Glory” tells how God used Ed’s music to guide him to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ!
Tell us something about yourself.
I was born a raised on the West Side of Cleveland, Ohio, second oldest of eight kids. I began taking piano lessons at my Catholic school at age seven and by age thirteen, began playing the organ at church for Sunday Mass. Once I sneaked in a version of “House of the Rising Sun” during communion. It sounded pretty cool but I got in a little trouble for that one. My music took me to playing all through high school in a rock band, playing organ for The Blue Jacket Choir in the Navy, then playing organ in an award-winning band aboard the USS Milwaukee. After the service, travelled with a lounge band for a couple of years, mostly in Florida. I’m now content with playing a couple times a month at church, doing weddings, and teaching piano.
What inspired you to write this book?
A neighbor lady said she and her family attended a Catholic church, and that she “wasn’t getting a lot out of it.” I wanted to share a little bit about my own personal faith-journey but time was short as we were talking. I thought if I had my personal testimony written out (was thinking a few pages in a Word document), that I could give it to her at a later time.
How did you choose the title?
“Keys” not only stood for the main biblical doctrines of salvation, but the 88 black and whites of my piano keyboard. I also wanted to use the word “Catholic” somewhere in the title to get the attention of both practicing and non-practicing Catholic’s to encourage them to re-evaluate their faith.
What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?
The main obstacle was money. The publisher I went with wanted about $4,000 to start the project. Rather than dipping into retirement funds or putting it on a credit card, I sold a grand piano that I bought new in 1984.
How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?
My wife often said I had a gift in writing, whether writing articles or just letters. While in the Navy, I took a college course in composition from the University of Hartford and did really well.
Do you have any writing rituals?
Shut off the TV. I jot ideas down as they come, even while driving.
Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?
It was an awesome experience to take a step back to see how the Lord’s hand directed my life. It was a faith-building exercise to re-live those special moments that put me on the right path.
If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?
I would have made it longer, putting in more details or more faith-stories. That was the only criticism I’ve gotten so far, that it was too short.
What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors?
I do like reading about how the Lord worked in other lives. I’m not a big fiction buff. I also enjoy books about the music business. I just finished a book by Eric Burdon titled, “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood.” I found myself praying for him often.
Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?
My next book might deal with the two things you are not supposed to talk about…religion and politics. I wrote an article titled. “Catholic Disparity – Conservative vs Liberal.,” where I question the differences on moral issues among those claiming to be Catholic.
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
Just start putting some thoughts down that may be of interest to someone else. Run it by some friends and family to get some feedback.
Who is the perfect reader for your book?
This was really written for anyone who gave up on “organized religion,” but who also then gave up on God. My message is that regardless of your experience in church, God is still on the throne and has a plan and purpose for your life.
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?
I put together a short eight-minute video on You Tube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pO6XapPIgVc
Any bookstore can get the book or order online from Tate Publishing http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=978-1-60604-156-7 and Amazon.com. There is also an audio download available at christianaudio.com or http://christianaudio.com/keys-to-glory-edward-t-rothacker