What is your greatest strength as a writer? I can describe things so that you are able to see them in your own mind’s eye. Description is my forte. Whether it be a landscape or a person I feel that I can bring a person or place to life through my prose.
How did you come up with the title? A Mandala is Sanskrit for “magic circle” and is used to meditate on to raise one’s concioisness, or it can represent a person who is fully actualized and complete in their development. Colorado Mandala was the place where all three of my main characters became themselves, some after a very long and difficult effort.
How much of the book is realistic? All of Colorado Mandala is based on real places and real people. But I invented all else. I took the characters I knew and put them into a place I knew best and let them just live their lives there. It seems to have worked.
Have you included a lot of your life experiences, even friends, in the plot? Yes. This book totally reflects the way of life I was leading back in the 1970s. It was a time of adventure and dramatic cultural change and I was a part of it. The plot may be an attempt to self heal as the main character has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, as I do…and so it is very possible that in writing this book I was really trying to get some perspective on my own issues and to try and create a vehicle that would assist me in getting rid of the PTSD within my own heart. It sort of worked.
What are your goals as a writer? My goals as a writer are acceptance and an audience that likes my work. The goal of this book is an attepmpt to help others who may have PTSD understand that they are not alone. And that there is a way out of the scourge and pain that PTSD causes.
Who is your favorite author and why? Ernest Hemingway reinvented the novel and I think he deserves credit for his work, not for the farce of a life he lead as a hyper masculine character. His books are all beautiful and engaging. His sentences are solid and purposeful. There is no waste or extravagance: Just powerful but simple writing and storytelling.
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Genre – Literary Fiction
Rating – PG
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