Thursday, February 26, 2015

AP Author Spotlight: Clay Cormany

Clay Cormany
Twitter ID: @Speechwriter2
Describe yourself in three words:

Writer, Parent, Husband
Tell us a little about your latest release:

There is no longer anything special about the corner of Fifth Avenue and Olentangy River Road in Columbus, Ohio. In my younger days, however, it was the home of a trucking company that my dad owned and operated with my uncle. Most days for some 30 years, he would go there to his office to dispatch semis and make sure they reached their destinations without mishap. Sometimes there were mishaps. That could mean an early morning call and a lonely trip to a broken down truck on a remote highway.

Today the trucking company is gone. Several years ago, I traveled to where it once stood and found a fast-food hamburger stand in its place. There was no sign, marker, or other visible evidence that my father's trucking company ever existed. Sadness flooded my soul. A hamburger stand hardly seemed a fitting tribute to his hard work and sacrifice at this location. Then I began to ask myself some discomforting questions: What tangible evidence would I leave behind for my time on this planet? What would future generations, inside and outside of my family, ever know about me? That's when I remembered that YA novel – then only half finished – that I had laid aside a month before. Perhaps Fast-Pitch Love could be my legacy, a window that would allow great-great-grandchildren and perhaps others to understand who I was and what I valued.

I have no illusions about Fast-Pitch Love becoming a bestseller or winning any prizes. I originally wrote it to entertain readers who might like an amusing story that combines sports competition with some old-but-valuable lessons about romance. Only after visiting my father's former work site did I think of it as a bridge between me and future generations. Will anyone be reading Fast-Pitch Love a hundred or even fifty years from now? I don't know. But if they do, they'll gain some insight to my beliefs and values. For example, they'll realize that I...

- Took a dim view of adults who let their egos ruin children's sports.

- Preferred winning to losing, but not at any cost.

- Believed true romance depends on trust and friendship – not just physical attraction.

- Believed hostility between two people usually diminishes as they learn more about each other.

Fellow writers, I encourage you to see your book in a similar light. Whether you write about pirates, ghosts, spies, detectives, kings or queens, your book will tell tomorrow's readers – as well as today's – who you are and what you believe. It will be your legacy; one with the power to entertain and even inspire those who follow in your footsteps. Some might argue that there are better legacies than a book, and maybe they are right. But one thing is certain: A book beats the heck out of a hamburger stand.

What is your earliest memory?

Leaving milk and cookies out for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. I was about 2 1/2 years old.
What would you consider the greatest moment in your life?

A tie between becoming a father and finally finding the woman of my dreams.
What’s the hardest thing in in life you’ve done?

Attend the funeral of my daughter's boyfriend.
What have you learned in life so far?
Try not to waste time, you never know how much of it you have left
Keep your promises and commitments, even if you regret making them.
Leave something behind -- like a book -- that will enrich the lives of those who follow in your footsteps.
Everyone’s favourite question: if you could invite five people for dinner, who would it be?
Abraham Lincoln
Jackie Robinson
William Shakespeare
Jeannette Creswick Cormany, my great grandmother
Benjamin Franklin
Chance for our readers - what else would you like to know about Clay Cormany?

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