I have a great interview with an author who’s name is too awesome so we shall all envy the coolness. Boo Walker who’s name I keep typing as Book Walker which is also way cool is on today to tell us about himself and his new book Lowcountry Punch, I have it on my TBR pile add it to yours.
Please tell us about yourself –
I used to play banjo and write songs for a living in Nashville, and in 2001, ran into some hand problems that ended my career. After a quarter-life crisis of sorts, I went back to finish college and got into computers and started working for a day-trading firm in Charleston, SC. But I couldn’t shake this urge to create. I remember finishing Plum Island by Nelson Demille and thinking, “I have to write a book. I can do this,” and that’s how my writing career began. Chasing a dream, I left the comfort of making a ton of money and moved out to Washington State where I started working for minimum wage in the vineyards for the Hedges family. They took me in and changed everything I thought I knew about wine. One day, they called me out of the vineyards and asked me to go on a sales trip and I’ve been selling their wine across North America ever since. It’s the perfect compliment to a writer’s life. I meet tons of people and have gotten to see more of the country than I ever thought I would, and I have downtime on planes and in airports to pull the laptop out and dive into my next book. Last year, I fell in love with a Floridian and proposed to her after three weeks, and we decided to move back south. I think we’ll grow old together here in Charleston… I’m so happy to be back.
What is your work space and routine like? –
I’m an early morning guy. I usually make it into my office while it’s still dark outside. There’s a I Want to Believe poster above my desk… the one Fox Moulder has in the X-Files, and I have a couple guitars and banjos always trying to steal my time. My dogs are always at my feet. I make a big pot of herbal tea, turn on some jazz or electronic music (something without words), and dive right in on my Mac computer. Sometimes I can get going pretty quickly and sometimes I spend the first thirty minutes procrastinating in any way I can.
What are your favorite books and authors?-
Plum Island by Nelson Demille. History of Love by Nicole Krauss. Marathon Man by William Goldman. Kane and Abel by Jeffrey Archer. Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy. A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway. Anything Harlan Coben.
What are you reading now? –
I’m a few pages into The Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin, and I have a feeling it’s going to be one of my favorites of all time.
Banjo playing, Wall Street and a handlebar mustache I take you feel that variety is the spice of life? –
Ha ha. Variety is certainly the spice of life. Living every day like it’s your last. I think the truth is that I’m terrified of finding myself on my deathbed one day realizing that I didn’t do something that I wanted to do. That I didn’t grab the world by its tail.
What kind of reader would Lowcountry Punch appeal to? –
Anyone who enjoys John Grisham, Nelson Demille, Stuart Woods, or any kind of modern fiction. I love plot but I’m a character guy. I love making character’s that you’ll remember. It’s an easy book to read and love. The kind you can take to the hammock with some sunblock.
Being your first book was it difficult to get out and on paper? –
It was ferociously difficult. I had no idea what I was getting into. I actually asked friends to read the first draft, and looking back, I feel so bad for them. I rewrote it more than ten times over several years. At one point, half the book took place in Bolivia. That’s long gone in the trash bin of cyberspace. A lot of writers spit their first few books out very quickly and don’t make anything worthy of their talent until book five or six. I was so married to these characters and just everything about Lowcountry Punch that I was determined to keep rewriting it and reworking it until its full potential. It’s like learning an instrument. Writing takes a long time to get a handle on.
What future works do we have to look forward to? –
I read an article about the Technological Singularity about a year ago, and it has ever since consumed my fascination and imagination. This idea that technology is growing at such a rapid pace that mankind may not be able to fathom what lies ahead in the next twenty or thirty years. There’s some very smart people out there (NASA, Microsoft, Google folks) who think we could be on the verge of the next step in evolution, combining man and machine, bringing about what Nietzsche called the Ubermensch. The Overman or Superman. Beings who are part human but are stronger and faster and smarter and who can live longer. As you can imagine, these Singularians have their enemies. So my next book, Turn or Burn, explores skates around this a little, but it’s in no way science fiction or fantasy. Like Lowcountry Punch, it’s just a good old fashioned thriller. The protagonist, Harper Knox, has left his job as a military contractor and returned to his family’s cherry orchard in eastern Washington State. In an effort to heal his PTSD, he has ripped out the cherry trees his father planted and replaced them with grape vines, hoping that a more passive existence making wine might be the cure. But he’s running out of money, so he takes a bodyguard gig in Seattle protecting a doctor who is the headline speaker at something called the Singularity Summit. This doctor is one of the men pushing the envelope of technology, trying to connect man and machine. Harper finds out very quickly that he’s taken on more than he had intended.
Find out more about Boo on his web site http://www.boowalker.com/