5 questions with Michael Kilpatrick

By: Megan Wood The Press Tribune
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Granite Bay resident and soon to be new author has penned a short story for the newest installment of “Chicken Soup for the Soul, All in the Family.” A recently retired sales director with the California Lottery, Kilpatrick said he found inspiration in the eccentricities of his family and turned a hobby into a story for the book. 1. Is this your first published work as an author? “Yes, I’ve always had an interest in writing and have written in all of the jobs I’ve held, but never creative writing. I had a lot of experience writing reports and sales plans. I really have a lot of material though with my family being full of weirdos. I really have a lot of stories about them that could fill several books.” 2. Why “Chicken Soup for the Soul?” “After I retired last December, one of the things I really wanted to do was to start writing. I took a class at Sierra College and the professor, Bud Gardner, really inspired me. He had all of these good ideas with what to do with writing, which I needed because I had no idea how to get my ideas out there. One of his ideas was “Chicken Soup for the Soul” and it just so happened that when I went to their Web site they were working on a book about families. I submitted my story back in March and about a month later they said my story was being considered. In August I got the word that it was official and they were going to use it, I was thrilled. It’s a good thing they decided to use it; my wife started telling people I was going to be published before we even knew for sure.” 3. How did you choose a story to submit? “I hadn’t really read a lot of Chicken Soup so I didn’t know if they went for the kind of humor I was writing. I thought they were more about the serious stories or inspirational stories. I had a story about my grandfather picking up eggs at the farm after he’d been drinking but I didn’t feel like that was appropriate. This story, “Stevie and the Outhouse” I’d been telling for years to embarrass my younger brother. It’s a funny story about him in the outhouse with a surprise ending. He was a strange kid, so it makes for a funny story.” 4. Any other writing projects in the works? “I just finished a children’s book that is a bedtime story I used to tell my daughter. It was her favorite as a kid. It’s written for 3-5 year old kids and it’s called “The Princess and the Unicorn.” My daughter, Megan, who’s all grown up now illustrated part of it and I’m having it finished by another artist. I also have a lot of stories already written about my family and I have enough ideas for stories to fill books. I have lots of material; I just need to get it down. I don’t really consider myself an author, but I’ve always liked to write. And I’m funnier when I write than when I tell stories, so it works out.” 5. Besides writing, what are your other hobbies? “I love being at home now that I’m retired. I’ve been trying to fix up our house and enjoy being at home. I have always loved to travel, too. We travel to Hawaii, Michigan and Europe. My favorite city in Europe is Venice, all the canals are so beautiful and inspiring. And the little streets are so narrow and winding you just get lost. Europe is so rich with history too, which is wonderful.” Look for “Chicken Soup for the Soul: All in the Family” in bookstores or online Oct. 20.