An Interview with Rod A. Walters

What inspired you to write Golden Gremlin?

A dream one night.

Kidding. Don’t believe people who say that.

The thing grew as different ideas & topics piled up. No exciting personal story here, just basic writer stuff: one essay at a time, one draft at a time, one edit at a time, 10 “final” proofs at a time.

What is the significance of the title?

The book was written by a wise-aleck senior writer, me, who often prefers his own company—a golden gremlin and happy misanthrope. I have noticed how most people, especially and shamefully me too, wear an invisible but obvious sign on their backs, “I don’t brake for seniors.” Well, bad for me, both ways. A small, vigorous push from us goldens with some timely experience to share, just might get a small audience to sit down and listen for a minute or two. If there’s a chair behind them. Or a beer on a nearby table. As I say on a “Gremlin” lead page, what good is your experience if you don’t help someone else with it?

How long did it take you to write Golden Gremlin?

A year and one-half, because I seem to edit everything 19 times.

Do you have a favorite story in the book?

Sigh. All the un-favorites got pitched into the trash bag before publishing. I suppose I’d give my Naughty Award to “When Hell Froze Over.” I suspect that many readers would not vote this one their favorite, though, as it pokes humor at some environmentalists’ exaggerations, and maybe worse, it’s longer than most of the other pieces. It truly brings out the gremlin boy in me. Still, I can’t imagine too many not letting a chuckle or two loose when reading it. Oh heavens, the piece can be read in only six and one-half short minutes, tops!

Well also, under duress, “The Vacuum is Mightier than the Pen” (or else). It’s a weensy three minutes to read.

What do you hope people will get out of this book?

Their wallets. Oh wait, I have that backwards.

Well, then, laughter. Above all, get some laughs out of “Gremlin”! Most readers will surely find that most of the pieces have humorous patches, because they are also true. Mostly. Anyone not finding something funny in the book should go get an immediate refund back into their wallet; with my blessings.

What was the hardest part about writing the book?

Finding a hard surface to write on. This is not smart-alecky. My first notes and drafts are all written with pen & legal pad. This makes a squishy writing surface useless, except for raising my temper, and that’s pretty useless too.

How long have you been writing?

24 years, at least intentionally.

What are some of the other books you have out?

Previous books have all been poetry (“Toxic Assets,” the last one), all nonfiction of course. People don’t buy poetry, so no more of that fun for a long while.

Are you planning another book?

Three, actually. “Captain [OF] America: Old Enough to Know Better—And I Do,” an equally poking look at the world’s greatest problems: Money, Politics, and Religion. [Summer, 2018]

“OPORD: Did I Kill Somebody?” composed of military-based essays built around the Army’s so-named “Five Paragraph Field Order,” or Operations Order—the OPORD. [Fall, 2018]

“A Cat’s Guide to Global Warming,” no subtitle necessary. Yet. [some time after the above 2]

Thank you for asking me that—you are my hero for life for a month!

Do you have a website?

Yes,, but it truly sucks as of Feb, 2018. It will be improved by summer.

NOT kidding.


Thank you for the interview. It made me chuckle, and that makes you my hero for life for—all time.

Rod Walters lives in Rochester, New York, with his wife, and somewhat human step-cat. “Walters” is a writing name, but those who know him easily recognizes him from that mediocre head shot, improved by an excellent quality B&W film. He spent the first part of his working life as an Army officer, then a corporate engineer. Now he writes.


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