Paul Schumacher was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He currently lives in Colorado with his wife, Gail, and their three children. He has authored more than twenty technical papers and is an inventor on more than forty patents. His first novel, The Tattered Box, was published in December 2016, and his second book, The Importance of Now, was published in May 2021.
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AUTHOR INTERVIEW: PAUL SCHUMACHER
1) What’s the first line in your newest book, “The Importance of Now?”
I hated going up, but I had to.
2) What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”.
The back cover summary will speak for itself. To me, it’s about learning to forgive, both others and yourself. The protagonist, Shawn, is a flawed guy with a good heart. He’s trying to move beyond his past, but it’s difficult in so many ways. Like us, he finds inspiration and love in unexpected places, which makes for an interesting road to recovery.
3) What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event?
I mentored six boys at my church back in Minnesota in the late 1990s, and it really opened my eyes to the love and forgiveness that everyone wants and needs, especially youth. While kids require a lot, they can also be very open-minded and willing to accept others, much more so than many adults. As I was the only mentor who was not a parent, I wondered how I would have been treated if I had a shady past, if I needed some oft-mentioned forgiveness but the church was reluctant to give it. I have also been to many of the places described in the book, so they provided a great backdrop for the story.
4) What’s the main reason someone should really read this book?
We all struggle with learning to forgive, and it’s especially hard when the person in need of forgiveness is yourself. This story also makes you think about redemption and your unforeseen impact on others. We could all use some reminders of that now and then.
5) What’s the most distinctive thing about the main character? Who-real or fictional-would you say the character reminds you of?
Shawn seems so real to me, partly because he is composed of many people I know, including myself. I purposely made his road to recovery an up and down rollercoaster, as that is what most personal roads are like. I’ve experienced it myself. I love how he fights his way through his struggles. I was rooting for him the whole time I wrote it. I hope you will, too.
6) Is this the first book you’ve written?
It’s my second book. My first novel, The Tattered Box, was published in December 2016. It’s a story about a grandson who travels back in time to hang out with his grandpa.
7) When did you first decide to become an author?
I had often considered it but never really got around to finding the time (I’m sure you can relate). The day before my farther-in-law passed away, I was taking my oldest to school. During the short drive, he said, “Wouldn’t it be cool if I could somehow travel back in time to hang out with Grandpa. We’d golf, bowl, fish, you name it.” Well, needless to say, I was hooked. I knew right away that’d make a great story, so that’s where the inspiration for my first book came from. I then had to convince myself I could do it again, so in some ways this second one was more difficult to write. But I love how it turned out.
8) What’s a great piece of advice that you can share with fellow indie authors?
Write to an audience of one: yourself. Especially in early drafts, don’t think about what will sell or what others will want to read or think of you. Don’t care, just write. Write the story that only you can write, and do it with enough passion that others will want to come along for the ride.
9) Which book do you wish you could have written?
I’m going to cheat and name two:
- A Separate Peaceby John Knowles
- A Prayer for Owen Meany by John IrvinG
BOOK REVIEW: THE IMPORTANCE OF NOW
5 of 5 Stars