For those out there reading this I am thanking Tierney James at :
And, yes, she talked me into this. Here is her brief bio:
“I am a life-long learner so I read a variety of books. Today I might study Tibet and tomorrow I’ll plunge myself into the world of geo-politics or how to be a better writer. My passion for gardening, travel and books will keep me in the poor house. Nothing is more important to me than God, family and country. I’m a pro-military person and pretty conservative in my politics.”
Tierney James interviewed me for this BIG EASY BLOG TOUR by asking these questions:
1) What Are you working on?
TD -What got tabled while in second round of editing of The Doc novel was a new novel about a frustrated high school physics teacher. The premise is that he has a theory in his area, physics, and, you’ll laugh at this, he can’t get published. He has tons of troubles with juggling classroom demands, marital problems, faculty issues, administrative problems. The students are great but much of the school problems lead to a legal situation. All the time he is trying to solve and prove his theory in order to write a better paper and get published. Some of that revolves around a paranormal incident.
Tabled also was a sequel to the The Doc book just released. And, I am trying to do more painting.
2) How does your work differ from others of its genre?
TD – I don’t claim to be a genre expert, or suspense thriller expert as the publisher labeled the novel. I was calling it conspiracy thriller. As I have passed on the advice given to me such as “genres have rules,” one needs to be aware of that while trying to be different. And that is tough, trying to be original. The Doc has a lot of the subculture of Civil War re-enacting in it. There has been re-enactors in movies like Sweet Home Alabama and other books like Tishomingo Blues by the late Elmore Leonard, and South of Shiloh by Chuck Logan. In both books a killing is done at a re-enactment during a battle. I wanted to depict the Civil War re-enactment in different way and a major way how important it was, or is, for the characters. My main character is a medical doctor who is also a shooting sports enthusiast, pilot, and re-enactor. He is not a cop, not an agent, not a political guy.
There are many stereotypes out there. So, I believe that my main characters to be somewhat different from those in other thrillers.
3) Why do you write what you do?
TD – This goes back to my first interest in writing and that was in art school in the sixties. I look at writing as another form of art. But, I had a terrible time writing anything. Taking some courses helped, but I never got beyond short stories and poetry until 1979. Even then, a novel attempt was a good learning thing. I did it to a finished state, but was terrible after three years.
Later, I kept getting ideas for a larger work while writing short stories. I think I write because I still believe it is an art form, with rules. The rules are like a puzzle. The puzzle can be abstract, and move around. I try to be original without being “so out there” that “nobody gets it.”
4) How does your writing process work?
TD – I have files of story ideas that are jotted down on post-its, or other paper notes. Some are on 8.5 x 11 sheets and others on lose leaf binder paper. I usually do a draft of an idea that I turn into an outline. The draft might be in a single 3 ring spiral notebook. Too, I’ve borrowed interesting author’s methods. Hemingway typed standing at dresser, as depicted in the recent story about Martha Gelhorn. But he said that he “typed dialog” because it was more like “real conversations.” I must have read that forty years ago. Then I read an article about the collaboration of the screenwriter and author of “L.A. Confidential” James Elroy. Elroy wrote everything long hand, in spiral notebooks. So, I like to write longhand too. What I found was that when you put the long hand version, chapter, or section, into the computer files, it is a self edited draft stage of whatever you are working on.
In 1999 I began outlining more, then moving things around. I know there are many “pantsers” who write a first draft, “from the heart,” as said by others, no plot, and along the rationale of NaNoWriMo philosophy of knocking out that first 50,000 words like that. And, then the idea is to rewrite “from the head” plotting or editing.
The Doc was from an outline of mine. Actually it was from a 1999 screenplay that went nowhere. I had read, back then, an article in Writers magazine, “Write your screenplay in 90 days.” So, I followed the steps. The interesting thing was the clear rules that were outlined. I took an idea I had and began. But it took me more than the ninety days. It took me eighteen months.
The Physics Theory [working title] story is a “pantser” method. But, that is unfinished and has major plotting problems to solve, just like the sorry-bastard-protagonist’s problems. Maybe it’s because I don’t know what I am doing. I have to recheck the rules, or reshuffle the deck of note cards.
Thank you Tierney James for this blog-A-thon of sorts. I am looking for three other authors who have an interest in the BIG EASY BLOG TOUR. You may email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org for details.