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Page One
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Sam Moffie

 

A lifelong baseball fan, Youngstown, Ohio resident Sam Moffie graduated from Wittenberg University. He manages two sports bars, serving on the front lines of America’s most heated debate topics: sex, sports and politics. Sam has 3 children, 1 son-in-law, 1 grand daughter, 2 dogs, 2 cats and 1 strike-out at marriage.Born in Boston MA. Spent most of life in various cities in Ohio and all the in between years in Boston. Married with 3 children and 1 grand-daughter. 3 dogs and 2 cats. Would have been a successful businessman and/or politician but I lacked talent, so I went back to my 1st and only real love (Sorry, girls); which took me 25 years to get up the nerve to try-writing. Time will tell if I will go down the path of my business/political career.
Interests Reading, History, Dog Walking, A good Red Wine with my muse, Staying in shape, Politics, Making fun of popular culture (Circa 2006), Movies, Movies, Movies, My children, My grand-daughter, Spending time on the Internet and learning something every time I surf, WRITING & CREATING interesting themes and characters, Talking on the phone to my parents and having someone say they like my story, Arguing with my ex-wife (At least she tells me that is my Interest)!  Visit Sam online at http://www.samsstories.com

 

 "There are bizarre choices, and then there are bizarre choices. Sam Moffie’s antihero, Sheldon Marsh, leads us through wife-swapping, baseball and other great American distractions. Brilliant, original…it’s Bull Durham on steroids." Captain Meryl Getline, author of "The World at My Feet: The True (and Sometimes Hilarious) Adventures of a Lady Airline Captain"

"Tantalizing sex, extra innings and movie fetishes. What more could one ask for? SWAP delivers a fastball to the noggin as well as the funny bone." Kent Evans, author of "Malas Ondas: Lime, Sand, Sex and Salsa in the Land of Conquistadors"

 

PageOneLit.com:  Where did you grow up and was reading and writing a part of your life? Who were your earliest influences and why?

Sam Moffie: I grew up both In Boston, Massachusetts and Youngstown, Ohio. Reading always was part of my life, because I was born deaf in my right ear, and really couldn’t participate in a lot of things. So, I lost myself in books. Both my mother and father were avid readers.  My earliest influences were my parents and three English teachers I had in high school.  When I was young, I read mostly non-fiction biographies. As I got older, I drifted to fiction and that is where I have stayed. Ayn Rand, Harper Lee and Kurt Vonnegut dominated.

 

 PageOneLit.com: Why do you write? 

Sam Moffie:I write, because I love telling a story. It is very satisfying when people enjoy your stories and ask about your themes, characters, plots, settings and so forth.

 

PageOneLit.com: Baseball season has just started so lets 'step up to the plate' with your first novel SWAP which is based on a true story? Explain. Who is Sheldon Marsh?

Sam Moffie: SWAP is “loosely” based on a real live incident from the 1970’s in which two New York Yankee pitchers—Fritz Peterson and Mike Kekich traded wives. The more I researched the story, the more I was amazed that nobody had written a fiction or even a non-fiction story.  It was a real scandal, not like the phony cover-up scandals that we see in baseball now. It was a scandal of morals, yet has slipped under the radar of popular culture until I came around and turned the story inside/out.  People, who know me, say that Sheldon Marsh is me.  But I have never traded my wife. I divorced her, but never traded her.  I wanted Sheldon to be seen as a man who adjusts to everything and learns that coping is a way of survival. That is why his hearing-impairment is crucial to his persona.  In a “loud-is-everything culture,” you have to be someone who is the very definition of cope to flourish in it. I believe that best sums up Sheldon.

 

PageOneLit.com: SWAP has received wonderful reviews - One reviewer saying "Sam Moffie's antihero, Sheldon Marsh, leads us through wife-swapping, baseball and other great American distractions. Brilliant, original…it's Bull Durham on steroids." In your opinion why does baseball translates into good fiction (print and film)?

Sam Moffie: Thank you for noticing the wonderful reviews I have received. I have also received my fair share of stinkers too.  Reading is in the eyes of the reviewer, eh?  You ask a terrific question about baseball translating into good fiction in both print and fiction.  I believe it is because baseball is a patient/thinking person’s game.  One really has to concentrate from the first pitch to the last out to understand the game. Whereas, in football, you can walk away for an entire quarter and come back to the game and within a second and not have missed much. One understands instantly what is going on. Basketball… well everyone knows you just watch a basketball game in the last two minutes, one can’t go to the last two pages of a book or watch the last two minutes of a film to understand it.  Besides, there are no halftimes in baseball as there are no halftimes in print fiction and even Hollywood understood that by eliminating intermission. Baseball is art. Football is war. Basketball… I’m not sure what that is. Because baseball is like art it translates well into print and fiction.

 

PageOneLit.com: Who have been your favorite baseball players growing up and why? Who (team) do you root for during the season and why?

