Saturday, 22 December 2012
Author Interview: Dan Andrews
My name is Dan Andrews. My first book, Sons of Suicide, is the introduction to what will be my legacy in writing.
When I'm not writing you can find me enjoying cigars with my best friends, getting tattooed, explaining the meaning of life to people, spending time at the shooting range, screaming at my computer screen because I died in a video game, or lifting weights.
My mission in life is to provide the world with the best books it has seen in many decades, but the power is in my readers' hands to determine whether or not I achieve my mission.
Do you plan everything or just let the story flow?
With my first book Sons of Suicide, seeing as it is a memoir, the story was entirely based on reality and all of the stories in the book actaully occurred. Obviously, this means very little of it was planned, but I also couldn't let the stories go wherever they wanted since they had already laid themselves out in real life. In the future, though, when I try my hand at fiction, I intend on planning out the large thematic events but otherwise letting the story flow the way it needs to in order to teach the lessons and elicit the emotions I want to get out of the reader.
Do your characters ever want to take over the story?
Having only authored a memoir thus far, I was definitely able to let my character dominate the book because that is where the entire story originates from. I think in that way it provides a satisfying experience since it is very easy for the reader to resonate with my experiences on a visceral level.
What is your favourite food?
French Toast. With an absurd amount of syrup.
Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Night Owl 100%, I am lucky to be up before 2pm on most days.
Where do you dream of travelling to and why?
Philadelphia, even though it isn't particularly exotic. I have some exceptional friends out there that I wish I could spend more time with.
Do distant places feature in your books?
No, there are no barren desert lands or luscious jungles in my stories yet. A P.O.W. camp in Holland during WWII is about as adventurous as Sons of Suicide gets in terms of traveling.
Do you listen to music while writing?
It depends, if I do, it is on quietly to set the atmosphere since I have trouble writing with too much external input.
Could you tell us a bit about your latest release?
I wrote it to provide an account of a very intimate walk through of my experience coping with my Mother's suicide, in hopes that the reader would receive some form of catharsis from their own tragedies, as well as benefit from all of the insight I have learned in spite of my mothers death. To be clear it is not a sob story, I took a lot of care to include really entertaining and, at times, funny stories, but the focus is on triumphing over tragedy.
What have you learned about writing and publishing since you first started?
Everything. My editors taught me more about manipulating syntax and literary devices than all of my other schooling combined. They showed me how to write like some of the greatest legends in writing. The publishing business is tough, if you go with a traditional publishing house you're destined to be poor, so if you have a relentless spirit, self-publishing is the way to go, just be ready to out-work every other author.
Is there anything you would do differently?
So far... Not yet... It is still early in the game though, and I'm sure there will be things that I change with my future books.
Who, or what, if anything has influenced your writing?
Ernest Hemingway was by far my largest influence in writing. I think his story content is generally terrible, but he wrote a story like no one else can in terms of style. Also, hating the way George R.R. Martin and authors of his style write really gave me something to avoid. My writing is anaerobic in nature, it exists on its own without superfluous and erroneous detail that fantasy authors are known for. I think brevity is a skill lost on modern authors, and as an author myself, I think we have a responsibility to not waste reader's time.
(B&T: I think I must have writtten one of the shortest fantasy novels ever, no overblown description in there, LOL!)
Anything you would say to those just starting out in the craft?
Take action. Publishing a bad book is infinitely better than never publishing a book. It's a process, you learn as you make mistakes and say stupid things, therefore, start making mistakes and saying stupid things.
What are three words that describe you?
Anomaly, integrity, and unrelenting.
What's your favourite book or who is your favourite writer?
As I said Hemingway is my favorite writer stylistically. My favorite book would have to be Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, it has the ability to change lives in a positive manner like no book I have ever read.
Blurb of your latest release or coming soon book
"An insightful, viscerally emotional memoir, Sons of Suicide relates the story of a young man’s life after losing his Mother to suicide—and succeeding, in spite of experiencing one of the most devastating tragedies known to man.
At eleven, Dan Andrews was abandoned by his Mother. Fatefully, she made the timeless drive down Lake Shore Drive in downtown Chicago, parked her car alongside Buckingham Fountain, and, after sitting and smoking a few last cigarettes, drowned herself in Lake Michigan.
His Mother’s grave decision has given Andrews the ability to perceive and contemplate loss in a way not written about in recent history. Shared with brutal vulnerability and skill, sprinkled with humor and sexuality, Sons of Suicide masterfully entertains and enlightens the reader— serving as a catharsis to the feeling of loss, a feeling to which all humans relate."
Any websites/places readers can find you on the web.
Thank you, Dan and good luck with your book :)