Interview with Dennis Harrison, author of You Could Be Prime Minister One Day Son
11 Sep 2018
What can you tell us about your new release, You Could Be Prime Minister One Day Son?
This is a legacy document for my family that I believe will be widely appreciated by readers of memoirs and autobiographies. At my book launch on September 1st held in Brisbane, Australia I had 130 attendees and achieved 57 sales. Now that’s not bad market penetration! Experienced author Pat Noad who introduced me remarked at the end of the launch, “I have never been at a launch where the book signing went longer than the party”, and I might add the food and wine did not run out.
The book’s main over-arching themes are mental ill health of my mother and the impact that had on all members of the family, the love of father and son that resulted, the growth of a boy into manhood and the gaining of courage through five key male mentors. Even today in our enlightened times openly talking about mental ill health is not easy but I have been greatly encouraged by the phone calls and sharing since the launch by people that have similarly felt the pain of a loved family member that has suffered from a mental illness.
Others have thanked me for the window it has given them to the life and times of a baby boomer.
What or who inspired you to become an author?
I needed to process so much in my life and I write to understand self and to understand and interpret life. Life is a grand search. Have a look at the cover of my book if you will. Let me describe it to those of you that cannot see it if you only have the audio of this interview. It shows a father holding his son’s hand as the youngster looks out to sea in utter wonderment, awe and curiosity. The father is looking down at his son, watching out, caring and guiding.
The title of the book “You Could Be Prime Minister One Day Son” reflects the words my father told me throughout my life. He never ceased to encourage me to achieve. His belief in me was constant and unwavering. “You’re a leader of men” he would say; or “You’re a great fieldsman son” even after he had seen many a dropped catch on a Saturday afternoon.
What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?
“Passions of the Mind” by Irving Stone
“The Tree of Man” by Patrick White
“The Glass Bead Game” by Hermann Hesse
“Ageless Body, Timeless Mind” by Deepak Chopra
“God is Good for You -A Defence of Christianity” by Greg Sheridan is a recent one.
But, it is so hard to limit it to five
Every book you read has an influence over you and I have an eclectic taste in books and an insatiable curiosity.
So, what books do I read is not an easy question to answer. It depends on what phase of my life cycle you point to.
Which books would we be surprised to find on your shelves?
“The Tao of Physics” by Fitjof Capra
“Lizzie” by Lena Kennedy
“Zen and the Art of Motor Cycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values” by Robert Pirsig and by the same author;
“Lila: An Inquiry Into Morals”by Robert Pirsig
“The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ by Stephen Covey
You’re hosting a literary dinner party. Which three writers are invited?
William McInness – for his humour
Raimond Gaita – to share his pathos, although it could be too painful
Deepak Chopra – for his insight into health, religion and philosophy
If we could talk to past authors:
James A Michener
What is your favorite thing about Writing?
The discovery of self, the entry into the creative space where new discoveries and possibilities are made. I am at my best in that creative space.
What is a typical day like for you?
I live my day in two halves. I get up early (4.00 to 5.00 am) and write for two hours and then walk for 30 minutes, have breakfast, read paper and catch up with the politics of the day. Then participate in other activities. Crash after lunch because I have already done an 8 hour work day. Afternoon nap and then read in the afternoon. Veg out in front of TV at night.
What scene in You Could Be Prime Minister One Day Son was your favorite to write?
Chapter 57 The Caravan Story
Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?
“In honour of all that have gone before. In gratitude and thanks Lord.”
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