I wanted to interview Michael Haden about his work with MADD. I think it’s important for people to realise the danger of drink driving. I, myself, have always been a great believer in taking away the keys before the damage is done. Michael explains in this interview how one of his most hopeful students was killed in a driving incident. He wrote his book “A Deal With God” in tribute to her… He also wrote the book to spread the word that it is unacceptable to drink and drive… If in doubt, take away the keys guys…
A) I come from Odessa. My city has extremely poor all the way to extremely rich. It is very diverse, and I am comfortable in the middle.
Q) I ask that because you grew up in middle America of the 70’s and I was wondering if the education of that period shaped you as a writer? Did you always know that you wanted to be a writer?
A) My dad was a studio musician and substitute teacher. My mom worked for the post office. In grade school they made fun of me because I was always reading. I got them back by nailing the highest IQ score in the school. It took me to the age of 30 to get the idea of writing a book.
Q) So, where did you get the inspiration to write your book? Did you always have some idea of how it would turn out? A plan?
A) It was always going to be non-fiction though. All the way up to the initial writing process, I thought I would go non-fiction until an amazing story line popped into my head. It seamlessly meshed with the non-fiction biographies I was researching at the time.
Q) It just popped into your head? What were you doing at the time?
A) I was working alone. My technician was in the hospital and I was working alone one week and a movie started playing in my head. The movie ended up being my first book “A Deal With God”.
Q) Let me ask you something that many people may struggle to answer. I want to ask you something that will make you look deep inside yourself. Who is Michael Haden?
A) Michael Haden is a successful businessman who happens to be a very good soccer coach. I love working with young people. I learn more from them than they do from me. My girls team is currently ranked 6th in the state and we have gotten 15 girls college scholarships over the last two years.
Q) Let me ask you something really important here Michael. You wrote your book about Deana. A talented girl who was killed tragically. How did you know her?
A) My son is 26. My daughter is 24. My daughter is in the book. She is Alexa on pg. 16. She was best friends with Deana.
Q) Now, you wrote your book “A Deal With God” as a tribute to Deana. What would you say is the overall message of the book?
A) One careless action can manifest exponentially to hurt a lot of people.
Q) I need to ask this. Do you think if Deana were still around today- would you have written a book?
A) No. She was my sole inspiration. She was that dynamic and charismatic. I always wanted to write a book, but I needed this kind of inspiration to put me over the hump.
Q) I guess, the book allowed you to express all the emotions that you felt after the death of Deana. Did you write “Deal” as a memorial? As a warning?
A) The book started as a story I told my younger players on road trips. The legend of Deana Murphy. She was an example of always giving max effort. When people heard me verbally tell her story they all told me to write it in book form.
Q) You are an active supporter of MADD?
A) I certainly am, Nick. I did a TV piece on Studio 10 on CBS With MADD in Tampa and I have done a fundraiser with MADD in Canada. For all those readers who aren’t familiar with MADD, let me explain. MADD stands for Mothers Against Drunk Drivers. It is an organization that promotes not drinking and driving. We are working on a big take away the keys from a friend or relative about to drink and drive.
Q) How successful has MADD been so far?
A) Truly successful, Nick! Every year we have less and less auto crash fatalities due to drunk driving. That is partly down to MADD.
Q) Well, thank you for your time and I hope all our readers take the time to go and check out “A Deal With God”. It a truly wonderful piece of work.
A) Thank you, Nick!
Check out the website for MADD right here!
Pick up a copy of Michaels book right here!