People always ask me if my dad was the inspiration for Jack Bowditch of The Poacher's Son. Happily, I can say that he was not. My father is one kindest men I know, and I enjoyed spending the day with him yesterday (our schedules were such that we had to celebrate Father's Day a day early).
I don't know where Jack came from entirely. The fathers of a couple of my boyhood friends were assholes. I remember confronting one of them over his own dinner table when he launched into a diatribe about how "the Jews control everything." I was ordered to leave the house immediately. I never returned.
When The Poacher's Son came out, it was placed on lots of those "For Father's Day" table displays you see in bookstores. This struck me as one of the most ironic acts of guerilla marketing I've ever seen. I often think about the many dads who received my first novel as a present and began to wonder, very quickly, whether their sons and daughters had just flipped them the bird. It's sort of the perfect gift for anyone whose dad was a jerk.