I’m back with more questions from blog readers about RVing, my writing activities, what’s happening in our lives since we hung up the keys, and all kinds of other things. While I try to answer all questions individually, I also share some here occasionally.
Q. Do you sometimes dream about your characters? And if you have a really interesting episode with one or more of them, do you have a notepad next to your bed where you can write it down if it wakes you up?
A. I dreamed the entire story of the first Big Lake book before I wrote it, and also much of the story of Return to Dog’s Run. But otherwise, no, I don’t dream about them. I do make notes of things that come to me at other times, like while watching TV or driving. And interestingly, I get a lot of ideas for books while in the shower. Don’t ask me why. I have no idea, and I’m not sure I want to know!
Q. I enjoy your Big Lake and Tinder Street series, but I find the John Lee Quarrels series too rank for me in terms of language and violence. Have you considered toning it down?
A. I appreciate your input, but while, as one reviewer once said of the Big Lake books, they are “like Mayberry meets Twin Peaks,” the John Lee books are from another world in terms of the characters and how they talk and act. In reality, they are more true to life than the other series. And while some readers prefer one series over the other, many readers enjoy both. I do put a disclaimer on the John Lee books that they contain violence, strong language, and adult situations some readers might find objectionable.
Q. I really enjoy your John Lee novels. I see my relatives in East Texas in most of the characters. You are a terrific writer. My only question at this point is, is John Lee retarded, or does he just really possess about an 8th grade mentality? I cannot understand his character’s reluctance to get serious with Maddy. His reason that he did not want to lose his friend seems weak and abnormal. At times he is intuitive and sharp, as illustrated by his comebacks to friends and miscreants alike, but it seems out of character for him to keep Maddy at arm’s length. Perhaps you will let him wise up in the next book. Hope so. The other characters are always spot on.
A. I am glad you are enjoying the series. I can relate to John Lee’s reluctance because my own wife and I were friends and business acquaintances for years before anything happened romantically with us. And I was worried about it interfering with the friendship. I don’t know how far you are into the series and don’t want to give any spoilers, but John Lee and Maddy have some very hard times ahead of them that will drive them apart for a while but eventually will bring them closer. I hope you keep reading to find out what happens.
Q. Why doesn’t the pontoon just stay on the scissor trailer?
A. While a scissor trailer has some advantages, they are also very unstable when towing because they are so narrow and support the boat under the main deck instead of on the pontoons. If you take a corner too sharply or even hit a big enough pothole, it’s possible the boat can tip off of it on one side. When storing the boat for the season, the tongue of the trailer is so long that we can’t park the truck and Mustang both in the garage with it on the trailer. By putting it on the dollies, we can push the boat into the back corner of the garage and have more room.
Q. Now that you have been off the road for over five years, do you have any regrets about the years spent fulltime RVing or about hanging up the keys?
A. Not for a minute in regards to either. We saw so many interesting places and did so many amazing things as fulltimers publishing the Gypsy Journal, and made so many wonderful friends that we will treasure forever. At the same time, we knew it was time to hang up the keys when we did, and we are quite content with the choices we made.
Q. Have you considered putting a small camper trailer or even a park model on your son’s property in Alabama to have your own place when you visit or if you have to evacuate due to a hurricane?
A. Travis and Geli have both told us we are welcome to do that or even build a house on their property, but I don’t foresee doing anything like that in the near future. It’s easier to stay in their guest bedroom and sponge off my kid when we visit for now. 😊
And finally, here’s a chuckle to start your day from the collection of funny signs we see in our travels and that our readers share with us.
Thought For The Day – If it makes you smile, giggle, or laugh, do it again.