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Amazon.com: How did you begin writing? Did you
intend to become an author, or do you have a specific reason
or reasons for writing each book?
T.H.: I've been writing since I was a kid. When I left home at 16, my bedroom wall was papered with rejection slips, mostly for terrible poetry. Since then, I've been published over 250 times in magazines, was contributing editor to 7 different publications and a monthly columnist for 5, and have published 6 books, sold 7, and written 14.
The books on Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) were written more out of passion than interest in writing. My son was diagnosed with ADD about 4 years ago, and I'd formerly been "in the business" of ADD, as Executive Director of a residential treatment facility for children. I was appalled by the way ADD was presented to Justin, and so wrote my first book on that topic largely to and for him. When TIME magazine did a cover story on ADD, however, and devoted a third of a page just to my book, it really took off.
Amazon.com: What authors do you like to read?
What book or books have had a strong influence on you or
T.H.: I love to read, and re-read, and re-re-read: James Lee Burke, Raymond Chandler, Rupert Sheldrake, Jack Vance, John D. MacDonald, and T.S. Eliot. A rather eclectic mix, I suppose... All have influenced my writing, and at various times I've written bad imitations of each.
Amazon.com: Could you describe the mundane
details of writing: How many hours a day do you devote to
writing? Do you write a draft on paper or at a keyboard
(typewriter or computer)? Do you have a favorite location or
time of day (or night) for writing? What do you do to
T.H.: I try to spend 3-5 hours a day writing, but it usually works out to half that, what with all the stuff attendant to the business of writing. I've been doing a lot of touring and speaking the past two years, both in the US and Europe, and there's a growing demand for that. I love it, but it really cuts into the writing time. I write using Microsoft Word and have used computers to write since my first TRS-80 in 1980. Before that, it was always electric typewriters: I got my first, used, as a Christmas gift when I was twelve. I prefer to write in the morning, and often will present a problem to myself before going to sleep and then find the answer in my waking dreams in the morning. It's a very nice system. For writing I must avoid all distractions, as I'm a highly distractible person.
Amazon.com: Do you meet your readers at book
signings, conventions, or similar events? Do you interact
with your readers electronically through e-mail or other
T.H.: I am constantly meeting my readers, and love it. I've spoken to over 10,000 people in the past 5 years in various venues, and enjoy both the speaking and the talking afterwards tremendously. I'm also generally glad to reply to email. I also run the ADD Forum on CompuServe, so am easily accessible there just about any day.
Amazon.com: When and how did you get started
on the Net? Do you read any newsgroups such as
rec.arts.books and rec.arts.sf.written, mailing lists, or
other on-line forums? Do you use the Net for research--or is
it just another time sink? Are you able to communicate with
other writers or people you work with over the Net?
T.H.: I have a home page ... www.mythical.net... that contains information about my books, my speaking tour, and my forums on CompuServe. I encourage people to visit and check out the speaking and signing locations around the country. We're in the process of making the page extra-convenient to use - with map links to the locations, for instance.
Amazon.com: Feel free to use this space to
write about whatever you wish: your family, your hometown,
hobbies, favorite places, where you've lived, where you went
to school, what jobs you have had, your last (or planned)
vacation, your favorite color/food/pet/song/movie, what
books you'd take to a desert island, what you intend to do
before you die, or what you think of just about
T.H.: Well, in March I have two books coming out - one called "Healing ADD" and the other called (tentatively) "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight." I think a lot of people will like Healing ADD because it explains how to re-frame the past so that we can go forward into the future without so much past baggage holding us back. Last Hours is a different kind of book, having to do with changes in ourselves and our culture as well as the using up of Ear;th's resources. Since we last talked, we've moved to Vermont and are enjoying the change very much. I've also been doing a lot of traveling this year, speaking to groups and at conferences.