Name Paul De Lancey
Where are you from Poway, California
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
Me: I obtained my Doctorate in Economics from the University of Wisconsin. My thesis, “Official Reserve Management and Forecasts of Official Reserves,” disappears from bookstore shelves so quickly that most would-be purchasers can never find it in stock.
I am a direct descendant of the great French Emperor Napoleon. Actually, that explains a lot of things. I ran for President of the United Statesin 2012! Woo hoo! On the Bacon & Chocolate ticket. El Candidato also lost a contentious campaign to be El Presidente of Venezuela. In late 2013, Chef Paul participated in the International Bento Competition.
I make my home, with my wonderful wife and two sons, in Poway, California. I divide my time between being awake and asleep.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
Me: HumorOutcasts Press is going to publish my novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms?
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Me: My first book was my doctoral thesis in 1986. The thesis is indeed a book, so that counts. I went over to the ha-ha side of writing when I attended my first writing conference in 1995. It was such great fun that I was inspired to make one of my short stories into a novel.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Me: After getting encouragement from my teacher in a creative writing class and from positive feedback at the Southern California Writers’ Conference
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Me: The Southern California Writers’ Conference in San Diego. It was so invigorating to be with its’ fun and talent writers. I found I was no longer a lonely, isolated writer. I had always thought I could write well, but I had never really gotten any critical feedback. People liked my stories. This experienced encouraged me and I have never stopped writing.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Me: I like to right when I’m rested, feeling good, happy, and left undisturbed. That doesn’t always happen. Spreadsheets, on the other hand, I could do even if I had a migraine. There isn’t much of a literary market for spreadsheets, though.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Me: Well, the book is about whether or not a Lutheran Hunk will eat a mushroom.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Me: Don’t eat mushrooms, not ever! They’re evil. Go to church and eat tacos and Swedish meatballs.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
Me: Debbie Devil, estranged wife of Satan, works as a checker for a supermarket. She will unleash Armageddon unless she can get the local Lutheran hunk, Joe Thorvald, to be her love slave. This will happen if she can get Joe to eat mushrooms. Debbie’s minion is a British chef. Her opponents are Robert E. Lee and a Swedish-Mexican chef. They fight back over the millennia with tacos and Swedish meatballs. So, I would have to say, not entirely.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Me: No! Goodness not.! Way too public a forum! Exclamation points abound!
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
Me: Probably books on economics, because if I didn’t master them I wouldn’t have gone further in that field. I do love history books and humorous novels. Oh, and cookbooks. I’m rapidly accumulating them. I would like to say thank you to my parents without whom I wouldn’t even be here and for teaching me there are consequences to all my actions such as baking a chocolate marshmallow and then forgetting about it.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Me: Wicked Embers by Candace C. Bowen. She’s great.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Me: Candace C. Bowen, Gayle Carlene, Donna Cavanagh, Roger L. Conlee, Mark A. Clements, Marie Etienne, Reina Lisa Menasche, Roxe Anne Peacock, and Stacey Roberts
Fiona: What are your current projects?
Me: Two more cookbooks with recipes from around the world. Each recipe comes with many humorous tidbits relating mostly the dish’s country and ingredients.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Me: I belong to a wonderful read and critique group.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Me: It would be wonderful to do nothing but writing for a living.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Me: No! The publisher HumorOutcasts Press likes it as is, so I like it as is. Except for typos. Both of us hate typos. I am ruthlessly ferreting them out.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Me: I don’t know. As far back as I can remember, I’ve always loved to write stories. I did start my first novel in 1995 after going to the Southern California Writers’ Conference.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Me: Gladly. The following is from the first half of chapter seven of Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushroooms?
Huh? By Zeus, Joe Thorvaldes sure itched. He scratched his armpit through a hole in his mammoth-skin tunic. Nope, the itch was still there. But his ass itched more. He stood up to regard a bloody flattened helmet and a bent spear point. And, oh yes, there was a crushed face inside the helmet.
A big, long-haired Argive sprinted across the body-strewn plains toward Thorvaldes. Joe shook his head. Why couldn’t he remember a thing? Must have been drinking too much fermented mammoth’s milk last night.
The swift-running man in armor came up and put both his hands on Joe’s shoulders.
“Fast-falling Thorvaldes, son of Zeus and Atalena, comely shepherdess of Boeotia, you have again brought death to the stallion-breaking Trojans.
“God-like man, your harder than bronze ass has crushed the life out of another Trojan hero. You have slain the spear-throwing Ornitholestes of Lycia.”
“Swift-running Odysseus,”–Good, he remembered the name–“how by Zeus did I slay the spear-throwing Ornitholestes?”
