Author Interviewed by Paul Cody, Co-Founder of 1Billion Student Stories

: David when was the FIRST time you realized you had such a remarkable talent for writing?

David: There is a gray area that exists between THINKING you have talent and REALIZING you have talent. I don’t really know where the edge is, unless you start objectively counting numbers. Perhaps begin to cross that line when that first person says, “This is really good.” Personally, I don’t recall a specific time. For most writers, the writing is much more figurative. Writing represents different things to different people. For some it can be cathartic or serve as a venue for unexpressed thoughts, feelings and emotions. For others, writing is linear – I want to tell a story – this story – and this is how I will tell it. For me, I write to give life to characters and to share their stories so readers can be educated, entertained, and feel their own emotions released alongside the person’s on the page. For me, TALENT is being able to surprise myself, make myself laugh or cry, in “helping” one of my characters tell their story.

Paul: Who was the teacher that had the most impact on your life?

David: John Steinbeck. Unfortunately, I was born too late to attend any classes so I learned from reading his work and his letters to family, friends, and business associates.

Paul: As Author of Cherokee Talisman, Happy Historian and former Writing Instructor how would you inspire aspiring writers and children to pursue their dreams through higher education?

David: If you want to learn to write, you must learn to read. Writing is ‘wordsmithing’. You must have the tools. Read all you can. Within that reading you will stumble upon your niche – a genre that excites you. Now you have a focus for your passion. Through practice writing – ANY style of writing, you will come to your own ‘voice’ – how you will express something with words. It’s not easy. Like all things worthwhile, there are dues to be paid and practice practice practice. I teach writing, but I can’t teach you how to write, “good story” – not “a good story” (we can muddle through that together), but “good story”. A television network runs an ad saying, “Story Matters Here.” With all writing it is always the story. Of course there are layers to good story, most often conflict of some type – internal vs external, man vs beast or the elements, good vs bad – and with conflict comes decisions and with decisions come consequences and new conflict. “Good story” comes to life within this cycle. As the writer you decide, with your characters, where you help your readers get in or out of this cycle, and how they move from one phase of “good story” to the next. Lastly, read the dictionary. Yes, all of it! And when a character begs you for a word or a phrase, it will come out of that deep well of tools and practice you have stored.

Do this one thing for me, mice. (Steinbeck called young writers “mice”.) Put a dictionary next to your keyboard. Put one hand on the dictionary and the other on the keyboard. Every Pulitzer Prize winning story; every Oscar for Best Screenplay; every Nobel Prize for Literature; is right there in your hands. Every word from every “Good Story” for the next 100 years is right there in that book. Now… arrange them.

Reported by Paul Cody, who would Love to Interview your Talents and Passion to inspire students to pursue their Dreams through Higher Education , Co-Founder 1 Billion Student Stories, 1 Billion Love Stories, 1 Billion Pet Stories

To be Interviewed to inspire students DM Paul


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