Welcome to my blog. I hope you will return often for that second cup.

Writing has become more than a way to make lists or keep in touch with friends. It is a vital part of who I am. For the past few years I've been writing essays, devotionals, a memoir, and several novels. I invite you to join me on this site so we can explore ways together to improve our writings. Words can be beautiful or they can be hurtful - even devastating. The well-placed word or phrase, the choice metaphor, a fresh perspective - each can add to the reader's participation in sharing the thoughts of the writer. I invite anyone who wants to improve their work or even if you have never attempted writing beyond a grocery list to return often. Feel free to add your thoughts. There are no grades given - no critics to deter you. We do this as friends - chatting over their second cup of coffee. (or tea, if you prefer.)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Interview with David Bond - Author

Dave,  welcome to my blog. It's good to have you with us this week. I'm sure my readers would be interested in learning more about you and your new e-book published by Desert Breeze Publishing House. This may seem like a strange question, but why do you write? Do you prefer fiction or non?

I write for several reasons. First, but not necessarily the main reason, I write because it’s something I can do as a blind person. For years after losing my sight (1988) I sought some kind of traditional employment. When I finally realized I wasn’t meant to travel that particular road, several things happened to point me toward writing. But secondly, and maybe this is more important, I love to write. Plain and simple! I prefer fiction over non-fiction, probably because I read primarily fiction.

When did you begin to write?

I lost my sight in 1988, ended up back at college (Lancaster Bible College) in 1992, and graduated in 1995 with a BS in Bible. I was traditionally employed until 2000, until the ministry I worked for closed its doors. So, somewhere in the early 2000s, I discovered writing and while it was on and off for a few years, I mark the early 2000s as my beginning point for my writing career.

How did you get your first break as a writer?

Around this time (early 2000s), I submitted a short article for a publication and it was accepted. It wasn’t much--earning me a whopping $50—but it was the beginning. I belonged to various online writing lists and read a lot, and at some point, maybe 2007, or 2008, I began to take writing very seriously. I guess my “first break” happened last year, when in May of 2011, my proposal for a trilogy was accepted and I signed my first contract.

How much time to you spend in preparation? In actual writing? In editing?

Unlike many writers these days, I’m able to devote the greater part of most days to writing since I don’t have any other employment. My wife works, and for 9 months of the year, our son is in school. The house is a quiet haven for me during the day, which is my preference for writing. I don’t spend all that much time in preparation, although, as I think about this, I probably spend more time than I realize. Does lying in bed at night, unable to sleep, count as prep time? I’ll come up with a story idea and create a folder, which might have only one file in it. This is the first file to go in that folder, and it’s my “notes” file. This could be my preparation time for a future project. But when I’m ready to write, I write. Having said this, I stop and think in between bursts of writing. As I tell my wife who used to wonder what I was doing—sitting at my computer as if I were sleeping—I’m thinking! AS far as editing, well, this is my least favorite chore. I know it’s vital, and when I’m going through the critiques from my critique group, while I hate it in many ways, I also know how beneficial it is.

Who is your best critic?

Hmmm. No one person. My critique group forms what amounts to my critique force. My wife isn’t a reader, so she isn’t someone I run to for help with my writing. But my mother-in-law is, and I usually have her proof my final author copy.

What is your writing space like?

I’m set up in our living room, where I have a laptop with a USB keyboard attached. It’s parked on a small computer desk, and while I end up separated from my wife and son sometimes, when they’re in the family room watching TV, it does serve as my haven. It’s a good place, and since I require quietness to write, it really does the trick.

Time wise - do you write daily? Weekly?

Daily. I’m trying to force myself not to write on Sundays. The Bible instructs us Sunday is a day of rest. Well, the trouble is, I don’t see writing as work to be perfectly honest. And when I’m in the middle of something—a scene or approaching the end—it’s very hard to walk away from my writing for a day. I don’t necessarily spend 12 hours or whatever writing, as my diabetes requires a good bit of maintenance, and I’m also not a complete drop-out parent or husband!

Do you wait for inspiration?

