Zoe Share, Daddy’s Digest: I really enjoyed reading this book in draft form, and congratulations on seeing it published. Can you talk about why you wrote it?
Peter O’Brien: I started writing Love & Let Go about seven years ago, when my daughter was graduating from high school. I wanted to give her a few words of encouragement … well, for the rest of her life.
Zoe: Not such an easy task!
Peter: I didn’t want the book to sound too paternalistic, or preachy, and I did not want to use an “I know better than you” tone.
Zoe: What are some of the topics, or areas of advice, covered?
Peter: There are 34 short chapters. The broad topics are about self-knowledge, confidence, believing in yourself, trusting that things will work out – that sort of thing. And I also have chapters on sex, tattoos, overcoming negativity, and dealing with people who believe that they know everything. It’s quite a wide gamut.
Sex and Teenage Daughters
Zoe: Writing about sex with your teen-age daughter – how did that go?
Peter: Well, I start by saying that she probably does not want to hear what I have to say on the topic! But I move toward talking about sex as one of our central and delightful mysteries – and that there is always something new to learn about the
topic. My mom had 10 kids and then was a step-mother to another 12 kids! None of us would be here without sex … it’s an elemental desire … I try to keep my writing light and not too cringy.
Zoe: So not too prescriptive.
Peter: Right. And then I had Dr. Ruth, one of the world’s authorities on sex, blurb the book. And Chris Osgood, who played 17 years with the Detroit Red Wings, and who won three Stanley Cups, also blurbed the book. I’m speaking to various audiences –
both kids and adults.
Zoe: And without too much hard or restrictive “advice.”
All Advice is Useless
Peter: The last chapter is called “All Advice is Useless.” I say to my daughter that by the time she’s reached her later teen years she has the basis for all questions and doubt and wonder and knowledge already within her. Love & Let Go is really about
me telling her that I love her and support her – in whatever way I can, and through whatever challenges she’ll have in the years and decades to come. The book gives me the chance to tell her things that often don’t get said clearly enough. And I do hope she reads and rereads sections of the book at various points in her life.
Zoe: Sounds like an ambitious book, and a very loving book. It also sounds like a book that many parents could make use of in their conversations with their kids, especially as they move away from home and head out into the world.
Peter: Well, that is the intent. This is my tenth published book, and I really did enjoy writing it. And a quick marketing plug, if I may. For the next couple of weeks, my publisher is offering a special discounted price for friends and family. Here’s the link: https://mosaicpress.ca/products/love-and-let-go
Zoe: Thanks for giving us an overview of the book, Peter. Congratulations on the publication, and it’s great to be able to share your daddy insights with your daughter. I’m sure she’ll find Love & Let Go of pleasure and of use.
Peter: The subtitle of the book is “Reflections, Confessions, Encouragements, and a Few Cautionary Forewarnings from a Father to a Daughter” – so I hope she finds some benefits in its pages. Thanks for doing this, Zoe.
Peter O’Brien has published widely in journals, newspapers, and online. For further information on his published books: https://tpob.me/books-4/