Interview with Andrew John Schmitz, Author of Hands Across the Sky
18 Dec 2015
Hands Across the Sky is an international thriller novel with an overarching humanitarian message. The main character, Ezra Quinn, is an engineer from San Francisco that has a great deal of intelligence, but is essentially going through the motions in life. All that changes, however, when he’s offered a lucrative position with a company based in the Middle East. While working on his special project with his new company, he begins to unravel covert intentions, and after a series of events, stumbles upon an ‘underground’ community of spiritual gurus who enlighten Ezra on a new path. With everything that’s going on in the Middle East today (and the world in general), I wanted to showcase a positive message of hope.
BAM. You’re a superhero. What’s your superpower?
My favorite superhero growing up was Batman, so I’ve never put much thought into which superpower I’d wish to have. He’s just a normal guy who grinds it out, is great with gadgets, and has an extreme discipline and will to help humanity. Plus, he plays to my naivete that superheros might actually be a real-world possibility. Oh, and he has billions of dollars of funds, which might just help a little bit.
What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?
a. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
b. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
c. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
d. Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
e. The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran
What’s something you’re truly terrible at doing?
In the world of art, I’m appreciative I love to write because on the reverse side, I’m absolutely terrible at drawing. If you ask me to draw something outside the realm of stick figures and basic shapes, the recipient of my masterpiece is going to be severely disappointed.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I was a big sports fan growing up, and all throughout grade school I had dreamed of being a professional basketball player. I had started writing short stories in the 2nd grade, but I never realized until much later in life that I should spend more time with a pen than on the court.
What’s your favorite quote or scene from Hands Across the Sky?
My favorite scene is when Ezra listens to the various parables and stories from Sister Maryam when he’s learning about the background of the Open Hand.
Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?
We all face adversity from time to time, and I particularly faced some tough life challenges in my early years, so I developed a philosophy that “there always is a way.” The more times I repeat this in my mind when a problem arises, the more I feel that I spontaneously find creative solutions to that problem.
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