I want to give you a little insight as to where my inspiration and my journey began many moons ago with full disclosure. In the early days, everything was an adventure. My hair was long, my jeans had peace signs stitched on threadbare knees, I had a sweet girlfriend, and I was graduating with honors to everyone’s surprise. I’ll talk more about my exile by my frustrated parents to a corner of the world deep in the woods of central Vermont, that you literally needed a magnifying glass to find. Those turned out to be the most important few years of my life.
I loved being a ‘hippie’ in the days when things were a lot simpler. I remember stretching out on a blanket under the stars with my girlfriend and dream of the future. It was great. I hate to use that old phrase of Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll, but it was so appropriate for the times. Many philosophers were born from a bottle of Ripple wine with special additives and a cloud of good Columbian—a lot of babies, too! To this day, I am not against certain things if you get my drift.
Then the war happened, and I stumbled out of a world full of possibilities with the Moody Blues as the theme song of my life… into one very different. As quick as my shorn locks hit the floor, I was in the Navy. I’m not going to give you a monologue about Viet Nam. We have all heard one version or another. Maybe sometime down the line.
That was when the love and escape of reading came back to me that my sainted mother exposed me to at an early age. Aboard ship we would always pass around any dogeared paperbacks we could get our hands on to pass the off time. That’s where I got hooked. Someone gave me a tattered copy of The Deep Blue Goodbye with a character named Travis McGee and author, John D. MacDonald. McGee was a vagabond, but a lovable character who lived aboard The Busted Flush, a houseboat he’d won in a card game. He would work when he got low on money—his card said he was a marine salvage expert and that was true to some degree. His lifestyle was free, with beach bunnies galore, good gin flowing and always a good shoulder to cry on. But McGee was more than that. He was a champion for those who had been stepped on and of course, he would inevitably get tangled up in and help the damsel. He was told, and grudgingly agreed, that he did have a white-knight complex. He was tough, smart, and extremely resourceful when he had to be and a charmer when called for.
My character, Nick, has a lot of McGee in him—the compassion part and the penchant for getting mixed up in things left to those more qualified. Nick is strong, resourceful and like McGee, he helps his friends in need. Nick is a fund ride with a great cast of characters that I have grown to love.
I’ve since immersed myself in books, mostly fiction, and I have turned into an audiobook junkie. A good narrator will pull you into the story and after a while you hear the characters as they come alive. I have been told I have the voice and who better to do Nick…than Nick? I mean me… don’t I?