Thursday, March 8, 2012

Author Interview with R. L. Prendergast author of Dinner With Lisa

I would like to welcome R.L. Prendergast author of "Dinner With Lisa" to my blog today, he has graciously offered  answer a few questions about his his book.

What inspired you to write Dinner With Lisa?

When I was young, maybe eight or nine, and there was a birthday or Christmas, it was generally held at my grandparent’s house. Inevitably, after dinner, the older members of the family, in their seventies, eighties, and nineties, would begin to reminisce. They’d share stories about interesting characters they knew or something they’d experienced when they were younger. Most of the stories took place between the First World War and the 1940’s. I’d sit at the table with the adults and listen entranced by these tales. Thirty years later I could still recall many of the stories and I began to write them down. Before long I could see a thread connecting these stories and pretty soon I was sewing them together. Of course the stories had to be altered in order to fit a grand theme, however, it would be accurate to say that Dinner with Lisa was inspired by family history.

Do you have a favorite character in the story?

I like all of the characters in Dinner with Lisa and I enjoyed coming up with their backgrounds and developing them into very real people, however, I think my favorite character is probably the main character’s brother – The Great Henri. The Great Henri is based very loosely on someone my mother knew when she was a little girl. This man was bigger than life, as you can tell from his name. What I like about him is the way he lives his life. Even though he has experienced hardship, like anyone else during the Great Depression, he faced it with humor. What’s the use of living if you aren’t going to enjoy yourself?

How has your life changed since becoming an author?

The quick answer is that I’m much poorer now that I’m an author. Before writing I always had well paying jobs, but once I began to write full time, it was down hill financially from there. Even though my first novel – The Impact of a Single Event – became a national bestseller, it takes me so long for me to write a novel that I run out of money before the next book is on the shelf! However, I wouldn’t change a thing. I’d rather be happy and poor than well off and hating my work life.

Thanks R.L. for taking the time to answer a few questions, here is a bit about R.L.

Image of R. L. PrendergastR. L. (Rod) Prendergast was the entrepreneurial kid you saw on your neighborhood street selling lemonade on a hot summer's day. Recognizing young Rod's preoccupation with money, his mother bribed him to read with an offer of 25 cents per book--and instilled in him a lifelong love of reading. Although he continued down the path of industry--he started and sold his first business before completing his Bachelor of Commerce--he continued to read voraciously. After a number of years working in sales, marketing and management for several companies he spent a year's sabbatical surfing and reading in New Zealand and, free of business pressures, he began to write. Those first words became the backbone of The Impact of a Single Event--which was long listed for the Independent Publishers Book Award for literary fiction, and which became a national bestseller in Canada. Spurred on by the success of his first novel, he took another sabbatical and wrote Dinner with Lisa. He is currently working on his next book.

Book Description

October 1, 2011
In the disastrous economic times of the 1930s, Joseph Gaston, a young widower with four children, arrives in the small town of Philibuster seeking security for his family. Instead, he faces barriers everywhere. He does his best despite great adversity, but the strain of feeding and protecting his family whittles away his strength. Finally, destitution forces him to consider giving up his children in order to save them. Enraged by his situation, he attempts one last desperate act-on the night he learns about the mysterious Lisa. Heart wrenching, humorous and historically authentic, Dinner with Lisa incorporates the crucial issues of the depression: poverty, unemployment, drought and racism. In the midst of love and loyalty, trickery and despair, the ultimate message of the novel is one of hope and the courage to survive even the worst odds.

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