Hero Interview from Relentless Pursuit by Kathy Herman

» Posted on May 4, 2012 in Blog | Comments Off on Hero Interview from Relentless Pursuit by Kathy Herman

This week I’m hosting Janice Hanna (Thompson) with Wedding Belles, Ruth Reid with Brush of Angel’s Wings and Kathy Herman with Relentless Pursuit.  If you want to enter the drawings for the books, please leave a comment on one of the post during the week with your email address. I will not enter you without an email address (my way to contact you if you win). If you don’t want to leave an email address, another way you can enter is to email me at margaretdaley@gmail.com. The drawings end Sunday (May 6th) evening.

Hero Interview from Relentless Pursuit by Kathy Herman:

1. Who are you and what is the most interesting thing about you?

My name is Sax Henry. I live in New Orleans and play the saxophone in a Jazz band called Smooth Blues. I changed my name from Michael Austin Sieger to Sax Michael Henry when I realized that the saxophone was as much a part of me as breathing. Plus, I wanted to sever ties to my dysfunctional background, and a new name seemed like a good start.

2.What do you do for fun?

Truthfully, I’m not sure I even know how to have fun. My life’s a train wreck.  I left an abusive home when I was seventeen and went on tour with a rock band. That left my mom and kid sister, Shelby, to defend themselves against my old man, who was a mean drunk. I regret that decision and have never gotten past the guilt. Each of my three ex wives tried to convince me I should see a shrink. I never did. I couldn’t get up the courage to go talk about something that painful and shameful with a stranger. So … having fun isn’t something that comes naturally to me.  But if this counts as fun, I do love to eat authentic Cajun cuisine, and the best I’ve ever tasted was at Zoe B’s Cajun Eatery in Les Barbes, Louisiana.

3.What do you put off doing because you dread it?

I’ve put off scattering my parents’ ashes which, at present, are in two urns in my closet. It’s hard to explain why I haven’t let them go. I don’t fully understand it myself, but I’m sure it’s connected to my turbulent childhood—to Dad’s abuse and Mom’s pretending everything was hunky-dory. I have so much anger that I can’t decide whether to scatter their ashes in the gulf –or just dump them in the landfill. So I haven’t done anything. Plus I think my sister, Shelby, should have a say in how it’s done. And I haven’t had any contact with her in twenty-eight years.

4.What are you afraid of most in life?

I’m most afraid of living with this pain—this terrible depression—that has haunted me ever since I left home on my seventeenth birthday. I was a coward for leaving without making sure Shelby was removed from that abusive environment. Truth is, I was afraid my dad would kill my mom if Shelby was taken out of there. I suspected Dad was having his way with Shelby, but no one ever talked about it. So I just pretended it wasn’t happening. I was a master at pretending. I did go back several times and pleaded with Mom to leave him and take Shelby, but she wouldn’t. I couldn’t understand her stubborn loyalty to the man who kept hurting her children, so I left—for good.

5.What do you want out of life?

PEACE! I just want the pain to stop.

6.What is the most important thing to you? Finding my sister. Telling her how sorry I am for leaving her helpless.  Our parents are dead now, and I need to find Shelby and see if there’s any chance she can forgive me—any chance that she and I might have a relationship. Finding her has consumed me for the past three years, since Mom died. It’s all I think about.

7.Do you read? If so, what is your favorite type of book to read?

I enjoy just about any book that takes me to a different time and place. When Shelby and I were kids, I read to her from a book of fables my mom had when she was a little girl. But when things at home erupted and got scary, Shelby and I would run away and climb the bluffs—to Story Rock. We would hide there, and I would make up tales to take her mind off the situation. I loved that I could make the hero anyone I wanted, and all the stories could end “happily ever after.” I got to call the shots. It was the only control I had in my life.

8.If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I’d be a happy person. Someone who looks forward to the future and has no regrets.

9.Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet?

They don’t’ allow pets in the apartment where I live. But if I could choose a pet, I’d rescue a dog from the humane society. I have a real soft spot for abused and lost animals. Guess it’s a carryover from my childhood. I’m not sure what kind I’d pick. Probably the one with the saddest eyes and do everything in my power to make it happy.

10. If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?

I would go back to my seventeenth birthday, to the house I grew up in. I’d put away my guitar and unpack my suitcase. I’d forget about going on tour with the rock band and stay home.  I’d face the future like a man and do whatever it took to get my mom and Shelby away from my dad. I will always wonder how different my life might have been if I’d been strong enough to stand up to him.