Welcome To The Kandid Shop!!

Author Spotlight: New York Times & International bestselling Author of  ”A Child Called It”, Dave Pelzer

In this episode, I am thrilled to shine a very special Author Spotlight on National Jefferson Award recipient and New York Times & International bestselling author of  "A Child Called It" and "Return to the River: Reflections of Life Choices during a...

In this episode, I am thrilled to shine a very special Author Spotlight on National Jefferson Award recipient and New York Times & International Bestselling author of  "A Child Called It" and "Return to the River: Reflections of Life Choices during a Pandemic," Dave Pelzer. 

We chatted about overcoming hardships, resilience and living in gratitude.

Key Takeaways:

● Dave Pelzer emphasizes the importance of not giving up and striving for greatness.
● "Return to the River" is a haunting love story that explores loss and the effects of the pandemic.
● Dave Pelzer's childhood abuse as told in his book "A Child Called It," gave him the desire to live a life of service that emphasizes the     importance of kindness, manners, and making a positive impact.
● Giving advice is easy, but applying it to your own life is challenging.
● Reflecting on your past actions and taking inventory of what you did right and wrong is important.
● Life is about movement and taking action to make your life better.
● Resilience is crucial, and it means accepting your situation, finding ways to overcome challenges, and never giving up.
● Resilience is about standing up for something and not falling victim to circumstances.
● Life's challenges are temporary, and it's important to focus on the present and make the most of it.


Dave's Contact Info:


About My Guest:

Dave Pelzer is an extraordinary individual who has achieved remarkable success as an author. He has reached great heights, becoming a #1 New York Times bestselling author and a #1 international bestseller. Additionally, Dave has been recognized for his exceptional contributions and was honored as a recipient of The National Jefferson Award.

Dave's journey is truly inspiring, embodying the spirit of Esprit: Spirit, Humor & Wit. Despite enduring severe abuse in his childhood, his resilience propelled him to overcome life-threatening obstacles. For over 25 years, Dave's inspirational work has touched the lives of countless organizations and individuals, motivating them to remain steadfast in their convictions and personal growth.

Dave Pelzer is a living testament to the power of perseverance and self-determination. His unique perspective on life, coupled with his wit and sense of humor reminiscent of Robin Williams, captivates and motivates others to conquer any challenge. Dave's life's work has been dedicated to helping others help themselves, making him a truly remarkable individual.


Intro Music: "Welcome To The Kandid Shop" by: Anthony Nelson aka BUSS



Kandidly Kristin


Kandidly Kristin: Hey, hey hey! Podcast Nation, it is your girl, Kandidly Kristin, and this is The Kandid Shop, your number one destination for candid conversations. So today I'm having a very, very special author, spotlight Chat with National Jefferson Award recipient, New York Times and international Best-selling Author of 'A Child Called It' and Return to the River. Reflections of Life Choices during a Pandemic and a bunch of other books that I don't have time to mention, Mr Dave Pelzer.

Welcome, welcome, welcome Dave to the Kandid Shop.

Dave Pelzer: Thank you so much for having me.

Kandidly Kristin: Listen, it is my absolute privilege and pleasure to chat with you today. Your life story is amazing. Let's just say , that I have a copy of Return to the River and I want to talk about it, I'm only up to chapter four, but chapter four is probably my favorite because we share a few similar tendencies when it comes to turning the mind off and flip and stuff like that. So, we'll get into that, but, First, if you could share with me and my listeners, just a little bit of your backstory?

Dave Pelzer: Well, I think the backstory is one, and, and I'm gonna go on a tangent here in the beginning, first, I have to say at age 62, I've been so blessed to have such an adventurous life. I'm the most blessed person I know, and by that, I've studied personalities, politicians, comedians, actors, singers, and people of this grandiose intelligence. And I've also studied people, per se, on the dark side. You know, the people at the base or the uni bombers and so forth. And for me, I just never forget, I was 14. I'm in foster care for about a year and a half.

I'm still not able to walk and talk, and I'll clarify this later. I'm still not able to walk and talk. I'm hunched over. I stutter like Rain Man, and I don't make eye contact with anybody. And this one doctor who examined me, the psychiatrist, and I'm with my social worker, beautiful lady, foster mom, and he announces that there is no chance in heck for me that my abuse started at age four.

I was finally rescued at age 12. I weighed about maybe 60 pounds. I was an obese isolated family slave stealing from garbage cans at school after being stabbed or starved or swollen pneumonia. Oh my goodness. They said there was no chance. And it was to me, I kind of sneered like really trust me, I'll be back and my beautiful social worker Miss Gold. She kind of nudged me. And looked at my foster mother and they shook their heads and they said the same thing. And this is what's important for your audience cuz I want your audience to get something out of this show. They said, Son, if you can survive, being abused for eight years with no help, no training, no life coach, basically no motivational speaker per se, you did all that you did without any helper training. And here's the kicker, I expect nothing but greatness from you. So everything that kind of happened to me was overwhelming and it scares me now as a grandfather, like, oh my gosh, cuz I've worked in juvenile halls, I've seen people with the situation and they can't seem to, whether they don't want to or they just gave up on themselves, you know, they just can't get out of the hole.

