Don Hoesel has stormed into the fiction scene with his wonderful adventure tale, Elisha's Bones, newly released from Bethany!
His main character, Jack Hawthorne, is self-deprecating, witty and unique and from this interview I think you will see where Jack gets it from ;-)
If you could have chosen your own name, what would it be?
I've never been thrilled with my first name and I could think of about a hundred I would have preferred. It's my middle name, though, for which I was angry with my parents. But if you think I'm going to tell you what it is…
Your first pet's name?
I had a guinea pig named Nicky when I was in elementary school.
Your best friend's name in primary (elementary) school?
Did you have a special toy that went everywhere with you when you were young? Please describe.
I had a stuffed green dinosaur named Dino. (Original, I know.) One day I came home from school and found him missing. To this day, my mom won't tell me what happened to him--but I imagine there's a point at which a stuffed animal becomes too grimy for a child's health.
If you were stranded on a desert island what one object would you want with you?
A satellite television (complete with power supply) so I wouldn't miss Lost. And I guess that's a pre-answer to the question below.
Of course, that's assuming you wouldn't let me have anything handy enough to get me off the island.
What's your favourite ice cream flavour?
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Alternately a doctor, a film director, and an archaeologist.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Not necessarily in this order:
- Ireland (again)
I have to make this plural because it really does change depending on the day:
- Nobody's Fool by Richard Russo
- The Risk Pool by Richard Russo
- Joe by Larry Brown
- Father and Son by Larry Brown
- A Prayer For Owen Meany by John Irving
- The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Heroes, Bones, Lost or The Brady Bunch?
Lost--without a doubt. It's the only show my wife and I won't miss. We tried Heroes for a while but it just got too silly. The Brady Bunch? Shudder…
Captain Jack Sparrow, Indiana Jones or Jason Bourne?
This might be the toughest question on here. I would probably pick Indy because I think he's the perfect mix of the other two. He has the devil may care attitude of a Jack Sparrow combined with the no-nonsense demeanor of Jason Bourne. But depending on the day, any one of them works.
Baseball, basketball or gridiron? (I'd put cricket in there but don't like my chances!)
Where's the most interesting place you have been?
An airport in Colombia--and that might not sound that interesting but when you consider that at the time I had long hair, a few earrings, and carried needles because I'm diabetic… Picture two men in green uniforms pointing machine guns at me and accusing me (in Spanish, which I didn't understand) of being a drug smuggler; and my future wife running toward them screaming in Spanish “Don't shoot!” That probably qualifies as most interesting.
What's your most fervent prayer?
That I'll wake up one morning with a full head of hair. Seriously, my most fervent prayer is for the safety of my family.
What is your favourite Bible verse (or "one" of your favorites) and what does it mean to you?
Matthew 25: 34 - 36 - 34"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'
I like this passage because it is a reminder--a directive, really--to be engaged in our communities. We look forward to the things that are to come, but we have a charge to be in the lives of the people around us.
Besides God, who has influenced you the most?
Probably my parents.
What's the bravest thing you've ever done?
Heights and I have never really gotten along but a former job once had me standing on top of a chimney two stories up and in a high wind. I'm not sure, though, if that's bravery or stupidity.
What was your most embarrassing moment in High School?
Where did you go on your first date with your wife?
We went for ice cream at a place within walking distance of our college campus.
Ask each of your kids one thing they think is great about their Dad and share it with us, please!
Aidan (6): “The greatest thing about my dad is that he tucks me in at night and hugs and kisses me.”
Alyssa (8): “My dad is a good writer and he's always there for me.”
What made you choose an archaeologist as your protagonist?
It's one of the three things I wanted to be when I grew up. And of the three, it's the only one that fit the story.
Describe each of your main characters with one word
Jack - flippant
Esperanza - passionate
Victor Manheim - Machiavellian
Gordon Reese - Howard Hughes (sorry, two words)
Is there any truth to the conspiracy in Elisha's Bones?!
It's funny you should ask. I thought it was entirely fiction until I got a strange phone call before the book came out. Someone with an accent I couldn't quite place, warning my publisher and me of dire consequences if the book was published. But for the good of mankind, I decided to go ahead with it.
I loved Jack's first person voice! Is it really Don's?!
Sadly, yes. And I'm not sure what that says about me!
I was hooked well and truly before Jack reached Australia in the book but once he hit the shores of my country I was really invested - LOL! Why bring him to Australia? (Congrats on describing my county so well!)
You're going to hate this answer but I honestly can't remember why I picked Australia as the place where the bones would be found. Every other country mentioned in the book is there for a tangible reason. I think Australia just sounded good at the time (Australia and Venezuela were the only two locations nailed down when I started the book). But I'm glad I picked it because I had more fun with Jack in Australia than I did in any of the other countries.
Will we get to read any more of Jack's adventures?
There's nothing in the works right now but I enjoyed writing this book enough that I'd welcome a few more Jack Hawthorne books. I've jotted down a few ideas, so we'll see.
What's in your writing pipeline? A sneak peek, please!
I'm working on a book called Hunter's Moon. It's scheduled to come out next spring. It's about a writer who returns home to Upstate New York for the first time in almost two decades, and who has to finally deal with the big family secret. It's not a suspense book--more general fiction.
Thanks Don - it has been so much fun having you here :)
Relz Reviewz Extras
Review of Elisha's Bones
Character spotlight on Jack & Espy
Visit Don's website