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Random Lucidity by Dave Adair is a fascinating book with an unpredictable end. This real page turner will keep your attention and interest from the first sentence to the last. Following book’s development you may question your own life-defining decisions since moments of psychological, mental or emotional lucidity is really rare in human life.
The book’s main character, Reggie Hatcher is a loving and devoted son. Every week he visits his seventy-two-year-old father Ronnie at Honeyville Senior Living located just across a street from a funeral home. Going back to his apartment from these weekly visits Reggie often stops at his childhood home. His last visit hasn’t been an exception, but this time his feelings are controversial. Besides sweet nostalgia, he feels stings of sadness. Sitting in his car, looking at his old neighborhood and practically unchanged house he contemplates on his still unforgotten childhood dreams. He decides to follow his father’s sudden advice to not waste time on trivial things but go after them. Reggie, a thirty-three-year-old successful editor quits his job and opens his own literary agency. Being Reggie’s biggest dream this is a huge step for him out of safety. Hoping for successes he is eagerly looking for promising authors. One day strolling home from his new office through the park Reggie encounters a strange man erratically writing something in a spiral bound notebook. The next morning he finds this notebook forgotten on the bench and picks it up. Inside Reggie sees his opportunity. This is his so needed miracle book. He’ll be famous for discovering and turning a special needs guy into a prominent writer.
Although there are a lot of unusual turns and twists, the transitions between one storyline to another are smooth and it is easy to follow this remarkable narrative. There are no wasted scenes and all protagonists, even the more bizarre and shocking, are consistent and have vivid personalities. The author skillfully leads Reggie through his struggles between love, loyalty, and his desire to succeed. Read the book to find out how Reggie’s miracle turns out, you’ll feel for him.
Q. According to one of the book’s characters, “Life is bound by more than matter and emotion.” Would you like to share by what life is bound for you?
A. We are all bound by our opportunities and our choices. Much of Random Lucidity centers on the lasting impact of the decisions we all make, for better or worse. Doors open for you at different points of your life and sometimes all you have to do is walk through them. Don’t over think it.
But fear keeps too many of us from walking through that door and claiming that opportunity. Life has a way of scaring the hell out of you and making you hesitant.
Q. Your main protagonist, Reggie says to his girlfriend, “You can’t fix the world. You just have to find your place in it and make the best of it you can.” Would you agree with him?
A. Not at all. Reggie is a fearful man at heart. He is not confident enough in himself to truly reach out and grab what he wants. Sure, maybe we can’t all fix the world. But that doesn’t mean we don’t try. It doesn’t mean we just give up and make excuses for why our life is so average.
Just about every person Reggie comes into contact with is showing him either the right way to live, or the wrong way to live. He is simply incapable of telling the difference. He makes bad choices, not because he is dumb, but because he doesn’t believe in himself. He is surrounded by people that support him. He just doesn’t see it.
We all know people like this. People who just can’t get out of their own way. But you pull for them. You want them to figure it out because, ultimately, they are good people who mean well.
Q. Most of the people play their life safe. What is your opinion about it? Do you ever ponder on similar to Ronnie’s question, “Does everything in this damned world have to be for the sake of convenience?”
A. It is human nature to play it safe. Safety leads to survival. It just doesn’t produce much else.
Ronnie is a character that is realizing he played it too safe for too many years. He did what was right for everyone else, never focusing on himself. He lives with regret. Like many of us, Ronnie is tired of watching the world pass him by. He’s tired of not experiencing life.
As far as convenience, when was the last time you opened a door yourself at the grocery store? When was the last time you walked up three flights of stairs in an office building? We all want the easy way out. That is a very dangerous approach to take. Some advancements save us time and make us more efficient. And some make us lazy, distracted and unambitious.
Q. For many people life also isn’t what they’ve hoped and they are looking for miracles that would change their life in one click. Is there any miracle that you are hoping for?
A. Every day I wake up and realize the family I have and the life I have is a miracle and a blessing. But there are no sudden, life-changing miracles coming my way. I would love to win the lottery, but I don’t play the lottery. I would love to have someone hand me everything I ever wanted. And I would love to tell you that I wouldn’t take the easy way out; that I want to earn everything that comes my way. That would be a lie.
