Lives of Passion, School of Hope

An Interview with author, Rick Posner Ph.D.

Q: When did you start writing, and what inspired you to write?

A: I started writing nine years ago after I retired from teaching. I was inspired to tell the story of a school that saved my life as a teacher and as a person. I wanted to tell the stories of the alumni of a K-12 public school that had no grades or credits, to see if they felt like I did about their experiences.

Q: How long did the book take you from start to finish?

A: …about 8 years including the research, ground work and the actual writing.

Q: Where do you write?

A:  …in my little office.

Q: What’s the best thing about being a published author?

A: …all the money of course! No really, I just like putting the word out there about a school that transforms lives.

Q: Who are some of your favorite authors?

A: …Joseph Conrad, James Joyce, Paulo Friere, J.D. Salinger, John Fowles, Debbie Meier, Herb Kohl…too many others to note here.

Q: Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

A: Most of my readers are interested in something more from their schools so I get a lot of: “Thanks for getting the word out that there really are options in the public sector”. Of course, alumni of the school tell me that they are grateful that someone has finally told their story.

Q: What are your current projects?

A: I’m currently engaged in promoting the book, but I have another totally different kind of project in mind for another book and/or video. It’s about an obscure folk singer that just happens to be a genius.

Q: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

A: I’m a runner and a bit of a fitness freak. I also have avid interests in film, music and baseball.

Q: How did you come up with your title?

A: The school is all about following one’s passions and feeling empowered to change the world. Thus, Lives of Passion, School of Hope, seemed quite natural. On a side note, I came up with the “hope” part long before I, or anyone else for that matter, knew about a guy named Barak Obama.

Q: Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?

A: The message is that there is a public school out there that has been offering something radically different from the mainstream for almost 40 years now, and it works! Read the book to find out what is possible for our public schools.

Q: What’s the hardest part of writing a book?

A: It takes a great deal of patience and endurance. It’s hard not to get lost in the details and lose track of the big picture.

Q: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

A: This is a good question. I suppose I might taper it down a bit. There were so many great stories; I didn’t want leave any of them out.

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