Wednesdays Are for Writers: Eric Mondschein Author Profile

Dr. Eric S. Mondschein has taught law and education and published and edited numerous articles and books in the field. He has worked for the US government in various capacities and directed an award-winning education program for the New York State Bar Association. He served as an advisor for an international NGO in Haifa, Israel, in external affairs, security, government relations, and human rights.  He also served as the citizen representative of The Post Star editorial board in 2009 and 2018. 

He currently resides in Queensbury, New York with his wife, Ginny. They have two grown children Adam and Emily, a son in law, Kamal, a daughter in law, Yaani, and grandchildren Annie, Nathanael, and Eli.

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Life at 12 College Road now has an audio version and I am so pleased that my son Adam Mondschein does the reading. He is a an actor on stage and screen,  and I really am excited with his reading. He brings each story to life in just the right way and captures each moment and feeling as I pictured.

 

How did you come up with the idea for your book, Life at 12 College Road?

I had not intended to write this book at all.  I was on a mission to write an action/adventure thriller and was attending a writer’s retreat in Maine several years ago to do just that. But I wasn’t getting anywhere with it, so I decided to take a short nap. As fate would have it, the idea for Life at 12 College Road came to me while I was dreaming, or perhaps during that period of time just before awakening.

I recalled sitting at the dining room table where I had shared Sunday dinners with my family growing up. As I sat at the table, I realized the other three chairs had been tilted forward so that their ladder-backs rested against it. They were obviously no longer of use. And it was then that I remembered what had been bothering me: I was alone. You see, my mom, dad, and younger brother have all passed on without me. They are exploring new worlds and I have been left behind. Heck, even my dog is gone. 

It was that realization, those memories, which provided the impetus for me to put my novel on the shelf and write Life at 12 College Road. The book is a collection of thirty-three “real life” short stories that, when taken as a whole, paint a mosaic of a time and place both familiar and distant. Although they fit together, each piece of the mosaic can be viewed and enjoyed on its own, and each provides a different glimpse into the world of growing up in 1950s and 60s America.

In time, I may get back to the novel, as every once in while I think I hear the characters trying to talk to me.

Everyone has their own style/voice, but what author would you say your work most resembles

That is a tough question. I have listened a lot to stories by Garrison Keillor and have always enjoyed his writing. And I was quite humbled when a review of my book was posted on Amazon.com suggesting that if you liked Garrison Keillor you would like my book. So I guess I would have to say my writing in a small way may resemble that of Garrison Keillor. Perhaps it’s more so because of the subject matter of the stories rather than the writing. My style however may be similar as I do try to write as if I am sitting in front a few close friends, and telling them a story. So I guess my writing style is one of storytelling. I want the reader to feel that I am talking to them and sharing something of value to me.

What writing project(s) are you working on now?

I would like to tell you that after I finished writing Life at 12 College Road I wrote the action/thriller novel I had always wanted to write. But that is not the case. I co-authored a monograph and teaching supplement for the Education Law Association (ELA) with a colleague and friend, Ellery (Rick) Miller, on the subject of sexual harassment and bullying. It’s called Sexual Harassment and Bullying: Similar, but Not the Same, and is was published in the fall of 2015. The monograph explores the current legal developments in the areas of sexual harassment and bullying K-12. It also examines strategies for developing and implementing policies and training to create an educational environment that allows each student to feel safe and secure, and to ensure a safe school environment conducive to learning. After the monograph and the annual updates through last year, I am now working on a short story Dinner at Grandma’s. It’s a story about family, coming of age, and the unique politics of family in the 1950’s. I am also working on a piece with Ellery (Rick) Miller on our working relationship and friendship that has evolved over forty years.

Check out Life at 12 College Road on Amazon.

Check out 25 Servings of SOOP on Amazon.

 

 

 

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