It does mean more when you earn what you have. There is a self-confidence that can be realized no other way. But the concept of living on your own terms is very intoxicating. And depending on your situation, it is more attainable for some than others. If you have a family and kids in college and bills, just tearing off down the highway isn’t really an option.
But it doesn’t mean you should sit around and watch television all day. There is always time to do something that matters to you. Like writing a novel, for instance.
Q. Do you think that all people could and should find time and energy to pursue their dreams? Would you like to share some of your dreams?
A. I’m not sure why anyone wouldn’t want to pursue their dreams. And it’s true, you have to be realistic. I would love to play professional hockey. But I’m not that good. I was never that good. So some dreams are out of reach. The trick is to find out what dream really speaks to you; what matches up with your skill set, means something to you and has the potential to reshape who you are. What dream is just sitting out there taunting you?
But what if you fail? That’s the killer for most. No one wants to be the loser who wrote a book that no one reads. You have to remove that fear. And you need to be surrounded by people who are willing to force you to step past that fear rather than enable it.
I have just those types of people around me. My wife, Rachel, and my children, Gabriella, Andrew and James. We all support each other the best we can to achieve what we want to achieve. My parents and siblings all have supported my writing over the years, as have a number of mentors.
My dream was to write novels. I always assumed I didn’t have the time. I realize now that if something matters to you, you make the time. There are 10,080 minutes in a week. It would frighten most people if they logged their activities for all of those minutes during a typical seven-day stretch. A lot of time gets wasted.
Q. Do you think that to be a good writer your need to possess specific skills or that everyone can put thoughts together and write a book?
A. That’s an interesting question. I think great writers – not just good writers – are people with natural skill. The story flows, they get into character and bring entire worlds to life. Fantasy writers are amazing in that way. JRR Tolkien, Isaac Asimov, even JK Rowling… I mean they are dealing with complex human relationships and interactions and putting them in a world that does not exist; a world of which the reader has no previous knowledge. Everything needs to be created.
My book is set in Chicago. It’s not a great leap for most to imagine what the setting looks like, what the sounds and smells are. I like it that way because it puts more emphasis on the relationships between the characters; the give and take.
Having said that, I think most people could learn to be good writers. But it would be a hard task if you are not naturally inclined toward it. It would be tough. And if something is that hard and unenjoyable, why would you do it? And how good would it ultimately be?
Q. What are you motivated by when you write?
A. Random Lucidity is my first novel. My approach was to take a concept – a feeling, almost – with the goal being that at the end of the story, the reader would be left pondering that concept. For this book, it was a line from a Bruce Springsteen song called, The River. The song is about a high school couple that unexpectedly have all of their innocence and utopian visions for the future dashed all at once.
The line, “Is a dream a lie if it don’t come true, or is it something worse?” is very powerful. We can all relate to it. Some of us don’t want to admit that our lost dreams bother us. It’s easier not to face it.
I like to face those things. I like to explore that distance between where your life is and where you wish it to be. Sometimes, we are happy with what we see. Other times, not so much.
Q. Like any other author you probably also fear of rejection and negative reactions toward your writing. How do you cope with such feelings?
A. I have been writing in one form or another for many years. I have had editors who make changes just for the sake of making changes. So, professionally, I have developed very thick skin.
But this was very different and actually caught me off guard. I was surprised by the terror I felt the first time I handed a draft to Rachel to read. The feeling came back again when I first published it and everyone I knew was going to read it. It was a petrifying experience, just waiting for feedback and wondering if I was hearing nothing if no one liked it.
I really had no idea if it was good. I thought it was. And my pre-readers said it was. But I knew them all. Those first few weeks were very tense. And then people that I didn’t know at all started giving me good feedback and good reviews.
I can’t explain the euphoria you feel when a total stranger says they want you to write more books. That really makes it all worthwhile.
Q. Is there anything else you’d like to tell your readers?
A. I want to thank everyone who has or will in the future read Random Lucidity. I especially want to thank those that have taken the time in various outlets to share their thoughts on the story, and also to tell others about it. It feels very good to know that something you did brought a little joy and escape to someone’s life.
The story should make you think about your life and your choices and, hopefully, help you realize that you have plenty of time to go after something that has been lingering out there for too long. And remember, sometimes the answers we are looking for are right in front of us all along.
My website (www.daveadair.net) has all the links to my various social media pages and I hope lots of folks will join in on the conversation.
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