Author Interview with Cullen Dorn, Author of "The Hierophant of 100th Street"
Created By: BookBundlz
Cullen Dorn is the first winner of BookBundlz "The Book Pick" Contest. His book, "The Hierophant of 100th Street" won the Winter 2009-10 competition.
1. If you could have coffee with any 3 authors, living or dead, who would they be?
What an incredible morning that would be to have the likes of W. Somerset Maugham, James Baldwin, and Joseph Mitchell at my table.
2. If you could only take one book, food item and drink with you to a deserted island what would they be?
'The Price of the Ticket' by James Baldwin, chocolate, and perhaps a whiff of Jack Daniels.
3. What are your secret indulgences?
Feeding wild birds, squirrels, ducks, cats, dogs, and egrets. They have a way of finding you. Once done you can't ever finish with them. They become your friends.
4. What about you would surprise your readers?
I once went without food for eight days and meditated on top of the high hills of Point Pleasant, West Virginia, where Richard Gere years later did a movie entitled: 'The Mothman Prophesy' detailing strange and mysterious events occurring there nightly. I did not know about this when I went to the high hills for eight days and nights to be alone. I found out however rather quickly something was not normal in those hills.
5. What is your perfect day as an author?
The early mornings when writing you find you cannot stop. It is an exhilaration, an epiphany of sorts, --this change of consciousness that shifts one into a higher gear of cognition.
6. If you could be any fictional character who would it be?
I suppose the English captain John Blackthorne featured in 'Shogun' by James Clavell.
7. What are the book(s) you are reading now?
'The Power of Now' by Echkert Tolle, and soon after 'The Unbreakable Child' by Kim Michele Richardson.
8. What was your favorite book as a teenager, and why?
Recuperating from multiple knife wounds in the hospital as a teenager a friend brought me my first book entitled: 'My Wicked, Wicked Ways' by Errol Flynn. It opened my eyes to another world. I was hooked on books since.
9. (Aside from your own) What book(s) have you read that you think are perfect for book clubs?
'Soul Shift' by Mark Ireland; 'Angela's Ashes' by Frank McCourt; 'The Razor's Edge' by W. Somerset Maugham; and 'A Walk In The Woods' by Bill Bryson.
About Your Book:
10. Where did the inspiration for your book come from?
From real life experiences. I was born in New York City and came from a time that doesn't exist anymore except in the memories of its survivors. I grew up in a fifth floor tenement apartment in Spanish Harlem -one of eight children- with no air-conditioning, no refrigerator, perhaps a transistor radio and a television set with snowy lines across its screen. And outside in the street where four thousand people roamed, one can still hear the old Italian pushing his apple cart down the street, and the Puerto Rican man pouring colored syrup on an ice cone for a nickel. It was there on the streets that one saw life and death entwined in an awkward Tango, which delineated a culture that defined us.
11. They say every book written is the author telling a personal philosophy. What personal philosophy are you trying to get across?
That nothing in existence truly dies. Life cannot be extinguished. The earth breathes in and breathes out; the tides ebb and flow; we are here and we are not. This event or segment of time does not depict the whole story. It is simply a piece of a greater whole, which continues ad infinitum.
12. Writers are often surprised by something that happens in their book. Perhaps a character says or does something you did not think they would, or something you thought would only be a couple of paragraphs turns into 10 pages. What surprised you about your book?
I wanted to mention the unfair practices of clitorectomy on female children in Egypt only to find to my surprise an array of characters who sprung into existence, each as real as the surprised author whose head snapped back from its pages.
About Your Writing Process:
13. What is your writing process like?
Find a quiet space that is yours alone. Enter it and write till the writing takes over you. Six or more hours later you would have thought you were 'in there' only for a moment or two.
14. What gets you in the mood to write?
The need to rectify a wrong I suppose. No matter how large or small the injustice around you. Your voice needs to be heard. Whether it's instructive, inspirational, or therapeutic, the 'individuality of ideas' begs to be to be born with lantern in hand and legs running.
15. What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Never let any rejection stop you. Never let another define or validate you. Keep writing as writing is the voice of your soul. In the end Life will then have validated YOU.