And everything that's happened to me happened at the right time and right place at age eight as you know, I was burned on the gas stove. I've been living in the basement for about eight years and I had to realize as an eight-year-old child that this situation with my mother who was my abuser, it's not gonna stop.

I can do all the chores on time. I can come up with a cure for cancer. I can do a thousand million things to chase her approval. But this situation's not changing. And what I did is I remember blisters from the palm of my hand to my bicep, and I raised my arm, which was painful. And I vowed to my God and myself from this moment on, I'm not gonna quit; from this moment on, I'm going to give everything my best shot. We can't change the exterior environment, whether it's covid, whether it's cancer, no matter the situation, but it's how we deal with it from the inside at just the right time, right place. And that's what life is about.

When these Tumblrs come together, a blessing, this is something, a full audience and I'm, you know, I'm trying to give up and I want your audience to receive this. There's listening and there's receiving. If you have two people telling you something, especially word for word.

In a matter of a day or two, that is God talking to you. You have three or four people tell you the same bloody thing in a matter of a week. That is God screaming at you to pay attention and hit because God is busy, God's gonna move on. Parents are gonna move on. You know, you can only do so much of a show, you gotta move on to other things.

Kandidly Kristin: Right.

Dave Pelzer: And I want people to realize whether it's a divorce. Whether you lost a loved one, or maybe someone did you harm, the finances have changed. This is so important: you survive for a reason, carry on for a reason, and again, at the end of the day, be happy.

Kandidly Kristin: Yes. So your newest book, Returned to the River.

The pandemic, God knows, was an unusual time. I mean, everybody was forced to slow the hell down. Yeah. And for some, for me, it was a time of reflection. Crazy revelation. This podcast was born during the pandemic. Reinvention. So when you wrote the book, what was your intention? What did you wanna achieve by putting it out in the world?

Dave Pelzer: Well, I get it, that's a loaded question because here's the joke; anybody who knows me knows I loathe writing. I loathe writing. I mean, a book like 'A Child Called It' was the first book, and it did pretty well. It took me like two and a half years, and I had to edit it and edit that, and that was only 22,000 words.

The thing about me is I crawl on glass, looking for the adjective, looking for a scene. I always believed I would be a great film director. I would be, Spielberg meets Christopher Nolan, he does Inception, Batman and all that stuff. Ah, cuz I'm very careful about character development and drama and having you put yourself in the movie, per se.

This book came out in Nova. It did. I did not know I had a book until I was done with chapter seven. And it was nine chapters, but I thought to myself, like, you, it was a time when Covid hit. It's the same thing, whether it's terrorism or cancer. What did we do? Nope. No, no, no and here, deny, deny, deny. Then we got ooopps just stop. It's here. What? Then you're part of the organ. I want everything ready by Easter. Easter's good for me. I like the Easter hoppity hoppity.

We got a little depressed, like, oh my gosh, I hate my children. They must die. And then we're like, you know what? This is it. We accepted it. We accepted it.

Kandidly Kristin: Much like the stages of grief. We went through all of that during covid.

Dave Pelzer: And for me, I was in a different position because I was a fire captain in North California, north Sonoma coast. And then I would travel, like, you know, an hour and a half, two hours away at two o'clock in the morning to go to the Russian River in Monte Rio as a fire captain and trying to help out. And this was the time, just like you, cuz I've done a lot of radio, I have a face for radio, which is why your audience does not see me.

 everybody was saying, you know Dave, you're a little bit of comedy, you're a little bit of Old Rogers, you know, why don't we, and I finally said, yeah, this is the time to step up and do something because there was political division. The actual scientist we're being muted: no, we don't want to hear that; that's not the message we want to hear.

It gives me no pleasure to say you've got cancer, you've got six months. I'm obligated to tell you, get your house together as a fire captain. Is she gonna live? She gonna live. I know we're doing everything we can. We're doing everything we can cuz no one wants to deliver bad news. But if you're a parent or a leader, hello, if you're a leader, you have to tell the truth because you're always of service to others. Hence, the clowns of the nineties and eighties, these motivational people had all the answers to everything. Really? Gimme the lotto numbers. That's all I want. If you know everything, gimme the lotto numbers, and you get a car, you get a house, you get nothing.

Kandidly Kristin: Okay?

Dave Pelzer: Like you, I wanted to do something, so I thought. What if I put myself, you know, in a weird situation where I'm overwhelmed, I don't have any answers? I'm trying to be of service. And even with Covid, I had two unexpected losses.

And how does one move on? Because you've read part of the book and I can guarantee you, you've already put yourself in this story. Like, oh my God, I had that same feeling. Oh my gosh, I should do this. I would not do that. And I, if you look at this story, and I'll say this with the love of my heart, I think it's a beautiful haunting love story about loss and taking inventory and the war of the world's type situation because it affected everybody.

