Thursday, 17 April 2014

Anthony St. Clair, author of "HOME SWEET ROAD"

Today I'd like welcome Anthony St. Clair, author of "HOME SWEET ROAD" to the Thursday interview. Before we get started, a quick intro!

About Anthony Globetrotter, homebrewer and writer Anthony St. Clair has walked with hairy coos in the Scottish Highlands, choked on seafood in Australia, and watched the full moon rise over Mt. Everest in Tibet. Anthony’s travels have also taken him around the sights and beers of Thailand, Japan, India, Canada, Ireland, the USA, Cambodia, China and Nepal. He and his wife live in Oregon and gave their son a passport for his first birthday. 


No.1 Would you break the law to save a loved one? .. why?

What greater law is there than love? If the life or well-being of my wife and son were in danger, I can't imagine letting anything stop me from saving them. My wife and son bring a meaning, purpose, balance, and excitement to my life that I never want to be without. Law helps us get along in the sense of a larger society. But when it comes to the deeply personal, deeply central love for those most important to us, there is no greater law than loving and doing right by those people.

No.2 What is the difference between being alive and truly living?

Being alive is the day-by-day continuance of existence. Truly living is being alive with a smile on your face and a sparkle in your eye. Being alive is necessary to truly live. Truly living makes being alive worthwhile.

No.3 What motivates you to write?

At the most basic level, I knew in middle school that I would build my life and career around words. Though I've worked in various industries as a writer, copywriter, and web editor, what motivates me to write is to know my purpose. My purpose is simple: I want everyone to enjoy full lives, to live the world in whatever way that means for them. So many people are not happy with where they are and what they're doing. If my stories help people find within themselves the courage, love, and focus to do what they yearn to do, then every word I've written is worthwhile.

No.4 Why do humans want children?

I can tell you only why my wife and I wanted children, and for me that conclusion was a difficult, soul-searching quest. I wrestled with this question for a long time, not just for this interview, but also in the many years that led up to my wife and I deciding it was time for us to start a family. I grew up in a large family and a chaotic household. For a long time, I didn't think I would ever want to have children. However, in the back of my mind there was always a lingering asterisk, a disclaimer that read, "Well, if I met the right woman..."
When my wife and I first began dating, she made it clear early on that she wanted kids. If I didn't, then our relationship was, as she put it, "temporary." I was at a place in life where I liked a certain solitude, but I soon understood that I liked her far more than I liked being alone. My wife completes me, and I complete her, and we make each other better people. We decided we wanted to be parents because it was an adventure that we felt compelled to go on in order to live our lives with a fullness we wanted and needed. "Adventure" is the important word. Adventures can be unpleasant and sublime, challenging and fulfilling, often all at the same time. I liken parenting to travel. My travels have not always been pleasant—scary bus rides in India, food poisoning in Nepal—but they have been sublime. I cannot imagine being as happy and fulfilled a person if I had just stayed home and watched telly, and I cannot imagine being as excited and inspired about life as I am now that I am a dad.

No.5 What was the biggest challenge in creating your book "HOME SWEET ROAD" ?

My biggest challenge in HOME SWEET ROAD, my latest Rucksack Universe book, was in understanding what the story was truly about. And I don't mean, "It's about a redhead who runs a hostel in Ireland, but she really protects the world." I mean, "If I were telling my best friend why she should read this book, what would I say?" HOME SWEET ROAD began in 2012 as a short story, but I was never happy with it. In 2013 I tore up the short story and started over. At the time I was also really coming to understand the process that worked for me as a writer. If I don't understand a story's purpose, I flounder and the story molders. Ultimately, I finally understood that at its heart, HOME SWEET ROAD is about trust: how you learn to trust yourself, putting your trust in the right people, and what happens when you trust—and distrust—the wrong people. Once I knew that, I could write the rest of the book.

No.6 What is the most important thing you have learned in life so far?

Be open but be true. All the best things in my life—my career, my travels, my family and friends—have all happened because I was willing to let myself be open to new experiences. Otherwise I'd be some miserable loner in a locked room. I've also tried hard not only to understand who I am and what matters most to me, but to live those understandings and be true to them. That sometimes makes for hardships and challenges. Overall it's made me a more fulfilled person, who is able to keep looking and moving forward while appreciating where I am in life right now.

No.7 How did you come up with the title "HOME SWEET ROAD"?

My characters are rootless wanderers. They trade the stability of home for the knowledge and understanding that comes from the challenges and uncertainties of world travel. I've always loved the phrase "home sweet home." As I came to understand what HOME SWEET ROAD was about, I understood that it was also about making peace with not having home in a literal sense, but with accepting that the world was home and home was the road.

No.8 How do you handle personal criticism?

I want to say that I handle personal criticism gracefully, and that I accept all criticism as an opportunity to do better while seeing my work from a different perspective. But the truth is that sometimes personal criticism makes me want to hide under the bed. Then, after I've had a cuppa coffee and maybe a chat with my wife, I get the perspective I need to put the criticism in a constructive context. Sometimes that means doing something differently for the sake of making the current story or the next story better. Sometimes that means nodding, being grateful that someone cared enough about my work to criticize it, and, ahem, filing the comments appropriately.

No.9 Why should people read your book?

People should read HOME SWEET ROAD because it's a story of one of life's great dreams: being on the road. The book is set in Ireland, and it evokes a strong sense of being somewhere else, of transporting you to a different place, a different world. It's also a story of adventure and excitement. There are high stakes for the world, for the world's greatest traveller, and for a powerful young woman who must learn to accept who she is and learn to live fully and truly within the context of who she is. Beyond the book itself, my hope is that reading my stories helps the reader find the courage and grit to do what excites them.

No.10 Why is there something rather than nothing?

Here's my one-line bit-of-cheek answer: If nothing doesn't have something to do, then everything is boring. Cheek aside, here's what I really believe: At the core of its core of the heart of its heart, this universe, in spite of everything else, is based in joy and love. There is something because love and joy are not nouns but verbs. All things exist because something, anything, and everything must do, live, change, and grow. Only in a universe based on those things can there be a point to existence and action.

Thanks Anthony for taking the time to answer my questions & the best of luck with your new book! 

Check out his new book "HOME SWEET ROAD" on

As falls Ireland, so falls the world. An ordinary woman hides extraordinary secrets from two men who are not what they seem—but neither is she. Aisling's grandmother was the most famous Awen of Ireland, but Aisling never knew that until she returned home from her travels, said her good-byes over the old protector's grave, and learned from Jake Connemara that she was now Awen. No one has yet tried to steal the three relics under her protection, which combined are said to give the possessor the power to control the world. But when two strange backpackers arrive in Clifden, Aisling's life and the fate of world rest on one moment. 
Tiran and Jay became friends the moment they started talking on the bus to Clifden, but when they meet Aisling, rivalry threatens that new friendship. Jake, bartender at The Salt and Crane, tells Aisling a long-lost, ancient, more powerful relic is rumoured to have been stolen from The Blast Memorial—the same day Jay and Tiran were there. The time of Aisling's test has come. If she fails, Ireland falls. And if Ireland falls, one of these men will bring the world to a terrible fate. Learn more at


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