Posted on 02/21/2017 at 12:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek
Fussy reader Sharon P. suggested recently that we interview David Wood, an adventure/speculative fiction author whose Dane Maddock series she enjoys.
We agree that he was a great choice — his incredible collection of collaborations struck us as unique among the folks we’ve interviewed so far.
Get to know the author also known as fantasy writer David Debord in the following interview.
SADYE: How did you get into writing?
DAVID: I wanted to be a writer ever since I was a kid but didn’t muster the courage to put my words out there until I joined an online writing workshop back in the late 1990s. That was when I finally got serious.
SADYE: How did you decide to seek publication?
DAVID: My original plan was to seek publication through traditional means, but I had a novel that was too short to be marketable in its genre, so I decided on a whim to self-publish it.
Surprisingly, it sold well and got the ball rolling on my Dane Maddock Adventures series. I eventually founded my own publishing house, though I do have a new book coming out soon with Cohesion Press.
SADYE: You mentioned that patience was key as you worked to improve your writing and build your audience. Any advice on how to do that?
DAVID: I could write pages on this one! In terms of improving writing, remember it’s a lifelong journey. We can always find new ways to improve or to reinforce old lessons.
Also, don’t dive in too soon. If you don’t develop at least some mastery of craft, you can do irreparable damage to your career and might find yourself having to start over under another pen name down the road.
In terms of audience-building, don’t give up if things don’t happen right away. Keep writing, keep publishing, keep cultivating relationships with readers, and keep learning new ways of reaching readers.
It’s rare that your career will take off with book one, so don’t give up if that doesn’t happen. Also, don’t blow a lot of money on advertising until you have multiple books in your catalog. I recommend a minimum of three.
SADYE: What’s your proudest moment as a writer?
DAVID: I think one of my proudest moments came this past summer when Amazon licensed rights to my Dane Maddock series for inclusion in its Kindle Worlds program. Seeing the series I created standing alongside popular media properties and book series by talented authors is humbling but gratifying.
SADYE: You have quite a few books that you’ve co-authored. How exactly does that work?
DAVID: I work a bit differently with each of my co-authors, but in general, we brainstorm an idea. I then research it and put together a detailed outline (usually 10,000-15,000 words). The co-author writes the first draft, consulting with me as needed, and then I take it from there.
I enjoy the dynamic of working with another author, and it allows me to put out much more material than if I were only writing solo books. Like most authors, I have more ideas than I’ll ever be able to write and am always coming up with more.
SADYE: What were some of the unique challenges/rewards of being the co-author to a book in a series that would have another book following?
DAVID: With books in the Dane Maddock universe, it’s easy. I’m the final authority.
With a book like the forthcoming Primordial, which I co-authored with Alan Baxter, there has to be give-and-take. None of the characters are exclusively “mine” or “his,” and the direction of the series is something we have to work out together.
Sometimes you give ground for the sake of the partnership, even if you’re leaning a different direction. More often, the story ends up stronger because your writing partner has great ideas you wouldn’t have thought of, and can lend her/his unique talents.
It’s definitely not for everyone. You have to communicate honestly, be able to handle honesty in return, and not be precious about your work.
SADYE: What’s it like doing a podcast?
DAVID: It can be a lot of fun, but I’m an author first, publisher second, and podcaster is way down there, which is why we don’t crank out episodes on a weekly schedule like the dedicated podcasters do.
I love podcasting and listening to podcasts because it’s a great way to learn new things, network with other authors, and give back to the community. I’ve made some great friends through podcasting.
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Know an author you'd like to see featured? Email sadye (at) thefussylibrarian.com with a recommendation!
Categories: Author Interview