As an author of several mystery novels, what motivated you to shift gears with your latest project and write an inspirational book? Interview by “With Five Questions”

Actually, it wasn’t my idea to write my latest book, Conversations on the Bench. I was asked if I would be interested in writing a book about Sebastian, the central figure of this novel. What really motivated me to undertake the project was Sebastian himself and the story he had to tell. I only met him in person at a symposium hosted by the think tank that he had been instrumental in establishing. Over the next couple days I got to know him and his colleague, and I realized that he had a very fascinating perspective on life that was really the result of his own unique set of life experiences. The more I learned from my few conversations with Sebastian at that symposium and the more I subsequently learned from Robbie, the founder of the think tank, the more motivated I got about writing this inspirational book. It was clear to me that Sebastian’s story needed to be told. He had such a huge personality that you couldn’t help but like the guy, and I think everyone did. Everyone that I talked to had something good to say about Sebastian or had some story to tell about him and how he had impacted their life. He was always very positive and encouraging, and he was always there for his friends. He was just a remarkable individual and the more I got to hear his story, the more inspired I was. And ultimately, this entire project, Sebastian’s story, has really had a very big impact on my life, just as Sebastian himself had a big impact on the lives of people who knew him.

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