Wednesday, 14 March 2012

The Interpreter: Author Interview: Kirk Haggerty

Valerie Douglas
Welcome Kirk Haggerty ! Welcome to our talk show, which is live to our members. Let start with the standard questions. What are you reading at the moment? What genre or genres do you prefer...Unlike · ·

Kirk Haggerty ‎@Lawrence: yes I wanted to write the story as a college prank. My inspiration came from "National Lampoon's Animal House"

Kirk Haggerty again @Lawrence: you have to read the story to find out why Herr Wollf hired Daniel and his friends to steal the lion...

Kirk Haggerty otherwise I spoil everything :-)

Valerie Douglas ‎*grins* no spoilers...

Kirk Haggerty Is Valerie the moderator or is anybody allowed to ask questions?

Valerie Douglas I believe Shah is coach.... it was just ladies first!

Shah Sight Kirk, thank you so much, and we are sorry for this as it is getting a bit confusing, it is our first experience all together, but it is real, and I am sure you also love it as well as we do. Kirk tell us a little bit about yourself as a person, and why do you write in the genre you are writing at the moment, is this related to the kind of person you are, or the way you have lived your life, etc, you may want to tell us something please?

Kirk Haggerty Wow, now that's a question. Let me think about that...

Kirk Haggerty I alwasy liked to write as a kid in school in the Los Angeles area. My teacher loved my stories and she sometimes read them in front of the class. In my teens I was in the boy Scouts and did my Eagle Scout project on the history of our community in the 1920's. It got me the Eagle medal. As I continued into college my desire for writing stalled. It wasn't until after my move to Germany that it came back again. I guess the responsibilities of life came in first and the writing had to take a back seat. Now that my situation is a bit more stabilized I have more time to write stories. As for genres I do like planning out how a crime is going to take place - I remember a movie called "The Amazing Dobermann" about a bank robbery with trained Doberman Pinchers - anybody ever see that movie?

Kirk Haggerty another example - I was in the hospital in 2010 after a knee injury and I had time to read Stephen King's book "On Writing" I even did his "Dick and Jane" exercise - where one spouse is being stalked by the other spouse and you have to finish the story. Anybody ever do that exercise

Kirk Haggerty For the moment, crime stuff is interesting for me. my second book also has crime caper elements. But i'm sure that's another topic...

Valerie Douglas Oh I remember the Amazing Dobermans *grinning* But now that you bring it up, I was going to ask if you were going to write more! So obviously the answer is yes...

Kirk Haggerty forgive me if I write too fast and send off the message without checking my spelling :-)

Valerie Douglas No worries on that count, you should see some of the spelling issues I sometimes have to deal with.
I have to say, from what I've seen of How to Steal a Lion it's very well written. Did you hire an editor, or do it yourself?

Kirk Haggerty Yes, (as a spoiler) I'm finishing my second book, "The Notorious Expat Wives" - it's a chick-lit comedy with some crime elements involved.

Kirk Haggerty Several wonderful girls have helped me with proofreading and editing Lion - one is from Australia and the other is from England. They are always in my debt. Lion really couldn't be what it is without them. At first the writing was not good - since I was "out of it" for years. One writer said I write too "American" for a story that takes place in Germany. She suggested that I should write in British English becaus eof the proximity of those two countries. So if if wasn't for my editors, I never would have gotten this far on the Authonomy charts; which I'm currently now at rank 3 on the coveted "Editor's Desk".

Lawrence Fisher So, we have a wolf who wants Daniel to steal a lion. I assume that you grabbed the name Daniel from the bible or from Elton John.

What made you move to Germany and how does the difference in culture affect you?

Kirk Haggerty by the way, if anybody wants to see the book on Authonomy - here is the link:

Kirk Haggerty ‎@Lawrence - yes it was a cool connection between Daniel and the Lion's Den :-)

Kirk Haggerty One thing I must pay attention too is that I'm not allowed to use the name of the true brewery that owns the lion statue - at least not without expressed written permission from a lawyer - and that costs too much money. It's easier to make up a fictitious name of the brewery - in htis case I spent a whole day toying with names and came up with "Dompteur" which means "Lion Tamer" in German.

Valerie Douglas How did you wind up in Germany btw... to echo Lawrence's question?

Lawrence Fisher ‎...and how does the difference in culture affect you?

Kirk Haggerty I hope that it's ok to write about a statue since I'm not mentioning a name. Since it's a work of fiction...

