The second of my author interviews over afternoon tea is with Leland Olson. Having read and enjoyed his responses to some of the Weekend Writing Prompts, I was excited to be able to put my ten questions to him.
So grab a cup of tea and maybe a biscuit or slice of cake, then sit back and relax and read the interview…
Thanks so much for taking the time to join us for afternoon tea today, Leland. To begin with, for those who don’t know you or have yet to discover your writing, please introduce yourself.
My name is Leland Olson. I am 78 years old and live at Arlington South Dakota, USA. I have been married for 48 years, have four step-daughters and many grandchildren. My wife and I have become each other’s caregivers.
When did you first realise you wanted to become a writer?
I wrote letters to editors of newspapers and magazines at a young age. I began writing more after a back injury continued to rob me of my mobility about five years ago.
Where do you find your inspiration?
The majority of my writing has been about life experiences. Writing my blog, “My Mixed Blog” at WordPress, had a word prompt, as Sammi is doing with the weekend writing challenges. It’s a big help to get the juices flowing.
Can you tell us about your writing process? What’s the first thing you do when you get a new idea?
At one time I wrote everything on scraps of paper but then I usually couldn’t read what it was after it got cold. I have learned to use the computer, keeping thoughts and ideas in different directories, where I can add to or take away from what is there.
In your opinion, what’s the best and worst thing about being a writer?
The best thing is the feeling that you are creating something. The worst thing is the people you are the closest to do not consider you a writer.
What projects have you been working on recently? What plans do you have for the future?
Many authors are also avid readers. Who are some of your favourite authors? Can you share with us some of your favourite books?
A few authors that come to mind: Jack London, Anne Frank, Emmet Fox, Irving Wallace, Bob Woodward. Pierre Van Paassen.
Book titles: Educated, Fear, All the Presidents Men, Days of Our Years, Sermon on the Mount, When Bad Things Happen to Good People, Black Hawk Down, The Book of Joy, 100 Missions North.
If you were only allowed to own three books, which three would you choose?
The Bible, The Book of Joy, the Farmers Almanac.
We love quotes at Sammi Loves Books. Please share with us one of your favourite quotes from one of your own stories or poems, and explain why you chose it.
Old Age Indicators
“Laughter is one prescription we can all afford.”
Laughter is a very low cost treatment, tonic or day brightener for people of any age.
Another thing we love at Sammi Loves Books is afternoon tea. If you could have afternoon tea with any author or fictional character, who would you choose and why? Just so you know, the table can seat four, so feel free to fill all available seats, but don’t forget to leave one for yourself! 😉 Also, where might you have this afternoon tea and what is being served? You know, so we can all enjoy it…
I would love to have tea with Bob Woodward. We would meet at the White House. Vladimir Putin and President Trump would be sitting face-to-face and I would be sitting across from Bob Woodward. I would serve green tea and very sweet sugar cookies to go with their syrupy supplications. Then I would proceed to ask them. What is really going on with them? Bob Woodward will take notes.
Thank you so much, Leland, for the inspiring interview. I’ve had the same problem with making notes on scraps of paper when I get an idea, only for time to pass and when I next come across it, I have no clue what it’s referring to! And I think a number of writers will echo your answers to what are the best and worst things about being a writer. I wish you every success with your book, The Bay Area Bad Guys (I think that’s a great title, by the way!), which can be found by following the link below to Amazon.
Connect with the Author
I have reached the age of 78 years, after a spinal fracture at 23. I started as a farm kid and school dropout who enlisted in the US Air Force from 1958 thru 1962. My job was to become a jet aircraft mechanic. I became the crew chief on RF-101-C 56-080. I drove every type of truck for most of my civilian life, a lot of single thinking time to share with the world today. I have had experiences that included numerous jobs and types of work. Printing press operator, insurance sales, plumber, asphalt highway equipment operator, a good tinker. I have a wife, four step-daughters, numerous grand and great-grandchildren.
I know my physical condition will continue to degenerate until the wheelchair beckons to me, “come and sit down.” I prepared for wheelchair life by writing for the past several years. Writing about a wide variety of topics, based on my colorful life experiences. Truth is stranger than fiction. I can still walk with a walker writing gives me a purpose of pressing on with life.
If you would like to be interviewed as part of Afternoon Tea at Sammi Loves Books, check out this post.