1. Tell me about yourself.
I grew up in Indianapolis and wanted to be a racecar driver at Indy, but soon gave that up to go to college to study journalism and geography, then business at Stanford. I was in the Korean War in Military Intelligence, then worked in electronics and radio broadcasting in the Pacific Northwest, before getting into real estate development, where my late wife, Lois, and I built apartments, condominiums, and single family homes. Later, I went back to school at the University of Georgia to study Historic Preservation. Lois and I then moved to New Mexico to write novels about the Southwest, archaeology, and Native Americans. My wife and I wrote together for 20 years until she passed away, and now I continue to write. I’m 81 and active in an adult retirement community in Northern California.
2. What inspired you to write Time to Retire
I wanted to try to capture the feelings, the emotions, and especially the milieu of my living among senior citizens in a separate and self-contained (fictionalized) community—Sunset Gardens—with its 15,000 people, all of whom are “old.”
All the while, I endeavored to upend the stereotypical views of aging, retirement, and “old people” that seem to be inbred in the media and, accordingly, voiced by members of the younger generations.
These preconceived notions are most often incorrect, really and truly wrong, and, to put in bluntly, discriminatory. So I wanted to convey more accurate and appropriate concepts of senior lifestyles, elder thoughts, along with my personal observations. I aimed for readers of all ages. No author (who lives in such a community), so I believe, has ever attempted this in a literary work of fiction.
3. What is something interesting about you not many people know?
I’ve completed 60 marathons and many shorter races.
4. What genre do you like to write in?
Historical fiction related to contemporary events.
5. Have you ever encountered writer’s block? If so, how did you overcome it?
Not often, but when I do I usually go for a run.
6. Summarize your novel.
Things are not quite what they seem at Sunset Gardens, an active adult retirement community in the hills of Northern California. An influential resident has committed suicide, directors of the Homeowners Association have questionable ways of handling money, and secret meetings are taking place at the Silent Frog, a former speakeasy.
Local reporter, Willy Herbst, himself approaching retirement, is curious about what’s going on in the neighboring community “over the hills.” He and his eager intern, Sally Saginaw, team up to investigate. Their discoveries are surprising.
7. Tell me about your characters.
Some 60 characters populate Time to Retire. Six Board members of the Sunset Gardens Homeowners Association are major to the storyline. And there are important characters in each of the various clubs. But it is journalist Willy Herbst and his sidekick Sally Saginaw (with whom he is increasingly romantically interested, who trace the arc of the novel.
8 Tell me about your publishing journey.
Intense and committed to reaching for quality of writing and expression. Hard work, but fun. Time consuming, yet satisfying. A priority in my life.
Time to Retire was released on October 13, 2013 and is available for sale on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Time-Retire-Jon-Foyt/dp/1480075698