Today I'd like to welcome A.C. Burch, author of “The HomePort Journals” to The Thursday Interview. Before we get started, a quick intro!
A.C. Burch is a long-time Provincetown resident who spent his early summers on Cape Cod and since then, the sand has never left his shoes. His first visit to Provincetown sparked a romance with the town and forged a love of the sea that continues to this day—most summer days will find him sailing on Cape Cod Bay. A.C. trained as a classical musician, but his passion for the arts extends to photography, the art scene in Provincetown and Miami, as well as the written word. His literary icons run the gamut from Jane Austen to Agatha Christie by way of Walter Mosely and Patrick Dennis.
OK - HERE WE GO !!
No.1 Would you break the law to save a loved one? .. why?
Absolutely. Love is the most important experience in life. If you bow to a lesser law and let a loved one suffer or perish you are betraying your love or have been deceiving yourself all along.
No.2 What is the difference between being alive and truly living?
Being alive merely means that the biological systems that sustain you are performing their appointed tasks. If you are genuinely alive, you are attuned to what is around you, frequently humbled by miracles found in the simplest parts of nature, and resonant with every opportunity life has to offer.
No.3 What motivates you to write?
I enjoy creating worlds and the characters that inhabit them. It softens some of the disappointments I’ve felt in my own life and gives me the chance to revisit and recraft the outcomes.
No.4 Why do humans want children?
There’s a host of reasons: a quest for some sense of immortality, a balm for the ego, the genuine love of children, and, unfortunately, a perceived antidote to a lackluster existence. The list is virtually endless. Then there are those who subscribe to that great line from the musical, Grey Gardens... “I just adore children, especially grown ones.” These folks often post cat pictures on Facebook.
No.5 What was the biggest challenge in creating your book "The HomePort Journals"?
It was my first effort at a full-length novel. I had trained as a classical musician and was somewhat intimidated to think I’d be undertaking the effort with very little training when compared to decades of musical study. A conservatory education can be quite structured and rather dogmatic, leaving the impression there’s only one right way to interpret a composer’s intent. I couldn’t imagine how I could adapt those lessons to the fluidity and isolation of writing. When you perform, you know where you stand as soon as the piece is done. (Applause is good. Hurled vegetables…not so good.) With writing, it can be years before you have a sense whether your effort actually works. It took me years to realize there are a number of similarities between the two crafts. Despite the difference in delivery, good writing is music.
No.6 What is the most important thing you have learned in life so far?
That I have far more control over my destiny than I first thought. With focus and positive intent, few things cannot be accomplished. This lesson came late in life and is one of the major rewards of my writing career.
No.7 How did you come up with the title "The HomePort Journals"?
It’s a combination of the name of a Provincetown estate and a core element in the book: thoughts and emotions written down and revisited at a later date. The story contrasts the journal of a displaced gay man and that of a whaling captain accused of rape and murder nearly 100 years earlier.
No.8 How do you handle personal criticism?
Much better than I used to. Bringing The HomePort Journals to the public has taught me that other peoples’ opinions are just that. It’s my decision whether to feel criticized by them or not.
No.9 Why should people read your book?
The book is about the family gay people frequently create for themselves to offset the disappointments of youth. Armistead Maupin calls this the “logical” vs. the biological family. The love between the characters in The HomePort Journals spans sexual preference and age. I’d like to think it shows the better side of humanity—those things we are capable of when we take the risk to love unconditionally. Given the universality of that experience, I think there will be something in the book for nearly everyone.
No.10 Why is there something rather than nothing?
Life demands momentum. All things must move forward. Therefore, there must be something to move toward. Besides, nothing would be incredibly boring.
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions & the best of luck with your new book!
Check out “The HomePort Journals" on
Fleeing New York City and an abusive partner, would-be writer Marc Nugent finds work at HomePort, the Provincetown mansion of Lola Staunton, a fabulously wealthy recluse. Aided by an attractive-but-unattainable artist and an all-too-available cross-dresser, Marc investigates accusations of rape and murder that have estranged Lola from a childhood friend for more than sixty years. Past and present converge when a long-lost journal reveals tales of infidelity, adultery, and passion that mirror the life Marc has recently abandoned. When his ex-lover arrives in search of revenge, Marc must confront his past, his notions of family, and his capacity for love.