Saturday, August 27, 2011

Feature Author Interview: Ronald Louis Peterson

                                                     Author Interview: Ronald Louis Peterson  

 Tell me a bit about yourself.
I grew up in New York City in the 50’s and 60’s. I had dreams of playing for the New York Yankees but never played professionally. I hold a B.A. degree in English from City College of New York and joined the Peace Corps upon graduation and served for 27 months in Ethiopia as an 8th grade English teacher.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ve always expressed myself creatively with words and developed a love for classic English literature at CCNY where Joseph Heller, author of Catch-22, was one of my writing instructors. I started writing professionally after graduating from Boston University with an M.S. in broadcast journalism. I worked as a radio and TV journalist for about 8 years before becoming a public relations consultant.

What inspired you to write your first book?
Reflecting on the 9/11 tragedy and reading The Purpose Driven Life sparked a need to create a story that would help me explore the questions about life that these two experiences had raised in me.

How much research goes into writing your book(s)?
 A TIME TO… is my first published novel and I’m working on a second one now. A TIME TO… required my reading first-hand accounts of what took place on 9/11 and researching some of the other historical events and places that I reference in the novel. I’d guess that I researched a total of about two weeks for it. It’s hard to say how much I’ll need for my second novel, which is a thriller about computer hacking and social networking.

What books have influenced your life most?
Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov and Crime and Punishment, Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace, George Orwell’s 1984, Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, and Joseph Heller’s Catch-22.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I couldn’t pick just one from the books that have influenced my writing. Each of these writers has mentored me in some way.

What book are you reading now?
CUTTING FOR STONE by Abraham Verghese.

In what genre do you typically write?
I enjoy books having good stories with social, spiritual and historical significance that make me think and feel.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I spend time with my family, read, listen to music and travel to interesting places.

Where do you get your ideas for your books?
I draw from my life and from current events to find topics that move me in some way.

What new author has grasped your interest?
Most of my reading materials for the past twenty-five years have been written by journalists because of my work. I’m just now beginning to spend time reading for pleasure again and look forward to discovering new favorites.

If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be?
I’d love to be a philanthropist.

What is your favorite moment/memory since becoming a writer?
It has to be holding my published book in my hands for the first time.

What was your favorite chapter to write and why?
The last chapter is my favorite because it took me five years to get there and because its messages reflect the most important points in my story.

Why do you feel you had to tell this story?
I, like millions of other people around the world, was injured spiritually as a result of what had happened on 9/11. I needed to put things in perspective so I could go on living a healthy, happy life in this world.

Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
I don’t want to give much more away than I’ve already said about it other than to say that it could be a series.

How do you market your book(s)?
I’ve got a website with a video trailer as well as excerpts from my book for readers and listeners. I’m selling A TIME TO… on my website,, and other online retailers. I’m active on all the major social networking sites and many book-related sites like this. I’ve had my book reviewed by distinguished book reviewers. And I distribute press releases when I have news to share.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
If you enjoy creative writing, do it. Only you can prevent yourself from writing. You may not get paid for it, but that’s another story. It takes years to develop your talents and your audience, so factor these into the equation so you don’t quit your day job before you should.

Do you have any thing else you would like to say to your readers?
Please buy my book if it sounds interesting and spread the word to others who would enjoy it. I’m selling signed, personalize copies directly from my website with free shipping for $15 each. Help me quit my day job sooner rather than later and I’ll be forever grateful. If you have a question, email me.

Check Out A Time To...Available in Kindle and also in Paperback! Rated 5 stars! Be sure to be on the lookout for his next novel

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