Friday, May 21, 2010

Do Divorces Always Create "Broken Homes"?

I am really looking forward to the upcoming release of my fourth novel, Opur's Blade. The book is in its final stages of editing and proofing before the publisher will prepare copies for bookstores and online book venues everywhere. Of course, just like in my three previous novels, the action in this book unfolds primarily at the Prairie Winds Golf Course. And, once again, my readers will be introduced to several new, controversial characters and updated on the personalities they have come to know in Lifetime Loser, Finish Line, and Tuey's Course.

While I have previously addressed the issue of children being raised by a divorced parent, most notably in Finish Line, this dynamic will take center stage in Opur's Blade. One common phrase often used to describe an environment in which both the mom and dad are not present is a "broken home." This phrase has been challenged by some who are living through such a situation. After all, aren't there plenty of married couples that live in circumstances that could be considered broken?

I am certain that the term "broken home" will be used often by those who write reviews for Opur's Blade. The effect of growing up in a home without both parents is examined closely in my new novel and I hope that some lively discussion is sparked concerning our accepted ideas about traditional families. To get this conversation going, I would like to go ahead and ask you what you think!

What are your thoughts about the phrase "broken home"? Is this an appropriate way to described divorced parents? Or, does it offer an illustration that is not always accurate?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Who Do You Want to Join You on the Course?

I imagine that most of us have been asked the question at some point, "If you could have dinner with any three people, living or dead, who would you choose and why?" It's a common discussion starter at parties or to pass time on long car trips. More often than not, historical figures like Jesus Christ and Gandhi make the list, as well as more personal favorites like Grandma and an inspirational high school soccer coach.

I would like to offer a twist to the original question.

In my three published books--Lifetime Loser, Finish Line, and Tuey's Course--I focused great attention and detail on the development of my characters. From the alcoholic pilot to the musician displaced by Hurricane Katrina to the teenage boy who is struggling to reach manhood without a male role model, just to name a few, my novels feature people who are multi-dimensional and flawed, but often also sympathetic. Each one of them brings stories and a personal background that adds an important component to the dynamics of the Prairie Winds Golf Course.

So, with my interest in both memorable personalities and the sport of golf established, I would like to ask this question -- "If you could play a round of golf with any three people, dead or alive, who would they be and why?" For most of us who love golf, the company we keep during this time is critical!

Who captivates you for their potential to contribute to an interesting morning filled with a great sport and quality conversation? I look forward to hearing your ideas!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Has Your Hobby or Passion Led to Literary Discoveries?

As many of you know, I have made my lifelong passion for golf an important component of my novels. All three of my published books--Lifetime Loser, Finish Line, and Tuey's Course--take place on Prairie Winds Golf Course and many of the pivotal conversations between my characters occur while they are playing an early morning round or relaxing in the clubhouse.

Because of this emphasis on golf, I think that many readers discover my books based on their mutual love of the sport. However, people quickly realize that you do not need to be familiar with the terms "par" and "double eagle" in order to get caught up in the controversial issues that I address through my writing.

I am certain that there are plenty of other novels out there on bookstore and library shelves that use a particular niche area as a launching point for a broader discussion. For example, do you have a favorite book that uses a love of cooking as the foundation on which it builds its plot and character development? Perhaps there is a group of people who take part in historical reenactments and within that setting a love story develops.

We often pick up a book because we are drawn to a specific aspect that appeals to our personal interests, and then realize a great new author or writing style. Do you have any examples of books you discovered in such a way? Has one of your hobbies ever brought you to a book, even when your specific topic of interest was only marginally related to the heart of the plot? Let us know if this has happened to you!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Welcome to All Blog Joggers!

Thank you for stopping by my Blog! I am the author of three published novels that integrate my love for golf with controversial issues and memorable characters. Please explore all this Blog has to offer, then jog on over to and read about Meghan Schuessler's journey towards publishing her first novel. If you would like to visit a different Blog in the jog, go to

Who's the Best Fictional Mom Out There?

Across the country this weekend, mothers will be opening envelopes that hold pastel cards with flowery writing, admiring flowers sent by a son who lives halfway across the country, and maybe even enjoying an afternoon at the spa courtesy of their husband and children. Mother's Day is upon us . . . have you called your mother today?

My three published novels--Lifetime Loser, Finish Line, and Tuey's Course--as well as my upcoming book, Opur's Blade, all feature at least one mom who may not be showered with gifts or one child who would never think to participate in the act of giving during this annual celebration of all things maternal. Let's just say that most of the characters I create will not be asked to pose for a Norman Rockwell painting anytime soon.

Along the same topic of fictional moms, who are some other characters who come to mind when you picture the ideal matriarch? Is it Claire Huxtable from The Cosby Show? How about Marmee, a strong woman who kept the four girls of Little Women together during wartime? Maybe even Marge Simpson is your perfect mom? Or do you go back to the days of June Cleaver and Donna Reed. How about Peg Bundy? Or maybe Archie Bunker's wife, Edith. The list goes on and on and on.

When thinking of characters from books, television, and film, you embodies the characteristics of the ideal mom for you? Let me know! And, Happy Mother's Day!!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Ann Coulter vs. The Single Mom

For those who have read my three published novels--Lifetime Loser, Finish Line, and Tuey's Course--you know that I address quite a few controversial issues through my writing. While the commonality that exists between all of my books may be golf and the backdrop of the Prairie Winds Golf Course, my work has tackled subjects as diverse as racism, gambling, alcoholism, cancer, and sexuality. In my upcoming release, Opur's Blade, I will be returning to a topic to which I already devoted some attention in Finish Line--the effect of "broken families" on our children and their emotional development.

Knowing that the topic of single parenthood causes debates of great emotion, I was certain that a quick search would find some high-profile commentators who have offered their thoughts on this sociological issue. Sure enough, I discovered an interview with one of the most controversial figures in the media, Ann Coulter, in which she shares some very strong opinions on single moms.

During an interview on the Today show last year, Coulter declared that single motherhood was "a recipe to create criminals, strippers, rapists, murderers." This belief was shared as part of the book she was promoting entitled Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and Their Assault on America. As you might imagine, the backlash was swift and it was strong. With single mothers being created from a variety of circumstances--divorce, by choice, death, one-night stands--it seems that it would be difficult to place such a condemning future on all children in one-parent households.

What do you think of Ann Coulter's assertion? Do single moms create a greater risk of producing criminals as children? Is she just trying to be sensational in order to sell books? Let me know your thoughts.