The Divining Wand

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Peter Golden: Why I Write

April 03, 2012 By: larramiefg Category: Guest Posts

[Peter Golden — journalist, historian, and biographer — realizes his dream come true today with the release of his debut novel Comeback Love.

Although it may have taken years for this honest and realistic love story to be written and published, Comeback Love is a book to be treasured. For, as curious as this fairy godmother usually is about discovering the backstory, where or how the characters were developed, the novel’s message, and how much of the storyline might be autobiographical, I realized I did NOT want to know the answers to this book. Being pulled into pages where everyone and everything felt and looked (the descriptive writing is memorably vivid) genuine is more than enough. And how refreshing to read about a relationship that is based on the individuals involved as opposed to events that drive their story. Simply put, this debut is a “keeper.”

Whether working as a journalist, historian, biographer or novelist, who better to ask “Why I Write” than Peter Golden?]

Why I Write

Time moves, and I find myself, frequently against my will, moving right along with it. I’m a different husband than I used to be, a different father, and a different writer. Where my family is concerned, I’m different because in so many ways, large and small, what your loved ones need from you changes with the passing years. Yet I’m a different writer because the reasons I write have shifted, leaving me to marvel at how naive I once was and, I’m happy to say, how dedicated I have remained to the craft.

As a young teenager, long before I began writing seriously, it occurred to me that I had only one life and writing would enable me to enter worlds that were closed off to me—from pitching in a World Series at Yankee Stadium to residing in eighteenth-century Williamsburg or serving as your newly elected president.

By the end of college, I was familiar with Henry David Thoreau’s observation that most people wind up mired in quiet desperation, and since I was philosophically opposed to sustained misery, I started writing on a daily schedule. Thanks to the enchanting gift the young possess for self-deception, I soon convinced myself that writing was an effective method for bending reality in my preferred direction. Absolutely ridiculous, I know. And in my case, absolutely true.

Less than ten years later, I was earning a living by writing, and I knew that I was lucky to go to an office in my own house and pay my bills by doing work I enjoyed. Still, money, like love, is usually something you think about only if you don’t have enough, and although by my thirties I felt relatively secure in my career, on occasion I asked myself why I got up every morning to face a blank page.

Honestly, I’m not sure I had a good answer to that question back then.

Now, after writing almost every day of my life for over thirty-five years, here is what I discovered: nothing, other than the joys of family and friends, gives me more pleasure than writing a sentence that informs me emotionally or intellectually. Of course, I hope others are touched or informed by that sentence. But if not, at least I tried.

And I wrote the sentence.

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Like Nicholas Sparks and Robert James Waller, first-time novelist Peter Golden knows how to write the kind of nostalgic fiction that men and women alike fall for. In Comeback Love, a universal story about lost love, he offers an evocative debut that begins in the tumultuous 1960s and ends in the feverish thrill of present-day New York City. Over thirty-five years ago, Gordon Meyers, an aspiring writer with a low number in the draft lottery, packed his belongings and reluctantly drove away, leaving Glenna Rising, the sexy, sharpwitted med student he couldn’t imagine living without. Moving between past and present, the book is a journey into the hearts of two lovers who came of age in the 1960s and is a sensual exploration of youth, regret, desire, and the bonds that mysteriously endure in the face of momentous change.

Please listen and picture this poignant and nostalgic book.

(If the video doesn’t appear on your monitor, please view it here.)

Much more about Peter Golden can be found on his website, by following him on Twitter and becoming a friend on Facebook. And remember highly recommended Comeback Love is available at your local bookstore and online retailers today!

Book Giveaway: The Divining Wand is giving away one copy of Comeback Love by Peter Golden — in a random drawing — to anyone who leaves a comment on this post by 11:59 p.m. EST tonight! The winner will be notified by email on Wednesday..

The Revealing of Peter Golden

March 15, 2012 By: larramiefg Category: Profiles, Q&A

Journalist, biographer, and historian, Peter Golden has spent a career breathing insight and life into award-winning non-fiction. Now, however, he has turned his creative talents to fiction with the novel Comeback Love to be released Tuesday, April 3, 2012.

The premise:

What would you do if you had a second chance with the one that got away?

