I am sure that every reader, who has read the life changing story of Charles, must be eager to know more. So, I approached the author, and he graciously accepted my request of an interview. Without further ado, here is my amazing rendezvous with the author in black and white!
Ankita: Your book reveals that beginning of your retirement phase was packed with financial troubles. During this time, how did you shortlist which path you would like to take to earn a livelihood?
I had been approved for Social Security Disability but the funding had not come thru yet … my interest was to leave the state of NY as soon as funding came thru.
Ankita: Throughout the read, I was hooked to your incredible sense of humor. Do you think that your wit is one of your best assets that helped you in the most troublesome days?
My wit is a double edge sword. I have always made people laugh, but sometimes it has got me into trouble. Still, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Ankita: At the time when you needed your friends to arrange the bail money, and they turned you down. I can’t believe that even after that you managed to forgive them. Were you always this forgiving or those days of misery triggered something inside of you?
Initially I was disappointed, but I also understood that getting into jail was my own doing and not their responsibility. The $5000 for bail was a hefty amount so I could see their point also. That is where the forgiving came from.
Ankita: According to you, what is the key of survival in life?
I believe the key to survival in life is faith. Even those who are not spiritually or religiously inclined must have something to believe in. Many, like me, believe in themselves as well as a higher power.
Ankita: Surviving a traumatising experience and then reliving it by writing about it cannot be easy. What is the source of your strength?
Perhaps the hardest time in my life was when I wrote the initial manuscript. It forced me to relive everything. My strength comes from my belief system and trust that there is a God.
Ankita: Sorry to pry, but did you find someone special yet?
My friends are the greatest treasure I have and they are all special to me. As far as a ‘special someone’, once again, I have faith she will show up, when I’m not looking.
Ankita: Do you have any advice for the couples-in-love?
I believe the essence of love is the ability to put another person above you. Love is a powerful emotion, but sometimes it is mislabeled for friendship or companionship. Only when you can put another above you, will you attain a union of the highest order. Most times it doesn’t work out because it is not a two-way street.
Ankita: What is your writing routine? Any special place or person that inspires you? Do you write for hours or as and when you get time?
I set a goal to write something everyday with no restrictions. Sometimes it is just updating my journal entries, which I do everyday. Sometimes the spirit moves me to write an entire chapter. Sometimes, as in the last book, ‘The Boy in The Bin’, my storytelling takes on a life of its own and goes to places I would not have taken it. By setting a simple rule of writing everyday with no restriction, I don’t get boxed in or frustrated if the words don’t come flowing to me.
Ankita: Are you working on your next book? If yes, then what should your readers expect from it?
My next project is a series of cookbooks. This goes back to the days when I owned a catering company and something that has a wide appeal. I also have plans for a collection of short stories I have written over the last 30 years. I need to re-visit all these and make edits as necessary. For next year, I am planning a religious themed novel, tentatively called ‘The Fist of Lucifer’. And finally, I would like to write a detailed novel with reincarnation as the the theme. These projects take me through 2018. After that, only God knows.
Ankita: Closing the interview with a hope that you get justice very soon. Thanks a lot for joining me, today!
I already have justice in this story. All my convictions have been reversed (because of my very good appeals lawyer). On a recent visit to my home town, I spoke with ‘Les’, my old roommate. He ended up marrying ‘Roxie’ and they are both living in hell. One of my friends lives in their neighborhood and he tells me that all they do is drink and fight each other. I can’t think of any better reward than that. Every time I go on a cruise or some exotic vacation spot, I send them a postcard to let them know how much I thank them for giving me this life as an author.
Thank you for the opportunity to tell my story.
Charles W. Massie