Author’s Name: Richard E. Roach
Book Title: Scattered Leaves
Page Count: 336
Suspense/Mystery author Richard Roach was born in 1931 in Galveston, Texas. Short stories of his have been published in Man’s Story 2, Happy 2007, Vol. 20 and Bibliophilos 2006, Vol. 42. His first novel, Scattered Leaves, hit the book stores on September 1, ’08, and his second novel, Scattered Money, will be published in 2009.
You can visit his website at www.richarderoach.com.
1. Where do you live (city, country)?
532 Kentwood Drive, Rockwall, TX 75032
2. What is the weather like?
Overcast, gray and gloomy with a high of 32, misting rain and sleet.
3. Have you lived there very long?
Nearly 19 years.
4. Would you rather live somewhere else?
5. Are you married or single?
Married since December 4, 1948
6. Do you have kids?
Three, two boys and one girl, all grown for many years.
7. Where were you born?
8. What was your childhood like?
Unusual, My parents decided on a divorce in 1937 while I was five. My brother, age ten, and I hit the road with our Daddy. He was a kindly man who never lost his temper. He did have one bad habit; he was an alcoholic.
Dad soon tired of taking care of us and rented us a room above a drugstore in Alvin, Texas. Dad went on about his business and my brother went into business to support us.
He found an apple crate, they were wood back then, and with a borrowed hammer and handsaw from the friendly hardware store plus a nickle’s worth of nails, he fashioned a shoe shine box.
Luckily there was an oil field nearby with loads of young me who wanted their shoes shined for the pretty girls. Remember this was the depression and money was scarce as hen’s teeth.
My job was to follow him around and look forlorn. This wasn’t hard, I only had one pair of coverall, gray of course, no shoes and no underware.
This was good training for us. Can you imagine two kids living alone like that and no one ever asked us anything. Son, that’s my brother’s name, worked hard at shining shoes. Some days we made a dollar, (ten pairs of shoes) and some day we didn’t.
With a dollar you could buy twenty cokes, or twenty bars of candy or see ten picture shows.
After ten months, Daddy took pity on us and carried us to our Grandparents’ home in Livingston, Texas. During this time I accumulated enough material to fill several books.
Would you like to know my first business venture? Delivery boy. I carried butter, eggs and milk to customers of my Grandmother’s. I received about a nickle a trip. Later, Son and I went into the egg selling business. We got rich on this deal! Some times we got as much as a quarter for a dozen eggs.
9. What was it like growing up as a teen?
Son was in Europe fighting the Germans and I was in Houston. It was pretty miserable until I happened to find Norma. She was something and didn’t seem to mind me being a little different. (Everything revolved around money for me. I knew you couldn’t starve if you had a pocket full of money.) But all in all, it was better than being an adolescent. I worked as a soda jerk, in a grocery putting goods on the shelf etc, welder’s helper, a spraygun painter, and finally found my way into the oilfield as a roustabout. Then I really got rich! I made a dollar an hour!
What did you do for fun?
Kissed Norma, when she would let me, and we loved eating hamburgers and going to the show. In school I played football, basketball, and ran track. Norm was a majorette.
10. Back to the present, what’s your favorite room in your house?
I have an office in our home and a brick workshop where I can tinker with whatever needs my attention. My tractor is parked in this building also.
11. Do you have an outside job?
12. What is your favorite thing to do on your day off?
I love to write. Make up stories that I hope folks will like. By writing you can visit anywhere you like, have characters that do your bidding–it’s a perfect world. The interest from all my business ventures pours in so all I have to worry about is what do I want to eat at the next meal. Nor is a wonderful cook and she likes her job.
13. What’s your most favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
Oh boy! That’s easy. Biscuits, fried eggs, sausage and plenty of hot tea. (Coffee makes me sick.)
14. Do you have any pets?
No pool, no pets, only regrets
15. Do you know your neighbors?
You can bet I know them. I give them onions, corn and greens from my garden. They love me, you know, they are glad to get fresh veggies.
16. Pepsi or Coke?
Let’s all have a Dr. Pepper.
17. Favorite time of year?
It’s got to be the Fall. Texas summer are pure torture.
18. Favorite color?
19. Favorite book?
That’s a tough one. But recently, it would have to be Lonesome Dove.
20. Does your car look better than your house?
No way, I drive a blue pickup, it’s sixteen years old. I rarely go anywhere and don’t really need a car. Norm drives a shiny, silver.Mercedes.
21. What’s on your mousepad?
I don’t know what a mousepad is.
22. How many times do you let the phone ring before you answer it?
No phones in my office. I’m not real fond of phones. My life was driven by the little darlings for too many years. Other people normally answer the phone when it rings. Norm, of course has a cell phone beside our land line.
23. Chocolate or vanilla?
24. Do you like to drive too fast?
Driving scares me so I shore don’t drive fast when I drive to church, the barbershop, hardware or feed store.
25. Do you sleep with a stuffed animal?
You must be kidding. There’s a .357 Magum about one foot from my head.
26. If you could meet one person dead or alive, who would it be?
My Grandfather, A. E. Simmons and my Grandmother, Alma Burke Simmons. They took me in, bought me clothes, fed me and taught me to be honest, work hard, save your money, be kind to women and children, and let men fight for their place in line.
27. What’s your favorite alcoholic drink?
I’m no big hand at drinking, but back when I had to entertain oil men, I generally drank a bloody Mary or scotch and water. I don’t like beer and wine is for women.
28. What is your zodiac sign?
It’s got to be Taurus!
29. If you could have any job that you wanted, what would it be?
30. What’s under your bed?
Nothing. Norm runs the house and she doesn’t store things under the bed but lord, have mercy, don’t look in the garage.
31. Is the glass half empty or half full?
Sweetheart, mine is half full.
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