The latest segment of “Author’s Corner” in America Tonight with Kate Delaney features Dr. Walter R. Hoge, author of the book Easter: McEaster Valley (ReadersMagnet; 2020).
Easter: McEaster Valley is a unique and earthy tale that is reminiscent of William P. Young’s The Shack, in that it was written to the authors’ children and that it serves as a parable that there is more to life than glitter and gold and that sometimes, the places where we get lost are exactly where we need to be.
Kate Delaney described Easter: McEaster Valley as “beautiful” and the content as “incredible”. “He’s written a book that makes you just wanna hang out with him like (for) a week,” she remarked to her audience. She also added, “I love the illustrations.”
What the book is all about?
Dr. Hoge, who is a veterinarian, shared his inspiration and journey writing Easter: McEaster Valley.
“My wife passed away from cancer, and I had a friend whose wife also passed away. He said, ‘You know, when your wife passes, you’re going to have things happen to your mind that you won’t believe could happen.’
“I won’t say I had out of body experiences but they definitely were, you may almost call them spiritual because your mind just recalls all these things in your life. One day, I felt like Forrest Gump when he had lots of things on his mind. One day, he just started running.
“I just sat down and started writing this book. I had all these thoughts about things that were important to me, how wonderful the life I had. I used to lie down with my kids, and I tried to get them to sleep. I would tell them stories and I would start by saying ’a long long long time ago, in a far far far away land….’ in hopes that they would fall asleep but they wouldn’t. It seemed like when I was telling stories, the ones they liked the best were about McEaster Valley, and so I would make up these stories.
“I think what I was doing was really talking about how fortunate I have been in my life…”
A mother’s and a mother-in-law’s impact
Dr. Hoge, who had remarried, recounted driving with his wife and mother-in-law in a car. While traveling during Memorial Day weekend his wife read the manuscript of Easter: McEaster Valley to his mother-in-law and she said, “You need to write this book.”
“I guess I’m thankful that I did (write the book). It was a great experience trying to learn how to write a book. I have written papers before in the scientific area but not this type of work. I just let my imagination flow. Like you said, I really think I was writing about my life and how happy I have been.”
Dr. Hoge received from his mother a deep love of the land and nature, an interest for outdoors, and a love for animals. He spoke about her, “She was actually raised near the Snake River on a ranch in Pingree, Idaho. Right across the river there was an Indian reservation. Mom would always tell me all these stories about taking care of the cattle and all these types of things.
“As I was growing up, I got to go and stay at her ranch with her brother, my uncle. He taught me how to milk cows by hand and feed the animals and how to care for the animals. I spent a lot of time fishing on the blue hole at the ranch; there was a beautiful creek flowing into the blue hole.
“When I was a young child, I used to go to a ditch bank and catch fish and frogs. I had severe allergies at that time. My eyes would swell up from the pollen, and I would run to the house, take a washcloth with cold water, and put on my eyes until they open again. Then I’d go right back out to the ditch bank.”
Dr. Hoge had lots of experiences with animals from farm animals to wallabies and mud dogs. “I always wanted to be involved with animals. Fortunately, I was able to go into a career, which is basically just who I am.”
The theme of the book
“I tried to show what my feelings are for, in the best in people and the best of life and doing things for the best of causes and also respecting the environment because it provides for us. There’s so many things we could do without damaging it. I think that’s the really basic theme of it.”
Make sure to listen to the whole interview.
To order Easter: McEaster Valley by Dr. Walter R. Hoge, go to https://www.walterhogebooks.com/book/ or RM online bookstore https://www.readersmagnet.com/product/easter-mceaster-valley/