Sunday, March 4, 2012

Interview with Richard DuRose

Tell us about you.
I retired in 2007 after 45 years as a corporate attorney with a large multi-state lawfirm. At that time I moved from Florida to the Blue Ridge mountains of Western North Carolina.  I fell into the recreational activities of golf and hiking.  On rainy days I began to look into family history both for myself and for the grandchildren, or as some of my neighbors say, the granchillen.  I had known about my mother's older sister, Mildred Doran all my life, but never knew any ot the details about her participation in the air race across the Pacific that ended with her death.  Once I started looking into the story I was hooked.  As a result, I wrote a short article for Air & Space Magazine.  Many who read it, said, You should write a book.  With that encourgement, I did.

Tell us about your book.
Mildred Doran was a 22 year old schoolteacher in Flint, Michigan.  After being enticed by a girl friend in college to accompany her for a plane ride, flying became her passion.  In 1927, James Dole, the "Pineapple King" announced that he would pay $25,000 to the first pilot to fly from California to Honolulu.  Entrants popped up across the country, including a millionaire from Flint.  Mildred overheard him talking about entering and she begged, "Can I go?"  Mildred was the only woman to participate in the race and became a media darling in the process.  When her plane was lost, there was an outpouring of emotion across the country.  Many vowed never to forget her. But, today very few know her name. 

What inspired you to write this particular story?
Mildred was such a bright person, eager and brave.  At every city she was interiewed and always spoke out about the fact that there was no reason to doubt that women could do as well as men in flying.  And then she was gone.  It is such a shame that she did not back out of the flight when she was urged to do so.  Her courage crossed the line into recklessness.

What can readers expect when they open your book? Give us something that isn't on the book blurb.
Women's role in society was very different in the 20's than it is today. The right to vote was not given to women until 1920.  Many of the male newspaper reporters attempted to stereotype Mildred, empahzizing that she was a schoolteacher and questioning her ability to participate in a race that would take over 24 hours. They wrote that it was her job to make sandwiches for the rest of the crew.  Mildred handled the reporters with grace.

How old were you when you started writing?
I've had writing published in legal journals all my life.  The book written in my early 70's is my first attempt to sell my writing to the publlic.

Do you stick with one genre, or have you branched out to others? Which ones?
Before writing this book, I wrote a thriller.  It has been languishing because it needs to be re-written.  I suffered the first time writer affliction of trying to put everything I know into that one story.

Do you think you would ever branch out into another genre? If so which one(s).
My thriller is still on my mind.  I just finished the opening paragraph (again) last week.

Where do you get your ideas?
For Shooting Star, Mildred's story from research.  For the thriller, from the newspaper and life experiences.  The thriller takes ploace in Orlando where I lived in Florida.

Who is your greatest inspiration?
In my life I have been inspired by many people, some of whom have later disappointed me. (I think of JFK.) I wish we had another MLK or Ghandi today. The world could use someone who could inpire peace.

What are you reading right now?
The Sound of Wings, an old book about Amelia Earhart, and Daniel Silva's new thriller, Portrait of a Spy.

Who are your favorite authors?
Daniel Silva,Berle Markham, Ernest Hemingway, and Elmore Leonard.

What is your current project?
As I described above, a thriller in which a novice parole officer has to save a convention from a terrorist in Orlando.

What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment as a writer?
Shooting Star is the best thing I have ever written.  I have written legal briefs to all the courts including the Supreme Court that were difficult, but my book was ten times more difficult.

Have you experienced any setbacks for your writing along the way? If so, will you share with us.
In writing about history, it is difficult to determine how much detail is enough and not too much.  On several occasions, I thought I had tied down a fact only to find there were other versions that needed to be included also.

How did you overcome these setbacks?
More research.

Do you believe in writer's block? 
You know, it happens to some.  I find that once I start writing, saying just about anything, the "block" goes away.

What is the best writing advice you've ever received?
A sentence only needs a subject and verb.  Don't clutter it up.  And the other advice is start with a simple proposition that everyone can agree on, and develop your argument off of that premise, from the simple to the complex.

What is the best advice you have for other writers?
I am not in any position to give advice to writers.

What is more important to you, plot or character?
Most stories that I do not like fall down because of a plot that bcomes unbelievable, or worse, predictable.

Are you a panster or a plotter? 

Tell us 5 random things about you the person, not the author
1. : I'd love to meet Diana Krall (and I guess, Elvis Costello).
2. : My grandchildren are perfect.
3. : I think skipping lunch is uncivilized.
4. : Retirement is hard; ;you never get a day off.
5. : My blood pressure has gone down since retirement.

Where to connect online

Facebook : Richard DuRose
Website :
Other :

What format does your book(s) come in?
Paperback, Kindle,

Where to buy your book