Aardvarks and animal cookies
Porirua’s Rudy Lopez’ new book is a coming of age story set in the early 1960s.
Titled, Open Your Eyes, Jackson Ryder, it’s a story set in The United States.
Jackson Ryder shares a passion for art with his mother, who dies unexpectedly. He tries to forge a new relationship with his distant father who, he believes, hates art.
The Kennedy assassination, the emergence of the Beatles and the Vietnam war frame Jackson’s story.
Kapi-Mana News asked the author about his book, who he’d invite to dinner and what his super power would be.
How long did it take you to write?
Five years from inception to publication.
I was working fulltime while I wrote it and I was also a full time creative writing student.
Was it your first book?
No. I wrote a novel called The Song of Laughing Bird about a girl growing up in Siberia 25,000 years ago that was published in 2005. That book took ten years to write.
Did you always want to write?
No. I was trained as an artist - a painter - and spent most of my working life as a secondary and tertiary art teacher.
It wasn’t until I was forty years old that I began to write seriously. It was then that I realised that I had finally found my muse.
How do you relax?
I’m a devoted believer in relaxation. I would like to think that I relax all the time. I love to read, learn, write, walk, have a wine and a yarn with good friends and, sometimes, I paint.
Where can we find you in the weekends?
Doing the same thing I do during the week.
What’s one thing people may be surprised to find out about you?
I suffer from dyslexia.
If you could invite three people to dinner - living or dead - who would they be and why?
I would invite God…in her three manifestations.
We could talk on any subject from aardvarks to zoo animal cookies, in any language, and all be on the same page.
I would also love to ask those sticky questions ( like why Trump?) and get a straight answer.
Favourite place in Porirua?
Pataka Museum, hands down. I never come out of there without feeling enriched and more human. It is a real jewel in our community.
If you could have one super power what would it be? Why?
It would be to know when I was being an ass, because I think it is the most elusive power of all.
What scares you?
What was your highlight of 2016?
Getting excellent reviews for my book, when my friend of fortyseven years, came to visit from San Diego and every family gathering.
What does New Zealand need to concentrate on in 2017?
Eradicate child poverty, raise the minimum wage to a living wage, be creative, equitable, double our intake of refugees, laugh, be good to each other, reduce screen time, buy more books.
Porirua author Rudy Lopez.