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- Special Discussion Leader
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The Sword Swallower and a Chico Kid.
So far, all of the reviews have had 4 out of 4 ratings! If you want to take a look at the official review, click here.
Now, let's get to the heart of the matter, shall we?
1. Tell us a little bit about who you are.
I am the proud father of three amazing children. Their influence and love has changed me to a kinder and more empathetic soul. I love to play music; I play a mean harmonica and am currently taking lessons for the guitar. Music and writing are my passions.
I feel like there is so much conflict in our world. It troubles me to see and hear people express hatred for those who do not share similar views. I want to write stories about the controversial issues in our lives that create conflict and subtly suggest ways to overcome our struggles with real life experiences rather than callow opinions. I also want these stories to be very entertaining and for the content to be as unpredictable as possible.
2. How did you get started writing?
I started writing short stories when I was very young. I lived in a very secluded, mountainous area before the onset of cell phones and satellite dishes. I found myself dreaming and writing short stories about those dreams.
3. Let's talk about The Sword Swallower and a Chico Kid. For those that haven't read the book, how would you summarize the plot in a few sentences?
This is a story about finding purpose and redemption. The Sword Swallower spends nearly 5 decades of his life on an adventure where he lives and experiences the oddest characters of our society. You will love the characters in this book. One day, while performing, he has a terrible accident that forces him to retire from swallowing swords. Throughout his life, he struggled with methamphetamine and alcohol abuse. He moves to a tiny little town in California to semi-retire. He is diagnosed with throat cancer and that is when he meets Chico Kid.
Chico Kid experiences his own adventurous mishaps that tend to spiral his life into chaos. He is searching for purpose and a place in a community that has rejected him because of his past transgressions. He is getting drunk in a bar when he meets The Sword Swallower, who is performing for the patrons. They make a connection and go on one last adventure as The Sword Swallower attempts to save Chico Kid’s life.
4. One of the characters' names is Gary Robinson. Is that character based on you personally?
Yes, it is based on myself and many of the adventures described in this story are based on actual experiences.
5. What made you decide to write this book?
The Sword Swallower was a very close friend of mine. I loved him like a father and feel like he saved my life. His namesake is tattooed on my wrist. I don’t think a day goes by where I don't think about him and his contributions to who I am today. This book was my attempt to honor my friend and discuss a very important social issue in our society. I wanted the reader to understand the mind of a drug addict in a more unorthodox way. I tried to sprinkle a lot of humor into the story, coupled with someone that tries to find purpose. I love this story. It makes me laugh and cry on nearly every page. It is a story of redemption.
6. Addiction is one of the themes in the book. Do you have any advice for anyone struggling to overcome an addiction of any type?
I cannot thank you enough for asking me this question. The very idea that I might be able to reach out and help someone truly touches my heart. I remember very clearly the first days of being clean. I suppose each one of us that has experienced a drug addiction may vary in their path to wellness. I remember that I felt very alone and that was part of why I had been medicating myself. Even your own family will have trouble communicating or identifying with the destructive act of alcoholism and drug addiction. You need to understand that at first you will be alone and that is okay. Try filling your day with activities that you love and make you feel happy. Make a nice meal. Take a hike or a walk. Read a book that inspires you and touches your heart. I have found that reading books that describe loving people that persevere from the conflicts in their lives is very helpful. Write a journal. Be very honest. Do not lie. There will be times when you will be angry, sad, or have an overwhelming sense of emotion about the collateral damage caused by your addiction. Recognize the emotion, do something that you love, and never medicate yourself because you are feeling troubled. It is my belief that when our addiction begins, we encapsulate our biological age. It takes nearly 5 years to reach your actual age or maturity after you stop your drug or alcohol use. You will
act the age of when you first became addicted and that will not leave for at least 5 years. You have to wait for that inner child to sleep. It will yell at you and whine to you that it wants its bottle and its pills. Let the child cry until it sleeps. You will also lose your “friends” and that is okay because these are the people whose presence in your life perpetuate your addiction. Surround yourself with people that are mature, responsible, honest, and express a loving heart. You will be surprised at how much real growth you will experience and how much joy you will feel from the simplest acts of kindness. You will also find yourself in a position to help others because the selfish act of addiction will no longer rule your day.
7. This question comes from @Samy Lax. Did anything get left out of the final draft? If so, what was it?
I must have changed my outline every month while working on this book. I actually kept adding to the story, not subtracting from it.
8. What's next on your agenda? Do you have any more books in the works?
I have a wonderful book in the works about a curious soul that attempts to discover his place in the world through his travels. I am going to
introduce more odd and loveable characters through his adventures. I also intend to subtly discuss a few more controversial social issues, like divorce and the delicate intricacies of raising stepchildren.
9. Is there anything else you'd like your readers to know that we haven't covered here?
I wrote this book with the idea that every word and every sentence was written to entertain the reader. I did not want to fill a page because the chapter needed it. I wanted every dialogue to be interesting and every chapter to stand on its own. I truly hope you find this book entertaining.
And I always enjoy adding some fun questions.
10. If you could have any talent in the world, what would it be?
I'd love to be a rhythm guitarist and singer for a rock 'n roll band.
11. What mythical creature would you most like to exist?
A centaur would be cool. We could go riding and discuss life at the same time.
And finally, the epic question of all time.
12. Toilet paper, over or under?
I don't even put it on the dispenser anymore unless company is coming over. As long as it's an arm's length away, I'm good!
Click here to view the book on Amazon. If you want to be involved in the discussion for May, now's the time to buy the book! Thank you, Gary Robinson, for your time and willingness to answer my questions! All the best of luck to you in your future endeavors!
― Ernest Hemingway
- Miriam Molina
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Your enthusiasm for life is quite apparent, and comes across in your writing.
- Vickie Noel
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Never be bullied into questioning your own credibility. --- Vickie Noel