My interview for today is with D.L. Young, author of Juarez Square and Soledad (due out May 23, 2016), and contributing author in several anthologies.
CTC – Welcome, David, and thank you for taking time to answer questions for my readers today.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
DLY – I wrote Speed Racer fan fiction in elementary school.
CTC – How long does it take you to write a book?
DLY – My first novel’s in the finishing stages now. It’ll end up taking eight months start to finish.
CTC – What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
DLY – Monday through Friday I write from 5AM until 7AM. With two grade school-aged kids and a demanding day job, it’s about the only time I have to myself.
CTC – What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
DLY – Probably that I don’t have quirks. I take a fairly workmanlike approach to writing. Sit down and do it, no excuses. I don’t believe in writer’s block.
CTC – Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
DLY – News stories, history, non-fiction books on topics that interest me. There’s no shortage of great ideas for stories if you keep your eyes open and stay curious about the world around you.
CTC – What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
DLY – I have a lot of friends in the fashion industry, so I travel to New York as often as I can to hang out with them. I also like to rock climb, skydive, and spend time at my vineyard. Wait, that’s my fantasy life. The reality is pretty domestic. I like to hang out with my wife and kids. Cook. Read. Watch movies and soccer matches. Manchester United forever!
CTC – What does your family think of your writing?
DLY – Most of what I write is R-rated (some of it NC-17), so my kids are still too young to read my stuff. My wife reads just about everything I write and she’s a great sounding board, but she’d like me to write happier stories with more upbeat endings. I always answer her by saying things like, “How dramatic would it have been if Hamlet would have lived or if Romeo and Juliet would have ridden off into the sunset together?”
CTC – What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
DLY – My books are indie-published, so for me the BIG learning curve was around production and marketing. I hate the term ‘self-publishing’ because–if you’re doing it right–independent publishing is anything but a solitary effort. It’s total project management. You have to hire a cover artist, editor, proofreader. You need to recruit beta readers and reach out to potential reviewers. And that’s just the production side. Marketing is another monster altogether. Events, advertising, giveaways, and so on. You’re always juggling several balls at once. Traditionally published authors don’t have most of these headaches, but for me the trade off is worth it. I like having the autonomy to make my own business decisions (what I sell, where I sell it, at what price, etc.) and the freedom to work with the professionals I choose. Indie publishing isn’t for everyone, but it’s a good fit for me.
CTC – Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?
DLY – Write, write, write. Sounds ridiculously simple, I know, but writing’s like any other skill. Repetition builds expertise. Also, having a regular writing routine and sticking to it has helped me tremendously. And don’t suffer in silence! Seek out writers in your community, meet with them, share notes, join a critique group.
CTC – Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
DLY – I keep close contact with readers via social media and, to a lesser extent, email. 99% of their comments are nice and complimentary, though occasionally I do get the ‘I hated that you killed that guy’ kind of feedback. But good feedback or otherwise, I always love hearing from readers. It never fails to make my day.
CTC – Do you like to create books for adults?
DLY – I only create books for adults. My days of Speed Racer fan fiction are far behind me. 🙂
CTC – What do you think makes a good story?
DLY – For me, a great story has an engaging, page-turning plot AND a high degree of literary style. VERY FEW authors ever pull this off. Most competent writers can do one or the other. It’s a lofty goal, but I aspire to both.
CTC – As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
DLY – I wanted to be Charles Schulz. I devoured Peanuts books and made my own comic strips. To this day I can still draw a pretty good Snoopy.
CTC – Is there anything else that you would like for the audience to know?
DLY – [Insert shameless marketing here] Anyone who joins my news and update list gets a free copy of my book Juarez Square and Other Stories, which now includes the first chapter of my forthcoming novel Soledad, a dystopian thriller coming out in May. I’m very excited about Soledad. Early readers have really loved it. You can sign up at http://www.dlyoungfiction.com
CTC – You can also follower David on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/DLYoungWriter
And, on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/DLYoungWriter
You can purchase his books on Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, iTunes, and Kobo.
In the squalid aftermath of a collapsed nation, rival factions wage vicious battles over territory and precious resources, killer drones fly overhead in search of prey, and everyday life is a desperate scramble for survival.