Columnist and Author: “Slim Randles syndicated weekly column “Home Country” is published each Wednesday on CNBNews.net and other sites throughout the country. He reaches 2.2 million readers in 44 states. Randles is also the author of nine books, including the national award-winning “A Cowboy’s Guide to Growing Up Right.” CNBNews.net
What motivates you to write?
What did all of your interviews teach you about people and human nature that could help the rest of us?
Each interview taught me how really unique and special each person is, even those who have done something terrible to others. It’s really the best kind of education. We learn something with each person we interview, even the ones doing life for murder. It shows us that life can not only be wonderful, but also ridiculous and fun.
What qualities make a person stand out in life that you think we should all strive for?
Topping my list would be honesty, caring for others and a sense of humor.
What motivates you to write?
I write because I have to. I would’ve loved to have been a composer, like my brother Bob, but that would have meant using a whole bunch of sharps and flats, which I hate, so I write.
What made you chose the genre you chose?
My column, Home Country, is fiction. It’s about life in a small town and the fun and foibles thereof. As a former small-town newspaper editor (for many years) I knew the kind of column I would want in my paper, something non-controversial, short (space problems), fun, fiction, and free. Many years ago, a great writer named Corey Ford wrote a similar (but much longer) column for Field and Stream called The Lower Forty. I always remembered that column and loved it. It was a big part of my starting Home Country seven years ago.
Where do your characters come from?
In my fiction, my characters come from people I know or knew (since many have now crossed the Great Divide) or a special and fun combination of characters I know.
What’s most rewarding about writing?
When someone comes up and tells me they remember a certain story I wrote, that really touches me. I don’t have to “make a difference” in someone’s life, per se, but if I can give them a chuckle or make them scratch their heads, good.
Who is an author who inspires you and why?
Max Evans. He is one of my closest friends, true. But I was inspired by him more than 20 years before we met. Max writes what he has to write. He doesn’t make it any longer or shorter than the story’s supposed to be. He writes stuff that isn’t popular and best-selling, but comes from his heart. He drives editors crazy by not conforming. He says he has “never sold out his talent.”
It costs money and fame to be that kind of a writer, but isn’t it fun?
What do you look for in other people’s books?
If they wrote a book I can’t put down and causes me to lose sleep, that’s exactly what I was looking for.
What are you writing now?
I always have several projects. In fiction, I’m novelizing a screenplay I wrote called “Whimsy Castle,” and putting the finishing touches on a novel again involving Jeep George, the half-Native Alaskan hunting guide in Raven’s Prey. In non-fiction, I recently finished a how-to book on hunting elk, and am just starting a how-to book on writing.
What kind of book would you like to be known for?
I’d like to be remembered for a collection of stories, such as the column collection (Home Country) and the outdoor memoirs collection (Sweetgrass Mornings). They’re the ones I really loved writing and it would be nice if some of that love and fun got through to the readers.
If you were to write in another genre, what genre excites your writer’s blood?
I’ve written two (non-produced) screenplays, and that’s a fun genre. You get to play with more chess pieces while you pretend you’re a camera lens. I don’t think I’d want to spend a lot of time doing that, however, unless I got paid. Very time consuming.
If you achieved great fame and fortune, would you continue to write?
Sure. Does this mean you know something you’re not telling me?