Kirk Haggerty Two questions about Germany - wow. @Val - I fell in love with a German girl who I met in college.

Kirk Haggerty ‎@Lawrence - It took me a while to get used to the different culture. I remember in Stephen King's book "On Writing" to "write what you're good at" so I decided to write about my life in Germany, but in a funny way.

Kirk Haggerty Me too. Usually I'm not really a horror fan, but King was being honest about his life in a very simple, down to earth way and not super academic that I found it so attractive to use his methods.

Kirk Haggerty Another thing is that very few people have written about the Oktoberfest so maybe I've found a market niche - since Oktoberfest repeats itself every year, like Christmas.

Kirk Haggerty I can only think of one example of an Oktoberfest scene in the movies, and that was in one of the "Pink Panther" movies from the 1970's - you know - th ebeer lady with spikes coming out of her breasts to kill INspector Cleuseau :-)

Shah Sight Kirk, Thank you so much, you said you were in Oktoberfest or something that you got the idea of writing Stealing The Lion, tell us exactly what happened there, why not the festival or any other thing around you motivated you that the lion did, any specific connection there?

Kirk Haggerty There's so many things at the Oktoberfest to see and to experience. Many people like Lion because they've been to the Oktoberfest and that seems to be the real connection between me and my readers.

Valerie Douglas I love the idea of your next book, what inspired that choice, and chick lit for a guy is an interesting idea...

Kirk Haggerty In the end the story really doesn't focus too much on the fest at all. It focuses on Daniel and the relationship between his friends (like Joseph), his future girlfriend and reporter (Kim) and especially the mysterious Herr Wolff and his interesting past - which we see as backstory throughout the book. Like I wrote in my synopsis - it's about friendship, teamwork, and a second chance in life.

Valerie Douglas So what inspired you to write about ex-pat wives for the next book?

Kirk Haggerty ‎@Valerie - I guess I can say that watching all those re-runs of "I Love Lucy" was my inspiration to write "Expat Wives" but also my own personal experiences as an expat living in a foreign country for all these years. Making frinds and then losing them again because somebody always has to move back home again - it can be very heartbreaking - I wanted to share my experiences to people and I decided to write it in the viewpoints of three women from three different countries.

Kirk Haggerty And it also takes place in Munich - so I'm sticking with waht I know best - just as Stephen King wrote.

Lawrence Fisher do you still feel like an expat after so many years? BTW try reading Misery by Stevie

Valerie Douglas I couldn't read Misery... although I've read everthing else... if you're not into horror though, Shawshank Redemption or The Green Mile are both great... but back to Lawrence's question... (sorry)

Kirk Haggerty Saw the movie ;-) James Cann was great. No I don't feel too much like an expat anymore. I know German, I work in a German-speaking environment, can adapt to life and pay the bills. Fortunately my wife does the German taxes - which can be complicated. However I'm still an American, I speak English to my kids, they are growing up bi-lingual. I still keep in touch with some permanent Americans who decided to live here as well.

Valerie Douglas Kirk, if you were going to give any advice to new writers, what would it be? (I'm not one of those btw)

Kirk Haggerty I also noticed that thesre not so much literature about the expat life - unless you go back to the days of Hemmingway and his group in Paris in the 1920's (the Lost Generation) but I haven't ssen anything recently - so again I believe I'm filling a small market niche and hope I'll find a good international reader base.

Kirk Haggerty ‎@Valerie - you should be giving ME advide instead ;-)

Kirk Haggerty I would say follow your dreams and never ever give up. There's enough writers and editors out there who would love to read your stuff and help you with your work. That's the best way to develop contacts and a network.

Kirk Haggerty BTW I hope to get "Expat Wives" up on Authonomy this year.

Kirk Haggerty you know, for beta readers and feedback.

Valerie Douglas Great advice, especially the editor stuff. Thank you Kirk, for your time. It was great... I hope both Lion and 'Expat Wives' do well for you!!!

Shah Sight I thank you Kirk also for you time and patience with us asking you question after question. It was a great pleasure to with you on this show.

Kirk Haggerty Thank you Valerie, Lawrence and Shah. It was my pleaseure and it was a lot of fun :-)

Valerie Douglas It was!

Shah Sight If you want to buy Kirk's book, please visit:

How to Steal a Lion, Kirk Haggerty - ShahSight Home Literary Book


Kirk Haggerty It wasn't so bad afterall - I thought it would be like going to the dentist, but it was cool :-)

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