Interview with Author Ronald W. Hull
Our featured author today is Ronald Hull. He is a great author who happens to have written and published many books. Ronald Hull is from the USA. The books under Ronald’s belt are: The Kaleidoscope Effect, War’s End, Hanging by a Thread, American Mole: The Vespers, American Mole: The Cartel, American Mole: Aryan Nation, It’s in the Water and Other Stories, Verge of Apocalypse Tales, Impolite Stories: Sex, Politics & Religion, Seven Fires which is written by Brian Godson but is edited and published by Ronald Hull and last but not least, Alone?
I asked Ronald Hull a few questions in regards to his writing career which I will outline below.
Tell us a bit about you
I am 77 and retired from full-time work at 69 in 2011. I was a junior in college and 20 years old when I elected to have spinal surgery to correct a weakness in my left arm and hand over my Thanksgiving holiday just after President Kennedy was shot. During the exploratory surgery, I received too much anaesthetic and my blood pressure dropped to the point where my neurosurgeon had to lay me down from the sitting up position and haemorrhaging from the open wound caused paralysis of my upper body, hands and arms.
It was a life-changing event. Changing my direction from becoming an architect or astronaut or both. Fortunately, a simple stainless steel hand splint costing $200 allowed me to return to college and excel even though I slowed a bit in my writing and my paralyzed hands were a challenge in doing almost everything. I always enjoyed beating others in competition, like my twin brother, even though their hands worked much better than mine. Acquiring an electric typewriter and typing with one finger, I never let words slow me down and never bothered with crutches like dictionaries and thesauruses to try to perfect my writing because those books were always cumbersome to handle and got in the way of my one finger typing or my hand lettering, engineering style, that was easier than trying to continue to write cursory, my earlier style.
I started work as a quality control engineer with my master’s degree in industrial engineering- human factors- from Stanford. Wooed back to my alma mater, I taught management and product management courses until going to West Virginia University to earn my doctorate in education . After a year teaching business courses at Marshall University, I returned to West Virginia University as a research coordinator for the study of technology program. After that, I taught at two universities before becoming an administrator at Texas Southern University for 30 years. I have lived in Wisconsin where I grew up, the San Francisco Bay Area, West Virginia for seven years, in Atlanta for three years where I designed and built a solar passive energy efficient new home and then settled in Houston. I became a member of many organisations and serve in leadership of some. I have played many roles in my life but the best role has been to be a traveller and an adventurer. I was always looking for new horizons to peek over.
What inspired you to become a writer and how long have you been writing for and what genre do you specify in?
I always enjoyed learning new things and was very curious and competitive as a child with my twin brother, a better writer and an artist. I had a few successes in English classes with my writing that told me that, when inspired, I could write something worth others reading. My greatest success was in my senior year in college in expository writing. I wrote an allegory comparing a library to a car engine and the professor gave me an A+ and asked me to read the essay to the class to my embarrassment. Somehow sentimental and sarcastic ( satire), I have written poems since high school without ever taking a poetry course. Some of my poems are in anthologies.
I started writing in earnest in 1992 when I felt that it was important to write my autobiography for others to read. Hanging by a thread was completed in 2014. I opened a website in 1997 and wrote my first novel in 1999 from an idea, first contact, that I taught in my classes in the late 70s. I started writing hard science fiction and historically based fiction but have written in other genres since. My poetry covers many genres. I also write one poem a week and post it on my website and on authorsden.com.
What does a day in the life of Ron look like?
I wrote, A Day in the Life of, as a chapter in my autobiography to describe what it was like when I lived alone and worked full-time. I started hiring caregivers in 1992 and they have taken much of my daily routine and are doing it for me. My routine now is diametrically different.
I usually awake to watch the news at 7 AM. My caregiver then gets me in my wheelchair and I exercise both my arms and legs for 15 minutes while I watch the news. She then feeds me breakfast while I watch the news. After that, I wade through my email and duties that require my attention, paying bills etc. By 10 AM, I’m usually on authorsden.com reading all the new book blurbs, stories, articles, poems and I respond by giving kudos where earned and constructive criticism that is usually well received. As a result, I have many followers and some collaborators from that site.
By noon, I am eating lunch alone with my hand splint picking up vegetables and fruit while watching the noon news. I try to catch 20 minutes of sun on sunny days. In the afternoon, I will often lie back in my electric wheelchair and watch TV shows that I missed and sometimes, movies on demand. From 3 to 4, I spend some time writing chapters to my books or short stories. By about 4 PM, I read my current magazines, three or four, while watching the news. I have read many books in my life but few for pleasure. I can’t hold a book in my hands and keeping many of them open on a desk in front of me is very difficult but I enjoy reading from the computer screen. I don’t listen to audiobooks.
Around 7 PM, my partner and primary caregiver for the past 28 years arrives home from her shop and feeds me my evening meal ( always fabulous) and then I settle in to watch television until 10 PM when I abruptly stop. Once again, I spend 15 minutes exercising on that machine and watching the late evening news. After that, I go to the toilet and or shower on alternate nights before going to bed where I need a caregiver to stay with me all night to keep me from pain from autonomic dysreflexia, pressure sores and other irritations as well as keeping my body temperature in check as the temperature outside moves from summer to winter and we compensate by heat or air conditioning. It is a challenge because my body control of my temperature is not good.
I follow the same routine 24/7 and never get bored because I change attention so many times during the day. I have not left the house since October 2019 and have had very few visitors. My immediate family is all a thousand miles away. I find that okay. I am through with road trips and venturing out to events in the city unless it is of much importance. I may do another cruise to add to the four I’ve already taken. I do regret that my exploring days are generally over.
What academic advice can you give to children?
Be curious and don’t let others determine what you explore. Learn how to learn yourself without the help of others and be competitive both physically and mentally because it will sharpen your skills. Don’t spend a lot of time in rote memorizing. It will limit your ability to change and think on your own. Do not be afraid to make mistakes but learn from them right way to go.
Do you have any books that you would recommend for children?
I don’t have any children of my own but I do recall that, Dr.Seuss books were something I sought out in first grade and many of them have wonderful moral lessons. One I recall was about a young entrepreneur that was so successful that, he used up all of his natural resources ( palm trees) and lost his business. At the proper grade level, Gulliver’s Travels, Robinson Crusoe, Alice in Wonderland and Oliver Twist, where they will learn some history, how children lived in other times and what great writing is.
What an enlightening, wonderful and absolutely inspirational interview with Ronald? I have learnt so much from him and hope you will too. Below, find Ronald Hull’s website link and Amazon links of his wonderful books.