“To be a great lover, you have to shed your armor. To be a great writer, you have to shed your skin.” Frank can’t get past his writing instructor’s words. He’d like to be both, but his autistic childhood, visual impairment, dismissive parents, and narcissistic brother prevent him from being either.
Then on vacation in Hawaii, Frank has what feels like a paranormal experience on the Arizona Memorial that starts him down a path of psychological and spiritual self-discovery. In making the transitions from weird to respected, awkward to insightful, brainy to wise, his relationships with women shift from fearful to erotic, and through them doors open to unexpected opportunities with his writing. Lifting himself from the purgatory to which his past had banished him, he inadvertently helps free those he connects with from their own shadowed depths, making his story the Memoir of an Unlikely Savior.
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
In a writing class years ago I wrote a “word portrait” of Rene Magritte’s The Mysteries of the Horizon, an interpretation of the person and setting of the painting. Then as a later exercise I wrote a “wrapper” story about the writer of the word portrait and how it reflected his life.
I liked what I’d done and wrote more. I began to connect them into a set of linked short stories. Then I decided that the word portraits themselves were bogging down the read and removed them. The protagonist still wrote word portraits but the content was now only intimated.
Then I read an issue of Time Magazine about autism and realized the autistic nature fit my protagonist. I read books that taught me more about the attributes of an autistic childhood and about how some were able to overcome their limitations.
By then the collection was becoming a unified piece, finding its own life probing the boundaries of social, psychological, and spiritual understanding and how they fit together. My goal became the expansion of these boundaries for the protagonist, the author, and hopefully the reader.