The Great Depression was a tragic time in America’s history. While poverty became widespread – leaving families barely scraping by – the collapse of the U.S. stock market in 1929 sent the economy in a downward spiral, which found people living on the streets with unemployment at a high and food on the table at a low. No one knew it better than little Angus Munro, who found the strength to overcome whatever was thrown at him.
Little Angus grew up, and years later, he decided to write a memoir about his life. A Full House – But Empty was the result.
I interviewed Angus to find out more about his life and his captivating new book.
Thank you for this interview, Angus. Can you tell us a little about yourself and how long you've been writing?
After completing thirty-nine years in hospital administration, I retired in 2003. I was a divorced man with no children. I had been a lifelong workaholic and tennis bum, both opposite ends of the spectrum and each having negative connotations. After going through a contemplation period, I decided to write a book about my lifetime experiences.
At what point in your life did you make up your mind you were going to become a published author?
When I retired; however, I have always enjoyed writing procedural manuals, special innovative projects, and general business correspondence.
Was there anyone in your life that you can give credit to helping pave the way?
Actually, when I started working on a draft regarding my childhood experiences, my nephew, Paul was most encouraging to me to pursue an autobiography.
What was your favorite book to read as a child?
Robin Hood by Henry Gilbert with illustrations by Frances Brundage. I still have that edition in my personal home library.
What is your favorite book at the present?
I am an old movie buff and my favorite book is Thalberg, written by Bob Thomas. I have a signed copy of this book that I treasure.
If you could trade places with one author who you have admired over the years, who would it be and why?
I most admire the written works of Sir Winston Churchill and his lifetime achievements; however, I much prefer just being an observer of that great man. One of his great quotes, "Never in the field of human conflict, was so much owed, by so many, to so few." He was referring to the RAF during WWII.
Can you tell us a little about your latest book?
I was born during the Great Depression. My father solely raised my two sisters and me at an early age. Those were very tough and hectic years both economically and emotionally. At age fourteen, I dropped out of school due to an unfortunate incident the prior year and having had repeated the seventh grade.
At age seventeen, this grade-school dropout was working in a sawmill tossing lumber ends off of a conveyor belt. A theological student from the University of British Columbia attended one of our home parties. We became friends and one evening he delivered a Dutch uncle speech to me. He told me in plain English to get off of my ass and get moving in the right direction. He suggested that I take evening classes at a local high school in typing and accounting to acquire some basic skills. He also stated that I should seek an entrance position in a white-collar setting that would afford future advancements. I attempted to refute his suggestions by stating I was a failure, a dropout with no skills. He stated that I unequivocally had above average intelligence and assuredly possessing great untapped potentialities. He pointedly stated that that is your focus, not unfortunate past events. Mission accomplished – I immediately did exactly what he suggested.
I progressively worked up the vocational ladder, starting from the bottom rung. During my career, I spent nine years very successfully in the petroleum industry and was scheduled for a junior executive position in their home office. I decided to change careers and spent thirty-nine very productive years in hospital administration in California and Alaska. I was a director of several departments with staffing complements of fifty-five to seventy employees prior to my retirement.
What was the inspiration behind your book? Why did you feel a need to write it?
Clearly, overcoming my difficult childhood years, along with being a grade-school dropout who accepted the Dutch uncle speech and forged ahead. My message is simply conveying positively, lessons learned.
What message are you trying to convey with this book?
My father’s message, “Always do the right thing, regardless of the circumstances or outcome!" And my motto, “Whatever you do, follow through!”
How long did it take your book to be published from the time you submitted and was accepted to the time it was finally released?
My book is self-published and the entire project was completed in about ninety days from the submission of my final draft.
Can you tell us a little about the publisher who published your book? How have they been to work with?
I am self-published with iUniverse and they were great to work with throughout the entire process.
Do you have a website? Do you manage it yourself or do you have someone run it for you?
I have a colleague, Tracy Roberts of Write Field Services, who manages it for me.
Thank you for this interview, Angus! Do you have any final words you’d like to share with my readers?
Throughout ones’ life, in difficult and sometimes stressing times or times when we are walking over new bridges, we find guardian angels to help us along the road and/or a new pathway. I on many occasions have been one of those guardian angels too.
In this literary world, being a complete novice, I have found three, and they are: Tracy Roberts, Write Field Services, Shirley Roe, AllBooks Review, and Dorothy Thompson, Pump Up Your Book Promotion.