Author Interview - Ron Bagliere
Welcome to this week's author interview with Ron Bagliere. Besides being an author, Ron is also an editor. Ron has posted on my blog as a guest before but this time he shares his answers to my interview questions.
Thank you, Ron, for participating.
About Writing/Books/Being an Author
1. Do you remember the first book you read that had an impact on you - in what way and what was the name of that book?
The Lord of the Rings.
It had a tremendous impact on me as it started me writing some 30 odd years ago. For me, the epic fantasy novel was an affirmation on the spirit of friendship and having someone who would go through hell with you, and so I totally identified with the two hobbits, which got me to want about my experiences.
2. When did you first realize you wanted to write?
I was 27 at the time.
3. Who is/are your favourite author(s)?
Marrion Zimmer-Bradley – Kristian Hannah - Arthur C. Clark – Lisa Wingate
4. What is your favourite thing about writing? What is your least favourite thing writing?
That’s a big question. Writing is expression of myself in many ways, so it’s a journey. Creating characters with depth is such a joy and a challenge that I love and I can get lost for hours in their musings about life and their hopes and dreams – because yes, my characters are people. That probably makes me schizophrenic – LOL. As far as what I don’t like – that would be the marketing aspect, although it’s really not so much a dislike – rather it’s a distraction from doing the thing I really love: WRITING!
5. Where do your ideas come from?
For the last 5 years, most of my focus has been on Nepal and the people there, the culture, the land, and the mountains. Nepal is so rich with all these things and the backdrop so magnificent that stories just come naturally. Overall, stories come to me organically – things I see and hear, music, poetry all inspire narratives. I’m constantly drawn to broken people who are survivors, full of courage and resilience.
6. I’ve often found that creative people have more than one talent, what is yours?
Well, I used to draw quite a bit when I was younger, and people told me I was talented. I also enjoy photography and a few of my pictures made it into our local museum here in Syracuse.
7. If you could jump inside of a book for one day (as an observer) what book would it be?
The Lord of the Rings – The Return of the King
8. When you create characters are they completely made up or do they resemble or remind you of people you know?
75% of my characters have been created with people I have met. The other 25% come from the dark side – LOL
9. Have you ever created a character “out of thin air” only to run into someone in real life that reminds you of that character either in personality or their features?
Can’t say as I have, although I have run into some people who have had various mannerisms of some of my characters.
10. How do you come up with titles for your books?
Ah, that is a good question. I have found the titles find me rather than me going and looking for them. They usually find me somewhere around the last few chapters of my first draft, with the exception of “The Lion of Khum Jung”. That came instantly right in the beginning, when I was over in Nepal.
11. What are you working on now and can you tell us about it?
Right now I’m in the middle of a three book series that takes off after “The Lion of Khum Jung”. In 2014 Nepal suffered a series of natural disasters that affected the country economically and lives lost. This series touches on these disasters, which were the Everest Avalanche that ended the climbing season on Everest and took the lives of 16 Sherpa guides – the monsoon that displaced 170,000 people due to flash floods and flooding in general, and landsides in several districts throughout the country – and finally, the freak blizzard on the Annapurna Circuit that took the lives of 43 trekkers and stranded nearly 300 people on the trail. All three of these books focus on the these disasters through the eyes of the characters, drawing them together to be stronger than they believed themselves to be. The first novel in the series “On My Way to You” is slated to be out by the end of this year with the others following a year apart.
12. Have you won any awards for your writing/books and if so what?
I have received 2 awards for “Lion of Khum Jung” here in Syracuse and nationally, although I always leave it to my readers to decide what they think. If I can touch one person’s life, making it a tad better by something I’ve written, then it’s a winner as far as I’m concerned.
A Little More Personal
13. What is one thing you haven’t done but would like to do?
Trek the Annapurna Circuit and learn both Nepalese and Lhasa (Tibetan) languages
14. Can you tell us about an embarrassing/funny moment?
There are so many, it’s hard to pick one. I guess if I’m pressed I guess it would be my not realizing I was washing my hair with conditioner only while I was in Nepal. After a few days I looked like Jack Nicolson in the Shining. My hiking partner had quite a laugh at my wild look.
15. Have you ever experienced something weird you could not explain?
Not much that it was weird, but rather serendipitous. In my novel, The Lion of Khum Jung” I had the main character singing “Country Roads” by John Denver, which I thought was a stretch seeing how the story is in Nepal – but when I went back this year and was up in the mountains I heard the song playing not once, but three times during my trek. It raised goose bumps on my arms.
16. What is the strangest thing you have ever eaten?
1,000 year old eggs. I don’t recommend the delicacy to the faint of heart.
17. Do you have a favourite vacation spot? Where?
Umm…let me see…NEPAL? :)
18. What makes you happy?
My family and friends – they are the glue to life for me.
19. If you aren’t writing (or doing anything associated with writing), what are you doing?
Hiking with friends and family. There’s nothing like being with the people I love on a nice long trail in the woods or in the mountains.
20. Have you ever met anyone famous – who?
Bob Hope at LAX back in 1978, Don Henley, Michael MacDonald (backstage at the Syracuse War Memorial in 1977).