And Covid will still affect us for at least two to three more generations. Covid came to visit me a month and a half ago. I said, COVID I'm breaking up. I wanna see other viruses leave me alone. I took Covid off Facebook, Twitter, tweet on everything. Okay. But Covid came in. I don't know what happened. I was tweeting. Okay... so it's a beautiful love story.

Kandidly Kristin: It is. I am up to chapter four. I've been kind of flipping through. I have like six books for other episodes that I'm trying to read. So, I found, you know, remotely informed when I'm doing this. But I got to chapter four: The Odyssey of Sleep. And when I tell you, talk about putting yourself in a story, everything you wrote from alone up to my mind, hardly ever completely spools down. I was like, oh my God, it is so me. I should have said this. I could have done that.

Dave Pelzer: Yeah. And it's weird because of what a lot of people do and I've done some counseling in trying to help people out and I've done it. It's weird because. When you give advice, it's so easy and you're so smart, and these are pearls of wisdom.

But when that pins on your face, you're like, oh my gosh. And it's hard, particularly as you grow older to take inventory of what you did right and wrong. But everybody does it. It's called the bargaining thing. You know, if I had that job back to the future, Marty, the time continuing books, that's not reality oh no.

Oh if I can change that one nanosecond; my life would be different. Well, that's called the butterfly back. You change this, but it alters that and we have that. Yeah. Good or bad. We can beat ourselves up. And you know what, that's good to kind of do that, to prevent another folly. But at the same time, you have to say, this is who I am. This is where I'm at. I've got to do something. There was a movie called World War Z. Brad Pitts is the doctor and things are not going well. And he's trying to help a family. He says you gotta come with us. Come with us. No, no, no. We'll stay here in our little apartment. No, life is movement. you got to keep moving.

Winston Churchill once stated, when you're going through hell, you keep going and that's what I mean. Again, whether it's that divorce or someone did you wrong, or again, the covid or something, it's unfortunate it ain't there. But you've gotta do something to make your life better. And a lot of people do that. Unfortunately, three easy payments of 1995. You lose a thousand pounds in five days or less, I guarantee it. Really? Really? The quick tender date. If you can find a date, you can lose a date. It takes strange courage. You have to manage. The biggest thing in my life is time and energy. How much time and energy I put into drama.

I don't use white noise. I do not care about creeping up on the crap dashes. Excuse me. Keep up going the parking lot. I just can't, I don't. I love Johnny Depp, but I don't care about Johnny's divorce from Amber. We're in a different mode of personal accountability, responsibility, and at the same time helping

out your fellow man.

Kandidly Kristin: I agree. I agree. So Dave, when you hear the word 'Resilience' tell me what it means to

you. Resilience.

Dave Pelzer: Yes. Yes, yes, yes, yes. For me, I remember in the eighties I was flying for the Air Force and had a very beautiful Charlie Oh my God. And Charlie Beast was coming out of the closet, per se, and a lot of people were gonna take back the night, which was nice.

And they took back the night three nights in a row, and then their big lighters or candles ran out, and they all disperse 'em going, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Wait. If that's it, I'm going, Hey, come back. And everybody was a victim of being a victim by being victimized. I'm going, okay. And I kind of, what do you think Mr Pelzer? Gosh, I'm winging my tears away, but dang. You know, I've never met anybody come up to me and say I'm a victim of cancer. They say I'm a survivor of cancer. I will fight cancer and every day I'm cancer free is a blessing. What do you mean? Well, you survived for a reason. Resilience. Resilience, resilience.

And if you look at our country, how the country was formed, You look at any story? I love the Olympic stories because I don't care who gets the gold, or silver, I'm looking behind the store. Wow. I'm so amazed. And then you see like Jesse Owens. Okay. He made it look so easy. Okay. The Nazis wanted him dead. Rosie is not an Aryan and he is a little, you know. Okay. Let's just say these African Americans. Yeah. Hitler. Yeah, because I am Hitler. We have everything you are nothing. And yet the story behind everything he had to do just to show. See, I love Rocky Balboa. That is the most amazing, simple film. Rocky knows you! I'm ageing. I can't win this guy. This guy's too big. He has everything. He's got the muscles the experience, he's got sponsors. Rocky's got, you know, shorts okay. I got nothing. And he hates the hint and he gets up and he gives it his best. I don't care if Rocky wins or loses, I care that Rocky just stood up for something. What's the old saying? If you don't stand up for something, you will fall for anything. Yes. I used to love it and pardon me, and I'm being very careful here, audience, I used to love the N-word 'NO'. When someone would, no, no, you can't do this. You're a foster child. You're stupid. You can't even, oh look, you can't even tie your shoes over. Under, through, sideways, backwards. I'll be back. I'll be back. And I think that resilience that I learned as a child, realizing the situation I was in, accepting the situation for what it was, and finding ways just kind of like, okay, mom's not gonna feed me. I'll eat out of a garbage can. Okay. She laced it with ammonia or Clorox. I would put wax paper. And wrap pieces of bread. So ammonia didn't see through the wax paper. Okay. She found out. I would, unfortunately, and I'm embarrassed to say I would steal food at school. I would steal food outta the garbage cans in school. I always somehow fell away.

