Today, I'd like to welcome B.J. Schneider, author of “A Salty Life & A Traitor's Death” to The Thursday Interview. Before we get started, a quick intro!
B.J. Schneider started his writting career after decades of life experience. He got his first medical training in the Army in the mid-1980s and has worked as a policeman, a paramedic, a Safety Manager and many other positions. He says he basically didn’t know what he wanted to be when he grew up. These book are taken form many years and numerous fun evenings with friends. They started off as true stories as in Welcome to New Orleans...How many shots did you hear? but evolved in to the fictional characters in A Salty Life. B.J. Schneider currently lives in the New Orleans area with his family and continues to work in the medical and health field with time out for teaching and public speaking.
OK - HERE WE GO !!
No.1 Would you break the law to save a loved one? .. why?
Most certainly. My loved ones are more important than any law. I would do what I felt was morally right to protect them and gladly deal with the consequences after they were safe.
No.2 What is the difference between being alive and truly living?
That's a question that I think everyone should ponder. To me living is being that cog in the machine. Going through life on auto-pilot. Letting the tough decision you ever make be what size latte you order. You are alive but only in the same way my kidney is a living organ. It still just does as its told. It doesn't take risks. "I am B.J.s kidney....." Truly living is being in touch with the world around us. Making new experiences. Going after our passion and win or lose, enjoying the journey.
No.3 What motivates you to write?
I love to tell stories. I teach a lot in the medical, safety and law enforcement fields. I LOVE being in front of a class. Ask any one of my students from over the years and they will tell you that if you want to get me off the topic I’m teaching get me started on a story.....that’s all it takes and I'm off spinning a yarn. The building of these characters and the lives you give them is very powerful. I become very involved with my characters. I try and visit locales I eat at their restaurants and follow their paths. It is just too damn much fun. I'm also a typical writer in that I love to hear what people say about the stories I write. In both my fiction and non-fiction, to know I've touched an emotional chord is such a high.
No.4 Why do humans want children?
Besides the natural biological urge to procreate that’s built in to our genes I think it's a very personal thing. For me as a father of two it's seeing them evolve. Taking the bits and pieces you and the world as a whole give them and watching them form the puzzle that becomes them. Your greatest gift is how you influence that puzzle. I want it to be a sunny beach scene....not a thunderstorm and horror scene.
No.5 What was the biggest challenge in creating your book 'A Salty Life & A Traitor's Death' ?
My biggest challenge......Hmmmm. This answer is going to sound so lame - It was ending the story. Knowing I had other projects that I needed to move on to and I needed to let these characters be for a while and get on to the next thing.
No.6 What is the most important thing you have learned in life so far?
Nothing matters more than the ones you share your life with. Not money, not fame, not power. Having the right people in your life. The ones with the positive vibe and right attitudes make a life worth so much more.
No.7 How did you come up with the title 'A Salty Life & A Traitor's Death' ?
I am a nut for the Caribbean. If I could I would live there and island hop as I write new tales. I had this character that was the modern day pirate sailing the waters in 'El Caribe' but I hadn’t fleshed out his story yet. Two things collided to give me the title. I was reading Jimmy Buffett's 'A Salty Piece of Land' and saw a 'Salt Life' sticker on a car........That got the brain working and as I did research I was looking at how an experienced sailor is an old salt and suddenly the main character had a nickname 'SALTY'. Hence, A Salty Life. I'll let you read the book to find out about the traitor's death......
No.8 How do you handle personal criticism?
I handle constructive criticism very well. Like, if you tell me my book as an issue and you are concise and direct. IT stings but I use it to grow. Rude mean criticism really eats at me. When someone acts as if your lazy or did something on purpose. Why would I do something wrong on purpose (Besides question 1.....lol)
No.9 Why should people read your book?
It's a great adventure. The characters are fun and real. The back drop is the great city of New Orleans or the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. If you are looking for a deep political novel with heady legal president.......don't read my book, but if you want to escape with a band of modern day pirates and ride the excitement of their story.....welcome aboard.
No.10 Why is there something rather than nothing?
Very existential.... We as individuals make our SOMETHING. We are the main characters in the novel that is our lives and we make that something on the pages of our memory. As long as those pages are remembered and thought of; we are something.
Thank you Mr. Schneider :)
For taking the time to answer my questions
& the best of luck with your new book!
Check out “A Salty Life & A Traitor's Death”
It’s tough being a modern day pirate.
Hannibal “Salty” Greco is a smuggler, a brigand, and a 21st century rogue but his loyalty to those close to him is his best asset. When he and his team are hired for an elaborate hist of an illegal gold shipment it promises excitement and peril. When the prize is so large betrayal and treachery are close at hand. Friends turn to enemies and trust is hard to find. Salty must weave his way through action and intrigue to get his team to safety…….and just maybe get rich in the process!! Join the team and feel passion’s boil and the gunfire fly!