Skip to main content

#Giveaway & Interview: Commodore - Simon Sobo

We are pleased to welcome Simon Sobo to the blog, as he answers our burning questions and we host a giveaway! Please visit his websites for more information; CommodoreNovel,com and SimonSobo.com.

Who or what inspires your writing?
I don’t have the slightest idea when I am writing, but much later, removed from the process, I see certain connections that I hadn’t suspected.  At the Commodore website I address this issue with examples.

When did you first know you would be a writer?
In college I first tried writing stories.  Later I wrote movie reviews, and psychiatric articles  and whatever else inspired me.  I did that for 25 years but all along I felt my true calling was fiction.  I felt it offered the greatest amount of freedom to tell the truth.  I didn’t have to worry about professional reputation.

How long did it take you to write your first novel?
2- 3 years.

What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Keeping the material entertaining.  The story more or less tells itself, but then you have to step back and see if other people will be as interested as you are.

Do you have any writing rituals?
None.

Have you written anything else?
I’ve written for the Yale Review, the Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, Medical Hypothesis, most of them opinion pieces, but usually full of clinical details that readers tell me remind them of  characters in a novel. I took that as praise, because no where else do people come as alive as they do in fiction.

Who are your favorite authors?
Jhumpa Lahiri, Saul Bellow, Phillip Roth, Nietzsche.

What are some of your favorite books, or which book has impacted you the most?
Herzog.  Like many other readers I saw myself in this character.

What are you currently reading?
Lahiri’s The Namesake, The Lowlands.


AND NOW THE GIVEAWAY
Commodore was born while I was writing a different book, After Lisa.  That was a story about a writer I had seen (as a psychiatrist) who was completely beaten down by circumstances, the worst imaginable.  His 12 year old daughter died of cancer, then his 16 year old son attempted to hang himself, failing only because the pipe he attached his rope to gave way. Convinced his son fully intends to follow through on his plan as soon as he is let out of the hospital, we follow  the writer as he tries and fails to rescue his son.   All of the cards had  been stacked up against him, including an insurance company that refused to let his son stay safely in the hospital.    To find relief from his despair Michael writes a  novel about a man that is different from himself in every way.  Cornelius Vanderbilt, the 19th century’s version of Superman becomes the focus of his imagination.
 
 Vanderbilt came from the bottom rung.  He quit school at 11.  That wasn’t unexpected. His father was an illiterate farmer who had disdain for book learning The family tried to farm in rocky soil of Staten Island along the shore,  meaning they  faced the full force of New York’s upper bay which delivered  damp, cold ferocious winds that his father cursed and spat against trying to  make a battle of it .  He usually lost.   It was predictable that the senior Vanderbilt took some of it out on his son.
 
Nor was it better for Cornelius at school.  Vanderbilt’s teacher showered him in the classroom with unconcealed sarcasm,  uniform contempt for every quality Cornelius possessed.  Not paying attention, not doing his homework. Cornelius  was  no better than his older brother who also quit school at an early age for the same stated reason, to help his father on the farm  A family tradition, hard work and failure.
 
Only Commodore had other plans.  His mother’s hero had been her father who had been a ship captain. Unfortunately, her princess days ended abruptly,   at 7 when her father died.   Unable to feed her family,  the children had to  be parceled out.  So Vanderbilt’s mother, as a little girl, was a servant in the minister’s house. Fortunately her spirit was not broken,  She was treated well, taught to read, allowed her dignity 
 
She never got over her father.  She spoke about him all the time.  And Cornelius Vanderbilt listened.As a boy Cornelius Vanderbilt would wear his grandfather’s captain hat and sit along the shore  watching the ships from the other side of the ocean pass his family’s farm.  He knew the name of every one of them,  His father couldn’t stand his dreamy ways.  He wasn’t enough help working the fields. 
 
 Vanderbilt’s father was an orphan at 3, raised by his uncle who would not let him go to school, lest he lose work time.  We mentioned his mother losing her father.  Vanderbilt also lost his brother and his favorite son. Why did misfortune toughen  Vanderbilt, drive him on?  Why was there no quit in him?  How did he always come out on the winning side of adversity?
      
  He was a hero throughout America  The poor boy who became the richest man in the world.  It is an amazing story
     
      I split off Commodore from After Lisa because, although I felt Michael’s story and Vanderbilt’s made for a dramatic contrast, which I originally thought was needed, it eventually became clear to me they each could stand on their own.

~ SYNOPSIS COURTESY OF THE AUTHOR


Fill in the Rafflecopter form to enter.

READ THE TERMS AT BOTTOM OF FORM FOR RULES AND ELIGIBILITY


a Rafflecopter giveaway



Comments

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated due to spammers.
All opinions welcome. Be yourself, and have a blessed day!

Popular posts from this blog

How Reading Helps Your Brain

The brain is one of the most complex biological structures that scientists and doctors have ever encountered. It is like a machine that runs non-stop that has the computing power to be able to make very complex decisions and experience unexplainable phenomena like emotions. The brain controls every other organ in the body so it is arguably the most important one. Unfortunately, probably due to its brilliance, it is a fairly vulnerable structure that can and does degrade over time.
Many experts agree that one of the best ways to maintain the health of the brain is to keep it active, just as you would with your muscles to keep them strong. There are also a number of nutrients that are very important to maintaining a healthy brain and preventing its decline. Reviewy is a website that contains information on a number of different supplements that can be used to boost brain power and protect it from degradation. Check out the site for more information on nutrients that help to safeguard th…

It's My Birthday, So You Can #Win!

Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me, I turn 41, oh big ass whoopie!!!
Aging is not great, but in all fairness, it ain't that bad either.
😁
In honor of me making it through another year, I wanna celebrate you for sticking by me. I know my postings are less than before, and this is my way of showing you I care.
So what's up for grabs, you ask???
1 book from Amazon, valued at $12 or less
Open to Canada and the US!
Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway



**Freda's Voice is responsible for shipping. Full details will be supplied to the winner in the winner email.

One Step Too Far by Tina Seskis (16)

Kindle: 1331.0 KBPrint: 307 pagesPublisher: William Morrow; Reprint edition (Jan. 27 2015)ASIN: B00K53D3JC

AMAZON US   |   AMAZON CA   |   AMAZON UK

No one has ever guessed Emily’s secret. Will you? A happy marriage. A beautiful family. A lovely home. So what makes Emily Coleman get up one morning and walk right out of her life—to start again as someone new? Now, Emily has become Cat, working at a hip advertising agency in London and living on the edge with her inseparable new friend, Angel. Cat’s buried any trace of her old self so well, no one knows how to find her. But she can't bury the past—or her own memories. And soon, she’ll have to face the truth of what she's done—a shocking revelation that may push her one step too far. . 

Tina Seskis grew up in Hampshire, England, and after graduating from the University of Bath spent over 20 years working in marketing and advertising. She is the author of two novels, One Step Too Far and When We Were Friends (previously called A Serpenti…

Become A Stella & Dot Stylist!