Tuesday 2 April 2013

Author Interview – Daniel Black

Tell us a bit about your family? My wife and I are currently broiling… I mean living… in the city of Austin Texas. We have two cats, and are looking at getting three dogs, and are hoping to have little ones soon (of the two legged variety).

My wife is my inspiration in many things, and acts as something of a story editor for me, keeping me in check when I go too far off the reservation in my writing.

My wife is very close to her family, and I am somewhat close with my only full sister. As I have said in previous posts, my mother recently succumbed to cancer, and this has brought us closer together.

My late father was the one who originally got me reading by bribing me to read a novel, “Red Planet” by Robert A. Heinlein. After reading that novel I was hooked, I read everything I could find by Heinlein, including nonfiction, and went on from there reading everything I could find, author by author.

My mother was a very driven woman, and was not in my life much; she owned a real estate company in Hawaii and grew it from an unknown to being one of the most influential real estate companies in the state. She wrote the Hawaii landlord tenant code, literally, every year my sister and I would label, stamp, and mail out envelopes with updates to the thing.

My mother’s father, my grandfather, was one of the single most influential men in my life. He was a farmer, and I spent two weeks of almost every summer growing up, with him on his farm. He taught me that children were the most important thing in the world, and helped me develop the code of ethics I still follow to this day.

The most important thing about family though, in my opinion, is that it doesn’t end with your genes or bloodline, it is friends, loved ones, pets, everyone or everything you care about, or who care about you.

What is your favorite quality about yourself? Hmnn… This is a tough one. I can only say… my imagination. I see the world in a way that is unique to me, and this way of looking at the world is what has made my writing possible. To me, everyone is important, no matter their chosen occupation, or station in life.

One of the things I used to do as a child-that I do not recommend anyone do-is I would walk out of my house in the middle of the night, and go hang out with the street people. I would chat with them, and listen to their stories, and try to understand what made them leave their old lives behind. What I learned from them is that it wasn’t just one thing, it was individual to each and every one of them, and that to try to lump them together was to lie to yourself.

What is your least favorite quality in yourself? Hmnn… Another tough one. Though this one is tough for a different reason, what of the horrible things about me do I want to talk about, lol.

I think of all the things about myself that I do not like, the one that I like least is my anger. I just get mad sometimes, my father was the same way, and he eventually succumbed to alcoholism, which I believe led to his eventual death from a stroke. I control my anger better than he did, but sometimes it is so hard, that rage is actually the inspiration for one of my characters. She has to watch all the things happening to those she cares about, and she feels responsible, and that rage just builds and builds in her until she can’t take it anymore.

I personally hope I am able to keep as firm a handle on my anger as I am now, but who knows what the future holds?

What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why? This is a fun one, there are many of them of course, but my favorite will always be one from, “The Notebooks of Lazarus Long” by Robert A. Heinlein.

“To enjoy the flavor of life, take big bites, moderation is for monks.”

To me this quote embodies the spirit of life; the adage “live life to the fullest” is inherent in this quote.

What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life? Honestly? Lucking into marriage with the most wonderful woman ever. She supports my dreams, and encourages me in every endeavor, large or small.

What is your favorite color? Black.

What is your favorite food? Lefse, it is a Scandinavian dish made from potatoes, butter, and in the case of our family, sugar. It is a desert generally reserved for holidays, and it is delicious.

What is your favorite place in the world? I am not the outdoorsy type, so my favorite place in the whole world would have to be my office, in my home. I sit here and my cats keep me company, curling up on my feet, or watching as the words appear on the screen. Sometimes my wife joins me in here and we laugh at the cats antics, or we play games together… Yes, of all the places in the world I could say I love; my office is number one among them. Not because it is my office, but because of what the people who come in here bring with them, fun, love, and good company.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? Vividly, when I was going to elementary school, they discovered I had a learning disorder, which was later classified as Autism. They also discovered I had a rather higher than normal IQ. So they sent me to a special school on Pearl Harbor called Assets.

At Assets, I met Mrs. Chuck Lee, a school teacher. As a class assignment she had everyone in the class write a short story, just four pages, but even so short a paper was torture for me. You see, part of my learning disability was that small motions caused sharp pains in me, so writing, literally, hurt. However, as soon as my pen touched the page, and I began writing the story, my imagination jumped up and took over, before I was done I had written a sixteen page story instead of the four page story originally assigned, and from that day on, I was a writer.

What inspires you to write and why? A lot of things inspire me to write. But mostly it’s just a matter of, I have to write. I am a writer, because I am a writer.

If I don’t write I start to suffer from depression, I don’t eat properly, I get snappish. So, I write to be a better person than I am without writing, the fact that some people enjoy reading what I write is just a bonus.

What genre are you most comfortable writing? Fantasy, in fantasy you are telling a story about people, nothing else is fixed in fantasy, I could say the sky was purple and the grass was orange with green polka dots and it would still be valid as fantasy, but people, make a character who doesn’t resonate with someone… then it would seem unreal.

Buy Now @ Amazon

(soon available as an audio book)

Genre – Dark Fantasy

Rating – R

More details about the book

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