Stephen Metcalfe's latest novel is The Practical Navigator. From his Q&A with Deborah Kalb:
Q: How was your new novel's title selected, and what does it signify for you?--Marshal Zeringue
A: The title refers to a book on marine navigation. The American Practical Navigator is by Nathaniel Bowditch. It starts with – and I quote – “Marine navigation blends both science and art. The science of navigation can be taught, but the art of navigation must be developed from experience.” This sounded a lot like everyday life to me.
Q: As a parent of a son with autism, how did your own life affect your creation of the characters of Michael and Jamie?
A: I am the proud father of an 18-year old-son on the autism spectrum. The last thing I ever expected. A life changer. Asperger’s, the doctor’s assistant said.
My wife and I didn’t even know what the word meant. We looked it up. It was 2002, the net was in its infancy and there wasn’t a lot out there, but what there was suggested...[read on]