James Pope is the author of Post Hole Digger; here is a link to his Amazon page:
Q: What is Post Hole Digger about?
A: The life of Iowa farm boy James Pope, from first memory to adult.
Q: What inspired you to write it?
A: The book is a good learning tool for young children pertaining to family responsibility, wants versus needs, earning rewards versus hand-out , being held accountable. All member give and receive love.
Q: What does the Department of Child Welfare do in cases where children are forced to work full time on a farm?
A: Better wording: forced to work full time on truck farms.
DCW should ensure the children go to school. This lowers the productivity of the family, hence lower income. The children now work after school.
A farmer working his own land cannot afford to hire help. The children have to participate to make the farm productive. During harvest time it’s a 24/7 operation.
Q: Who are some of your writing influences?
A: Senator John McCain, Ken Burns
Q: Is farming your only day job or have you tried other professions?
A: Always took any odd job I could find to earn money.
I lived and worked on the farm until dads health started failing. He had to find lighter work. At the end of my 6th grade dad took the job of school janitor. We lived in the school house, under the gym. First time we had indoor plumbing. Dad and I worked very hard learning all the utility systems and how the school operated. The summer between my 8th and 9th grade dad became very Ill. I took over all janitorial duties, sleeping in the boiler room, getting up at 2;00 am to scoop coal. I was always getting called out of class due to some emergence . Dad died in my arms March 18th 1953, 7 days before my 16 birthday. It was up to me to support my mother and little sister. At the end of the 9th grade mom found a job and I went to work as a hired farm hand for the next four years. I joined the Navy and entered the submarine service retiring after 28 years service. I than went to work for a utility company. Doing farm work with a tractor starting in the 3rdgrade, at age 60, after working for 53 years I stopped going to work.
I have written three novels: Inner space Nomads (no Longer in print), Trifecta ( current), Post Hole Digger (current) .
Awarded trademark for my candy creation Wild Peanut Butter.
I have a 1958 Corvette and an a member of the San Diego Corvette Owners Club.
I graduated from high school in Avoca, Iowa in 1958. First car I Purchased after graduation was a 1958
Corvette. I had it in San Francisco and Hawaii for 5 years. Only Vette on Oahu.
Q: How did you come up with the title?
A: I got so damn tired of so called educated people spewing bullshit, I’d tell them I to have a PHD. My PHD is a Post Hole Digger. I’d tell them to go back to their college and demand all their money back, they taught you 50 year old information.
Q: What have you done to promote your book?
A: I’ve listed it on InkTip web site, Sell your book to the movies web site, Mailed a flyer to every public library in the state of Iowa, promoted it at book fairs in New York, Miami, Germany
Q: Do you think publishers tend to shy away from books about poor people?
A: Not if there is a valid story line.
Q: What is it that most Americans misunderstand about farming?
A: The cost of producing crops, cost of machinery, the uncertainty of mother nature. A used combine can cost you $350,000.00 and only gets used 3 months a year. When I was working as a hired man, a farmer had to have enough money in the bank to plant crops three years in a row as a hedge against bad times. Family emergency may a family to send a truck load of hogs or steers to market to cover unexpected medical bills.
Today financial planners advocate 6 month savings.
That’s the difference between growing up in the “cash and carry” era. Law-a-way started the switch from needs to wants. AND NEXT CAME CREDIT CARDS and a life time of debt.
Q: If you could have any famous writer stay on your farm for a month who would it be?
A: A horticulturist . By the end of the century the earth will not be able to support the population. You can led a horse to water but can’t lead a whoretocaluture
Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects.