Hey, blog buddies! I interviewed Dennis Fishel, author of Russell’s Revenge, recently and he had such an intriguing and evocative (life) story to tell…he has suffered great losses and victories in his life, and he wanted to share them with you! Here it is:
What is the inspiration for Russell’s Revenge?
Russell’s Revenge grew from a series of writing assignments in a university-level writing program in which students were allowed to free-form on their own projects. I chose several remembered events from my early teens as a foundation, building on them with an internal admonition to focus on just how chaotic those episodes could have become along with guiding the narrative to a final, and positive, message. So–we Jell-O-headed kids actually did the things depicted; they just weren’t quite as disastrous as my fictional story suggests.
Which authors inspire you?
Of the Big Time authors, John Grisham is my favorite. But I also like Gary Paulsen in Young Adult and Ivan Doig in Literary works.
What advice do you have for authors trying to expand their online presence on social media?
I’m probably not qualified to give advice on social media; more likely it’s the other way around. I will say, however, that it certainly can’t hurt for those with a limited ability–like me–to work at learning how to utilize this medium. It is the future, and it greatly expands our contact with a very large world filled with folks who need to know we writers are here. My efforts to learn still cross my eyes from time to time, but I am making progress–and it doesn’t hurt as much as a poke in the eye with a sharp stick would!
What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done?
Shoplifting candy bars when I was 12. I got bored with that after a while and started shoplifting them, then sneaking them back in. That led to attempting to shoplift them in front of a store detective, allowing him to chase me around the store for a while, then replacing the item and allowing him to catch me with no evidence on me, forcing him to grudgingly let me go. Lucky me, I decided being a professional idiot wasn’t a pathway to greatness.
What’s the best thing that has happened to you?
The birth of my son easily tops all events in what has been a pretty good life.
What’s the worst thing that’s happened to you?
The death of my wife, Arleen (I’m so sorry for your loss).
What’s your biggest fear?
The expanding ignorance of the youth in the US as to our history and economic structure, and what that ignorance is leading them to believe politically. They are headed for trouble and they aren’t going to like the world they’ve created if this trend isn’t turned around. Sadly, they will aim their blame for this in the wrong direction–again, thanks to their own ignorance.
Why did you want to become an author?
I’ve always enjoyed writing. Then a book borrowed from a friend turned out to be a poorly-researched fictional story about my home state–not even close as to climate, how to ski, etc. Basically, it was focused solely on bed-hopping, Peyton Place in an alpine setting. The push to think I could do better than that author happened when they made his story into a motion picture for television. Then I discovered writing was fun. THEN I wrote a short article about bicycling across my state and a magazine actually paid me for it! That was the final hook.
Title: Russell’s Revenge Author: Dennis Fishel
Genre: YA Humor, Adventure
Fate has been messing up Dennis’s life for as long as he can remember. It was Fate that decided Russell Folmer—the biggest, ugliest, and meanest kid on earth—would live only two houses south of Dennis’s. Fate was also responsible for making Russell the same age and placing him in the same school. So who else but malicious Fate would arrange for Russell to be in the wrong place at exactly the wrong time when the bombs crafted from the only product a dog manufactures fell from Dennis’s experimental kite? Now, with dog dumplings decorating Russell’s extremely large and angry face, it looks as though Dennis’s days of successfully dodging the well‐known bully are over. As the sound of Russell’s pounding feet gets ever closer, two questions flare up in Dennis’s panicked mind like neon in the blackness of a cave: What has he done to make Fate hate him so much, and how is owned and managed by dogs for most of his life, Dennis shares a home on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula with his four‐legged boss, Sally. Together they pursue their interests in wooden boats, fly fishing, chasing down obscure historic sites, and hiking to remote places just for the fun of it.
Owned and managed by dogs for most of his life, Dennis shares a home on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula with his four‐legged boss, Sally. Together they pursue their interests in wooden boats, fly fishing, chasing down obscure historic sites, and hiking to remote places just for the fun of it.
Don’t forget to check out his website!