I guess all of us have a unique definition of inspiration. I label myself as an “inspirational” writer, so it’s probably correct to use this to describe my writing process. But in the Biblical sense, no, I am not inspired. The Scriptures were inspired writings, so I try not to present my writing as something even remotely inspired in the same sense. I might say story ideas pop into my head, as a result of God directing my thoughts. AS I type this, I see I’m sort of talking in circles! Yes, God does direct my thoughts, or at least, He is able if I’m receptive, but no, my writing is not inspired in the same way the Scriptures were.

Okay, big one here. Do you start out with coffee?

Absolutely. I’m the first one downstairs in the morning, and nothing happens until I’ve had coffee! No breakfast, no shower, no writing. One sugar cube, and a healthy dose of French vanilla creamer! I’ll do one more cup when I get ready to start my writing day, which is usually taking care of emails and not actually writing yet.

Dave, what is your goal -  long term?

For the moment, it’s to finish out my 6-book contract! I’m trying to focus on getting this task accomplished, and not just accomplished, but done well. Book 6 will be released November, 2013, with the manuscript due 4 months earlier—July, 2013. So for the moment, my goal is to this end. After that, well, I do have a notes file I’ve started for another trilogy, and which way I go with this remains to be seen. I have plenty of time to figure it out.  6-book contract?

Whoa. That is a challenge.

Any advise to wanna-be's?

Just go for it! Write in an area you are familiar with, but also write about a topic or topics you might happen to have some experience. My debut, The Attaché, has a main character who loses his eye sight. I was able to input a lot of my own experiences into this character, which helps the character, and the story, to be more authentic, but is also a little easier in many ways.

Now please tell us about your new book.

Zack Brenner is blinded after a mortar attack by insurgents in Iraq. The penetrating gaze of a woman he saw in an email before he lost his sight is seared into his memory. A failing family business back home in Pennsylvania awaits his return, and he must learn to live independently as a blind person.  Incredibly, he can’t help fall in love with the woman from the email.

Jessie Weaver narrowly escaped the North Tower on 9/11 after a brief encounter with a handsome visitor who left an attaché behind. She is determined to find him again, and her only hope is to work for the man’s family business, now owned and managed by his blinded brother Zach. Jessie faces a test of loyalty as she questions her devotion to a wandering stranger, versus her growing compassion for Zach.

Seeking to accomplish something, Zach is determined to climb his beloved mountain. A long buried family secret emerges, and a madman threatens the lives of Zack and Jessie. The Attaché is a story about overcoming obstacles, acceptance, and trust.

Is there truth in the words found in Scripture? “With man this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.”

It sounds very interesting and you have agreed to offer a free e-book copy to someone selected from those who leave comments. We will select the recipient next Saturday - so please, dear readers, leave Dave a comment here and maybe you'll be the lucky person to receive a copy of his new book. Best wishes, Dave, and thanks for joining me this week.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Book Review for THE LANDLORD

Received a 4-cup (same as 4-star) rating today from a reviewer of Coffee Time Romance Blog. Thought I'd share it with you.

ISBN- 978-1-61252-121-3
December, 2011
Desert Breeze Publishing
$ 5.99
118 Pages
Inspirational/Christian Romance
Rating: 4 Cups
Kristen has been struggling with finding a job; she has been barely surviving, but is determined to do it on her own. Things soon start to look up with a job teaching art, but her love life is in shambles.
Dave happens upon the scene as the new landlord for Kristen’s apartment building. He is engaged, but is unsure of his relationship with his fiancé and finds he has more in common with Kirsten.
Even though they got off on the wrong foot, Kristen and Dave seem to form a friendship. Kirsten has feelings that she hopes Dave will reciprocate. Has God drawn them together, or is this just a growing period for them both?
What a wonderful sweet romance. I could so connect to Dave and Kristen as I could vividly see the background they lived in because I actually live just a stone’s throw away from where the story is set. How is that for romance in your own backyard! I love the faith in God that the characters have and that they are not afraid to stand up for their beliefs. This was a fun, fast, feel good read with characters you will enjoy reading about.
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More