The Questions with Jerry Gentry: #TeamOrange edition


As I’ve said in previous posts, I am a proud member of #TeamOrange, a group of writers who banded together to create the anthology Orange Karen: A Tribute to a Warrior, with all proceeds going to help fellow writer Karen DeLabar and her family pay for medical expenses associated with her bout with Toxic Shock Syndrome.

me and the babeGuest #7 (my lucky number) for the #TeamOrange edition of The Questions is Jerry Gentry. Like so many of my guests, I met Jerry online in a writers’ group, and we hit it off immediately. Sadly, we have never met in person, but Facebook put our pics together once, so it’s only a matter of time before we get to meet IRL. (We hope.) (And don’t ask me why he put his name on top of his photo, and not my name on mine. Because I do not know.)

The #TeamOrange Questions

a. How/why are you a member of #TeamOrange?

I met Karen via Twitter. It turns out we share a birthday, although my ownership of that date precedes hers by several decades. Then I found out she lives very close to where I grew up. There seemed to be something right in befriending her. It is hard not to like Karen. She has such an honest and engaging character and great smile. And she’s smart.

b. What is the title of your story? Describe it in 25 words or less.

“Little Wing”. It is about helping each other to meet challenges straight on and not giving up. There’s winged creatures battling a tremendous storm, too. And a hot chick.

That’s more than 25 words. You can contact my editor if you need them cut back. She wields an awesome syntactic knife.

(dSavannah note: Yeah. She’s cool like that. {I’m his editor, in case you’re wondering.} {Tho I did not actually edit his story in the anthology… Hmmm…}  Also, we both think the song “Little Wing” is one of the best ever. He prefers the one by Jimi Hendrix. I pretty much like ‘em all, except for the karaoke versions. Those are just wrong.)

c. Karen has been called a warrior because of her fighting spirit and will to live. Who else inspires you because they fight for good?

I live in Connecticut, about 10 miles from Newtown. I am also an avid runner. This year has shown me that average people are capable of amazingly inspirational actions. The teachers in Newtown who protected the lives entrusted to them and the many bystanders who walked back into the smoke at the Boston Marathon to help total strangers affirmed that we are fundamentally good. We shouldn’t lose sight of that or have to witness another catastrophe to be reminded of that again.

(dSavannah note: Beautifully put.)

d. What causes/non-profits are near and dear to your heart? Why?

I am a big fan of The Hole in the Wall Gang, a charity started by Paul Newman. The idea of giving kids with issues some time to raise a little hell and be kids is just brilliant. Kids deserve to laugh and have fun. And be safe. Paul was a great talent, but I never get the impression that he was carried away with himself. He let his work and his deeds speak for themselves. I plan to do a run later this year on behalf of that fine organization.

The (Regular) Questions

7. What was the name of your first pet and what was it?

There may have been a cat that predated my birth, so I won’t count that. My actual first pet, the one that was mine, was a turtle. It was one of those drug store turtles that were sold by the millions when I was a kid. The ones they found out had all kinds of diseases. I named it Myrtle. Not very original, but for a 6 or 7 year old, I thought it great. I had a little plastic pen for it that I changed the water in every day or so. Myrtle ate eggs that we got and little bits of lettuce. She was only about an inch and a half big, but I spent hours just watching her.

One day I was off at school and came home and Myrtle looked different. I noticed it immediately. My original Myrtle had kicked the bucket and my Mom ran out and got a replacement hoping I wouldn’t notice. She spent time trying to find one that matched, but I had memorized my Myrtle. I cried, but got over it pretty soon and the second Myrtle did fine. For a while.

(dSavannah note: and I have a turtle now. Her name is Jilly, which is way more original. And named after a character by one of my very favorite authors, Charles de Lint.)

9. What is a guilty pleasure?

Jerry Gentry's Guilty PleasureOK. There is this little bakery in the downtown area where I live. Keep in mind, downtown here is the intersection of two roads. It’s called The Goodie Shop and the baker makes the best black and white cookies. —————->
A couple times a week, if I run enough miles, I will go down there in the afternoon and have one along with a cup of coffee while I read on my Kindle. Now that it is warming up, I will start running down there. Burn off the calories before they can attach to my stomach.

(dSavannah note: Jerry kindly provided that photo. And now my stomach is growling. Great.)

13. Are you a morning person or a night owl?

A morning person. Some of my earliest memories are of waking up and sitting with my Dad as he got ready for work. Everyone else was asleep, but I would see the light on and go and sit with him while he shaved. He had to be at work by 7am so he was up at 5:30am or so. I still get up a 5:30am. It is so engrained that I don’t even set an alarm clock anymore. My internal clock is accurate within + or – 5 minutes. Scary, isn’t it?

