Welcome to Three Questions with Van Heerling. This is where you get to meet authors, actors, painters and anyone else that is bent toward the arts, but on a more personal level.
Today I welcome James P. Wilcox author of Sex, Lies, and the Classroom, The M-16 Agenda, and Musings of a Particular Bear: A Poetry Collection. James, a former newspaper photographer and writer, is currently a high school teacher in the Kansas City area, where he lives with his wife and three children. He is currently working on his third novel.
Let's get started.
VH: If you could change one thing about our world, what would it be and why?
JPW: Of course, I could always go with the easy answers like I would end all war, hate, and injustice, but that would just be too easy (and just slightly unrealistic). Therefore, I would go with something a little more challenging and I would make honesty a requirement for all politicians. I would make them work to make the world a better place instead of just serving their own selfish needs. We really need politicians who are willing to serve the people and do what is right, instead of simply serving themselves and doing what will get them re-elected.
VH: If you knew the exact date of your death down to the minute, what would you change about your life starting tomorrow?
JPW: This question is really difficult because it would depend on exactly how much time I had left. If I had only two days for example, then I would quit my job so that I could spend every single moment I had left to be with my wife and children. If I had forty years, for example, then I would probably keep the job, but try to focus on my wife and children a little more. I would also make my writing a more integrated part of each and every day.
VH: If you could go back in time to when you were seven years old, what wisdom or advice would you pass on to yourself?
JPW: This question is easy: eat your vegetables. Seriously, this is the advice I would give myself. I am very happy with how my life has turned out to this point and I wouldn’t want to change any of it other than the struggles I have had with my weight. If I could eat more vegetables, hopefully I would be a little thinner and healthier.
This week as a special treat, we have two bonus questions from Mr. Wilcox.
VH: For what are you grateful?
JPW: I am grateful for the love and support of my family. I am grateful for my parents, especially my mother who instilled in me the love of reading, politics, and learning. I am grateful for my children, for good books, for all the authors who have come before me. I am also grateful for everyone who has taken the time to read my books. I am grateful for too many people to mention.
VH: At what age were you the happiest? What triggered such joy?
JPW: Honestly, I think I am happier now than I ever have been before right at this moment. I have a wonderful wife, three adorable children, three published books, a job I enjoy, and I have wonderful friends. What could be better?
VH: Indeed, what could be better than that? Thank you James for letting us peek into your life. I hope you have a plate of vegetables tonight. It is never too late to eat more veggies.
Sex, Lies, and the Classroom
Nathaniel O’Connell thought he knew what it takes to survive at Southwest High School, a low-income, ethnically diverse, inner-city school. After seven years of teaching, he thought he had discovered how to get through to these children of poverty. That was before he met Tyreshia, Krysteal, and Ebony, who know how to inflict pain, both physical and emotional. After a confrontation on the first day of school, O’Connell finds himself fighting for his reputation, his job, his family, his very survival. With his wife, Alexandria, O’Connell must battle the school system, the justice system, racism, and his own weakness, as he seeks redemption. Faced with investigations by the school’s administration, the Department of Family Services, and the District Attorney’s Office, he must find the strength and the courage to reach out to these same students to save his very soul.
A man is not apt to forget the instant he becomes a killer; that one fateful instant when he takes another's life. It would not matter that Jack Granger has killed, all soldiers train to kill, except that he is the Democratic nominee in the presidential election of 2020. Having secured the nomination as Governor of Missouri and on the strength of his M-16 Agenda, his political platform developed in the killing sands of Iraq, Jack is days away from the White House when the situation in Iraq and in Washington D.C. changes everything. Now it is a race against time, and his own past, as he makes a last ditch effort to save his bid for the presidency, and possibly the world. From the war torn battlegrounds of Iraq to the halls of power in Washington D.C., M-16 Agenda follows one man's rise to the heights of political power, as he struggles to live up to the promises he made to his fellow soldiers, his family, and himself.
Musings of a Particular Bear: A Poetry Collection
Author James P. Wilcox takes a break from fiction to bring readers Musing of a Particular Bear: A Poetry Collection. The poems included in this new collection cover the usual, but timeless themes of love and loss, life and death, growing up and growing old, solitude and union, joy and sorrow. In a style that is both complex and free, Musings of a Particular Bear is easily accessible to all.
"For me, writing is a joyful torture or sorts." ~vh~
“In this life, seek your own answers, and quote yourself for a change.” ~vh~
The muse has tapped my shoulder and my ear is turned toward her lips. I am waiting for her whisper. ~vh~
"The funny thing about life: more often than not it’s laughing at you rather than you laughing at it." ~vh~
"At some point there is a moment when you should give up. I’m here to tell you that today is not that day." ~vh~
“If you are afraid of the truth, never ask a young child a question.” ~vh~
“The frailty of life is most evident at its last breath.” vh
“Prove not to the world but to yourself that you are above your current circumstance.” ~vh~
"Don't be wishful when it comes to your dreams. Take aggressive action in your pursuit of them. Start now with a single step, no matter how insignificant it may feel." ~vh~
"Nothing is more powerful than an unwavering, unapologetic decision to BE." ~vh~
"Strive to be the light in an ever-darkening world. SHINE!" ~vh~
"Think big and then think small. That’s where the details live." ~vh~