Recently I was able to read a new book entitled, “The Rockin Chair”. WOW! It was the most captivating story I have read in a very long time!
Here is an interview with Mr. Manchester so you can learn more about the writer of “The Rockin Chair”.
1. Could you please tell us a little about your book?
The Rockin’ Chair is a heartfelt novel. Think Mitch Albom meets Nicholas Sparks…in heaven on earth.
Synopsis: Memories are the ultimate contradiction. They can warm us on our coldest days – or they can freeze a loved one out of our lives forever. The McCarthy family has a trove of warm memories. Of innocent first kisses. Of sumptuous family meals. Of wondrous lessons learned at the foot of a rocking chair. But they also have had their share of icy ones. Of words that can never be unsaid. Of choices that can never be unmade. Of actions that can never be undone.
Following the death of his beloved wife, John McCarthy – Grandpa John – calls his family back home. It is time for them to face the memories they have made, both warm and cold. Only then can they move beyond them and into the future.
A rich portrait of a family at a crossroad, THE ROCKIN’ CHAIR is Steven Manchester’s most heartfelt and emotionally engaging novel to date. If family matters to you, it is a story you must read.
2. Who is your biggest supporter?
My wife and children
3. Your biggest critic?
4. What cause are you most passionate about and why?
Ihave two: As a veteran of Operation Desert Storm, I am a strong advocate of veterans. I do whatever I can—whenever I can—to bring awareness to many of their difficult plights. My wife and I also host a comedy fundraiser for A Wish Come True, Inc. each March. AWCT is a nonprofit organization that grants wishes to children ages 3 through 18; children who have a life-threatening illness. “Dreams are only A WISH away” is their cherished slogan. And whatever the dream, A Wish Come True, Inc. does everything possible to ensure that a child’s wish becomes a reality and the experience is one that the family will remember and always cherish. The aim is to give these children hope and strength to continue fighting. After seven consecutive years of hosting the “Laughter & Wishes Comedy Benefit,” we’ve raised $97,000, or enough to make 24 wishes come true.
5. Who has influenced you throughout your career as a writer?
Many people have influenced me—writers I’ve never met and folks who have encouraged and inspired me along the way. I’d like to share my first great influence: I’d just returned home from Operation Desert Storm, and was working as a prison investigator in Massachusetts. Needless to say, there was great negativity in my life at that time. I decided to return to college to finish my degree in Criminal Justice. During one of the classes, the professor—Barry McKee—talked about police work but nothing else. I finally raised my hand and asked, “The criminal justice system is vast. What about the courts, probation, parole – corrections?” Barry smiled and told me to see him after class. I thought I’d finally done it! In his office, he explained, “There’s no written material out there on corrections or prisons, except from the slanted perspective of inmates.” He smiled again and dropped the bomb. “If you’re so smart,” he said, “why don’t you write it?” Nine months later, I dropped the first draft of 6-5; A Different Shade of Blue on Barry’s desk. From then on, I was hooked. I was a writer.
6. What is the most important thing in your life right now?
My family; wife and children. Everything I do is done with my children in mind, trying to teach them by the example I provide with my own life.
7. Do you have any advice for writers or readers?
I work with a lot of aspiring writers. With an industry rejection rate of 96%+, this business can prove very harsh. I tell new writers:
Be true to yourself, always.
Keep the faith!!!
And NEVER, EVER, EVER quit.
Most people in this industry would agree that more than talent or skill or even luck, perseverance is the one trait that will always get the job done.
Knock on every door you can, and keep knocking. I promise that eventually someone will open and the warmth you feel on your face will more than validate every hour spent alone in the darkness.
8. Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
I’m absolutely thrilled to be working with Lou Aronica and Peter Miller at The Story Plant! I’ve learned more in the last year than I did in the 15 that came before it. I look forward to a long and successful relationship with The Story Plant!