Now this is a good story and I don't know the lady's name, and if I did, I probably wouldn't say it anyway. I did a program and they had another speaker after me. And this lady, God bless her, raised five kids. A single mom, with five kids in Oakland, California, and they all graduated college now, hang on, hang on. We know how easy it is to be a single parent. Raised five kids, and they all went to college and she probably had a hundred million dollars in the bank account. Really? Really. And I went up there and we gave each other a big hug. And I said, my dear, my dear, how in the hell did you..? and she went ... Stop! Don't even ask. I just did what I had to do, and I'm going, and that's the thing, is it's only for the, now you're having a bad day, but it's only for the now. That doesn't mean for the rest of your life. Okay?

 Look at the book, return to the River. I'm an action guy. Tom Cruise, Mission Impossible. Trust me, Tommy, we're doing the real fire. You know, do it? And here it is, like a couple of years later, I'm talking to you. And my upper loft looking at pictures. A thousand pictures of my son, 10,000 of my grand son's listen. And I got a wonderful outside redwood tree and a deck, and I'd like to plant my little flowers. Come on. Life is beautiful. But you gotta make it?

Kandidly Kristin: Yeah, I agree. I agree. So I want to go back and talk a little bit about your first book, which by the way, Stayed on the New York Times bestseller list for six


Yeah, years. Not weeks.

 So that is amazing.

Dave Pelzer: That is a Hollywood story. No one wants, the publishers didn't want it.

They thought about this is not what you think.

Kandidly Kristin: Yes, yes. And that's what I wanted to ask you. When you wrote that, why at that time when you wrote it, was it important for you to write?

Dave Pelzer: Oh, it was, You better get your tissues out. That book was not a book, believe it or not. It was initially. Okay. Okay. I was a kid in the basement.

I used to bring home books, so my mom wouldn't beat me so much because I said, oh yeah, I'm stupid. So I go to do homework. So I have a read, treasure Island Kids, boys wanted to be astronauts or baseball players. I wanted to be, not a writer, but I wanted to live through the stories. ] And what it was; my teachers who rescued me, they called the authorities.

There weren't any penal codes to protect kids or those trying to protect children. And I wanted to... I mean, they could have lost their jobs. This was that serious. This was like, again, a mission possible rescue that kid. And I wanted to do something nice for them. I gave myself 10 years and I thought, no, no, I'm gonna give myself 20 years. Get my act together and I was gonna write them a long thank you letter. And you know, I put in examples and da, da da da da and the characters of the teachers and I thought, what if I can write a little book? A little book that was a thank you letter in a sense and that eventually became 'A Child Called It'.

I am so proud to state, I have a photo right behind me of my teachers holding the printed, not published, printed copy of 'A Child Called It' that was given to them that was also dedicated to them on the exact date of my 20th anniversary.

Kandidly Kristin: Wow.

Dave Pelzer: They got copies of the book at that time, a few months before that, I was one of the country's 10 outstanding young Americans like my heroes, Porsche Wells, Chuck Yeager, President Kennedy, Christopher Reeves, who played Superman and Hank. My life again is just, wow. I have Forest Cup my way.

Kandidly Kristin: Yes. Yes you have, sir, you certainly have

Dave Pelzer: Forest Cup my way, my dear, it was a beautiful thing. And then eventually it was printed in 1993 and eventually, I had to buy the rights to my book cuz I didn't know it was not published. It was published in 1995. And then two years later, which was unheard of. It finally made the list and it was just like a Hollywood story again.

Like, no one wants you, no one wants you. Hey baby, how are you doing baby? I love you Dave, all baby, right? I wanna manage you great

Kandidly Kristin: now everybody wants you.

Dave Pelzer: Yeah.

Kandidly Kristin: Did all of those horrific experiences from your childhood, were they, what led you to your life for service in the military?

Dave Pelzer: Yeah. Yeah. Well, part of it was, and I have to be honest, cuz if you look at the book, you can tell within a chapter, I am a hopeless romantic. I cry Casablanca but what is that show? Not fried Green tomatoes. The moment Julie Roberts. And she dies and Sally feels the mother come.

Kandidly Kristin: Yeah. Yeah. Oh yeah.

Dave Pelzer: And there was a scene. Sally feels the mother is crying cuz she lost her daughter. And her friends are trying to help her. They're southern Louisiana ladies, and she says, if you want to hit something, let's hit Weezer. We'll sell T-shirts.

Kandidly Kristin: Right? I love that.

Dave Pelzer: So I love a Casablanca story or terms of endearment.

