Revisit: Interview by Mdluchies: Conversations on the Bench is inspired by actual events. How much of the book comes from real life experiences?

DC: A good deal of the book is factually based.  Once I decided that I had to tell Sebastian’s story, I spent several years, off and on, having conversations with Robbie who recounted a lot of the conversations he had had with Sebastian over the years.  On occasion he had tremendous detail about the time, place, and events surrounding the conversations.  I understand that he kept detailed notes about things he felt were important.  Now there were a lot of gaps in his memory and his notes from time to time, so I had to fill in the blanks and create the scenes.  What I tried to do was get a whole chronology from the time he met Sebastian until the time we started writing the book.  I had him give me significant events, people in their lives, people who they had encountered at various places, and so on and so forth.  What I did was try to fit everything together so I didn’t have to make things up.  I did have to make a few people so that the story flowed and made sense, and I did have to alter a few situations so that other people could more easily relate.  But it’s important to keep in mind that all of Sebastian’s lessons as discussed in the book were the actual lessons that Sebastian shared with Robbie.  The presentation of those lessons may have been dramatized when needed or when there was insufficient information about the circumstances surrounding the conversations Robbie and Sebastian had, but the lessons themselves are Sebastian’s lessons and anecdotes.

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