Crafty Odysseus, king of Ithaca and spermatozoa of Laertes, roared. “Oh you slay me, fast-falling Thorvaldes, son of Zeus and Atalena, pretending not to remember. By Zeus, son of Cronos, you are far too modest. Sometimes I think you are not truly from Hellas.”
“But come,” said the noble tactician Odysseus, ”let us go back to the wondrous catapult that the great goddess Athena gave us. The battle still rages. Helmet-flashing, stallion-gelding Hector still stalks the battlefield with the tenacity of a door-to-door telemarketer.”
The ten-fingered, ten-toed Odysseus pointed toward the Argives’ beached ships. “Hark, here comes noble Agamemnon and fierce-fighting Achilles.” The noble tactician bent fingers in sequence. “With you and me, they will make four Argives at this bloody spot.”
Thorvaldes nodded slowly. “Well counted, gamete of Laertes.”
The noble tactician beamed like a royal mother seeing her newborn for the first time. “And fast-falling Thorvaldes, man whose ass is harder than bronze, I can even count up to one and twenty if I am naked.”
“Well done, fast-falling Thorvaldes,” said the arriving King Agamemnon. “Tell me, what noble Trojan shall you send to his doom when the catapult next flings you over the plains of Ilium? Shall it be helmet-flashing Hector, mighty son of King Priam?”
“Yea, Hector sounds good,” said fast-falling Thorvaldes.
But such a choice summoned forth the mighty, burning wrath of Achilles, son of King Peleus and the sea nymph Thetis, from his tent of gold and silk.
Achilles, brave zygote of Peleus and Thetis, strode closer to King Agamemnon. The earth shook under the pounding blows of his hate-filled strides. “Noble Agamemnon, you humiliated me in front of all the Argives when you took the great prize Briseis from me. Now just when I slackened my burning rage to leave my tent to find a Swedish meatball and perhaps afterwards end our mighty quarrel, you dis me by picking fast-falling Thorvaldes for the mighty task.”
Odysseus, ten-fingered king of Ithaca, sighed and sat down. Fast-falling Thorvaldes set his harder-than-bronze ass on a rock. These tiffs between Agamemnon and Achilles not only proved fatal to the Argive army, but could go on forever. “How about a game of Rock, Blades, Parchment?” said synapses-firing, idea-laden, well-counseling Odysseus. Ass-hardened, head-nodding Thorvaldes agreed.
“Swift-running Achilles,” said Agamemnon, “Thorvaldes never quakes, never holds back when we take him to our catapult to be flung over the plains of Ilium. His harder-than-bronze ass crushes all spears, all swords, all helmets when he falls from the skies to deal doom to one stallion-breaking Trojan after another.”
Well-stoked hate blazed from mighty Achilles’ eyes. Winging words issued from his mouth, “Bite me!”
“While you,” said Agamemnon, “skulk in your tent, nursing your unquenchable rage, as useless to the Argives as a gyro without pita bread.”
God-like Achilles’ mighty nostrils flared with rage. “King Agamemnon, son of Atreus, brother of Menelaus, I know you are but what am I?”
Crafty, four-limbed, many-celled Odysseus said, “Fast-falling Thorvaldes, how about some games of tic-tac-toe?”
Careful-enunciating Achilles’ 32nd grave insult darkened the battle-hardened face of Agamemnon. The noble king of Sparta hurled back the stinging words, “Poc, poc, poc,” and flapped his arms like a hen from the plains of Thessaly.
Self-wanking Achilles, tallest and fiercest of all the Myrmidons, put his strong right palm not on its favored place, but on his Trojan-killing sword. “Sez you.”
The air sang songs of blood as he pulled his long gleaming sword from its scabbard. “I will make you pay for your insolence, dog!” said swift-running Achilles.
The noble tactician, Odysseus, man of great grammar, made his sixth ‘x’ in the soil and beat fast-falling Thorvaldes in tic-tac-toe for the twentieth time in a row.
Fast-falling Thorvaldes pouted. “Noble tactician, you have cheated. I can tell just by looking. You have six x’s marked in this soil of Ilium and I have but three o’s. And as all men of this army know six is greater than three by more than one.”
“Noble Thorvaldes,” said Odysseus, “fast-falling hero of all the Achaeans and Argives, man whose ass has been hardened more than bronze by the gods, that is why I am called the noble tactician.”
Ass-hardened Thorvaldes shrugged.
Crafty, dual-nostrilled Odysseus drew another tic-tac-toe grid in the soil. “Care for another game?”
The fast-falling Thorvaldes shook his head. “My heart is not in it.”
“Why is that?” asked the noble tic-tac-toe cheating Odysseus.