Sam Moffie: I as a young boy Carl Yastrzemski or “Yaz” was my favorite player, because I grew up in Boston and I thought he played the game the way it was supposed to be played. A class player and I understand a class gentleman. I also rooted for the Red Sox, until they turned into “Red Sox Nation.”   When I moved to Cleveland and ultimately Youngstown, I found myself rooting for Jim Thome, in part, because he played the game like Yaz.  I have been a Cleveland Indians fan since I move to Northeast Ohio in 1978 and cheer them on during the season. On April 27th, 2008 I will be going to my first game to not only cheer for the Tribe, but un-cheer against the Yankees.  At age 48, I do not have any favorite players, especially given the fact that Thome bolted Cleveland for Philadelphia.  I just root for the team and its long suffering city in search of the elusive championship (in any sport), that some people think will be the key to some sort of renaissance (I do not share that belief).

 

PageOneLit.com: Your new novel THE ORGAN GRINDER AND THE MONKEY is about the lives of three characters Seymour Petrillo, Constance Powers and Irving Hanhart. Describe each character and how their story/life effects the plot.

Sam Moffie: Seymour Petrillo is the classic picked-upon/meek individual, who instead of rising up through adversity to better himself and those around him, falls the opposite way and ultimately destroys himself.  Without consciously knowing it, Seymour is a chameleon and adapts accordingly.  Constance Powers is not just about beauty, but deep inner virtue.  Her interior character is as flawless as her exterior presence.  Irving Hanhart is a witness to reason. Everything about him is explained in how he embraces people, places and things, and the importance he places on the aforementioned accordingly.

 

PageOneLit.com: THE ORGAN GRINDER AND THE MONKEY and SWAP are both hilarious --- There is a theme of cleverness and humor in both books. Are you a funny person when not writing? What makes you laugh and why?


Sam Moffie: I’d like to think of myself as witty. I don’t plan it, it seems to just happen.  People tell me I should be a stand-up comic, but I would be like Ralph Kramden explaining things to Alice in front of a live crowd. I guess I have what one might call spontaneous wit. My father had a fabulous sense of humor. He was a master at timing when it came to be funny. Of course, I think I am funny looking, which helps when you are making people laugh. I am not a joke teller.  I am more of an observer of human behavior and try to find the funny bone in that behavior and weave my story to that.  I love laughing and making people laugh. I have a very broad sense of humor. I find Charlie Chaplin’s silent’s funny. I enjoy The Three Stooges and The Marx Brothers.  I found Martin and Lewis extremely entertaining and unique as evident from my second novel.  Mel Brooks kills me dead.  I thought that stand-up comic Steve Martin was wonderful. The old Saturday Night live, when it wasn’t about politics and it was about being funny.  There is way too much politics in today’s comics and politics isn’t funny.  Taxi on TV was funny. I also enjoyed MASH as a youngster, before Alan Alda and Mike Farrell decided to become political. Mork and Mindy was a howl, especially when Robin Williams gave birth to Jonathan Winters. Kurt Vonnegut and John Irving novels break me up, when they are being less than serious.  Give me satire, give me anti-authoritarian, give me slapstick, give me non-linear, give me the unexpected and throw in some much needed sarcasm and I’m laughing.

 

PageOneLit.com: If Hollywood called and said they wanted to turn both of your books into film and asked you to cast the books -- Who would you cast for SWAP? Who would you cast for THE ORGAN GRINDER AND THE MONKEY

Sam Moffie: Hollywood calls, and I would probably never finish the conversation, as I would collapse from a coronary right there.  But I like doing this with other books, so why not my own?  I’m only going to focus on a few  main characters of each one. Otherwise, I might never stop Googling to find out what a particular actor/actress has been up to and are they ready to be in a story by Sam Moffie.

SWAP:   I see as strictly Matt Damon and Ben Affleck.  Affleck would be Sheldon. Damon would play Tom.  Bette Midler would play Sheldon’s mother.  Christopher Walken as the Ralph.  Drew Barrymore for Lucy. Cameron Diaz as Eleanor.  

 The Organ Grinder and the Monkey:   Emile Hirsch as Seymour Petrillo. Emily Blunt as Constance Powers. Tobey McGuire as Irving Hanhart.  Blair Brown as Mrs. Brumagin. Robin Williams as Headda Lettuce. Stanley Tucci as Captain Cliché.

 

PageOneLit.com: What's next?


Sam Moffie:Up next, is marketing my books to wherever there might be an audience and trying to get my third novel published – No-Mad.

 

PageOneLit.com: What was the last book you read?

Sam Moffie: Last book I read was: The Mysteries of Pittsburgh by Michael Chabon. The last audio book I listened to while walking my dog: The World according to Garp by John Irving.

 

PageOneLit.com: Do you have any hobbies? What are they? How do they enhance your writing?

Sam Moffie: My hobbies are reading and listening to audio books. They keep me focused. Each book I read or listen to is like a creative writing class onto itself.  I work-out, which keeps me fresh. I love movies, which in my opinion are nothing more than books on the screen. I dabble in politics as an activist, but as the party of one engulfs us all, I notice that I am becoming more and more disillusioned with government and activism. The party of one is those that are elected to office.   I love surfing the Internet. Keeping a routine is a hobby as well. Walking my dog in the park is a great hobby. Come 6/14/08 I will have a terrible hobby – worrying about my son Josh in Iraq. 

Thank you for the opportunity to share.


 

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