The synopsis:

Over thirty-five years ago, Gordon Meyers, an aspiring writer with a low number in the draft lottery, packed his belongings and reluctantly drove away, leaving Glenna Rising, the sexy, sharp-witted med student he couldn’t imagine living without.
Now, decades later, Gordon is a former globetrotting consultant with a grown son, an ex-wife, and an overwhelming desire to see Glenna again. Stunned when Gordon walks into her Manhattan office, Glenna agrees to accompany him for a drink. As the two head out into the snow-swept city, they become caught up in the passions that drew them together then tore them apart, and as the evening unfolds, Gordon finally reveals the true reason for his return.

Moving between past and present, Comeback Love is a journey into the hearts of two lovers who came of age in the 1960s and is a sensual exploration of youth, regret, desire, and the bonds that mysteriously endure in the face of momentous change.

Whether focused on the past or present, this storyline and its characters ring true with honesty, depth, and universal recognition in a story of love. Ah, but there’s more praise:

“Stirring and romantic, a sweeping novel about first loves and second chances.”—Sarah Pekkanen, author of The Opposite of Me and These Girls



“An absorbing, intelligent novel about retracing one’s steps to recover what was lost, and about coming to terms with the mistakes of the past in order to rediscover a future. Peter Golden reminds us that going back is sometimes the only way to move ahead.” —Elizabeth Brundage, author of A Stranger Like You and The Doctor’s Wife



“Glenna and Gordon’s romance rises and falls with the familiar but engrossing tempo of reckless, youthful passion.” —Publishers Weekly

“Comeback Love is a heartfelt and lyrical novel. A stylishly composed, moving tale of loss and redemption.” -James Howard Kuntsler, author of The Long Emergency and World

The Divining Wand has scheduled a return visit from Peter Golden on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 but — for today — let’s meet the author through his “official” bio:

Peter Golden is an award-winning journalist, biographer, and historian. The author of several works of nonfiction, including Quiet Diplomat, about U.S. diplomacy with Israel, Comeback Love is his first novel. He lives outside Albany, New York.

And now the opportunity to get to know Peter more upclose and personal:

Q. How would you describe your life in 8 words?
A. Wife son reading writing music lucky—so far

Q. What is your motto or maxim?
A. Enjoy every day

Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?
A. Eating ice cream with no calories that also lowers cholesterol, builds muscle mass, and reduces your waist size

Q. What’s your greatest fear?
A. Losing someone I love

Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
A. In my desk chair

Q. With whom in history do you most identify?
A. Crusader Rabbit

Q. Which living person do you most admire?
A. My wife

Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?
A. #@&$! I can say not only in English but in French, Spanish, German, Italian, Hebrew, Arabic, and Greek. In this manner I avoid overuse.

Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
A. Write songs like the Beatles, Bob Dylan, and Leonard Cohen.

Q. What is your greatest achievement?
A. Being a loving husband and father.

Q. What’s your greatest flaw?
A. Impatience

Q. What’s your best quality?
A. Persistence

Q. What do you regret most?
A. Any time I’ve wasted

Q. If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
A. My cat, Rocky

Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?
A. I’m persistent

Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?
A. Superman

Q. Who is your favorite fictional villain?
A. Hannibal Lecter

Q. If you could meet any athlete, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
A. Sandy Koufax: Thank you for making me believe that anything was possible.

Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?
A. Cruelty

Q. What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
A. Reading.

Q. What’s your fantasy profession?
A. Major-league pitcher

Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
A. Kindness, persistence, honesty

Q. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
A. Ice cream sundaes

Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?
A. Hallelujah, Eight Days a Week, Come Together, Mr. Tambourine Man, It’s Alright Ma, I’m only Bleeding.

Q. What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
A. Taras Bulba And Other Tales by Nikolai Gogol; The Complete Stories by Flannery O’Connor; Stalingrad: The Seige by Antony Beevor; A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway; The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Even with all his previous success, the very talented Peter Golden is living a lifetime dream of becoming a novelist. Share in his journey by following him on Twitter and becoming a friend on Facebook. Also, why not Pre-order Comeback Love now….you’ll be thrilled that you did.

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Announcement: The winner of Krys Lee’s Drifting House is: Carl. Congratulations! Please email diviningwand (at) gmail (dot) com with your mailing address and the book will be sent out promptly.