Interview with Molly O’Keefe, author of A Day In The Death of Walter Zawislak
09 Dec 2019
What can you tell us about your new release, A Day In The Death of Walter Zawislak?
A Day In The Death of Walter Zawislak is perfect for fans of The Five People You Meet In Heaven and A Christmas Carol.
Walter Zawislak has died and to his surprise he gets one day to relive before heading into the great unknown. Walter believes he wasted his days since his beloved wife Rosie died and his daughter stopped talking to him. He doesn’t think he has any days worth reliving. Peter, the mysterious young man in charge of Walter’s file, has a few tricks up his sleeve and he shows Walter that he has a lot of days to be proud of. Days to savour and relish. Looking back over his life shows Walter his life was full of beauty and grace. And so much love.
What or who inspired you to become an author?
Mrs. Jordal my fifth grade teacher was the first teacher I had who wrote on my report card – “Yes, Molly is terrible at math. But she’s so good in English.” And she pushed me towards opportunities where I could shine as a young writer. I was very lucky to have teachers like that in high school too. Also reading L.M. Montgomery’s Emily of New Moon books was an eye opening experience for me. It had not occurred to me that being a writer was thing you could BE.
What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?
Oh wow – okay. Dream A Little Dream by Susan Elizabeth Phillips, The Shadow and The Star by Laura Kindle and Lover Awakened by JR Ward – are my top romance reads! After that – anything by Joshilyn Jackson – particularly A Grown Up Kind of Pretty. And my favorite book out recently is That Reckless Oath We Made by Bryn Greenwood – absolutely breathtaking!
Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?
I’d love to talk to Bryn Greenwood about her process, about how she just digs and digs and digs into her characters finding a kind of bedrock truth.
What’s your favorite thing about writing?
I love the days when it’s going well. When the words and the revelations and the characters just come to me fully formed and I love the moments when I see the solution to a problem in the book that has been bothering me for ages. It feels like discovering gold every time it happens!
What is a typical day like for you?
Wake up. Coffee. Send the kids off. Work. Walk the dog. Work a little more. Kids come home. Dinner. Maybe a little more work. Repeat.
What scene in A Day In The Death of Walter Zawislak was your favorite to write?
Oh, there are a lot of scenes I love in this book. The scene with Walt and his cousin in the strip club. The scene in the diner when Walter finally has the courage to ask Rosie out. But honestly, it was the extremely intense scene during the Vietnam War. I didn’t know I had that scene in me. And – as a fun side note – in the audio version of the book, the narrator Cam Drynan – KILLS that scene. It’s absolutely edge-of-your-seat dramatic.
Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?
Hmmm… I try to be of service. To my family, my friends. My community. The books I write.
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