Scribe: In what genre(s) do you write?
Joe Pluta: Now — historical fiction, especially short stories. In the past — nonfiction in the areas of history and economics.
Scribe: What authors would you like to have coffee or a beer with and which beverage?
JP: Living authors — Doris Kearns Goodwin, Naomi Klein, Philip Roth, and Joyce Carol Oates. Deceased authors — Aesop, Thorstein Veblen, James Michener, Ernest Hemingway, & Ida Tarbell. Beverage — these days, probably coffee. (I sure wouldn’t want to have to pick up Hemingway’s bar tab.)
Scribe: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what book would you want to have with you to keep you sane?
JP: Confessions of an Economic Hitman, by John Perkins. If you read this book, you will discover from someone who actually participated in the deception that U.S. foreign policy throughout the 20th century has been based on horrible values and has been a disaster, the full consequences of which have yet to be felt. (I’d also like a second book that is more light-hearted. Maybe Bossy Pants by Tina Fey?)
Scribe: What have you learned from your association with the Writers’ League?
JP: I have met so many perceptive and creative people who have helped to make me a better writer, and a more broad-minded person, just because of my conversations with them. There is an openness and friendliness among employees (Becka, Jenn, Noelle, and Jordan) and board members that make one feel very welcome. Classes and Third Thursday panels at BookPeople are great.
Scribe: Where do you see your writing taking you (or you taking it) in the future?
JP: After being a university professor for 46 years, I am now retired. It is wonderful to have so much time to write. I hope to use it well. In the past, I have based much of my writing on eccentric characters I have known or unique situations I have experienced. In the future, I would like to attempt more purely fictional stories where I create characters (who are even more eccentric) and situations that are imaginative yet realistic.
Scribe: Is there anything else about you that you would like to share with the world? An opportunity for blatant self-promotion!
JP: Well…Okay, if you insist! I have four short story collections, Whatever Happened to Our Dreams? (just published and on the shelves at BookPeople), 21 Yesterdays, Small Town Michigan Tales, and Two Peninsulas. All four are available on Amazon.