Birds chirp outside the window and there is a gentle breeze coming in through the window next to our table. The hum and murmur of background voices is fairly loud but slowly dissipates as you bring your coffee over to our table and ask me your questions:
“So what was it like growing up for you?”
Well, It’s interesting that you should ask that question. I was born in Columbia, Missouri and I bounced around a lot when I was younger. In fact, for the first seven years of my life I could have been a tumbleweed! I was raised in Berkeley, CA and lived there for about seventeen years. We moved into my boyhood home in the Berkeley Hills in August of 1967 and I moved out in 1984 when I went to NDSU in Fargo, North Dakota. I think it was a lot of fun growing up in Berkeley. We played street football ("3 completes for a first down! Watch out for cars!") I used to go to Tilden Park, and we rode the Steam Trains and went to the Little Farm. I remember one outing our family went to Tilden Park on a Picnic and I found a stream. I walked along that stream and I remember I felt like I was a prospector during the Gold Rush in 1849! In 1975, The man who would be my stepfather moved in and married my Mom in 1981 and stayed with her until his passing in 2019. There was a time when he took my brother and I to Codornices Park near the Rose Garden and we just spent about an hour or two playing softball. That was something my biological father never did. We had a great time! I miss him.
“Tell me some things about you that not many people know.”
Wow! What a question! I am a pretty honest and open person anyway, but I guess…hmmm…This is a hard question. A good one! Let me give it a shot. Even though it has been considered to be less than masculine (yet so many men do it) I would say that I really enjoy cooking. I am not a Master Chef or anything, but I enjoy making meals that my wife and I enjoy eating. I began by making Frittatas and then moved into Mushroom Stroganoff, Vegetarian Pot Pies with a Gluten Free Crust, Vegetarian Enchiladas, Gluten Free Spaghetti and Pizzas with Gluten Free Crusts. By the way, I have been a vegetarian since 1987. Other things that people may not know is that I could be called a "Renaissance Man" in that I have held more and varied occupations than I care to admit! I have been involved in Architecture, Teaching, Health and Wellness, Martial Arts, Shipping and Receiving, Retail and Writing to name a few. Quite a spectrum of occupations. But the jobs I have held are only a small part of who I am. Oh! I am also a reader. You won’t find me far from some kind of book.
"What are some things you like to do when you’re not writing?"
I enjoy taking walks and reading my book. I found a useful term a while back: “Bibliopedestrianism”. It means reading while you walk. I grew up in Berkeley and I would walk our dogs Cookie (A London Sheepdog) and Sam (Our toy Poodle) and read my book at the same time. I learned how to do this while I was growing up in the Berkeley Hills and several times I would look up and see someone else out walking with their head buried in an Agatha Christie Murder Mystery novel or travelling into the wilds of Africa with Isak Dinesen. I usually was absorbed in Historical Fiction by James Michener or Fantasy by J.R.R. Tolkien or a quick Thriller by Michael Crichton or Tom Clancy. Other things I enjoy doing are watching T.V. with my wife. My favorite show is Star Trek or Star Trek: The Next Generation. I love the way they use a positive message in every one of their episodes. They show that even though differences may exist, there are ways to work them out constructively. I also enjoy some of the Classic TV shows I saw when I was growing up such as M*A*S*H, Barney Miller, Hogan’s Heroes, The Twilight Zone and okay, okay…The Beverly Hillbillies and The Andy Griffith Show. My wife and I watch the Pioneer Woman, the ID Channel, keep up with local and national news, go out to dinner with friends when the occasion permits.
I have read probably close to two thousand books in my lifetime. I began with Children's Literature such as One Small Blue Bead, Where's Wallace? and Stuart Little and have read several other genres since then. My favorites are Historical Fiction, Science Fiction and Suspense Novels. I have read Tom Clancy, Robert Ludlum, James Michener, Michael Crichton and others. Some of my most Highly recommended books are revealed here. Take a peek inside...
Here is a list of books I have recently read and some I have reread! This is not an exhaustive list, just some books I have read (or to which I refer) within the last few months that I would like to share.
Here is a brief story of my life. Not necessarily a best-seller, but then...who knows?
"Roger P. Gay is a man of his word(s)—as his writing clearly demonstrates. I should know, as I am the recipient of his considerable talent in his review of my children’s story: Christmas Yve: A Kiwi Elf’s Dream to Join Santa.
An architect(ural Project Manager) by professional training, Roger has the ability to communicate the key theme (blueprints) of any assignment he undertakes. Yet, he is also an artist whose heart is not worn on his sleeve, but woven into his writing. Expect insight, acumen, and a sprinkle of humour too. "
Stephen J. Groak