Today we welcome Harold J. Fischel, author of the book Anthony. He will be guest posting for us today at Ordinary Girlz.as part of the Anthony Virtual Book Tour.
Although all events in my novels are fictional and a product of my imagination, the seeds come out of a rich reservoir of personal experiences. While studying law in New York City, I volunteered at the Court Clinic and later at the ward for the criminally insane at Belleview Hospital. My experiences there were enough to fill several novels. After practicing law for a short time in New York City, I served two years in the U.S. Army. I could have written my own version of Catch Twenty-Two. Maybe someday I will; only this time the events will not be fictitious. As the saying goes, the truth is better than fiction.
After completing my tour of duty in the Army, I took an overseas discharge and went to the Netherlands to rebuild a company which had been owned by my family for over one-hundred years. As a young American, former captain in the US Army, living in Europe during much of the Vietnam era, you quickly develop a thick skin. But I hasten to add there were also many wonderful experiences. While rebuilding the company I got to travel extensively. My frequent visits to Czechoslovakia, at that time a country behind the iron curtain, made me cherish the freedoms we enjoy in the West. I was in Czechoslovakia a few days before the invasion by East German troops and returned a week after the so-called liberation. The change in the mood of the local population was really remarkable. My travels also took me to the Far East and I was privileged to have my Japanese business colleagues teach me much about Japanese culture, traditions, and customs.
After more than twenty years in Europe it was time to return home to the USA. This time I took a job with a Chinese company to manage its USA subsidiary. This meant numerous yearly trips to mainland China. I had a front row seat to watch the explosive growth of that country from 1990 until 2007 the year I retired.
I never intended to become a writer. I started writing for my own enjoyment. That eventually led to the publication of Anthony. The good reviews encouraged me to write another novel, and now I am hooked. I love to write! Much of my material comes from current events. I am news junky, and, rather than write a blog to express my opinion, I let hot-topic issues flow naturally into the stories I write. I make sure the story itself remains central but I do try to evoke empathy in my readers for the characters central to these news stories. I am careful not to preach or express an opinion on the issues. Examples of this in my novel Anthony are: The bullying Anthony endures when he moves into a new neighborhood, and, later in the book, his intimate relationship with his guardian. His relationships with his African-American roommate and with his own lesbian daughter also did not find their way into my novel accidentally.
About the Author
Harold J. Fischel, a graduate of Washington & Lee University and the NYU School of Law, has lived and worked on four different continents. His family fled the Netherlands shortly after the Nazi invasion, moving to Curacao and Aruba before settling in the United States in 1952.
After law school, Fischel served the US Army in Germany, later retiring as a captain. Since then, he again lived in the Netherlands, before returning to the United States to work for the US subsidiary of a Chinese company.
Fischel is now retired and living in Michigan with his wife, Jan, and their beloved Labrador retriever. He has two daughters, five wonderful grandchildren, and two great sons-in-law. Since retiring, he has published two novels and is working on a third.
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