JEFF LEITCH: SAVING OUR PENNYS IS THE ULTIMATE STORY OF REDEMPTION
Posted by Ognian Georgiev
Jeff Leitch made his author debut with “Saving Our Pennys“. The novel was co-writed with Roy Dimond, who was one of our previous guests. It’s always interesting to hear about the excitement of debuting writter. Did I mention that “Saving Our Pennys” is my preferable style – non-fiction?
– Jeff, How would you describe Saving Our Pennys?
– Hello Ognian! Before I start, I would like to “Thank-You” for the opportunity to speak with you. My great friend, and Co-Author, Roy Dimond, extends his appreciation as well. Saving Our Pennys is a non-fiction story of a family man who seemingly has his life in control and has every reason to be happy. Yet happiness is only fleeting for him during certain times of his day, his weeks and months, and with great angst, our main character undertakes great pains to uncover who he is, after searching the depths of his ego. It is the ultimate story of redemption and finding the magic in our lives. Saving Our Pennys is a story for those who dare to believe that hope forever carries the day. This true story will change your life…
– When and why did you decide to write the story?
– At the beginning of my teaching career, (I can hardly believe it was twenty years ago), I had the great fortune to work with my educational mentor Roy Dimond. He was on the cusp of retirement as a Youth Worker, and after many conversations we realized that so many of our questions of people, whether they were school-age or about to take their last breath, echoed so much about humanity and each of our purpose waking up every day. As we worked with youth in crisis in our school, we realized that these kids reflected so much of the heartache and greatness of the human spirit that their story must be told. We channeled our efforts into a main character – Penny – who is real, and the story of Saving Our Pennys evolved over the course of a calendar year.
– What was the biggest challenge during the write-up process?
– The biggest challenge really wasn’t through the writing, or the story, but understanding the nuances and subtleties of the publishing industry. Roy and I learned, sometimes brutally and candidly, that the publishing world seems cold and unforgiving. Neither Roy, nor myself are particularly fazed by criticism and we both believed that this story had “legs.” After a while, we realized that “No” just simply meant “Not now.” We knew it was just a matter of time before Saving Our Pennys would be published, bound and printed. Thank you Grey Gate Media!
– How did you create the main character?
– A great question Ognian. Penny was a student that Roy worked with under the most horrific of situations. Her story is real and she was the inspiration – the signature student and the face of so many youth we worked with who struggle to survive every day. Penny’s story is nothing short of remarkable.
– Explain the joint writing process? How did you organize the writing with Roy?
– Co-writing is a fantastic way to write a book. When Roy retired he moved to a small coastal community about two hours north of me and my family. Saving Our Pennys became a “talking stick” as we mailed and / or emailed chapters, or pieces of chapters back and forth over the course of a year. This year allowed us to understand the feelings that a year’s four seasons does to each of us. How we move from Fall to Winter to Spring to Summer is a magical window of change. This tapestry of nature is a vital piece of the many bridges we all walk from light to dark, day to night, and sunset to sunrise. Nature’s wonderment through the eyes of all our characters gives the reader so much to identify with. In some of the wonderful feedback we have received, nature’s might and quiet have awoken many a person from unconsciousness.
– Who are you?
– I love this question. I have been asked this question many times over the course of the last five months, and my answer hasn’t changed much, although the first time I was asked, it took me a month to answer. I am a believer of hope, dreams and that there is no such thing as the impossible. In short, I am a “Magic Protector.” I am a man who is loyal, a forever friend, and a teammate for life. My wife, kids and dog have been a blessing, and they remind me of how lucky I was to grow up with my two brothers, under the watchful caring hand of our parents, Bill and Sharon Leitch, who made our childhoods magical. I love them for this. Now it is my turn to protect the magic; it is the most precious honour an adult has to give – even to other adults.
– Top 3 favorite authors?
– My three favourite authors? Wow… that is tough to narrow down, but the ones that immediately spring to mind are Stephen King for his ability to scare me with the lights on and the windows open, Dirk Hayhurst for taking me back into the world of locker rooms, Big League dreams and the magic of sport, and Jane Leavy for writing a masterpiece Biography entitled Sandy Koufax: A Lefty’s Legacy.
– Do you plan to write another book?
– Absolutely. I have a couple of embers stirring my writing soul. Although I would like to write a book on my own, I would also welcome the journey of co-writing with Roy Dimond again. We really understand each other, and we enjoy the war stories of life and sport that come out of our down times as well.
– Beer, wine or whiskey?
– An ice cold beer to remind me of my friends, family and teammates who I’ve laughed, cried and spilt blood with in my life. A stiff whiskey to remind me of the fallen, – and to never forget those who I raised my pints of beer with.
– When will the aliens make contact?
– Ha-ha… Based on some of the behaviours I witness daily, I’d say they’ve arrived in full force.
– If you have a chance to ask one question to President Obama, what it will be?
– Wow, a great question to finish the interview! I am intrigued how Obama learned to have such great poise. A person with such poise has great conviction and patience, and must have endured and / or felt deep pain. I suppose the real question I would ask him is if he would tell me his life story. He evokes great compassion and tapping into his world would be fascinating.
Look at Jeff’s blog
Check out here Saving Our Pennys