Oh my God, please don't die, I love you so much. The book is just a romantic love story and it is about loss and life, but it's about that thread of hope and don't give into despair, you know? And because a lot of people harm themselves or unfortunately, they step past this edge and harm others as a form of revenge or power or control. And that's why what I try to do with my show, as you do with your show or the book, is bring a sense of calm and a sense of enlightenment every day that we only die of covid or every day that our kids come home from school. Or now that we can see the mortgage. It's such an amazing blessing. I took out my firefighters one of the first days that we weren't required to be at an address. I took 'em out to a little lunch by this little cheapy little hole-in-the-wall golf course, and I said, no talking. Eat your lunch. Gaze at the beauty. Call someone. No talk. Do you see what I'm saying? I mean, it's a blessing. I am, again, heaven-blessed. So in the Air Force, I was desperate because I was out of foster care, still residing in the home paying room and board.

They gave me a couple of months and I was on my own and I was scared to death, the right time, right place. But they didn't want a high school dropout foster child in the Air Force. Heck no. But I wheezed my way in there because I was there five times a week, shining shoes and reading brochures, what have you and a small door open per se.

And I stuck my foot in there and I just, they said, you're gonna get the worst job ever. You're gonna get a job in Swamp Cook in Florida, like Papi on. I said, sure. I'm playing. What do I care? And I went from that to events called Jump School, airborne Training, and then eventually to flying for the Air Force. And as a Fosterer shot, I would study aircraft and the most top secret, James Bond. Aircraft and the war were called the SR 71 Blackbird Mock 3.5 faster than a speeding bullet. And I was blessed to be a mid-airy fueler for that particular plane years later, and that's why again I restate. You know, you gotta be ready for when good things happen to you.

You do as much as you can, as long as you can for as many as you can, which is the Baptist prayers, and sometimes God will put something in your lap. The question is now what? Now what?

Kandidly Kristin: What are you going to do with it?

Dave Pelzer: I've been blessed. I mean, the adventures I've had, I mean, I spent summers in Iraq doing comedy. I've done rescue ops at Katrina Joplin. The books have done well at age 52. I somehow ignorantly said, all right, I gotta, you know, I'm slowing down. I'll be a firefighter. I think that will be fun. Oh my gosh. It ain't like the movies. I'll tell you that. There's a live bodily doctor. You're going okay, off.

Kandidly Kristin: I can imagine. Firefighters are some of my favourite people

Dave Pelzer: Well, I think they are great, outstanding, dedicated people. And the one thing I'll say, and I wish I was president, I would so say, you know what, I love you American. I love you world. We all did a good job. We had no one quit. We still got our food, we still got our fuel.

Cause I thought, okay, if that stops, we are so screwed. First responders showed up, your medical personnel showed up. Teachers were trying to find another way to teach. Yes. You know, life was different and now we're slowly starting to open it back up again. And I gotta tell you this, this is a side note. I thought I love movies. Anybody knows, who knows? I'm a movieholic and I saw I wanted to see this movie and everybody's saying, you have to stream it. Have to stream it. I knew Covid was serious when they pushed back James Bond three times for six months. Greg Shave USFL Cruise, but, and I was Russian, Japan. Like, oh my God, I just wanna see James Bond. Come on.

Oh, I remember the Covid was starting to open up and this is important and this man this gentleman who hasn't shaved and looks kind of gruffy was Tom Cruise. He says I want to thank you. I want to thank all of you for being patient. Paramount wanted to stream it, but I wanted you to see this film in its full glory. We made this film for you, so thank you for waiting. We got a great film for you. Peace out. I thought that is the epitome of all of us working together, being patient. Now here's the show, per se. Enjoy the popcorn. Yeah, I think Covid humbled us.

At the same time, hopefully, it's like me, every time I eat something, I feel like Tom Hanks, I have ice. Let me tell you, you're gonna see this in the book that if you haven't seen already my dear, is my big thing, like when I was stabbed, that was an accident. My mother didn't intend to stab me. Everything else was delivered, swollen pneumonia, starving me, beating me up and stuff like that. She was a nurse before she married my dad. She's trying to banish me. I remember feigning in her arms and I thought to myself, this is the best thing that ever happened to me. She can't hide this. I'm bleeding outta my abdomen.

And all I wanted was clean sheets. When I was rescued, I thought I was going to jail, and I thought Clean sheets. If I had open every day, I would have clean cheese. When I'm at the point in my life, once a week I have clean cheese, and I can cook anything I want. I listen to Beautiful soul-soothing music, I have a beautiful life and you know, what did that Tom Hank say in one of his movies, cast Away: Keep the Faith, you never know what tonight's gonna bring in the next day. And I've been very fortunate and that's why I think it so important to, I don't know if the word paid forward or give, but I know what it's like to be less than zero. I do. So if I can buy... I go to Costco once a month solely to buy socks and sleeping bags and jackets. I go to the grocery store and I had to learn this over time when I buy the sandwich with the hostess doughnuts and two bags of chips and two tins of water, I gotta get these folks napkins and two tins of mustard and mayonnaise.

