Author: Paul Cathcart
Title: Persona Non Grata with Diabetes
Publisher: Paul Cathcart
Pages: 403, Paperback/Kindle
Author Interview with Paul Cathcart
Title: Persona Non Grata with Diabetes
Interviewed by: Tiffany Ezuma, Pacific Book Review
Today we’re talking with Paul Cathcart , author of ” Persona Non Grata with Diabetes .”
PBR: How did you come up with the title?
The title is a reaction to the development process, in which a reader reacted with difficulty to the working title ‘The Big D: life as an everyday diabetic,’ at which point I became aware of the absurd politically correct term, ‘A person with diabetes.’ I’d become more aware of the sensitivities of the condition in perspectives of title and judgments; thinking more from the standpoint of those perhaps more enamored with stature than dealing with the difficulties of the disease. The book title is set to identify and cross these paths. Oh, and ‘The Big D’ was a no go – try and Google ‘The Big D’ lol, see what you get 🙂
PBR: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
It took some time to get to the development stage, where I was able to reach out and ask the opinions of fellow diabetics, on whether they felt the same. Ultimately their feedback was unanimous, we are all screaming inside with this condition in one-way or another. But until then and outside of that I wish I had better things to say. Maybe the condition of writing is best surmised; if people in general see you sitting around all day reading, they think to themselves, instinctively, what an intelligent interesting person he must be. But when those same friends, strangers, family members see you writing into a notepad all day, they react quietly, ‘Who does he think he is? Thinks he is superior to me,’ and they can’t wait to ask, ‘Have you got a publisher then? How do you pay your bills? Etc. superiority, suspicion… repeat till fade.’ But believe me, anger started this book and there was plenty enough anger to see me through to the end. I don’t stop and I don’t know how to quit.
PBR: What was the book that most influenced your life — and why?
You’re going to hate me for saying this. But I’m a writer not a reader and other than comic books to switch my head off, and online media, I read almost never. I also don’t have any brain left at the end of the day to read anything else. That’s probably a lot like musicians craving silence at the end of the day.
PBR: Do you have a specific writing style?
Yes immediate, stream-of-consciousness and without hesitation. I have zero formal training but my approach is this; most if not all of my favorite bands cannot read sheet music, yet they are the soundtracks to my life. Do I really need clinical, technical writing skills? I don’t think I do.
PBR: What are your current projects?
I’m working on a play entitled Prayer and Fear, which I’m writing with Billy Connolly in mind, cast as the role of a right wing, ignorant God. It is a Glaswegian comedy of inherent fear, with a single American stuck in the room for good measure.
PBR: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No. N O. I think going into it with complete heart and ignorance was the only approach and judging by reader reviews I have met every objective I set myself and I would not want to jeopardize that. It’s also a learning curve to be enjoyed and a level of frustration inevitable.
PBR: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The work is a head in my hands reflection and looking forward of my life with diabetes; what led me to where I stand at the moment I decided to write (seventeen years trial and insulin error, read as emotional turmoil lost in a bigger world) and through that four year period to completion. All pouring of laughter and tears: learning to cope and letting go. Delving into my head on that level; I had a dreadful childhood and blame much of my diabetes on childhood stress; was at points an emotional trauma. On the other hand, nothing could really have sorted my head out more, and being able to draw so much humor from that same honesty of reach is the purpose of the communication, it is what people are feeling and thanking me for, which is the most beautiful feeling in my heart – more than worthwhile.
PBR: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learnt that I am far from alone.
PBR: What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing it to life?
Research was three years of drinking coffee with a notepad in Royal Tunbridge Wells, and often shaking to the bone. At one point I had to track down, unwilling family for confirmation of my father’s death. Turned out he held out for two more years in a hospice. That was pretty ugly. Literary, was learning how to punctuate and psychology is always learning how to cope. I think I’m there as much as I need to be and naivety breeds passion.
To learn more about ” Persona Non Grata with Diabetes” please read the review at: Pacific Book Review