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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Welcome Author Neil Hanson

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? How has that childhood dream affected your
current career?

Im sure I went through lots of phases, but two things stand out. First, I wanted to be a writer from
some time around the age of 13 or 14. That always seemed like a bit of a pipe dream - not a way to
“make a living” according to my Midwest upbringing - just not practical enough. The second thing I
wanted to do was to be an architect. I went to college to be an architect for a time, and worked for a
structural engineering firm in my early to mid 20ʼs, where I learned that Im just not cut out for sitting
behind a drafting table all day.

Interestingly, I ended up later in my career evolving into positions and functions that are typically
known as “software architects”. It was quite enlightening to see how much of what I learned during my
time in college pursuing a degree in Architecture and Design translated into the concept of “software
architecture.”

Most of the jobs Ive held during my career have helped me exercise and hone my writing skills in one
way or another, and Ive very fortunate to be at a place in my life and career where I can devote more
of my time and creative energy toward writing for the enjoyment of other folks.

What do you do for fun?

My life is full of hobbies and passions. Ive got them spaced out so they dont overlap too much during
the calendar year. During the winter, I like to backcountry ski when I can - primarily as a way to
maintain a level of fitness. The spring rolls around and I start to get on the bicycle when weather
allows, and later in the spring spend time fishing with my brother. By summer, bicycling season is in
full swing, and some summers I get downright obsessive about it. During the fall Im back to fishing a
bit, but primarily the fall is the peak of the year for me, when I spend as much time as possible
hunting. These days most of my hunting is archery, but I have a son who hunts with rifle, so I hunt
with him whenever he goes. Hunting, too, is something I can get downright obsessive about.

Tell us about your latest book. Do you have anything new in the works and can you tell us a bit about it?

My latest is also my first book. Peace at the Edge of Uncertainty is a story of spiritual growth and
transcendence, though not necessarily in a traditional religious sense. The story centers around some
mystical encounters in a mans life, told within the context of losing someone you love, and the tough
decisions were often called upon to make during those difficult times.

It’s not a religious story, but rather one that helps the reader to ask tough questions, and find the
answers for themselves and within themselves.

How did you come up with the title for your book(s)?

Theres much in life and the world around us that were not equipped to understand well. Throughout
our history, religions have dominated our cultures by trying to answer many of those questions.
Unfortunately, religion many times forces the brakes on us when we start to ask more difficult
questions, or to step outside the comfort zone a religion develops around itself. But real spiritual
growth happens when we ask those tough questions - when we explore those places without easy
answers. Finding peace there in those areas of uncertainty is what the book is about at it’s heart.

How has your environment/ upbringing colored your writing?

Two things were a big part of my upbringing. First is a spirit of questioning - the importance of thinking
for yourself rather than letting somebody feed you their beliefs with a spoon. I wrote a post on this
aspect of my upbringing here. Second was a sense of the importance of solving problems rather than
just talking about them. When you pursue problems and questions with integrity and intellectual
honesty, I just dont see how you can gloss past the tough questions without easy answers. The
ability to find peace in uncertainty is critical to assure you keep your mind open to continuing down
the seekerʼs path.

Where can we find out more about your books?

My website is the best place to start: http://neilhanson.com


“Absolute convictions are for those who watch, not for those who live”. Peace at the Edge of Uncertainty
explores and challenges the “myth of certainty”, weaving the reader carefully along a path that twists
through the thorns of end-of-life decisions that most of us must make on behalf of those we love. It offers
the reader a looking glass into the regrets of missed opportunities that are anchored into the memory of
the narrator.

The poetically poignant story is written in the form of a letter from a man to his deceased father. There are
numerous themes beautifully intermixed throughout the story that invite the reader to truly think, while
drawing on the parallels of their own experiences. The author’s voice that is honest and pure, and the
writing tugs at the heartstrings without being overly sentimental. Readers are encouraged to forego the
simple answers to complex questions. In the narration, the author refuses to spell out the name of God,
using the ancient Judaic tradition of spelling only G-d. This provides an ongoing reminder that our
presumption to truly “know and understand” something will often create a barrier to true understanding
and wisdom, as do the frequently interchanged gender references to divine presence.

Peace at the Edge of Uncertainty is a touching and relatable story for anyone who’s faced the difficult
questioning that coincides with the passing of a loved one. In addition, the book touches on many issues
surrounding this struggling time - reconciling family relationships and questioning the spiritual existence
of life after death. The author’s hope is that readers will reject the myth of certainty, and open themselves
to the Truth and Wisdom that lies just outside the boundaries of our addiction to facts.


PAPERBACK GIVEAWAY (U.S. only)

Neil will giveaway 1 copy of the paperback version of the book to the FIRST person who leaves a comment on your review along with their email address.

EBOOK GIVEAWAY (International)

Neil will giveaway a copy of the ebook version of the book (in the format of their choice) to EVERY personwho leaves a comment on your review along with their email address during the month of September.

REQUIREMENT

We kindly ask that you place the following requirement with your giveaway message:

All entrants will automatically be subscribed to Neil Hanson's email newsletter. Contact information is NEVER shared, and subscribers can unsubscribe at any time.

4 comments:

Tribute Books said...

Thank you Brynna and everyone at You Gotta Read for hosting Neil during his blog tour for Peace at the Edge of Uncertainty.

It's always good to hear from an author firsthand because I think it places his/her book in a new light and a reader can gain a deeper insight into the story behind its creation.

I like how Neil said, "There’s much in life and the world around us that we’re not equipped to understand well. Finding peace there in those areas of uncertainty is what the book is about at it’s heart." What a thought provoking passage.

Tribute Books said...

For anyone who would like to follow Neil on his blog tour, please go to:

http://peaceattheedgeofuncertainty.blogspot.com/

Neil said...

Thanks for posting this interview Brynna - I really appreciate it!

Neil Hanson

Author Brynna Curry said...

Welcome, Neil! Thanks for being here today.