Hi, Stu! Welcome to my blog… Thank you for letting me interview
Your book, Summers’
Love, was published by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. There was a
bit of controversy with your books published by a different publishing company.
Tell me how it came about that LPC was willing to offer you a contract in spite
Well, first my agent got involved. That’s always
a bad sign. I mean, you almost have to have an agent these days. Major houses
won’t even open your email without agent representation. So he queered the major
houses. But of course, I’m blacklisted due to the fact that I … well, your
readers will have to read Summers’
Love to find out why I’m in the doghouse with Little Brown Pelican
Publishing and the other New York houses.
Then my agent pitched the story to some medium
size publishers. They were put off by the fact that the big houses passed on me.
I guess it made me look like tainted goods or
Finally he was able to get a nibble from my
current publisher. He asked for an advance. The publisher explained that they
don’t give advances – not even to Nicholas Sparks. Not that Sparks is one of
their authors but they mentioned him in their email to my agent so I thought I’d
pass that along in case Mr. Sparks reads this and decides he wants to publish
with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. Good luck getting an advance from
Anyway, I’m happy Lighthouse Publishing of the
Carolinas picked up Summers’ Love.
They took a chance on me when no one else would. Now I just have to prove I was
worth the risk.
Summers’ Love is a light-hearted romantic comedy. Did you ever
see yourself writing romantic comedies?
Not really. I’m more of a love story author. Or
was when I was … hang on. I almost inserted a spoiler. To answer your question,
no: I never thought I’d write romantic comedy. Watch them, sure. But write one?
That seemed like too much work. And it was. But like I always say: “Anything
worth doing well, is worth outsourcing.” And that’s all I’ll say about
You live in relative privacy on a Caribbean Island. You spend
part of your days volunteering at a community hospital there. How did those two
things help prepare you to write this
Buffett was dead on when he wrote, “Please don't
say Mañana if you don't mean it.” Down here, no one gets too excited about
anything. Working at the hospital allows me to give back to the neighbors who
mean so much to me. Not that I’m handy with a scalpel or anything, but in the
end I think the only “ting dat matters” is how we improved someone’s life. So I
do what I can for as many as I can and surf when I can.
I know I didn’t answer your question. Maybe next
time ask an easier question.
You have lived two very different lives- a fast-paced,
money-driven life, and a calm and contemplative life. I think I know the answer
to this, but which of those two lifestyles brought you closer to God and
Well first, I’m don’t claim to be a biblical
scholar or anything so I’m probably wrong about this but … I don’t’ read many
verses where Jesus got in a hurry. Even when people were about to die on him,
like his friend Lazarus, Jesus took his sweet time. And if my prayers are any
indication, God doesn’t seem to move very fast, either.
So I guess I’d have to say that letting His
Spirit move you at His pace is the key to walking with God – though I like to
think of it more as a beach stroll than a walk. And honestly? For me surfing is
worship. That’s when I feel closest to my Maker. Part of it may be that I feel
so small among all the sea life and amidst the huge swells. But the other part
is I get to play in and on God’s creation and I get to do it without spending a
ton of money. I think that’s pretty awesome.
And finally, Stu, what advice do you have for adults out
there thinking about writing a book and getting it
Don’t chase the markets. Write what makes you
laugh and cry, and ignore the negative reviews. Writers are artists and not
everyone – or in my case, hardly anyone - will like your work. But that’s okay
as long as you’re true to yourself and write from the heart. You may be a
one-book wonder or a best-selling machine but in the end, you better enjoy the
process because if you’re successful, you’ll be doing this a lot. That’s what I
learned in my first career. And I’m glad I learned that while I was relatively
young. I’d hate to be doing this twenty years from now and dread getting up in
Life is too short to write stories that don’t
excite you, so study the craft and enjoy the work. Then, it’s not really work at
You can purchase Stu's novel, Summer's Love, as a Kindle book or in paperback on Amazon.