Interview with John DeSimone, Author of The Road to Delano

10 Mar 2020

What can you tell us about your new release, The Road to Delano?

The Road to Delano is set during Cesar Chavez’s fast for nonviolence during the grape strike in 1968. His moral stand, which I consider heroic, influenced the moral choices of the young protagonists in the story who are affected by the strike in different ways. Jack and Adrian are confronted with a series of choices essential to their future. I’m not talking about if they are going to use drugs or have sex with their girlfriends. Those are not trivial issues, for sure. But the choices they are faced with will shape their destiny and their characters in different ways far beyond their high school days. The Road to Delano is the path Jack and Adrian must take to find their strength, their duty, and their destiny.

What or who inspired you to become an author?

In thinking back, it had to be the emotional thrill of a great story. I remember the American frontier stories I used to read as an adolescent. I read a lot of Sci Fi and detective stories. Something about how a story emotionally transported me into a different time and place, a different state of being, is what I enjoyed. I didn’t read Steinbeck and Harper Lee until I was in college. Then I knew.

What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?

Thankfully, you gave me a top 5 to list. Books, I find, affect me differently at different times and stages in my life. In going back and rereading some early influences they don’t move me like the ones I’m reading now. But if I listed them in chronological order they might look like this.

Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
Les Miserables – Victor Hugo
Great Expectations — Charles Dickens
The Fall of Giants – Ken Follett

Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?

The first person is living, correct?  Ken Follett. “Tell me about how you constructed the theme of “The Fall of Giants”

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

The private revelations that come from my subconscious mind that are totally stunning to my conscious mind.

What is a typical day like for you?

I begin early. I nap in the afternoon. I cook dinner for my wife. I read in the evening. I answer emails as I can. I sip wine on my deck and watch the sunset. I relish that I am alive and enjoy my life. And I thank God. Every day!

What scene in The Road To Delano was your favorite to write?

Wow! Just one. I can’t do that. The baseball scenes were fun. The scenes with Cesar Chavez were special. I had to do a lot of research to make him come alive. Those who knew him said he came across authentically.

Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?

Not officially until this moment: If I did have one, it would be “Stay off line. Write every day. Read more. And be thankful.”

John DeSimone is the author of the new book The Road to Delano.

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