Michigan native Patrick O’Sullivan lives in Winston-Salem, NC with his wife of thirty years, Carrie. He has degrees from Hope College and Wake Forest University. He has spent most of his career toiling in a variety of advertising and marketing positions. A favorite place is in the gin-clear waters of Lake Michigan near Beaver Island, off the dune-lined shores of Northern Michigan – a place that plays a transformational role in his book.
For decades Patrick jotted notes on the back of bar napkins, envelopes and sandwich wrappers – whatever was handy. He’d squirrel them away in a drawer or in a file folder and as the collection swelled so did the need to tell his story. In the winter of 2010, bored and unfulfilled with his marketing job for a technology start-up, he called his wife and told her he wanted to quit his job. “I need to write,” he said. Unconditionally supportive, Carrie said, “Go ahead.” So, he did. That day.
In just ten weeks 110,000 words poured from his soul, through his fingers and into the hard drive of his iMac. It took another eight months to whittle the manuscript down to 85,000 words and capture a cadence that satisfied his senses.
A Green One for Woody is a true story about a boy becoming a man. And while themes of abuse and alcoholism are common in memoirs, there is nothing common about how Patrick patiently peels away the textured layers of his life to reveal truths that will cause readers to both marvel and despair. And at other times, celebrate.
Author Patrick O’Sullivan’s father “had been anointed to resurrect our family name, sullied for decades by alcoholism and suicide. He was big, bright and handsome, and blessed with a silver tongue and athletic prowess. The Tigers and the Cubs wanted him. Instead, his dad insisted he attend the University of Michigan, but a broken leg on the practice field ended his big league dreams. Then he met my mom and she got pregnant, and with my heart beating inside, she denied to her preacher dad that I was there.
After ten years, my mom had her fill of Daddy’s boozing and abuse – he tortured me for another decade. I felt responsible, ashamed, helpless and alone. Being poor didn’t help. But playing ball sustained me. I found strength and purpose in my teammates and competition.
My dad continued his downward spiral. Eventually, he emptied one too many bottles. And, somehow he survived. The drinking paused and he married, a fourth time. His new wife gave birth to a stillborn baby, and then things got worse. Dead bodies began to pile up around me. But buoyed by honest friendships and uncommon love I persevered, propelled forward by an inimitable sense of humor and a faith anchored in hope.”