Author Interview: Memoir Author Angus Munro, author of A FULL HOUSE - BUT EMPTY

Angus Munro has roots that run deep. His farming ancestors came from Scotland in 1830 and his relatives still reside on the same farmlands in Southern Ontario, Canada. His grandfather left Ontario and took his family to Saskatchewan in 1905 and became a prosperous wheat farmer. When Angus' father married, the grandfather leased other farmlands to get his son established. Angus' father lost the total proceeds of his first wheat crop in a wild poker game at the local grain elevator. The grandfather was none too happy and decided to relocate to Vancouver, B.C. The Depression deepened and sadly Angus' grandfather passed away - leaving his entire estate to his second son. Angus' father traveled to see his brother to seek financial assistance and received nothing. He returned to Vancouver unexpectedly one evening and found his wife in bed with someone else. Thus, his father became a single parent to three children - Laura 6, Angus 3, and Marjorie and infant. The following day, Angus became very ill with appendicitis and spent seven weeks in the Vancouver General Hospital. The author vividly covers his early childhood years and living with another family - similar circumstances, a father with five children, coping with the Depression and, thereafter, addressing their dual basic family needs. Angus' new memoir, A Full House - But Empty, is the gripping story of young Angus' life growing up in the Depression years based on the positive lessons he had learned from his father during their somewhat traumatic and hectic years together. If you would like to find out more about Angus and his new book, visit here.

Thank you for this interview, Angus. Can you tell us about yourself and how long you have been writing?

I was born in Vancouver, Canada during the Great Depression. Due to a chronic sinus condition, I moved to Southern California in my twenty-seventh year. After completing thirty-nine years in hospital administration, I retired in 2003. I was so actively involved with my career, when I faced retirement, I thought to myself, What’s next! A book pondered I?

Can you tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

When I retired, I found myself reminiscing about my life experiences and particularly, reviewing my somewhat hectic but interesting childhood. In the process, I fondly recalled my earlier childhood, particularly when my single parent, father of three young children decided to move with another single father of five children. The fathers were both from farming families, hardworking and shared similar marital situations. This move occurred when I was seven years old and we lived together for four years. I decided it could be a good read for my two great nephews who were in the same age span as I, during those happy years. When I completed that project, my great nephews’ father, Paul, read my (rough) draft and said that I was just getting started. He emphatically stated, “Keep going you have an interesting story to tell.”

What kind of research was involved in writing, A Full House – But Empty?

No resource was necessary – all from memory. Apart from my somewhat unusual childhood, I became a grade-school dropout at age fourteen, due to an unfortunate incident. At seventeen, I was tossing lumber ends off of a conveyor belt in a sawmill. My father was a great partygoer and poker player with both activities taking place in our home on a regular basis. On one occasion, a theological student who was attending the University of British Columbia arrived with a group of my father’s pub club cohorts. He and I became friends and he stopped by one quiet evening unexpectedly and gave me a Dutch uncle speech. He informed me to get off of my ass and get moving. He suggested that I take accounting and typing evening classes at a local high school to acquire some basic skills. He further suggested I seek a white-collar entrance position in which I could start climbing up the vocational ladder. His poignant words were well spoken and I did exactly what he suggested.

Solely based on that Dutch uncle speech, I successfully and methodically moved upward. I spent nine years in the petroleum industry in both Canada and the USA. At my last employer I was scheduled for a junior executive position in their home office. I decided to change careers and spent thirty-nine years in hospital administration in California and Alaska. As a healthcare director, I had staffing complements of fifty-five to seventy employees.

How much input did you have into the design of your book cover?

Upon completion of my autobiography, I quickly learned that as a non-celebrity, there was little or virtually no interest in terms of submissions to publishing companies, and/or literary agents. I believed my only course of action was self-publishing. I sent my final draft to iUniverse for review and publication. In addressing the cover, I simply sent three pictures of myself and they did the rest. In terms of the time involved, regarding their review and setup and publication, it overall, ran very smoothly at around 90 days in total.

Has it been a bumpy ride to becoming a published author or has it been pretty well smooth sailing?

When I received copies of my book, I quickly realized that the onus was on me to get promotional services moving. No one heard of Angus Munro or his book. I realized that book reviews were essential and I located Tracy Roberts of Write Field Services in Chester, Nova Scotia. She not only gave me an excellent review but also constructively assisted this novice to get things moving. Aside from working with Tracy, at her recommendation, she suggested I obtain another review from AllBooks Review. Their editor is Shirley Roe and she had my book reviewed by her associate, Emily-Jane Hills Orford. I received another excellent review and I am currently listed on the AllBooks Review site. Additionally, I have placed ads in several magazines in their MARKETPLACE section and I have had other reviews as well. I have also been working with Internet book promotional organizations and I am currently working with Dorothy Thompson of Pump Up Your Book Promotion. She has been wonderful and I am very hopeful of promising results from her program.

Do you plan subsequent books? Are you a morning or night writer?

At the moment, my full concentration has been on promoting my current book; however, I have been pondering over thoughts for my next one. In terms of writing, day or night makes no difference, it is just as the old adage conveys, mind over matter.

If money were no object, what would be the first thing you would invest in to promote your book.

I would seek professional assistance from key persons in the various media such as the Internet, print media, TV and radio, whatever. Frankly, as it stands, I can only allocate a certain amount monthly for my book promotional services adventure. In the process, I have been working with some wonderful people and also very importantly learning step by step. Sometimes, it has been two steps back and one forward. However, it has been a joy and a great personal experience writing this book and being involved with some wonderful people. The pot at the end of this rainbow for me may be a feeling of accomplishment in writing my memoirs and the recognition from receiving such outstanding reviews. A great report card!

My book is available at Barnes and Noble, Borders, Chapters and Amazon. Com. (price $20.95)

Powered by Blogger.