The Picky Bookworm

"Books are a uniquely portable magic." –Stephen King

I had the honor of meeting David when he asked me to review a copy of The Connection for him. The book had such an interesting premise, that I couldn’t say no. I’m so glad I did, because the book was so good! You can check out my review here.

Keep reading to find out a little more about this super interesting person!

What gave you the idea for The Connection?

The Connection was the first manuscript that I wrote. After I completed it about a decade ago, I put it away and wrote three published novels. Last year I decided the story was too good to sit in a lonely file on my computer; I needed to re-work it and publish it. The idea behind the story came from a simple scene I witnessed in a small West Texas town, roughly 2001. As I stood in the front yard of a small radio station, a man, a drifter, was walking on the other side of the highway towards town. He looked at me with the blankest expression. So in a way, you could say that I’ve met Jake. The story sprang from there…see Chapter 1

When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve always had a vivid imagination. Yet my day job for the last 37 years involved the physical and computer sciences. Kind of a left-brain thing. Very analytical and mathematical. I wanted to be creative and artistic too, the right-brain stuff. One of my life goals was, in my spare time, to write a full-length novel—just to see if I could do it. That original manuscript, The Connection, took more than a decade to write. Now I’m hooked.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing? Any hobbies?

Living in Salt Lake City, it is almost a requirement to be an outdoors person. I spend most of my free time camping, hiking, snowshoeing, skiing, and photographing the West. The photography is really my second passion.

Do you have any superstitious habits when you write?

Not for writing, but I do tend to like odd numbers. Interesting because my spouse likes even numbers. 🙂

What do you think makes a good story?

Proper suspension of belief. Let’s face it. I’m writing a conjured up fictive event. A lie! And I need the reader to believe it. If it is not believable, nothing will save the story. Also, deep, round characters are a must. Plotting is certainly important, but it comes easy to me. I have to work on the characters. Flat characters can almost destroy a story as fast as an unbelievable plot. If the characters are flat, no one will care about the rest.

What would you tell someone who wanted to be a writer?

Be realistic. There is so much competition; the chance of hitting it big is quite remote. Set realistic goals. Do it because you love it; don’t do it for money. Work at it. I spend 25% of my time perfecting my craft. Be patient with yourself. At times, you’ll doubt your ability. Even the best authors do. Learn to live an isolated life; you’ll spend a lot of time with just yourself! Finally, someone will not like your book, no matter how good it is.

What would you like to tell someone like me, who reviews books?

Thank you! Obtaining reviews is the most difficult part of writing. And I appreciate honest reviews. If someone likes the book, I’m overjoyed. If someone does not, that’s okay.

Who is your favorite author? Favorite book by that author?

That’s tough. I tend to read many different authors and genres (part of my training and enjoyment). My most-read authors include Tony Hillerman, James Michener, Michael Crichton, Ernest Hemingway, and Peter Benchley. The books and films that most impacted my writing: the beginning scene of Airframe; the ending of The Sixth Sense; an obscure novel called Lady (by Thomas Tryon); and the opening scenes of Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Why? Airframe jumps right into action (in medias res)…within a few pages you are on that plane and experiencing what the others are experiencing. The Sixth Sense has one of the most amazing twists; you never knew it was coming (very well done in the film). Lady is a novel that drifts along quietly in nice prose for 2/3 of the book, and then you are suddenly shaken with a secret that will not let you stop reading until the end. As for Close Encounters (the film), the first several scenes that set up the rest of the plot are superb; I’ve not seen better. These elements – fast opening action, twists/turns, you-never-knew-what-hit-you surprises, emotive crescendos (Lady and The Sixth Sense) – I REALLY strive to incorporate some of that in my writing.

If you were to meet your favorite author, what would you ask him or her?

Are you ever satisfied with your writing…or your work-in-progress?

If someone were to ask youthequestion from #9, what would your answer be?

I’m not ever completely satisfied. I have to step back after a bit and say to myself, “This is it. Let it go. It is good enough.”

Well, I hope you enjoyed my latest “Meet the Author” post! I have such a good time bringing these to you, and I love learning a little more about these wonderful people!

For more author interviews, please click the “Meet The Author” category link to the right.

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