Two Mountains: Kilimanjaro to Quadriplegic and Back received a 4+ star review, making it an IndieReader Approved title.
Following find an interview with author S. Michael Scadron.
What is the name of the book and when was it published?
The title of the book is Two Mountains: Kilimanjaro to Quadriplegic and Back. The book was published on April 17, 2018.
What is the book’s first line?
The first line reads: “I’m perspiring as if I’ve been jogging for five miles under a noonday sun.”
What’s the book about? Give us the pitch?
Two Mountains unveils the story of my struggle to surmount a rare neurological affliction that rendered me quadriplegic just months after I had scaled Mount Kilimanjaro. In the book I weave together the stories of these two journeys. The Kilimanjaro feat presents a stark contrast the life I took for granted and the helplessness I experienced once my illness set in. But also, by painting a broader picture of myself as husband, single dad, friend, lawyer and adventurer, I hope to provide a better understanding of not just what happened, but of the man to whom it happened and the life in which it happened.
What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event?
The funny thing is that when I retired as Senior Trial Counsel with the Justice Department in 2006 and took up writing in place of law, I was intent on writing about legal cases resulting in injustice, including civil and/or human rights abuses – a passion of mine. A friend convinced me that I should instead write about my illness and the struggles I faced. I was reluctant at first. “Who’d be interested in that,” I wondered, but as I engaged with other writers in writing workshops, it dawned on me that my story might indeed encourage other folks facing sudden disability or unexpected challenges midway through life to persevere as I did.
What’s the main reason someone should really read this book?
By painting a full picture of the man I was before my illness struck, what I hope to show is that I was quite an ordinary fellow, impatient when even little things went wrong. Therefore, if I could face a sudden crippling illness at age 52 and keep on fighting, surely others could as well. Although my memoir tells of my unique personal experience coping with unexpected adversity, there is, I believe a universal lesson that readers can glean from my story. Any one of us might be surprised at our inner strength and willingness to persevere.
What do you do for work when you’re not writing?
I retired from law over ten years ago and took up writing in retirement. There is nothing like 30 years of legal writing to stifle the creative genie within, so I re-tooled my writing skills by engaging in creative non-fiction workshops. I have also advocated on behalf of persons who have been wrongfully convicted at home and abroad and have written journalistic articles about such cases. Today, writing, attending writing critique groups, travel, dining on hot, spicy food, and spending time with our grandchildren (a boy of 7 and a girl about to turn 3), take up most of my time.
Is there something in particular that motivates you?
Mostly what motivated me was the knowledge that if I gave up in frustration I’d not only be letting myself down, but I’d be letting down my wife, daughter, close friends and colleagues who were cheering for me. You are who you are, I was told, so who was I?
NOTE: I was selected to be a featured presenter at the 2019 Gaithersburg Book Festival to be held May 18 in Gaithersburg, MD. Here is the link to the featured authors page (you’ll have to scroll way down to find me).