“I mean,” said the hero with the ass harder than bronze, “why are we here? Why did King Agamemnon assemble all warriors, and those of his many allies to fight here for nine bloody years? Can Helen’s beauty be worth the doom of so many valiant heroes?”
Brave Odysseus laughed. “Noble Thorvaldes, it is plain to me that you have never seen loin-stirring Helen. Whooee! The jugs on that beauty! Why if they contained wine, a hundred babes could suckle on her from dawn to dusk and still not drain her.” Odysseus laughed again. “And my friend, I would be in line after them.”
Fast-falling Thorvaldes shrugged. “If that’s what you prefer, crafty tactician. My manhood soars at the thought of comely Briseis’ ass. Hers is the ass that could have launched 10,000 ships. I truly understand why the wrath of Achilles flared so when King Agamemnon took her away from him.”
Long-ranting Achilles’ voice roared over theirs. “God-like Agamemnon, in your dreams.”
Crafty Odysseus sighed. “By Zeus, those two are such windbags. Ah, but speaking of outstanding asses, how did you get one of such hardness?”
“A fair question, Odysseus, scion of Laertes. Suppose you’re staggering home at dawn after drinking pure wine at your local hostelry and you meet the fierce virgin goddess Athena.”
Thorvaldes paused to encourage the formation of his next thought.
“Well?” said the noble tactician.
Thorvaldes, man of slow-firing synapses hung down his head. “Let’s just say, it’s best not to moon her.”
Sure-counting Odysseus slapped Thorvaldes’s shoulder. “Don’t take it so hard. Valiant Achilles is vulnerable because his mother, Thetis, did not dip both his heels into the magical river Styx.”
“Why didn’t she dip both heels?” asked the ass-hardened Thorvaldes.
“She suffers from an attention deficit,” said Odysseus.
“Brought on by Trojan made mercury-amalgam fillings in her teeth?”
“Yes,” said the anchovy-eating Odysseus, “Hector’s brother, Oviraptor, put them in and fierce fighting Achilles will not leave the plains of Troy until he avenges that evil dental work.”
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Everything else in the world seems so pressing when I sit down to work. You cannot believe the amount of cooking I want to do when I sit down to write. The office gets organized as well. You cannot believe how much I want to write when I have other things I need to do. So the thing to do is to pretend I have some non-writerly thing to do and then sit down and to write.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Me: P.G. Wodehouse. Not only are his stories hilarious, but his individual scenes and even individual lines are as funny as anybody’s.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Me: No, I usually imagine a setting. I do tend to write about places I’ve been to, but even then I usually change things a lot. I would like to be able to travel a lot more for my cookbooks.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Me: Mark A. Clements. He is also a great writer.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Letting go of the characters when the novel was done. That, and searching for that last typo which is always, lurking, lurking.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Me: The worlds of my novels are quite different from the real world. While fraught with a lot more and constant peril, they are a lot more fun.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Me: Write what you know. Write what interests you. Develop your own style. It’s difficult to write well if you don’t do these things.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Me: Hi. How are you? Oh, and murder is wrong. Just say no. Ice cold root beer will always make you feel better.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Me: I think it was called Puff. As the story progressed the engine puffed more and more. I read everyone of those puffs to anyone who came within my gravitational pull.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Me: A lot of things make me laugh. I especially enjoy a great movie comedy. I think now the thing that makes me the saddest is violence toward women. I cannot fathom such a thing. I was raised to respect women.
Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?
Me: My favorite past person is Julia Child. Julia Child besides being a fun person did so much to broaden American cuisine. My favorite current person is Donna Cavanagh. She’s a fun, nice person and a tireless champion of humorists
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
Me: He lived a long and happy life and discovered the knack of never losing his glasses.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Me: Cooking. I love to cook. I make recipes from all over the world. I blog about my cooking and have written a humorous cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes from all over the world.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Me: My favorite shows are comedies. I don’t care if they are in black and white or in color, as long as they make me laugh. I think my favorite TV short of all time is “Get Smart” and “It’s a Gift” by W.C. Fields is the funniest movie. I am currently watching The Andy Griffith Show, Doctor Who, and Baby Daddy on Netflix.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Me: I love shredded-beef, crunchy tacos. My favorite cuisines are Mexican and Indonesian. The best colors are blue, green, and yellow. I don’t see anything in ultra violet colors. I enjoy rock and roll, classical, Gregorian chants, and Dixieland jazz.
strong>Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Me: I would have preferred to have been a chef who got to travel around the world, that or a professional baseball player. However, let me tell you baseball scouts have a strong prejudice against players with no talent.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
My blog is http://pauldelancey.com
My website is www.lordsoffun.com