Interview with Tim 'Dr. Hope' Anders : Page 3 of 3
‘Dr. Hope’ Interview
Q. Do you do live readings? Do you have any coming up?
A. I have done live readings in the past. We have none scheduled for the near future.
Q. You have written books not only for children, but a book for adults about your parent's love story titled "Everybody calls my Father Father" (previously named "The Strength of a Sparrow"). Your mother was an actress, your father a Catholic priest. Did you ever meet your father or have any contact with him? How has the knowledge that your father was a priest affected you as a person?
A. As a youth when I asked about my father, my mother was always vague. I found out later that she was sworn to secrecy by the church. It wasn't until I was about 12 years old that I found out who my father was. My mother and my sister went back to New York and visited him at that time. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough money for me to be included in the trip.
Upon their return, my mother sat me down and told me the story of how she had met and fell in love with my father and that he was, indeed a Catholic priest. She told me how they had hidden their secret love affair for years until finally the church forced their separation by threatening to not take care of my father's medical needs. We had lived with my father until I was about four. Then through a series of strange events, my sister and I ended up in foster care and my mother was branded as an unfit mother for a time. She was able to get us back and we moved to California.
As an adolescent I had long conversations with my mother about her relationship with my father and I suggested to her that she should write a book. Even though she wanted her story told, she was afraid of the repercussions and embarrassment that such a book might cause. After all, my father was a priest and my godfather was in the mob, and her friends were famous celebrities.
I was intrigued with all of my mother's friends, from gangsters to Hollywood celebrities, that played such an integral part in their love story. All of those people have passed, including my mother, so I felt it was time to tell her story to the world and perhaps ignite a spark to change the Catholic Church's unholy and unnatural vow of chastity for their priests.
When I was 17, my mother went to visit my father in New York. As luck would have it, I had snuck into Santa Anita racetrack and made a bet on a horse that won me enough money to finance a plane ride to New York. Shortly after my arrival I found out that my father had died a month or so before. The sadness I felt was overwhelming. On that trip I was able to meet many of the life long friends of whom my mother had told me that had played such an important role in my parents love story.
Indeed, while I named the book, "Everybody Calls My Father, Father" I could have easily named it, "Everybody Calls My Godfather, Godfather." You can read about who they were at: everybodycallsmyfatherfather.com.
Q. Were you able to be with your sister when you were taken away from your mother?
A. Some of the time we were in the same foster homes, and other times we were in different foster homes.
Q. How did you keep the spirit of optimism and humor, taught to you by your mother, despite difficult situations?
A. I'll answer that with a quote from Viktor E. Franki: "Everything can be taken from a person but one thing: the last of human freedoms to choose ones attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose ones own way." I chose to keep my mother's attitude.
Q. Did your mom teach you any lessons not (yet) in books?
A. Why yes, many things. Here's one of many: "You're never too old or too young to learn something new."
Q. What are you working on next?
A. A music CD of all the Jazz tunes I've written. While some of the tunes I've written are on other people's CDs I thought it would be nice for me to perform them.
Q. Would you like to leave us with any thoughts or quotes?
A. Follow your dreams, when life knocks you down get back up and try a different way to solve the problem. Never give up. Dare to fail. Laugh at your failures and learn from them, remember the road to success was paved with failures and of course, eat your spinach.
Q. Thank you so much for this interview, Dr. Hope. Would you like to tell us anything about your children's CDs?
A. In reference to my children's CDs, my friend, actor and comedian, Russ T. Nailz and I had a lot of fun writing and performing them. Again the intention there was to entertain while teaching a valuable life lesson. Each CD has a 'Life Lesson Series' story acted out with talented voice actors, sound effects, and music. In addition, on each CD are several original humorous kid's tunes. The music styles are from Rock 'n' Roll to Rap, a surefire way to make you laugh and tap your feet. •
Connect with Tim 'Dr. Hope' Anders
Learn more about Tim 'Dr. Hope' Anders, his creative projects, books for children and adults and music CDs at his Web sites DrHope.com and LaughingDay.com.
© 2011 Kristi Tencarre. All rights reserved.