(dSavannah note: Terribly. Especially since if I’m up at 5:30am, that means I haven’t yet fallen asleep.)

18. Your work space: neat or messy?

Yes. The top of my desk is usually in a state that needs attention, but the contents of the drawers are orderly. I remember people I worked with who had perfectly neat desks all the time, but if you opened a drawer it was a complete jumble, like they had just scraped off the top of the desk into it and walked away. If I do something like that I’ll lose everything. That said, about every 3-4 months I do clean up the top of my desk, but it is a losing battle. I am building a new desk now and am trying to design it so it will be easier to keep orderly.

(dSavannah note: Your editor requests that you change one of the usages of the word “orderly” so as to limit the repetition.)

35. Tell me one random fact about you that not a lot of people know.

My real name is not Jerry Gentry. I don’t mean that Jerry Gentry is a pen name. It is my legal name. But, I was born Gerald Grskovich. Don’t try your spell check on that, there are four consonants in a row. When I was a freshman in high school we changed our last name and I changed my first name to the one I had always been called. It is a Hungarian name. My Dad was Hungarian and Yugoslavian. My Mom was Italian. I am very Mediterranean.

It’s funny. A few years ago I was walking down a street in NYC with Georg, who worked for me. He was German and was in town for a staff meeting I was holding. As we walked he asked me where I was from. I answered Connecticut, but by way of Pennsylvania and Arizona. He stopped me and asked where were my parents from. Ahh! He wanted to know my heritage. He said it fascinated him that Americans can all talk about where they are from. He was German. He could trace his ancestry in the same region of Frieburgh back to the 1400s. It gave me a different perspective on ancestry.

(dSavannah note: Oh my gosh! I had no idea! I’m totally fascinated with names. Also, I corrected your error “is was”. You’re welcome. Any other typos in this post are due to my extreme tiredness, and I kindly beg that you overlook them.)

About Jerry:

Jerry Gentry photosJerry Gentry has been an IT professional most of his life. He learned to program using punch cards. It was a good experience because he figured out he wasn’t born to code. Writing and reading have always been in his life, but it wasn’t until 2005 that he wrote his first book. It is a sci-fi, space opera that is in serious need of revision. His second book, SYN:FIN, has been published. It is the first in a series that he is working on. When he is not working or trying to be a parent and husband instead of the kid he yearns to be, he goes out running. In sandals. Which kind of lets him be a kid because he takes pictures and explores with a childlike perspective. All good writers are like kids. That is his theory and he is not going to change it.

dSavannah notes on the photos:
First of all, Jerry is the first member of #TeamOrange to send me so many photos. For some reason, this makes me laugh, and reminds me again of why we get along so well: we’re both photographers, so I would do the same thing. If you read my About page, you’ll see I have three photos rotating. I have more I’d like to add, but I’ve just been too lazy.

  • Photos #1 & #3 – Jerry is also a musician. He plays guitar. I can’t wait til someday we can jam together – him playing, me singing.
  • Photo #2 – Jerry sez: “This is my actual footprint taken during a run I had on a trail the morning after a rain. I was wearing running sandals.”
  • Photo #4 – Jerry went out for a run soon after the tragedy at the Boston Marathon. When he took off his over-shirt, he realized he had on this one. And it made him feel proud and sad, all at the same time.
  • Photo #5 – This is from his days as a professional cyclist. Just kidding. But he is wearing some sort of cycling gear. And I can’t remember why. And he’s asleep right now (it is almost 2am), and he might get mad if I call him to find out.

Find Jerry:

  • His Blog, where he talks about writing and running and photographing
  • Twitter
  • Buy his book on Amazon (paperback and Kindle) (dSavannah note: this will be a collector’s edition someday, after Jerry finishes books 2 & 3 {and maybe 4 & 5} and I edit them all and it gets re-released)

Learn more about the authors and Karen’s story:

Buy the Book:

The anthology is available in paperback for $14.95 and in ebook for $3.99.

  • CreateSpace – paperback (purchasing this version gives Karen and her family the most money)
  • Amazon – paperback
  • Amazon – kindle

Other ways to help:

More ramblings / other posts you might want to read...


About dSavannah

~ #disabled #spoonie fighting numerous, chronic, painful #InvisibleIllnesses ~ also #wife #feminist #ally #advocate #papyrophiliac #DogCatTurtleWrangler
This entry was posted in #TeamOrange, author, books, e-book, editing, editors, fantasy, friends, giving to others, humor, inspiration, kindle, making a difference, music, paperback, perseverance, sci-fi, technology, The Questions, writershelpingwriters, writing. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Questions with Jerry Gentry: #TeamOrange edition

  1. Betsy says:

    Still enjoying getting to know these authors from Team Orange. Jerry must be smart to have you as an editor. Love the answers and the pictures.

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