BG: The city of Trenton is of course prominent in the novel.
CK: Trenton is a great location. It has utmost historical significance and was a manufacturing leader in the U.S. until the start of the last century, but Trenton fell apart due to external pressures. In some ways, it's a microcosm of eastern cities, trying to rejuvenate its identity in the postmodern world. I live in Trenton. I write about Trenton as it exists today.
BG: You're raising a family while establishing a writing career.
CK: That's where comedy comes into play. Sleep gets sacrificed. This somehow adds to my sense of humor, or at least, I think it does. Doesn't it?
BG: Boot Means claims he's agnostic, although he's confronted in many ways with religion during the novel.
CK: Boot has no use for religion. He's like his Iroquois mother, although he doesn't realize it yet. Indians don't harbor guilt. There's shame, brought on by shameful behavior, followed by an opportunity to rectify that shame. When you make amends, you move past it. You don't wear a scarlet 'A' forever.
BG: Is there life beyond Boot Means?
CK: In my next novel, The Winners Circle, I poke fun at millionaire lottery winners and the misery brought on by their own cash-loaded decisions. That one was a lot of fun to write. In the end, it's a love story too.
The Trenton Times © 2002