Featured Interview With A. C. Burch
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
I’m a long-time Provincetown resident who spent his early summers on Cape Cod and since then, the sand has never left my shoes. My first visit to Provincetown sparked a romance with the town and forged a love of the sea that continues to this day—most summer days will find me sailing on Cape Cod Bay. I trained as a classical musician, but my passion for the arts extends to photography, the art scene in Provincetown and Miami, as well as the written word.
I’m the proud father of a young Golden Retriever named Dori.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
I remember being told at the age of six by the local librarian that a certain book (I forget its name) was for “older students.” I took it out anyways, went home, and read it that night. My first writing effort was a short story in the fourth grade. I gave it to my teacher, who corrected the name “Modell” to “Model.” I realized he wasn’t even reading, just correcting, and I stopped for forty years. I trained as a classical musician, got into computer programing to pay the bills, and then found my way back to writing ten years ago.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
My reading is eclectic to say the least. I’m a big Jane Austin fan, but also love Agatha Christie. I devour Saki, Patrick Dennis, and that off-beat genre, but also am a big fan of William J. Mann, Armistead Maupin, Alan Hollinghurst, and Walter Mosley. To me, anything with heart that doesn’t take itself so seriously you don’t want to get out of bed is worth a look.
Armistead Maupin has been a source of great inspiration. His all-encompassing range of characters and his love for San Francisco were a major influence on The HomePort Journals. I share his love of place and appreciate his gentle, nonjudgmental appreciation for the foibles of humanity. It’s not easy to join humor and empathy together in a novel, and Maupin strikes the right chord every time.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
My latest book, The HomePort Journals, is a fantasia, loosely defined as, “a work where the author’s fancy roves unrestricted.” It’s a love story on multiple levels: between two men, between generations, which also chronicles the sometimes difficult path one follows to love oneself.
The book takes place in Provincetown, primarily in the secluded mansion of an elderly recluse, Lola Staunton. Marc Nugent leaves New York and an abusive relationship, drives through the night and arrives in Provincetown in early November. He takes a job working for Lola and quickly encounters her housekeeper, the cross-dresser, Helena Handbasket. Helena relentlessly pursues Marc, while he falls for the brooding artist, Cole Hanson. Marc learns of a scandal that tarnished the Staunton name and drove Lola into seclusion. Together, Marc, Cole, and Helena set out to prove what really happened and reunite Lola with an estranged childhood friend who’s never stopped watching out for her.
The HomePort Journals took 5 years to write, essentially because my characters lead me into new scenes and situations with every revision. The book describes many beautiful and lesser-known spots in Provincetown… a world that few visitors ever see.
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