Brief Interview with J. Conrad Guest, Author of A Retrospect in Death

retrospect_thSECOND WIND: Tell us something about you, an interesting fact, or an unusual event.

J. CONRAD: I once met actor Jimmy Stewart at an airport, back in the early eighties. I asked him for an autograph, but the only thing on which he could write was some cash I had in my wallet. I handed him a dollar bill and he looked at me kind of strangely, as if I were asking him to break the law. After a moment, he inked his name to the bill, and I stashed it back into my wallet. Sadly, today, I can’t recall what happened to that autographed currency. I imagine I spent it without realizing it, and I wonder from time to time whether whoever has it knows what they have.

SECOND WIND: How did you choose the setting or settings in your  novel A RETROSPECT IN DEATH? Are they places you’ve lived or visited?

J. CONRAD: I’m a native Michigander, so I chose the Detroit area, including Ann Arbor and Brighton, as the settings for A Retrospect in Death. Even though I believe writers should know what they write, writers are often advised to write what they know, which made writing about the places easy—many were places I’ve frequented myself. Of course that lends much more authenticity to the narrative.

SECOND WIND: Does your hero (or heroine) have flaws?

J. CONRAD: All of my protagonists are what I like to call anti-heroes; that is to say, flawed. I often choose to write in first person, which makes it easy to write from a suspect point of view. This gives the reader a biased view of the story as opposed to the unbiased, omnipotent perspective of a third person point of view.

SECOND WIND: Please tell us more about a A RETROSPECT IN DEATH.

J. CONRAD: A RETROSPECT IN DEATH begins with a man’s death. The reader is taken to the other side where the narrator encounters his higher self—the part of him that is immortal and connected to the creator. The protagonist learns (much to his chagrin) that he must return to the lifecycle. But first he must be “debriefed” by his higher self, and so they set about discussing the man’s previous life—in reverse chronological order: knowing the end but retracing the journey, searching for the breadcrumbs left along the way.

A RETROSPECT IN DEATH is a story about discovery. Consider that only in death can you really know, and understand, who and why you are—or were. And then ask yourself, at that point, is it too late? Does it even matter?

You can learn more about me and my books from Second Wind Publishing, LLC.

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