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Meet Sandy Graham Author of Delbert Pillage
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Norm Goldman


Reviewer & Author Interviewer, Norm Goldman. Norm is the Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures.com.

He has been reviewing books for the past fifteen years when he retired from the legal profession.

To read more about Norm Follow Here






 
By Norm Goldman
Published on May 19, 2012
 


Norm Goldman, Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures.com Interviews Sandy Graham Author of Delbert Pillage

                                    





Author: Sandy Graham

Publisher: Infinity Publishing

ISBN: 10-0-7414-7278-3: 13: 978-0-7414-7278-6


Today, Norm Goldman Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures.com is pleased to have as our guest, Sandy Graham author of Delbert Pillage.

Good day Sandy and thanks for participating in our interview

Norm:

Please tell our readers a little bit about your personal and professional background.

Sandy:

I was born and raised in B.C. and obtained an engineering degree from UBC in 1961. That was two years after the Canadian government cancelled the Avro Arrow program, which had a very destructive impact on the Canadian electronics industry. It prompted me to join The Boeing Company where, over a thirty-five year career I rose to Chief Engineer – Avionics and Flight Systems. Since “retiring” I have split my time between developing financial planning software and creative writing.

Norm:

How much of you is in Delbert Pillage?

Sandy:

Since the story takes place in the 1950’s, locations and life styles reflect what I experienced during that time. A few events were triggered by that also. But Delbert and Sylvia are fictitious characters. I would never presume to have Delbert’s abilities nor was I ever harassed as a child. I did have St Vitus Dance at twelve and suffered three months of bed rest but didn’t have to wear goggles.

My feelings on the role of technology and the destructive nature of the Arrow cancellation are reflected in the book.

Norm:

If you could go back ten years and give yourself one piece of advice what would that advice be?

Sandy:

Get serious about creative writing right now. It’s more fun and fulfilling than I dared imagine.

Norm:

If you could change one thing about the world what would it be?

Sandy:

I wish there were a way to replace the polarized and bitter social conflict throughout the world with a more tolerant respect for each other.

Norm:

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? As a follow up, can you give us an idea about your philosophy of writing?

Sandy:

I find creating and sustaining conflict through a story difficult. Some experts claim every page should contain conflict to keep reader attention. It’s almost as though the protagonist can’t brush his or her teeth without dropping the brush. I lean too far the other way and have to work to maintain conflict. I do believe the conflict is more dramatic when the reader is first lulled into thinking all’s well with the protagonist before the bombshell drops.

My style is to keep the story moving so it’s perhaps light on background description. I like to use dialog and believe it helps the reader to be a part of the story.

Norm:

What was your creative process like when writing Delbert Pillage? What happened before sitting down to write the novel?

Sandy:

For years I wanted to do some serious creative writing, however, the pressures of an engineering career limited me to short pieces. To force the issue, I announced to my relatives that I was writing a novel even though it was only a few thoughts at the time. The theme of a boy growing into a hero and his thwarted romance was there. Then I started writing about the boy and the story grew with him. By the time the first draft was finished, I had 110,000 words. The final product contains 75,000 words so there was much cutting, editing and re-writing in between.

Norm:

How did you go about creating the character of Delbert Pillage?

Sandy:

As I mentioned, it began with him as a quiet boy hiding a superior intellect to avoid harassment. The hidden intelligence seemed necessary to enable him to grow into a test pilot at a remarkably young age. Early on, an editor asked me who is this godlike creature you have created? To counter that criticism, the harassment and inner conflict was intensified in later versions. I’ve tried to make it possible for readers to identify with Delbert and, as the story progresses, admire him for his accomplishments, character and ability to forgive.

Norm:

Did you know the end of your book at the beginning?

Sandy:

The first version had an entirely different ending. Both Delbert and Sylvia ended up dead and buried side by side. Together in death but not in life. Dramatic and too brutal. So I knew ahead of time what events would lead up to the ending, just not the eventual conclusion.

Norm:

Who is the audience for Delbert Pillage?

Sandy:

That’s a difficult question. Hopefully, it can appeal to both males and females between puberty and senility. However, some may find the technical bits worth skipping over. As time goes on, I tend to think of it more as a love story than a character study and therefore suspect it will appeal more to a female audience.

Norm:

In fiction as well as in non-fiction, writers very often take liberties with their material to tell a good story or make a point. But how much is too much?

Sandy:

Readers can tell the difference between improbable events and fantasy. On the other hand, the old adage about facts stranger than fiction often clouds the issue. In Delbert, for example, people have questioned how a university student could become a test pilot. Yet, the older brother of a high school classmate of mine did exactly that. Another example would be the glowing picture I paint of the Avro Arrow. If one searches the internet, they will find there is no exaggeration involved. While, some things in the book could be deemed improbable, I hope readers will not feel they totally lack credibility.

Norm:

Where can our readers find out more about you and Delbert Pillage?

Sandy:

Follow Here For Blog & Here For My WEBSITE

Norm:

Is there anything else you wish to add that we have not covered?

Sandy:

Yes, I would welcome constructive feedback from readers on Delbert, my writing technique and my upcoming books. Of course, Delbert’s success is in their hands through recommendations to friends. And Norm, thanks for making this interview possible.

Norm:

Thanks once again and good luck with all of your future endeavors.

Follow Here For Norm's Review of Delbert Pillage

Follow Here To Purchase Delbert Pillage