 I get more pleasure in giving out these things. And back in my day when I was doing very well, I mean, I would buy a wing for a foster home, cars for individuals, and I almost think I got maybe one or two thank you cards which is great. Which is like what I feel on the back line of life. Hopefully, I'm having an impact on my son and for his son, and hopefully other people to kind of step up and do something, whether it's a nod, open up a door, say, yes, sir, yes ma'am, show politeness, show manners, and this is a perfect time for you and this is why your show is so important for people to heed the message and do something with the love that we're trying to give.

Kandidly Kristin: Yes, I agree. So at the end of the day, who is Dave Pelzer?

Dave Pelzer: This is me, I'm the most affable, I'm the smartest idiot you'll ever meet. That's number one. I had a, I don't wanna give up the guy's name cuz he probably regrets it now, but I was The Child Called It. It has been looked at for a movie and they actually might be working on it this summer.

But I met an A-list star and his lady friend an A-list star. I'm always, you know, I'm not starstruck, I'm not, but this gentleman was very, very polite to me and I swore to goodness. He said you're the dude, man. You're like the Bond James, Jack Bauer, dude, man, you're like the man.

And I said, thank you, sir. I wish I was being recorded, right? I said, Mr. McGoo, and, when I'm off duty, I am so Mr. McGoo, and it made him laugh. I mean, this is me. I don't know what to say. In the course of life, you never know what events may transpire because I guarantee you, As an individual... Dave, sometimes you speak best. Dave, you're too damn Happy Baby. What's the real Dave called?

I gotta tell you, I am just so happy to be here. You know, you'll see this at the end of the book. Don't wanna give it away. The best summer of my life, before things went crazy, was the summer of 1976. Dad was a firefighter and used to take us to the Russian River in Northern California or San Francisco. The cover of the book represents the summer of 1966, the best summer of my life. My mother held me, as you read in the chapter, held me by the Russian River when things were getting very bad, but I just remember smelling her hair and feeling the love of her heart that same summer.

On this little cabin that we rented on Riverside Drive and, and the little Russian River. My dad and I took a walk and boys didn't do that with their dads back in the day. And when things were very bad, I would go back into my little head and relive those magical moments. I live not even 50 feet away from Riverside Drive.

Right. We had a photo taken of myself, my son holding hands with his son, with my father's firefighter badge in my pocket for generations. I act affable, but I am damn serious about duty, honor, country and family. Yeah, and I'm just again, who is the real Dave? Pelzer. Again, this is it. And all I want to do is make an imprint. And somehow do something that has an impact. And if you don't like me within five minutes, go to another show, visit another restaurant. I'm okay with it. All I can do is do the best job I can. And there's a line from Julia Roberts. She was getting beaten up by the press years ago. Well, you've been engaged and you've done this and that and your movie didn't work out and so and so said that about you, and she just, you know what she did?

She's got that beautiful smile like, can you do that in Slow mode, Julia? And can I be your hairbrush cuz I do love your hair. Jesus. We toss with her hair and smiled and she said something that stuck with me. I know in my heart what is true.

Kandidly Kristin: Yes

Dave Pelzer: that says it all. You know, this is not a contest of like, I'm the most popular person in the world. You must love me. Shut up. We need serious people to address serious situations, and we need to be kind and polite and we need to take a step back so that we're not so hyper, hyper, hyper hypersensitive of every syllable. Did you say that? No, I didn't. What I thought you did. Oh no. I'm upset about this without even showing sides. All I can do is be the best person I can be.

That's the real Dave Pelzer.

Kandidly Kristin: Well, I like the real Dave Pelzer. So Dave, what has honed the horizon for you, you mentioned I was gonna ask you about, 'A Child Called It' or any of your books being, you know, made into a movie. Are there more books we can look forward to?

Dave Pelzer: By the way, right now, if I was with you, I just feel the sensation, I would give you a big hug, cuz I just think you're just an amazing lady. God bless you.

Kandidly Kristin: Thank you.

Dave Pelzer: There's a possibility that we're going into production for the movie finally this summer.

Kandidly Kristin: Awesome.

Dave Pelzer: And Hollywood is a very weird business. It's on again, off again, and. It's like, okay or whatever, and I can't count on that as a writer.

The truth is I think I'm never gonna write anything as good as 'Return to the River'. I think as the writer, it's my best writing because there are threads involved in how we tie those threads. And what I wanted to do deliberately in 'Return to the River' is put the reader in the book. You know, this is about you. It's not about my character per se, it's about you. I think in the short term, cuz I know when I moved, I turned in my badge, per se, with a Sonoma coast. I, I think in the short term, I think it's about me getting healthier, and slowing down a little bit. When I was on the road one time, I was on the road about 300 days a year, and it was 16 hours a day solving everybody's problems, which is impossible.

So I think for me it's just spending time with my family and my beloved grandson. And it sounds weird, and this is therapy for me, just like, I don't know what I'm gonna do today, but maybe I can plant this or I can help out a neighbor, or, you know, maybe I can be kind or you know, what I'll do is just watch tv or what I'm doing now is I'm reading books I haven't read in like 20 years, you know?

Kandidly Kristin: Nice.

