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Author Mitch Albom is contemplating 'getting older' in his first new work of fiction--'The Time Keeper'--in six years.
FILE/CARLOS OSORIO/ASSOCIATED PRESS
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BY B.J. HAMMERSTEIN
Detroit Free Press
When it comes to Mitch Albom, the best-selling author, the thing everyone agrees on is that he's a busy man who's frequently time-challenged.
In "The Time Keeper," his first fictional work since "For One More Day" was published six years ago, Albom explores the eternal question of time. He shared his thoughts about the new book.
What inspired you to write about time at this point in your life?
Getting older. There's been a lot of sickness and death in my family the last few years. When that happens, it's really inevitable--you start to look at how much time you have yourself there's that picture of Father Time people have and I just started to wonder what's the story behind him. I started to do more and more research, and then I realized that there wasn't a story about Father Time.
Most people, as you write, think the trick is to have as much time as possible.
Right. We want more time, but why? So we can work longer or be more efficient? You can live for 200 years and blow every one of them or you can have 20 years and live every one of them to the hilt. But if you really live forever, there won't be any need for those emotions that make us human beings: loss, sadness, joy, happiness. All those things have to have a counter. You can't be happy without also being sad. If we have all the time in the world, we can do anything, everything. And then, really, nothing that makes us who we are matters.
I'm probably as guilty as anyone for not cherishing the time we have.
I don't write these books from up high. I write them from down low. Every single book is me trying to slap myself in my own face, saying I need to do this.
I'd love to say I got every one of the "Tuesdays with Morrie" lessons and I've kept to all of them perfectly. But that's just not true. I fail every day at something. I write my books as much for myself as I do for the readers.
With information now at our fingertips in an instant, are we even more guilty of not appreciating our time?
I think everything is going so fast that we're losing ourselves. And, because everything is going so fast, the only thing that seems to matter is to go faster.
Are you already plotting the next project?
I am going to try and get things out faster now Hopefully, about every two years or so, we'll have something new coming out.
(Laughs) I have a lot of story ideas, I could just never make the time.