Featured Interview With Dr. Peg O’Connor
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
I was born and raised in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, which is north central Massachusetts. I live in St Peter, Minnesota. I teach philosophy at Gustavus Adolphus College. Do I have a pet? I think my terrier mix believes he has a person. As Mister Peabody said of Sherman, “if a boy can have a dog, why can’t a dog have a boy?”
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
I have loved books my entire life. I felt like a “big kid” when I could read on my own. I attribute my love of crime fiction to devouring all the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boy books. I never liked Trixie Belden though. The first thing I distinctly remember writing was “The First Animal Christmas” in third grade. In that riveting tale, my cat and his best friend, a mouse, were transported to Bethlehem for the birth of the baby Jesus. I won’t write what my mother responded when I asked her, “Mom, what could the cat give the baby Jesus.” Hint: it involves a saying about cats. I would have been expelled if I had included her suggestion.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
I read a lot of crime fiction. I am somewhat surprised I never turned to a life of crime. I love James Lee Burke’s Dave Robicheaux series because the depiction of addiction and recovery is so real and gritty. I also love Roman history. Give me an emperor, cunning and diabolical politicians and I am entranced. One of my favorite writers is Mary Karr; her memoirs are stunning. If I could write 1/10th as well as she, I’d be overjoyed.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
My most recent book is Higher and Friendly Powers: Transforming Addiction and Suffering. I aim to broaden the notion of “higher power” of Alcoholics Anonymous. The idea of God alienates many people. The term originally came from American philosopher and psychologist, William James (1842-1910), who included enthusiasm for humanity, a sense of decency, moral principles, patriotism, and your own better self as powers that could help people to transform themselves. This book is meant for people who are seeking to reorient themselves in the world in ways that help them to say Yes to life.
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