Dave Pelzer: The answer is I don't know, but I know that this is my last prayer, and this is very private. I always pray for people I don't know and people that don't do well. I always pray for my family, my siblings, and their children's children. I pray for my staff. They're so beloved. God bless them.

I pray for my son and I pray I have a prayer for people that are no longer in my life, but I know they cared about me and actually loved me, and that's a blessing. And my last prayer is I want to be healthy. I want to be wise. And my last prayer is, please use me for one more mission. My mission is to help raise my grandson.

Maybe my mission is I do one thing for one person that's had that precipice and maybe I can say or do something that can change his life or her life or the lives of others. But if anybody says, I'm gonna do this and do that, good luck with that. What I'm trying to do is slow down. And just look at the blessings in front of me. That's all I want to do.

Of course. Do you know what I want? Can we please cast the next James Bond and start putting production? Let's go.

Kandidly Kristin: I agree. I agree.

 Listen, Dave, I wanted to ask you, are any of your books on Audible? Cuz I'm a huge proponent of listening.

Dave Pelzer: I know the first two are. Because I did the audibles years ago and book this cute story if you want to hear it. I was in the studio in San Francisco from 4:00 AM to 6:00 AM and I thought that's kind of weird. And they said, well, Robbie's gonna be here. I'm going. Okay. Robbie Dobbie and I came out of the bathroom during a break and I bumped into Robin Williams. Oh my God. It was kind of cool. So the first two books are in audio. So there's that.

Kandidly Kristin: Good. Well listen, thank you so much. When I first read your story, I think your publicist responded to something and he was like, he would be great for your show.

I typically do a pre-recording chat with guests. We did not. So this is our first chat. and guys, I gotta tell you, I don't go on camera for a whole lot of nothing, but Dave, he was like, mm-hmm. I gotta see you.

Dave Pelzer: And I gotta see that smile baby.

Kandidly Kristin: You guys won't do that part.

But I did, and I'm glad I did. I am glad that you decided to join me. I know you get tons of offers, so thank you so much. But we are not done. Because we still have to play 10 Kandid questions.

Dave Pelzer: But I'm gonna interrupt you, and I'm gonna slow down the show before we have a fun time. Okay? This is for you, my dear, and this is for your audience.

This is the best gift I can give you, remove the sin in your hearts. The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time. And that's Jack London. Another one I want to give you, and this is more personal and I'm sure you're gonna figure this out, live a grand adventure. So to tell a great story, North Sonoma Coast, California fire Captain 44 12. There you go.

Kandidly Kristin: Thank you, those are pearls right now.

Dave Pelzer: I'm ready. Hit me, baby.

Kandidly Kristin: You ready for 10 Kandid questions?

Dave Pelzer: There we go.

Kandidly Kristin: Question number one. What is your biggest pet peeve

Dave Pelzer: Rudeness. Deliberate rudeness, not a fan of deliberate rudeness.

Kandidly Kristin: Me neither.

Dave Pelzer: Also, being deliberately late. I don't like that.

Kandidly Kristin: That's my ultimate pet peeve. Coffee or tea?

Dave Pelzer: Coffee.

Kandidly Kristin: What do people misunderstand about you the most?

Dave Pelzer: Oh, goodness, because of who and what I do. They're like, are you real, that type of thing or why are you funny? How come you've done all this stuff? Or I don't understand. Oh, okay. Whatever. What I wanna do is this, and this is important, and Oprah taught me this, she said on her 40th birthday, she said The inside is matching the outside, and I'm at the point, at age 62 ish that I'm confident enough to say what I mean and mean what I say. And if it offends you, I don't mean to, but I'm moving on. I just want to be a nice person.

Kandidly Kristin: All right, question four. Dogs or cats.

Dave Pelzer: Okay, I'm gonna throw aside this. Okay. Turtles. I had pet turtles. I swear to God, my grandson's gonna pick out a turtle for me in the next few weeks. He's already named it Monster Travis.

Kandidly Kristin: Oh my gosh. Hopefully, that's not a big turtle.

Dave Pelzer: I'll probably have to say Cat cuz I had my, Mrs. Pells, the atomic blonde, she had a cat and the cat lived with me and the cat would talk to me, sit on my computer, tell me about her day. She's rolling around. I'm like, okay. How was your day?

Kandidly Kristin: Okay. Oh, that's funny.

All right. Tell me about the three most influential people in your life and how they impacted you.

Dave Pelzer: Oh my goodness. Mr. Ziegler, my Clint Eastwood teacher who helped rescue me. Oh my gosh, probably Miss Woodworth who just passed away. One of my English teachers, and told me at one time, cuz I didn't talk and I would read and she says, you might, you might be a good writer cause I used to write books reports. Now I gotta get serious. I think my father, he was a firefighter in San Francisco and as you read in the book, He would always say, you know, one of these days I'm gonna confront your mother. I'm gonna fix this, be patient, and one of these days I'm gonna rescue you. And unfortunately, he didn't and couldn't. And when he died, he died of cancer alone. He was in the hospital for about 46 months. No one visited him. My mother was so evil per se. She wouldn't tell anybody that Dad was in the state that he was, he was homeless. And the only thing he had. Was this firefighter badge and he gave it to me. He couldn't speak, he couldn't communicate with his eyes, and he gave me this badge that I carried on every Air Force mission . My son was born meeting the president's every in-service training, and then eventually I became a firefighter. His badge number was 2215. And I asked my fire captain on my helmet that weighs like eight pounds I said, I wanna make a 1522 - A. So I'm trying to convey like always carried my father with me. And you saw that in chapter one of the book, remember?

