JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Chase Von, author of Your Chance To Hear The Last Panther Speak
(Von Chase Publishing Company)
Chase von, the author of Your Chance To Hear The Last Panther Speak, has had a story included in this publication featured in the 2007 American Review Literary Journal Vol. One, edited by world famous author, poet and consultant to the stars, Bryant H. McGill. Pieces of Chase’s work have also been included in Songs of Hope, a compilation by Sachel.
Your Chance To Hear The Last Panther Speak is a collection of poetry, song lyrics, quotes and short stories that address many of the issues in today’s world, as well as life in general. Soft and touching in some places and quite direct in others, this book’s impact is most aptly summed up by the collection of heart-felt comments and testimonies listed on the back of the book.
Commentaries are given by actresses, teachers, poets and story tellers and inspirational singers, songwriters and life coaches. This book is sure to leave its mark on the world of literature and will, no doubt, have something in it that touches and reaches whomever reads it, from whatever walk or station in life.
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the idea and inspiration to write Your Chance to Hear the Last Panther Speak?
Chase Von: Hey Joey, and I appreciate you finding the time to speak with me. I’ve been writing off and on since I was 12 or 13. I moved around a lot as a child being a product of a military father so books became the friends that I knew I could always take with me.
Even though I did fail the first grade, reading just came to me later. I suddenly knew how to read when I was small. It’s like all the squiggly little lines just made sense one day. After that, I had my head stuck in a book. Regardless how many times we moved or who I had to say good bye to, I still had Black Beauty, Big Red, The Call Of the Wild, Charlotte’s Web, to bring with me.
JP: What is the significance of the title Your Chance to Hear the Last Panther Speak? Why did you choose it for the collection of poetry?
CV: Well Joey, originally, I was going to do a joint project with an incredible writer and friend by the name of Glynis Boyd. That, for reasons I don’t want to get into, fell through.
It was going to be a book from both the male and female perspective. It was going to be based on a poem I wrote called â€œVibrations. Loud Thoughts, Silent Statements, Quiet Whispersâ€ if I remember correctly, but I changed the title when it did fall through to provide a separation of sorts.
We had art work by a famous artist that was to be included but when things went sour, I felt going alone I had to change the name. Do know me and Glynis are still friends. I just felt that I had to go forth and continue and change what we had originally agreed to call it for new birth.
The other thing about the title is we have all heard of Dead Poets. So, in my opinion whether, I am alive or not, if someone picks up my book, it will still be an opportunity for them to hear me speak.
Lastly, I am Black, Blackfoot and Cherokee Indian and possibly French. Lots of people have heard of Black Elk or Sitting Bull. The name The Last Panther is a tribute to my American Indian heritage. I’m a mutt, meaning I am Black and Indian and also perhaps French according to family lore.
I did receive a picture from an aunt not too long ago of my great, great Grandfather who was born a slave, and taught to read by his father, who was also his master. As you know, it was taboo for the slaves to know how to read. My great, great grandfather founded one of the first black churches in Virginia.
Looking at the name, which I don’t want to reveal here, leads even more credence to the French part, but my world being a mutt is simple. Good People, Bad People. I don’t try and see colors, I try and see hearts. Makes life pretty simple in those regards.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that lead to Your Chance to Hear the Last Panther Speak getting out to the public?
CV: Well, to be honest, the primary one I call not only my friend but my boss as well is Judyth Piazza. A wonderful and intelligent woman who interviewed me on her show, The American Perspective. After our interview she asked me if I would like to write for her and also mentor students.
I was blown away! Here’s a woman that has interviewed Jack Canfield, Billy D. Williams and God knows how many other notables asking me if I wanted to be a part of what she was doing.
I told her I, through my writing had met many interesting people as well and maybe in addition to dropping in and giving praise to student writers, sharing some of the things I had written, I could perhaps contribute and interview here and there as well.
The rest is historical to me. I’ve interviewed some amazing people, and I am of the opinion of when you give you get. So helping others get the word out about what they do has certainly made me more visible than I would have otherwise imagined.
And I have Judyth Piazza to thank for that.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take for you to start and finish Your Chance to Hear the Last Panther Speak?
CV: I’m what you might call a catcher. I don’t get out of bed thinking I’m going to write something today. Thoughts hit me and if I’m near a computer I write them down. I’ve also been on buses writing them down on match books or what ever else I could find. Even the stories that come to me are things I catch. And have to find a way to get them before they get away.
Nothing takes long for me. In fact, it takes no time at all. I don’t live my life thinking. What can I write next? I live my life like wow. Another burst of thoughts that has to be caught!
JP: What’s next for Chase Von?
CV: I wish I knew, Joey. It’s hard to say. I am communicating and meeting and interviewing rising stars and stars that are already in place so who knows? I do hope to as the Game would say, have my pen feed me and mine one day. That’s a tall expectation for a poet although I also write song lyrics, quotes, and short stories, but I guess what’s next is I will continue to dream…and catch.