JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
George O’Har, author of The Thousand Hour Club
(Kepler Press/Cambridge, Massachusetts)
This novel is loosely, and I do mean loosely, based on my experiences in the United States Air Force. The book is set in the early 1970s and focuses on the narrator’s attempts to escape from his New-Jersey/New York drifting ways and find some meaning and direction in his life before it’s too late for him. This may sound like an old theme, but it remains a good one–if handled correctly.
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the inspiration to write The Thousand Hour Club?
George O’Har: The inspiration came from actual experience.
JP: What sets The Thousand Hour Club apart from other books in the same genre?
GOH: I would say the optimism. Despite a drifting a la Sal Paradise narrator, the book is really about one young man’s effort to connect to America’s almost mythical past, a past that extends back to 5th-century Athens, Greece, and before that to Dutch sailors sailing into what is now New York harbor.
The novel is very easy to read. While I would not call it plot-driven, readers should identify with the wanderings of the central character–who can be very funny. This is a serious, literary fiction sort of book that goes down like ice cream.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that led to The Thousand Hour Club getting out to the public?
GOH: I had an earlier novel published by Simon and Schuster (Psychic Fair), which remains in print now under another publisher. It is also on Kindle. That earlier novel made it relatively easy for me to have access with agents and publishers.
Overall, though, key one to 1,000 is determination. Nothing else matters, not even talent–or who you know. I’m still light years away from success, though.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take you to start and finish The Thousand Hour Club?
GOH: The Thousand Hour Club took years, about 8, to finally get it right. The novel has been completely rewritten at least 7 times.
When I’m working on a novel, I write all day, starting as early as 5am, and going on until 3 or 4pm. I also don’t read when I’m writing. I write in this manner because it builds efficiency. Initially, I throw out 80% of what I write. When I finally get cooking, I’m keeping that much.
JP: What’s next for George O’Har?
GOH: I am rewriting Madame Bovary from Charles’s point of view. The novel is called Doctor Bovary, and it will be finished by December. Up to agent after that.
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I’d like to mention that The Thousand Hour Club is funny, very much so. The world needs a good laugh.
Thank you very much!