Monday, January 24, 2011
My Interview: Dan Harrington, author of Who's At the Door
Dan Harrington is a freelance writer in Maine whose work has appeared in LDS Church News, The Kennebec Journal and Village Soup. "Who's at the Door?" is his first book.
Cheri: I read in your author bio that you once tried to interview a talking Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Now that you’re a little older, who is the person you’d want to interview the most?
Dan: Gosh, that's a tough one! There are so many possibilities. I've always been a fan of Arnold Schwarzenegger, so probably him.
Cheri: I’ve lived in AZ, OK, and UT, and visited a few other states, including NY. But that’s about the extent of my travels. Augusta, Maine is a place on a map to me. What is it like to live in Maine?
Dan: Get ready to be surrounded by trees, trees, and more trees. Mainers think trees make the best neighbors.
Maine is very spread out and our cities are small compared to most places. Our largest city, Portland, has a population of roughly 65,000, so it's about a third the size of Salt Lake City.
We have a beautiful landscape and rugged coastline. One thing that's unique about Maine is that there are no billboards anywhere in the state—they're actually illegal. There's a strong sense of keeping the land as pristine as possible.
Cheri: Your Spock reference in the first chapter made me giggle a little. Are you a sci-fi fan?
Dan: Absolutely. I've always loved Sci-Fi and Fantasy.
Cheri: I particularly appreciated your “Note from the Author” at the beginning of the book. It’s true that being a church investigator can be solitary, particularly if you receive little support from your family. Did your family support your investigation into the LDS Church?
Dan: They were actually indifferent to it. They thought the LDS Church was fine but showed no great interest in my studies.
They did enjoy watching some of the LDS videos I got from the missionaries such as the Restoration video and the Testaments DVD, so they thought the LDS Church could make cool movies, but they saw them as good, inspiring tales, nothing more.
I wound up watching “The Work and the Glory” one weekend, and my mother thought it was great.
Cheri: Before meeting the Elders, did you ever consider that a twenty-year-old man could be so centered, humble or straight-forward? What were you like at twenty?
Dan: No because most of the 20 year olds I know are either very cocky and unemployed (strange how those two go together) or lost and still feeling life out.
I definitely fit into the latter category. I was a real dreamer filled with ideals but also very shy. One reason I connected with the missionaries is because they tend to be idealistic.There's something very energetic about that age whether you're meeting LDS elders or even volunteers in the Peace Corp.
Thanks, Dan. I really enjoyed getting to know you.
Remember, readers, you're going to want to check out Dan's BLOG, Mike's BLOG, and Maggie's BLOG for our newest installments this week. And if you need a refresher on my contest rules, click HERE.