Q: You’ve taken a lot on in The Boétie Legacy, and a World in Peril. What were some of the challenges you faced when writing this book?
A: The biggest challenge was making the shift from academic writing to fiction. On the one hand, it provided some of the greatest rewards along the way when the “ah-ha” moments arose. On the other hand, learning the art of fiction required me to go back through the manuscript and adjust everything each time one of those insights was learned. The other challenge with The Boétie Legacy, and a World in Peril, was filtering through the massive amount of information I acquired writing my dissertation on integral nonviolent conflict and paring it down to find just those gems needed to tell this story.
Q: What prompted you to write the book?
A: The original idea for The Boétie Legacy came about when I was attending the University of Granada, in Granada, Spain, in 2005. I had gone back to school in my forties looking for ideas on how I could participate more in our world’s fledgling bid for greater peace. As I continued with my education, I became more disenchanted with the academy and its presentation of the truth, and more committed to getting the knowledge necessary to understand some world events out to the informed public. And it seemed the best way to do that was through a story rather than some book filled with dry facts.
Q: How much of the book would you say is autobiographical? Or, how much of yourself have you put in the book?
A: I’m not surprised by the question. At times when writing The Boétie Legacy, I wondered the same thing. But the book is not autobiographical. I am not Luke (though I may aspire to be him), and none of the other characters are real people. I did, though, use large overarching themes for the book that I share with Luke. For example, we’re both in our mid-fifties, we both went back to school later in life, and we both sense our mission is to help more people understand the power of nonviolent conflict for global transformation. My hope is that my experiences in those areas will help the story ring true for the readers. I also wrote The Boétie Legacy on-site in Granada, Nicaragua, and flavored the story with many of the anecdotes about the city I got from the locals and expats I met there, again hoping to give The Boétie Legacy a more realistic feel. But the story itself—the conversations on nonviolent conflict and the People’s Global Mandate, and the process of Jo helping Luke find his purpose—is fiction.
Q: Are you working on anything else at the moment?
A: No, other than taking notes about Ecuador, which is where the next book in the series will probably take place. I feel the need to finish The Boétie Legacy first. Too much in my life has been sacrificed not to honor that commitment. But in the process of publishing The Boétie Legacy, I’m putting in place the platform to make my career as an Indie writer, so it’s all working out as it should.
Q: What’s “home” for you?
A: That’s a tough question right now. I put everything I had into finishing my PhD, and then to afford to write and publish the The Boétie Legacy I had to move to Latin America. At this point, I have no place to call home, which saddens me. But I hope to see that change soon.
Q: How close are Luke’s beliefs to your own?
A: Very close.
Q: Do you think many readers will be able to relate to Luke?
A: Yes. He’s as lost and confused as everyone else. He’s gone through the disillusionment many of us experience as we age and see the world through more mature eyes. But he also hasn’t given up hope, and he’s passionate about bringing forth his unique offering to the world. I’m hoping not only that people can relate to Luke, but also that he inspires them.
Q: Is there anything you want people reading your book to know?
A: Yes. That while The Boétie Legacy is fiction, as much as possible the information I inform it with is based on research, not just my opinion.
Q: How will you know if you achieved your goals with The Boétie Legacy?
A: If the ideas of humanity’s right to ultimate sovereignty and the creation of a People’s Global Mandate enter the public discussion, and the necessary people come forth to help me take them to the next stage.