Kandidly Kristin: Yes, I did.

Dave Pelzer: Well, I think I have to be honest cuz sometimes when people influence you, it doesn't have to be, that life coach or someone who has all the answers, but sometimes you're influenced about something that might have been negative, but you have the chance to make it into something positive.

Kandidly Kristin: Yes.

Dave Pelzer: Good question.

Kandidly Kristin: I agree. All right. Morning person or a night owl.

Dave Pelzer: Morning. Well, I mean, you're talking to a guy who has insomnia, so yeah, I like to get roll outta my kitchen in the morning so I can either plant in the afternoon or I just sometimes sit on my deck and I have either let's say some coffee or maybe a glass of wine at the end of the day, and I just try to be still. I want to enjoy it, but not a night owl. No, I don't, like the nightlife, I don't like the Boogie.

Kandidly Kristin: Gotcha. Alright, if you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Dave Pelzer: That is too darn easy from living flight and how the tapestry is all just put together. That was the thing too, cuz I could probably live, I mean, I thought about Italy. I mean, come on. I love the Italian food. I know I am living exactly where I want to live.

Kandidly Kristin: Okay. Alright. Eighth question. What is your favorite curse word? If you have one?

Dave Pelzer: That's awesome. Okay, here it is. Shut up.

Kandidly Kristin: Oh, that's one of my favorite questions. I get some good answers.

Dave Pelzer: Hello, pop. What's your favorite curse word? Okay. I think my favorite curse word, is Girac. That's Russian for idiots. There you go. Russian. You're so dumb.

Kandidly Kristin: Okay. All right. Ninth question. What's one question you wished I'd ask you during our chat and how would you have answered it?

Dave Pelzer: No, you, you are a very skilled interviewer. I mean, what I love about you is, you're just real and it's like, oh my God, I'm just having a chat but it's very deep. Dave will they cast you as James Bond and if they do, will you say yes?

I won't decline to be Bond, but I would like to be here. Here's what we need. I wanna be a blonde villain cuz they have this amazing hair, you know, and they wanna take over the world. I'm going, okay, that's always worked for you bad guys. But I would be like the comedic villain. I would love that. You should ask me about that. I would kill it. No pun intended.

Kandidly Kristin: Oh, 10th and final question, which is the same for everybody. How can my listeners connect with you? Get your books tuned into your show, which we didn't even talk about. How can they just link up with you?

Dave Pelzer: We have a website https://www.davepelzer.com/. I do a podcast show every three weeks or so. The books are like the virus. They're everywhere. You know, any bookstore in the world even the Amazon, again, I gotta slow this down because I want your audience to receive this. Thank you for this opportunity. Because what looks great about your show, is I get to be me, I can be alpha, funny, but you know, a little rocky with a jab, you know? Gets your life together. And I think my last words are to be happy. Be happy now, and be happy now. Dammit. There is my favorite curse word.

Kandidly Kristin: I love it. I love it. First, let me just say in all seriousness, that I am glad you survived what you went through and not only survived but thrive, and I wanna thank you for your service, your time, your observation, your humor, your wonderful laugh and your smile.

Thank you so much for joining me on the show. Thank you.

Dave Pelzer: You are a blessing, and I thank you again.

Kandidly Kristin: Thank you.

All right guys, so Dave's contact info websites, and links to his books will be in the show notes. And don't you guys forget to visit my website https://www.thekandidshop.com/ and listen to an episode or four, drop me a review and please share the show with your friends.

Until next time, I want everybody listening to keep it safe, keep it healthy and it kandid.


Dave PelzerProfile Photo

Dave Pelzer

Best-Selling Author, Inspirational Speaker, Internationally Recognized Humanitarian, and Volunteer Fire Captain, retired

Dave Pelzer is the author of nine inspirational books. Dave’s first book, A Child Called “It” was on the New York Times Best Sellers List for a record-setting six years. His other books were also on the New York Times Best Sellers List for over twelve years. Dave was the first author to have four #1 international bestsellers and to have four books simultaneously on the New York Times Best Sellers List.

In 1993, Dave was honored as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Americans, joining a distinguished group including John F. Kennedy and Walt Disney. In 2005, Dave was the recipient of the National Jefferson Award, which is considered the Pulitzer Prize of public service. As a member of the armed forces, Dave was hand-picked to midair refuel the then highly secretive SR-71 Blackbird and the F-117 Stealth Fighter. Dave has served as a Volunteer Fire Captain at the Northern Sonoma Coast and the Russian River, California.