1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
My wife, Dr. Robecca Quammen, and I reside in Monroe, Georgia and Montverde, Florida. I started my medical career as the first PA in Walton County in 1974 when I joined Dr. Howard Barton in his practice in Social Circle, Georgia. After several years of practice in Walton County I took a position with Georgia Baptist Medical Center, Atlanta, as a medical provider with the Life Flight Helicopter program. I later became director of the program. Over the next several years I spent most of my time in emergency medicine and occupational medicine. After 23 years in practice I retired to join my wife in the medical information systems and management consultancy she founded and continued to serve in that capacity for another 18 years. We purchased a home in Monroe 2 years ago to be closer to our granddaughters.
2. What do you do when you are not writing?
I am a dedicated leisure reader and also enjoy music, art, and motorcycle riding. In addition, I serve weekly as a volunteer with The Good News Club, a faith-based after school program for elementary school children. I also serve weekly as a volunteer for Team Up Mentoring, a faith-based organization that serves children, youth, and young adults ages 3 to 21 who have a history of adverse childhood events and trauma. I serve with Team Up as a mentor and recently accepted a position as chairman of their Board of Directors. I am a strong advocate of reading programs for all children.
3. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
As much as I love to read, I never considered writing a book until 4 years ago. I was working on an extended consulting engagement for a hospital system in East Texas and was having supper one summer evening in a local restaurant when a great idea occurred to me. My great idea was based on the tradition my father established early in my childhood of writing short stories during his time away at work for his children. My father’s job required that he travel weekly to locations in Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, and Alabama. During those nights in motel rooms across the south he would jot down short stories about the antics of three mice who happened to be sisters. On arriving home each Friday evening he would have a new story to tell his children. My idea was to use the three sisters my father created as the principal characters in a book dedicated to my granddaughters in honor of my father. Since the original stories only lived for a short time on assorted scraps of paper and restaurant napkins, my task was to write all new adventures with lots of new characters. As the writing progressed, one book became a trilogy.
4. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I’m not sure it is interesting or unique but I do all my writing long hand on a legal pad before transferring it to an online format.
5. Do you have an upcoming book? If so, can you tell us a little bit about it?
Yes, the book described above is named Evergreen and it is the first book of a trilogy named “The Adventures of Pouxie, Mouxie and Chrissie.”
6. Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
Pouxie, Mouxie and Chrissie, three sisters who are the principal characters, came from my father’s imagination. Otherwise, all the other characters, all of the adventures, the book title, and the related trilogy are entirely the product of my imagination.
7. What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
I will be reading from chapter 12, “Papa Takes a Walk,” during the Meet the Author Event. I enjoyed writing this chapter because it was the first time since starting the book that I was able to use the sisters number one antagonist, “Sweetpea,” in a fast moving story line that involved the sisters, their parents and the amazing trio, the Crow Brothers: Archie, Festus, and Sam.
8. Who is an author that you look up to today?
For overall excellence as a writer and master of his craft: Stephen King.
9. What is your favorite genre of book to read?
My tastes vary widely. Of course there are the children’s classics. I also enjoy mystery, suspense, action stories, horror, and comedy.
10. What is your favorite book?
A very hard question to answer. If I have to pick just one I will pick The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemmingway. Simple but profound.
11. Is there any particular authors or books that influenced you growing up?
C.S. Lewis for the Chronicles of Narnia series, Lewis Carroll for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, J.R.R. Tolkien for The Hobbit, Rudyard Kipling for The Jungle Book, and E.B. White for Charlotte’s Web, to name a few.
12. Who is an author that has inspired you?
Edgar Allan Poe, for an absolutely incredible imagination.
13. Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Read, Read, Read; don’t limit your imagination, and don’t be afraid to step out of the box.
14. Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers?
Read, Read, Read; feed your imagination daily from a variety of sources, and don’t be afraid to step out of the box.