Thursday January 21, 2016
In 2012, John Cort-Desrochers stated that in all probability his novel Oh No, Not Again!!!, would be the last book he would author in his lifetime. To most, this may have seemed a reasonable prediction; after all, the author was turning 75 at the time. But hold the presses - or rather - let them roll because Cort-Desrochers recently announced the publication of his seventh book, Perdition and Redemption. Not only a sequel to his 2012 novel, it is a feat of creativity for any writer, let alone one who is 78 years old.
Cort-Desrochers said he was inspired to write a follow-up to Oh No, Not Again!!!, because readers of the book did not like the ending. He said, “They wondered how could God leave things in this state of affairs?” It was then Cort-Desrochers said he thought of the sequel. As he writes in the forward to Perdition and Redemption, “It is not done until it is done.”
According to Cort-Desrochers, the word redemption in the sequel’s title came from a neighbor. “I figured if there was to be redemption, there had to be a downfall, hence a perdition,” said the author. However, Cort-Desrochers changes the order, putting the redemption last, saying, “There has to be a storm before the sunshine.”
Born July 11, 1937 to Felix and Marie Anna Desrochers, in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, Cort-Desrochers describes himself as “the baby of the family.” He attended St. Gabriel Grammar School, Oblate Seminary in Bucksport, Maine, and St. Johnsbury Academy, Class of ‘54. He obtained his Bachelor of Science in Education from Lyndon Teachers College in 1958, and followed that by earning a Masters in Education from St. Michael’s College.
In 2008, the author penned a memoir about his own French Canadian family. The book titled Up from Maple Street tells how his family rose out of poverty through hard work, perseverance, and education to achieve the American dream. It chronicles Cort-Desrochers’ life from his early years, including those at Lyndon Teachers College and the various schools where he taught. All totaled, he worked in Vermont’s public education system for 36 years.
When asked what inspires him to write, Cort-Desrochers gives a simple but compelling answer, “Just to show I can do it.” This response may resonate with writers of all genres, as the seemingly simplistic key to writing is the doing of it. Cort-Desrochers’ advice to get started is to write about something familiar. In addition, he says, “When deciding to write, set a time that you accept each day to do nothing else but write. Sit in your favorite spot each day; don’t jump from spot to spot.” Cort-Desrochers is speaking the same language as many others who give creative advice. In her book, The Creative Habit, Twyla Tharp writes, “A lot of habitually creative people have preparation rituals linked to the setting in which they choose to start their day. By putting themselves into that environment, they start their creative day.” It is apparent with his seventh novel; Cort-Desrochers is onto something.
For this author, the preferred time of day to write is late morning and early afternoon. Cort-Desrochers states he often writes longhand, but also uses the computer to compose at times. The author credits his wife for helping him learn how to use her laptop, since “My computer, like me, is on its’ way out.”
Cort-Desrochers reports that he is currently in a hospice program and mostly homebound. Reflecting on his writing, he says, “I think of Grandma Moses in her eighties and me in my late seventies,” and adds, “I want to leave a legacy.” With a family, a career in education, seven books with their millions of words, indeed, Cort-Desrochers has left much more than that.
SOURCE: Carole Vasta Folley, Contributor