Interview #2 with Judge Rory R. Olsen
BURGESS: How long has it been since we visited before?
OLSEN: About two months.
BURGESS: Has anything changed since then?
OLSEN: The last time that we visited, my novel had just been accepted for publication by Booklocker,com. Inc. Since that time, the book has made it through the preparation and is available for purchase.
BURGESS: How have these last two months been for you?
OLSEN: Nerve wracking, mostly! But also, they’ve been very educational. Although I’d read about the process, I didn’t realize fully just how complicated and time consuming all of things that need to done prior to the release of the book can be.
BURGESS: For example?
OLSEN: The cover art was something that I’d never dealt with before.
BURGESS: What was the experience like?
OLSEN: It was somewhat out of my usual day to day experiences. I had a problem with the initial color of the cover. My wife noticed a way to make the cover look sharper. Several friends also added comments. Taken together, our changes really did make the cover look better. Since I’m a words person, I don’t have much experience dealing with fine arts issues. Fortunately, I had a good deal of help.
BURGESS: What was it like waiting for the book to finally come out?
OLSEN: Ken, do you remember the old cartoons where the very nervous husbands of the women in labor paced back and forth in the waiting room, drinking gallons of coffee and chain smoking? Well, I sort of felt like that. Every day I checked my e-mail every few hours, hoping that I’d get some word on when the book would be available. Then, finally after what seemed to be several lifetimes, I received an e-mail that said that a galley copy of the book would be shipped very soon.
BURGESS: I’ll bet that was a relief to you.
OLSEN: Not in the least. I received the e-mail on a Monday and I didn’t receive the galley until Saturday afternoon. That was one long, long week.
BURGESS: What was your reaction when the book finally arrived?
OLSEN: Shock, pure and unadulterated.
BURGESS: Why were you shocked?
OLSEN: Ken, when I started writing the novel, it consisted of nothing except a bunch of ideas in my head. Slowly the ideas started to take form as series of images on my computer screen. But since the novel was only two dimensional and only visible at my computer, it didn’t seem completely real. But when I opened the envelope and extracted the galley, those ideas and images had become real and tangible. I felt like a parent seeing his or her child graduate from college.
OLSEN: I was able to remember when the novel was nothing more than an idea in my brain that I found to be interesting. Seeing it in the form of a real, honest to God book, complete with bar code, cover art, copyright notice and all the other things that one finds in books was a major change for me. My little idea has grown up and become something quite tangible. I feel as if I’ve really created something.
BURGESS: Have you had any other interesting experiences since the book came out?
OLSEN: Well, the book has only been out for a short while, so I’m sure that I’ll have more to tell you down the road a piece, but right now two things stick in my mind. The first is that it took Amazon.com a while to list my book. Every day after the novel came out, but before Amazon listed it, I received good natured grief from an out of state lawyer friend who kept telling me that I wouldn’t be considered a real author until the novel was on Amazon’s web site. Once he saw it there, he conceded the point to me.
BURGESS: Rory, what else happened that captured your attention?
OLSEN: I received an e-mail from a retired high school English teacher in Florida, who asked me if I thought that it would be likely that Sean and Jo would actually hit it off, considering their differences in age, education and life experiences.
BURGESS: What happened?
OLSEN: We corresponded for a bit. At the end of our correspondence, I convinced her that Jo and Sean’s differences complimented each other’s personalities. Sean’s cautious nature balances nicely with Jo’s vibrant impetuosity. Jo’s great empathy and ability to read people goes well with Sean’s analytical powers.
BURGESS: Did you decide that anything else made them work as a couple?
OLSEN: From Jo’s perspective, the greatest thing about Sean is that he is absolutely madly in love with her. Being overwhelmed by a woman makes up for a lot of shortcomings.
BURGESS: What about the relationship from Sean’s perspective?
OLSEN: Having lost one wife, he appreciates having such a lively and lovely female in his life. Before Sean met Jo, his life was bleak and slowly unraveling. Jo’s vibrant presence brought life and warmth back into his life. And the fact that she is stunningly beautiful makes him even more grateful.
(to be continued - we hope)