Did you always know the book would be called Sydney’s Song, or were some other titles considered?
No. At the start the title was “Once Upon 131500”. I changed it five times as the story grew, but in the end, still I wasn’t happy. Two friends who didn’t know each other eventually suggested “Sydney’s Song”. Since then I’ve grown to really love this title, except the apostrophe of course – in this tweeting age it isn’t advisable.
As a reader, what most motivates you to buy a new book to read?
Intriguing new knowledge, in both fiction and non fiction. I’m very curious to know how those different from me live and think.
As the writer of Sydney’s song, please state, in fewer than 30, why someone should choose to read your book.
Tragically humorous, Sydney’s Song will entertain readers of any genre who occasionally want something different. It’s a beautiful story of love and survival that no reader will ever forget.
What is your favorite line in the book?
What do you like best about Pete?
Ohh that’s endless! And I’m not talking about his looks. But here are some:
‘I appreciated the fact that he was subtle and polished, never coarse or dull or blunt. This week I had come to know he was also caring.’
‘With considerable social finesse, Pete handled her subtle interrogation… I began to discover that one of Pete’s greatest assets was his ability to see both sides of an issue and to diplomatically negotiate a compromise. He was objective, unbiased, fair, and always tried to bring about a peaceful coexistence among the people around him…With his warm personality and his warm tone of speaking he made people feel comfortable.’
‘Pete was everybody’s best friend… He could be calm, he could be vivacious. At times playful, at times serious. With his balanced temper and personality, in happy or troubled times Pete was simply great to spend time with. What special was, he kept in touch with each one of these friends.’
‘I loved how he stimulated my mind. I loved getting lost in a discussion until we lost track of time. To me, Pete never ceased to be interesting.’
‘“You’re so good, Pete. You don’t just dream and talk… You actively takes actions whenever possible, doing something real for the less fortunate.”’
And so much more! The point is – as the character Pete is a real living and breathing person – that no matter what disabilities befall you, nobody – nobody! – can take away WHO you are as a person.
How much do you have in common with Sydney?
First of all, for the life of us, we both can’t sing. We’re outdoorsy. Sydney is tenacious – which, according to my daughter, is both my best and worst trait. Sydney feels deeply for others, which gives her the drive to act. She is proactive, she doesn’t just talk. See? This is one of the reasons why she relates to Pete. And, she understands nobody will honour her – except the honorable.
Have you published anything else that fans can hunt for?
Mmm… not in English. Old fans have been hunting me to re-publish my ancient teen work – but I’d like to develop the first book if I were to release it again. I don’t even own the copies of my other work – they were lost in my country-hopping days. I saw in google result that some fans still keep them though. Perhaps I’ll contact them for a copy one day.
What do you plan to write next?
I have three WIS – Work In Suspension. They’re all real-life socio fiction. One of them is about four boys. Their mothers are the only females in the story.
What one word best describes what it takes to be a writer?
Haha! My daughter would choose tenacity – but, like a friend told me once when we were lost while hiking in the mountain, “Be creative!”, to write and to survive with your sanity intact requires creativity.
And now I’d like to ask some questions to your fictional characters:
Random Fun Questions for Pete:
Any T tips to keep people from ending up like Charlie?
Charlie? Ohh… you have to ask Sydney that!
Do you carry a toothpick?
No. Chewing gum works for me.
What is your favorite Mother Goose nursery rhyme?
Three Blind Mice. My big sister sang that when my little brother was born – she was 12, I was 6, but since then we’ve always referred to the three of us as Three Blind Mice.
“Hahvid Yahd” or “Harvard Yard” – do you speak with a Bostonian accent?
Hiya mate, I’m not such a Masshole anymore, but yes, your travels won’t make you lose your accent entirely.
Random Fun Questions for Sydney:
Would you say shrimp on the barbie or prawns on the barbie?
How do you feel about kangaroos?
They are so adorable. Gentle. Lovely. I always feel repulsed seeing boxes of them shelved in the supermarket’s cold section.
What are your feelings on peanut butter?
I love the crunchy variety on toast once a week.
Do you prefer the New England Aquarium or the Sydney Aquarium?
The Great Barrier Reef of the Sydney Aquarium fascinates me.