I am beyond thrilled to have today’s guest stop by, spend some time with us, and talk about his newest novel.
Before I introduce him, please indulge me so you can understand my excitement.
When I was a new newbie on the block and my blog first went public in December 2009, Mr. Lou Aronica from The Story Plant, contacted me to read and review this author’s book, Crossing The Bridge. To say the very least, I was honored and excited, yet terrified, as it was one of the first “real requested reviews” but the book was outstanding that writing the review was a breeze. Then around May/June, Mr. Aronica contacted me again to ask if I would read and review Mr. Baron’s newest book at the time The Journey Home. There was no question in my mind, it was a yes. I had already become a fan of Mr. Baron’s work and looked forward to reading his latest novel. I received the book and to my shock, there in the front of the book, where there are the quotes of praise, is my name! My name in print! A blogger who not 6 months earlier even knew this world of blogging existed. And now, TODAY, he is visiting HERE!!!
Please, help me give a big and warm welcome to the very talented author Mr. Michael Baron !!!!!
Though I started with nonfiction, I have always loved fiction and I have always wanted to write it. I’ve always had a particular affection for love stories. In fact, the very first book-length thing I ever wrote, when I was thirteen, was a love story. Mind you, it was the kind of love story that a thirteen-year-old boy would write, but it was a love story nonetheless. I have a deep passion for writing about relationships – family relationships, working relationships, friendships, and, of course, romantic relationships – and I can only truly explore this by writing fiction. These novels have given me a way to voice the millions of things running through my head.
My wife and kids are the center of my life. My wife is the inspiration for all of my love stories and my children enthrall me, challenge me, and keep me moving. One of the primary reasons I wrote my first novel, When You Went Away was that I wanted to write about being a father. Aside from my family, I have a few other burning passions. I’m a pop culture junkie with an especially strong interest in music, I love fine food (and any restaurant shaped like a hot dog), and I read far too many sports blogs for my own good.
You might have noticed that I haven’t published a photo of myself. This isn’t because I’m involved in the Witness Protection program or because I have an innate fear of cameras. It’s because Michael Baron is a pseudonym. I’m writing these novels “undercover” because they’re not entirely compatible with the nonfiction books I write and I didn’t want to confuse readers. We’re all different people sometimes, right? I just decided to give my alter ego another name.
You can visit Michael Baron’s site at: http://www.michaelbaronbooks.com/Michael_Baron_site/Home.html
My new novel, Spinning, is about a man who has to deal with sudden fatherhood. Dylan Hunter’s girlfriend – who has only recently returned to his life – dies, leaving him to care for her three-year-old daughter. For a twenty-nine-year-old living a fast lifestyle and riding a rocket ship to the top of his career, this leads to an enormous change in plans.
In part, this novel was inspired by a reaction to the birth of my first child. It wasn’t my immediate reaction; my immediate reaction was to be smitten at a level I didn’t realize possible. This reaction came a couple of weeks later when I had a bracing moment of clarity amid the delightful fog of new fatherhood. Hey, I thought, I can’t just walk out on my job anymore if things tick me off. I can’t decide to move to the Yucatan now and become a snorkeling instructor. I have responsibilities. I’m locked in!
Now, really, none of this should have come as a surprise to me. It wasn’t as though I was unaware of what I was committing to when my wife and I decided to have a child. Meanwhile, I’d never once come close to walking out on a job because my boss ticked me off. And as lovely as the Yucatan is, I’d never even entertained the thought of living there…not to mention that snorkeling makes me skittish, so becoming an instructor wasn’t ever an option. The point, though, was that, while I wasn’t a particularly impetuous person, my days of impetuousness were officially over. This gave me pause for about four minutes, I told myself to get over it, and I got on with my day.
I never forgot that moment, though. I think there’s a little of Dylan in all of us. We all, to varying degrees, relish our independence and fantasize about living an untethered life. The idea that we can’t move around on the spur of the moment is something we all need to address at some point. Some of us do so with grace. Many of us even embrace responsibility, believing that we were less fulfilled before we had it. The overwhelming majority of us get to a stage, though, when we realize that we’re not only living for ourselves anymore. This can stop us in our tracks for four minutes, four weeks, or for the rest of our lives (as has happened with some people I know).
I guess in some ways Spinning was a way of revisiting a revelation I dismissed many years ago. It’s not giving anything away to tell you that Dylan doesn’t brush it aside nearly as casually as I did.