Welcome, Dave. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I’m still new at this. IN my debut, The Attaché, Zach Brenner loses his eyesight. So for starters, in this novel, readers will see a good bit of me in this character. Readers will also see another part of me in book 2 of this series, All Things Are Possible, with the heroine this time developing type 1 diabetes, and experiencing several common traumatic symptoms.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
In real life? Hmmm. Quirky is hard for me to define. Bizarre? Stupid? Unbelievable? Amazingly spontaneous? I’m somewhat of an eccentric I think, notably as I’ve gotten older. But as a teenager, I had my moments of quirkiness. When I was 16 or so, I had a dirt bike motorcycle and one night I took 3 of my buddies for a ride! Yes, 4 teenage boys on this little 90CC motorcycle, no helmets, riding around a couple of the country roads where we lived! How’s that for quirky? And the local cop just happened to come along and ticket me! Yes, me, because my “buddies” managed to run off into some nearby fields in the blackness of the night! Ironically, we caught the cop’s attention because the guy sitting on the handlebars (in front of me) was blocking the headlight with his legs!
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
English was never a favorite subject. I don’t think I did particularly well in high school, or college, and disliked writing papers as I recall. In the late 90s I was program director for a ministry to victims of crime. I started a newsletter which always had a short article written by me in it. I think I’ve always been impressed with writers, and when my job as program director was eliminated in 2000, I had plenty of time for reading. To make a longer story shorter, this lead me down a path of discovery where I found the wonderful world of Christian/inspirational fiction! And I soon started learning the craft, mostly because I loved how gifted authors could weave a good story and mix in sub-plots which in the end resulted in a satisfying experience.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I don’t limit my reading to inspirational fiction. Since most of my reading material (audio tapes, and now digital talking books) comes from the NLS (National Library Service), which is to say the books in the collection are picked by people who aren’t necessarily Christians, I’ve always read books from a broad range of genres. But I generally read historic fiction, contemporary fiction, adventure, westerns, and a good bit of British fiction. Also common to these are stories with a romance component since I must admit to enjoying romance as long as it isn’t overly formulaic or sexually explicit.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I’m not so much in a “run, run…” world. My life is quite reclusive in truth. And this suits me as a writer. My wife works, and we have a teenage son, and during the school year I have plenty of quiet time during the day to focus on story ideas and getting them in writing.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
Coming up with names is one of the hardest things for me! I’ve done the Internet lookup on the government site for popular names in a given year, and I’ve even looked up names in yellow pages for a particular region. In the end, I go with some names, and usually change them once or twice. For younger character names, I’ve asked my son for names of his friends. If I hear a name mentioned, I try to make a note of it, or if my wife is with me, I ask for her feedback on a name.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
I’m working on that! At the present time it’s probably the release of my debut novel. I sometimes think my friends and family are more aware of the accomplishment than I am. I tend to arrive at some destination and quickly look toward the next one. So I guess you could say, with my debut out, I’m looking ahead to the releases of the next novels. I’m contracted for a total of 6 books through November, 2013, so this is probably the accomplishment I am most pleased with for the moment.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
Hmmm. A dog I think. I marvel at our dog who spends hours at a time in a crate, and when released comes out wagging her tail and happier than anything to see us. I’d like to have this kind of attitude. I don’t think I’d make a good dog though!
What is your favorite food?
A birthday tradition is to have your favorite cake or pie for the dessert. My 2 favorite desserts are, coconut cream pie, or German chocolate cake. And, yes, I am diabetic, but we can enjoy these treats if allowed for!
I love the old-time coconut cream pie that had meringue on it, not whipped cream. They’re hard to find these days. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I can’t say I encountered a major roadblock. Other than the ongoing process of learning how to write better. In the early 2000s, as my writing career got underway, the biggest topics of discussion involved, show versus tell, and head hopping. Showing and not telling is probably the one I have to work hardest at. Especially as a blind writer. But God has blessed me with an abundance of creativity, which in the end enables me to write scenes and dialogue where I am able to show and not tell.
Tell us about the featured book.
The Attaché is a romance with a sub-plot about blindness. I like the blurb I have on Amazon:
Jessie Weaver narrowly escapes the
on 9/11 and sets out to find her destiny. She owes her life to a man, and his
tattered attaché. Zach Brenner believes he is doing something productive for
once by going to North Tower
as a private contractor, but ends up losing his eyesight. Jessie is convinced
the attaché is her link to a man she believes she could love. But when she
takes a job working for his family business, now owned and managed by his
blinded brother Zach, she must come face to face with a new destiny. Will Zach
find his footing in a suddenly dark world, and will he ever find his purpose in
life? What if Jessie never sees Joel again? Only a Divine power could have
placed two people going in opposite directions on a collision course with
destiny, and each other. Yes, miracles do happen. Iraq
Please give us the first page of the book.
The bridge at Tikrit, over the fast-flowing
was almost rebuilt, and two others had been reopened. Zach Brenner's duties as
a supply chain supervisor were straightforward, compared to the contractors
doing the actual reconstruction. A few months back, four Turkish civilian
contractors had been brutally murdered, their corpses burned and hung from the
Tikrit bridge still under construction. Tigris River
He shook his head in a vain attempt to dislodge the images of the tragedy. Private contractors supporting military operations dated back to George Washington's day in the
and the system generally worked, but things were different today. Big dollar
contracts drew civilians like flies to a picnic. For reasons that often weren't
Zach closed his project notebook and stood up. The trailer where he worked with three other contractors, stacked like sardines in a cramped modular unit, was coffin-like when all the men were at their desks. His stomach rumbled, as sure a timepiece at meal times as his Rolex.
He left his office and ducked inside a PX to grab his Wednesday lunch -- a pre-made peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The middle-aged Kellogg, Brown, and Root, or KBR, employee gave him a cheerful smile. “Usual Wednesday sandwich? Diet Coke?”
Within minutes, she handed him a bag.
“Got it.” He paid and strolled away then crossed the street made from layers of gravel over sand, and got in line for a computer at one of the Internet café tents. There'd been a mass exit of Apache helicopters in the middle of the night, meaning a lot of the troops weren't in camp. Days when the camp was full of soldiers, meant long waits for a computer.
Zach shoved the last bite of sandwich into his mouth when a computer became available. At four dollars an hour, he refused to use the Internet daily. To waste even a penny contradicted his purpose, his mission. Keep the company going and pay off debt. If in the process he could serve his country, that was extra.
His income for the last five months went almost entirely into keeping Rocky Glen Wood Products afloat. When Zach first came to
, determined to fund the
company and get the books back into the black, motivation and a sense of
finally doing something productive had been a balm for him. Warren Soltzman was
the man temporarily in charge of the company, located near Iraq .
He had a long history with Rocky Glen, going back to the time his father, Henry
Brenner, converted the old sawmill into a wood products manufacturing business. Hynley, Pennsylvania
last update, business was on the upswing -- to the extent of hiring two new
employees. Email messages between Warren and Zach were normally brief, to the
liked to get right to the heart of the matter. Warren
“Landed a nice job with Hartman. The upfront cash made the books look a lot better.”
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Web site: http://www.authordavidbond.comEmail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you, Dave, for the interesting interview.
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