Do you feel that any of the books you have read have influenced or changed your life in any way? And if so which books were they and in what way do you feel they influenced or changed your life?
Two books actually influenced me and still do. One is Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's 'The Little Prince (Le Petit Prince)' and the other one, Richard Bach's 'Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah' after having read his 'Jonathan Livingston Seagull'. Both carry a similar message: What you see is not necessarily what is real. In a certain manner, writing a historical fiction is offering readers a simulated reality which actually is a writing style often used. One author, the famous Colombian Gabriel García Márquez, was so much into it, he was known for having created the Magical Realism genre which now influences my writing.
What would the title of your autobiography be?
'There he goes again!' would probably be an appropriate title. It would be the main conclusion friends and members of the family would come with as they saw me kind of reinventing myself like the greek mythological Phoenix did and who kept having a new life by arising from the ashes of its preceding one. My basic career was working for the government as a sort of internal management consultant. But I always had a parallel life beginning in the musical domain starting from a guitarist around sixteen years old in a garage band, to composer and producer with my own recording studio. You couldn't imagine how the groups I produced would pay me back in the 70s. I still have a lot of musical instruments some of them I'm about to sell. Then when my second wife and I bought our house, I became interested in water-garden landscaping and built a couple in our yard, one of them being a typical Japanese garden with a tea house. People would ask me how I built them which resulted in me giving conferences on water-gardens. I then wrote a book in French about water-gardens and was offered a rather lucrative contract even before it was finished. It turned out to be a best-seller and as a consequence, was invited in two agricultural technical schools as a teacher for many years. After that, I slowly got involved in politics during a federal election campaign where one of my law teachers, a gorgeous woman who always gave me high scores, was a candidate. A few months later, I was asked to join the party as a political marketing strategist. At work, everyone thought I was a Quebec separatist because of my interest in Quebec's history and the resulting national pride I shared with others. Considered a traitor, I was framed, temporarily lost my job and got it back after suing my employer. Shortly before I retired from the Department of the Executive Council of Quebec as a communication strategist, I had begun writing and knew it would become my next 'life'. That's when my 'Ripper Hinting Days' novel experience started. I'm currently working on a second historical fiction, in French this time, and on a series of short stories, all based on amusing experiences I had here in Yucatan. Some of you probably read one of them,'Maria-Theresa The Bloody Catrina'. You see, I hate being defined, which would condemn me to a lifetime boring status. On the other hand, I, consider having a rather well organized chaotic life. So, "what's up next", might you ask? Who knows? I'm 71 years old going on 18 and could probably give you a lead by telling you I'm very much interested in hoping for a master's degree in Mayan archeology.
Who would you like to write your biography?
Let's say I'm still alive and consider being someone important enough to let others know who I am. An autobiography could then be interesting although it wouldn't sell that much. However, I have this friend I met here in Mexico five years ago when wy wife and I traveled in the state of Chiapas. He used to be a senior contributor at the London Daily News and had asked to be a war correspondent because he would enjoy traveling a lot. He was sent to Bosnia, covered the Rwandan genocide and the Afghanistan conflict. He now lives in Nottingham, still travels and works as a ghost-writer. One of my Yucatan short stories I should be finishing in a couple of days has him as one of the main characters. He would certainly love to spend some time here in Merida working on such a project. After some twenty re-writes, we would probably decide to forget the whole thing and instead open another bottle of Glenfiddich. Now if I were dead, I would certainly condemn someone to write my biography otherwise not a single word would be written about me besides 'At last'. Who would that be? How about my ex-wife who would come up with a horror story.