For more than three decades, Paul Flower has been an award-winning copywriter, creative director and a journalist. He has spent much of his life and career in West Michigan’s beach-resort country, where wealthy Chicago tourists cross paths with a rich cast of made-for-reality-TV locals–the ideal backdrop for this, his first published novel. Paul and his wife, Lori, have four grown children and a yellow lab named Barney.
What was the inspiration for this book?
Well, my writing process tends to be, ummmm, convoluted. For this book, I just started writing about a guy who was having a really really bad day. (He turned out to be Elvis). Over a number of months and years, I discovered the story–or the story discovered me. The characters and setting are drawn purely from my life experience in southwest Michigan.
How long did it take to finish the story?
The first draft probably took a couple of years. But then it sort of languished. I kept pulling it back out and refining it, adding characters and plot lines–probably over a period of about 25 years.
The mother in the book is pretty, well, nasty. Do you have mom issues?
No. My mom is at an advanced age now, obviously, but she has read the story and enjoyed it. My brothers and I kid her about the mom being modeled after her–nothing could be farther from the truth. I am the youngest of three sons, however. So I like to blame by own brothers for the torment between Jesse and Elvis.