Pop was born out of a labor of love, a need to complete my master’s thesis, a desire to write something that I wanted to read, a wish to surprise, a fulfillment of a dream, and a challenge to publish my stories about Pop into a book.
Growing up as a child, I was fortunate to have positive male figures and role models in my life. My father was the primary role model. He was a hard-working and proud man who was dedicated to his family and his principles. He didn’t have an easy life growing up so he tried making up for that by raising a family the best way he knew how. Sometimes his methodology wasn’t always popular, effective, or well appreciated, but he never let adversity or what people thought about him deter him from doing what he thought was right.
He didn’t always understand the world around him–especially in his later years, but he didn’t let that stop him from carving out a piece of it and molding it to fit his view of it. When he saw what he believed was injustice, he worked to eliminate it. When he felt challenged, he met the challenges head-on. Sometimes his way of doing things was often unorthodox and sometimes weird, but he did what he thought was right.
My father and I never had my view of the ideal father-son relationship, but as I grew older and became a father myself, I learned to see things as he had. Having never grown up in a home environment where outward expressions of love were displayed, he never knew how to display his love for his family other than through his various jobs, gifts he would give us, trips he took us on, or the mere fact that he never walked out on his family like his father had. I never fully appreciated the fact that he did indeed love us until I was older.
So when I started writing my father-and-son stories, I based Pop on my father. But Pop is more than my father. He is also my father-in-law and the fathers of friends, partially the persona of a boss who mentored me, as well as other father figures through the years. Pop is also part me.
Pop is basically the literary manifestation of every dedicated father who has ever lived. Pop is, as the subtitle of my first book says, “an average guy.”