What inspired you to write the memoir?
I talk about this at the beginning of the book, in the prologue. I write about how my father called me shortly before the anniversary of his disbarment. He called to tell me that he had just cheated death. He called me the night before he died. A gunman had approached his car. The gunman was wearing a ski mask and he threatened to blow my father’s brains out and my father was the typical big mad Greek and he basically fought the guy off and drove away.
And he called me later to tell me what happened. What I remember most about that call was that he was afraid. And that was the first time I had ever heard real fear in his voice.
That call haunted me for a really long time. And I wasn’t ready for quite a few years to confront what it meant to me and what probably had happened to my father.
It wasn’t until I started writing this non-fiction piece that I started approaching the relationship between my father himself and our closeness.
And that’s when I decided, when I started confronting what happened, write a book about it.
Why does your memoir begin with the escaped killer on the loose?
It’s my first real experience with violence. The escaped killer had just slaughtered a family, just a couple of miles from our house. In many ways that was the beginning of my parents, the demise of their marriage. My mother was pregnant with my brother – my parents’ last ditch effort to keep our family together because my sister and I weren’t enough anymore, we were getting older.
When my parents did break up after the shortly after the birth of my brother, I had less than 45 minutes to decide if I wanted to go with my mother to our second home, a much nicer home in Tennessee with my older sister and my brother, or if I wanted to stay with my father. The answer came quickly to me although it broke my heart. I stayed with my father because I was afraid he would kill himself if he had no one to come home to.
In a lot of ways that defined my relationship with my father, the moment that he decided to leave and I decided to stay.
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