Getting bullied. Being on the baseball team. Having a crush on one of the other players. Walter G. Meyer delves into the beginnings of his story and creates a mosaic with others’ journeys in his third book, “Rounding Third.”
“It started with asking, what would have happened if… and for years the story percolated in my brain and I started putting it on paper,” Meyer told 429Magazine.
“Although the characters and the town are fictional, none of the incidents in the book are made up. It rings true because it is true,” he admitted.
Meyer has written on a number of gay topics for the mainstream press and LGBT publications, including telling his own coming out story in the Los Angeles Times. Now, he has a fall speaking tour lined up to discuss bullying, conducts anti-bullying webinars, and company consulting for school and workplace bullying training.
Meyer began his speaking career after his book “Day is Ending” was released about Alzheimer’s disease. “Rounding Third” was printed just before the bully/suicide crisis was covered in the mainstream media. He realizes now that being published provided him an opportunity to speak out about bullying and LGBT issues.
“I always wanted to write and I soon found that researching and writing about something, gave me the credentials to speak about it,” he continued.
“Whether it’s creating awareness about Alzheimer’s disease or endangered animals, or helping people have a better understanding of LGBT issues and bullying, I am happiest when my writing is not only entertaining, but thought-provoking as well.”
He explained that his writing is meant to inspire and instill change. He used to fear that he would die without making a difference, but found solace in realizing the timelessness in writing.
“Years ago for a class we were asked to write a mission statement for our lives. Mine was simple and I think I am living up to it: to use my writing to better the world,” he said.
Naturally, one of the highlights of his career is “Rounding Third” resonating with readers.
“People who read my novel ‘Rounding Third’ have written to say that reading what I wrote made them feel less alone and in some cases that reading it had saved their lives—they were no longer so unhappy and alone that they were suicidal. That is powerful to think that someone could read something you wrote and want to go on living because of it,” he continued.
The novel strikes a cord with a large group, with a number of readers responding to Meyer telling him that he has captured their story.
“To have people so excited about my work and my writing felt great; to have people get teary-eyed as they talked with such passion about characters I had created—it was powerful.”
He conveyed that what is most important is to “find something you are passionate about and do it…be proud of it and love it.”
“I hear people all of the time saying that they’re counting the days to retirement. If you are, you’re in the wrong line of work,” he added.
He clarified: “it’s not work, it’s love.”
“Gore Vidal knew the work and stress of producing a play on Broadway could kill him—and it did—but he died doing what he loved after having left his mark in the world.”