Welcome everyone to the blogiversary for Argyle Dollhaus!! Let the good times roll…
I hurried to the door and opened it to see Lee Debourg holding a bag of cookies while speaking to a young man beside him. They both turned to look at my direction simultaneously. Immediately I recognized that this young man wasn't just any young man, it was Hank Lawson from Young,Only Once. If I wasn’t already fangirling surely I was now.
I motioned them inside the Dollhaus. While entering Lee handed me the bag of cookies in an exchange for a hug. Hug accepted and delivered. Hank was up with a smile and arms extended as well. Hug number two was happily exchanged.
Once all inside I led them to the living room where our drinks and chocolate chip cookies were already waiting for us on the coffee table.
"Funny, I already had cookies. Looks like we'll just have extras. Thanks though." I said.
"Sounds like a good problem to have. You’ll never see the cookie monster complaining." Lee responded.
Couldn't help but to all laugh as we settled around the coffee table.
Fully settled, I turned to hank.
“I want to thank you hank for coming today. It’s a great surprise.”
“Yeah, Lee thought it would be a good idea for me to tag along to see how all this works before I go fully on my own. It’s a big literary world out there.” He said with a smile. J
"I’m sure you will do fine. Readers will love you. However for readers who have yet to meet you, share a bit about yourself?"
"My name is Henry “Hank” Lawson, a farm boy from Stoney Point, located somewhere in the Upper Midwest. I attended college for a year, dropped out to work in a steel mill for a year, then returned to earn a Bachelor’s degree. During my final year I had the opportunity to learn downhill snow skiing while working as a bartender at Snow Mountain ski resort. I’ve always known enough to button a clean shirt before leaving the house, and to treat people with respect. I try to behave and not annoy others."
"Tell us how it feels to share your story with the world?"
"I never studied psychology, indeed considered the subject vastly overrated. Then I wandered off to Snow Mountain and was inundated with the stuff, more precisely the female variety. I try to be consistent in my approach to all people. The responses are anything but predictable. The story I’ve shared isn’t so much the story of myself as it is the tale of several young women I became acquainted with. My book is more the chronicle of their dreams and aspirations at a stage of life, point in time."
"Is there anything you would have done differently while working at Snow Mountain?"
"Stayed away, solely because of the dysfunctional business environment at Snow Mountain. Despite the chronic fatigue brought about because of overwork due to cost-cutting measures, all the resort problems did have the silver lining of presenting a training opportunity, working through the problem areas with a savvy young lady progressing toward her MBA. Given the overall situation and personalities present, I muddled through as best as possible. There are a few touching memories as well, which will undoubtedly persist for a lifetime."
"Tell us what you're up to now?"
"I stayed with the management training and corporate structure for a couple years, before breaking away to join a smaller, more nimble firm. Oh, and I am married to a wonderful woman, who is a wonder and a joy."
Hmmm. I wonder whom he married...
"It sounds like life has been good to you. On a final note, is there anything you want to personally tell readers?"
"Hard work and attention to detail are absolute requirements in life. The habits of successful people include visualizing their goals and the willingness to adjust course as circumstances dictate. There is only one responsible authority for creating personal success, and that individual looks out of the mirror at you every day.
Flowers are good to smell as well."
“Well said hank. Thanks for sharing that with us.”
We all smiled at one another and went back to eating our cookies.
I looked over at lee and was glad to have him over at the Dollhaus for the second time.
“It’s great having you over at the Dollhaus again. Awhile back you came to share about your debut novel, Concurrent Relationships, and now Young, Only Once. How does it feel to have both Frank and Hank out and about in the literary world?”
“My characters, Frank in Concurrent Relationships and Hank in Young, Only Once are finally free to find their own way in the world. I still have to assist with promotion, but they are on their own feet. The Boys were raised correctly, so I have full confidence in them. I wish them the best.”
And for that brief moment I missed frank…Sigh
“What’s next for you after you let hank go out into the world?”
“Eventually, more tales will be related. Right now I am occupied nudging Frank and Hank along. I enjoy the new friends I’ve made along the way!”
“What made you become an author?”
“Oh, the voices within my head and the general insanity of life. I have heard and seen much, and wanted to try my hand at capturing a few insights. When I finally came up for air I had the rough drafts of two novels. I did not deliberately set out to write about Relationships and Romance from a Male POV, but I guess that is what I accomplished. I have never found much fiction that could hold my attention. Errant spaceships, werewolves or zombies, the fantasy which is romance, or questing after goals outlined by the old guys back at the castle never did the trick for me. Daily life with a healthy dose of realism is what fascinates me, the little steps we all take leading us through a lifetime. Life is not always neat and tidy, people and situations all good or all bad. There is much ambiguity and outside influence beyond our control. How we handle what life throws at us can make for an interesting read.”
“Have you ever received a comment that made you feel good about being an author?”
“One of my regular adventures is editing academic work for my spouse as she pursues a PhD. Upon seeing the completion of my second novel she posed an interesting question: “What kind of War and Peace did you write?”
In my defense, Young, Only Once is only half the length of War and Peace.”
“Now on to serious matters, you realize you’re eating the last cookie, how do you react to this revelation?”
“Being a proper guest, I did bring along a small bag for the hostess. If you glance inside you will note two-dozen cookies, with white chocolate chunks and macadamia nuts.
“As much as I wish to keep this going, do you have any last comments that you would like to share?”
“The reader is the most important variable in the literary equation. An author’s role is to stay out of the way and present the tale. The STORY is of value, more so than an over-inflated ego. As a reader, I don’t care who the author is, or how many manuscripts they’ve polished. Give me a compelling STORY!”
Unfortunately our interviews have concluded, but it doesn’t end there. Aside from bringing the cookies and inviting Hank, Lee brought something else to share with the world! I’m sure you’re wondering what else do we have that can top two interviews? The answer is simple. The book cover for Young, Only Once! Yes you read correctly, the Argyle Dollhaus is honored and happy to present to you the beautiful cover to a great story, but before Hank, Lee and I reveal it we first want to thank and give credit to Midnight Whimsy. If it weren't for her talent, we wouldn’t have a cover to reveal.
Now without a further a do, we present to you the cover for Young, Only Once by Lee DeBourg!
I want to thank Lee for the goodies and the cover! I also want to thank Hank for joining us at the Dollhaus for the first time in this grand celebration.