Monday, December 5, 2016

Interview with Americana author Sig Schmalhofer

Author Sig Schmalhofer is visiting today to talk about his two Americana books, Jelly Beans in Life and Jelly Beans in Life 2, Trails.

Welcome, Sig. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
Complete bio available in my website. But, in short, I am a baby boomer/business owner who is very much like the main character. Since I majored in English, my dream was always to become a writer. Now that my kids are taking over much of the business activities, I am fulfilling my dream.

Please tell us about your current release.
The Jelly Bean series of books takes place in the eighties. The main characters are Larry, a Reagan loving salesman and his wife Susan, who is a liberal English teacher who is also a councilwoman in a small California town. There are personal conflicts aplenty and clever resolutions. My reviews on Amazon are exceptional.

What inspired you to write these books?
I am driven to make a mark on the world that will live beyond my life. Books are a wonderful legacy. Like everyone, the story of my life is interesting; perhaps not spectacular…but interesting. I’ve been fortunate to meet many people. Some eccentric, some crazy and some that inspire head shaking. I’ve integrated many personalities into fictional characters created to make readers smile, laugh or cry. Personal experiences and imagination has created a series of books that, apparently, are appealing, motivating and inspirational.

Excerpt from Jelly Beans in Life 2, Trails-Chapter 20, Page 193
“As they drove down Wood Road, a tumbleweed broadsided the Caravan, undoubtedly doing damage to the paint on the van’s side. Susan commented, ‘It looks like our trail will be filled with surprises today.’

‘Welcome to my world. Life as a salesman on the road is jam-packed with detours and unscheduled stops, but there are hidden opportunities around each bend, if we can just find a clever angle. There are actually times that the opportunities are discovered after we stop looking for them.’

Susan rolled her eyes, ‘So, Mr. Larry Schafer, president of the internationally acclaimed firm known as Connection Sales. You have the amazing ability to connect dots without even attempting to join them? The dots just fly around the universe and miraculously connect to their match?’

‘I’m pretty sure we met exactly that way.’”

What exciting story are you working on next?
Jelly Beans in Life 3 and Reputable Rep 2.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I typed the last word of the last sentence of the last paragraph of the final chapter in Jelly Beans in Life. That was a memorable moment!

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I’m 65. I have worked 50 consecutive years without ever being out of a job. Many years I worked two jobs. I am now the Chairman of the board of a small company (42 employees). My duties are 2-fold-

1-Continuing to build relationships with the decision-making people in our business.

2-Acting as a human GPS that makes sure we are traveling down roads that lead to the destination we’re aspiring to reach.

When I’m not involved in those things, I’m either spending time with friends, family (3-children. 7 grandchildren), golfing with long time buddies OR…writing!

Yes, I’m busy! I’ve now written 3 books in 3 years. The hope is to do more writing and less working, but I will always be involved in the business.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
My writing has a natural rhythm. I like to write listening to music that creates a mood and rhythm. When I am in a “zone”, I lose all sense of time and place. The characters take over the story and magically do what they are inclined to do. For me, that’s writing magic!

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A baseball player. Later in my life I found out why that would never be possible. At age 42 I was diagnosed with a genetic disease, Muscular Dystrophy. I talk about this challenge in Chapter 1 of my book The Reputable Rep and my main character, Larry, deals with it in Jelly Beans in life 2, Trails.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I write to bring joy to myself and my readers. Writing is my avocation not my vocation.

Thanks for visiting, Sig!


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