Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your
My name is Ed Kellner and I am 73 retired.
Fiona: Where are you from?
My wife and I moved from Wenham, MA (20 miles north of Boston) and settled in our home in Paradise, Myrtle Beach last July 2016 after retiring in June. I like to tell people who are still working, “Retirement is worth the wait.”
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I am the oldest of six children and I have been married 3 times. I have 4 children and 3 stepchildren. I have 15 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. I came from a middle class family in Haverhill, MA and I graduated from Haverhill High in 1962.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I self-published a Children’s Book a couple of years ago called Sidney the Uncommon Squirrel. More about Sidney later.Well, if you heard it once, you’ll hear it again, I cannot wait until I’m retired and then I’m going to write. I retired last July and I have begun research for a number of writing projects and will soon put the pen to paper.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing in grammar school when I wanted to be a scientist. That interest faded and sports writing took over. I was the Sports Editor of Haverhill High School newspaper and I was a high school correspondent for the Boston Herald-Traveler. At the season ending breakfast for this newspaper, we were challenged to write an article about our main speaker. I joked around with a kid from Boston College High and I won the contest and he came in second. Besides getting my name in the paper and I won a $25.00 award. I declared that I planned to attend Northeastern University in Boston the next Fall. When I went for my interview at Northeastern, I read the bulletin board and there was the article about my writing award and underlined was my intent to attend Northeastern. I was accepted into the school and I eventually worked my way up to the Sports Editor of the Northeastern News. I left Northeastern in 1965 and I returned after serving as a Chinese Translator for the U.S. Air Force in the Far East.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
For the Senior Banquet, I wrote a review of our four years in sports and this was printed in the Haverhill Journal. I knew I was going to write in some capacity novels, short stories, etc. After college, I wrote for various newspapers, I interviewed Gary Wolf author of Who Framed Roger Rabbit for Skyline Magazine. He said he would only spend one hour with me on the phone with the questions I researched for the interview. He was so impressed with my research, we talked for 21/2 hours. Research is my forte and it is necessary for any book I will write.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My mother and I signed up for a feminine writing course. We walked into the class and lo and behold, it was made up of all women. The teacher looked at me and asked, “What are you doing here? “I replied that I wanted to learn to write.” Not only did I finish the class, five of us stayed together in a writing group and we met monthly for 2 years. It was here that I gave birth to Sidney the Uncommon Squirrel. I worked in Boston for 13 years and I spent most of my lunch time feeding squirrels, ducks and pigeons. You might say I was the “Squirrel Whisperer.” I clicked my voice and squirrels came running for that peanut. I started writing about Sidney.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Sidney was a typical teen-aged squirrel and was bored living at home and wanted to leave home and seek adventure. A friend of Sidney told him to go to Boston where the tall trees were (Boston Common) and he would find all kinds of food, nuts and meet new friends. Sidney is the name of an Uncle of mine who died in the late 40’s. He had respiratory problems and went to Arizona for a drier climate and died. I hardly knew him, but I wanted to dedicate the book in his name. Sidney the Uncommon Squirrelis unlike any other squirrel because he came to Boston to look for adventure and was able to befriend different people and animals.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
Sidney is my first book and I hope to write a series of Sidney’s adventures. May Sidney goes to the Esplanade to watch the Boston Pops on July 4th. He could come to Myrtle Beach. He has a cousin who owns a condo in Seaside. My writing is simple. It follows the action of the scene. I love the writing of Robert Parker, simple and to the point.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Sidney mirrors my life. I love to travel and my service in the US Air Force as a Chinese Translator brought me all over the Far East. My first wife and I (that is a story for another day) traveled to Japan and Hong Kong. Both countries were beautiful. My present wife (#3) and I moved to Myrtle Beach last July and we cannot wait to travel around the South.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
No. I love to research my projects and I have already done a lot of research for a couple of mystery/crime novels I will write.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Davina Kinney, Davina Kinney.Com She was wonderful. My wife and I took pictures all over Boston and Boston Common to match the scenes of the book I worked very closely with Davina to preserve the authenticity of the area. She was very patient and did a masterful job. I would recommend her for your next project.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
This was a Children’s Book and Sidney was warned by his father to be very careful on his adventure. He should make sure that he had a good time, but watch his back. As it turns out, Sidney experienced adventures full of fun and danger. However, he made friends and got the help he needed.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
Actually,my favorite writer was Robert Parker. I absolutely love Jesse Stone played by Tom Selleck and a saw a couple of scenes filmed on Boston Common for Spencer for Hire with Tom Selleck. Parker’s writing was very simple with normal conversations in his crime novels and he definitely left the whodunit for the end.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Without a doubt, the writing group from my feminist writing group. We were all writers and we supported each other with praise and if, necessary, critique. I reached out to an author on Linked In and she offered some valuable changes for the book.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
No, but I see it as a wonderful way to spend my retirement.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
My latest book is in my head and in the research I have done. I look forward to getting lost in the lives of my characters.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I submitted Sidney to Writer’s Digest for a writing contest. I did not win, but I received wonderful advice from the person judging my book. He gave me excellent feedback and said to let Sidney experience more of his own adventures.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
I would love to have Tom Selleck provide dialogue for Sidney in a full length animated film.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Don’t wait until you are 73 like me and say you will write once you are retired. Please put the pen to paper or work those keys on your computer and write. Don’t wait! You are a writer and please start writing. You can do it. You are a writer, so write.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Identify what your writing blocks may be and how to unblock them. Don’t say you don’t have the time. You do. Make the time. Don’t say to yourself that no one will like my writing. So I won’t write. You are a writer. Don’t be afraid and write
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Clark the Shark Afraid of the Darkby Bruce Hale.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The first book that really scared me was Hound of the Baskervillesby Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I was probably 9 or 10 when I read it and I thought the hound was real. Subconsciously my life as a writer began here. I also loved the Hardy BoysMysteries created by Edward Stratemeyer. Frank and Joe Hardy experienced many adventures and they were books that I could read as a youngster.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
My wife would tell you that commercials on TV will make me laugh and cry. I can get choked up about kids in a dance recital and my will say, “Where are the tears?” I love watching You Tube bloopers. I am very sensitive.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Jack Kerouac’s On the Roadinspires my traveling juices although I don’t think I’d be as bold as he was. He burst on the scene as a “Beatnick” at a time when we were evolving from our Victorian Days. Another writer who rocked my world in college was Saul Alinsky and his Rules for Radicals. This was the 60’s the “Times They Were a Changing” inspired this writer. He said, “ in order to change an organization, you have to get inside that organization and used the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission as an example.” Well lo and behold, years after graduation I worked for Mass Rehab and became a whistle blower and I helped to pass the Disability Reform Act of 1984 which stated, in order to be removed from disability you will no longer have a disability or you are working full time. I felt like I was in the CIA. I worked with the advocates, grassroots groups across the country and Congress. It was both exciting and I was so paranoid I would get caught snooping around.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
I love to write and I look forward to my crime novels, short stories and magazine articles.
I love sightseeing with my wife and of course there are the trips to the dog park with Dylan and Toby. I love watching crime shows on TV and we are almost finished with The West Wing (100 episodes) Ilove Face Time with my kids and grandchildren back home.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Law and Order and Forensic Files
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
I cannot refuse Chinese food with fried noodles, lobster, fried clams.
Music from the 50’s and 60’s gets me going.. When I first got sober, I used to meditate to AC/DC. I was very wired for sound.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I would become like my dogs: eat relieve myself and sleepand chase other dogs at the dog park.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
There goes a good man
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Not yet. You can reach me at http://edkellner.com/ .