I’d like to introduce you to G. David Schofield. I had the awesome privilege of interviewing him which you can read below. He wrote a short story called Men On The Moon.
It’s a story about a man, captain of industry Winston Farmer, who during a flight delay at a Seattle airport bar, plans to drink himself into oblivion, enjoy some laughs, and then commit suicide. His new friend Ted, an idealistic young man, has a different plan for him…
This is a short story about the thin line between love and redemption.
Tell me something about yourself. (Where did you grow up, significant relationships, what do you do for fun because writing, as little or as much as you want).
I grew up in Detroit, Michigan, a place where I still call home even though I currently reside in sunny St. Petersburg, Florida. Detroit is an inspiring place, sort of like the protagonist who gets knocked down time and again, but always gets back up to fight. The resilience of the city carries over to its people, and if I didn’t have such a difficult time with the winter cold, I’d move back there in a heartbeat.
Growing up, when I wasn’t out there raising hell and perfecting my prankster skills, I participated in the church’s children’s ministry where I learned puppetry. I found creating stories and worlds in my head to be more interesting than anything forced down my throat in school. I knew I was the type who had to be involved in something creative in order to be happy.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
Actually, I originally wanted to be a film director and screenwriter. I had family commitments which precluded me from moving out to Los Angeles or New York, and it’s hard to break into the business if you’re not where the action’s at. So, my late mentor suggested I convert my screenplays to novels so I could get my work out there without having to move. It sounded like an odd proposition at the time, but I eventually took the bait. Having only written screenplays, I spent a good year trying to learn how to adapt to writing in novel format. I quickly learned my weaknesses, and it took a lot of tenacity and faith to make the transition.
What have you written? Tell me about them.
My first manuscript is a character study about a nursing student who sustains a sexual assault and embarks on a journey of healing. My second manuscript deals with a homeless man who earns a shot at spiritual redemption during the twilight of his life. My third one, which I’m currently working on, is about a depression-era government agency that investigates supernatural crimes.
I just self-published a short story named “Men of the Moon,” which deals with flight delays, drunken laughter, and a suicide threat… fun stuff J
What is your favorite genre to write?
I know many writers are genre monogamous, but I just don’t have it in me to be that faithful. I remember as a young filmmaker wannabe, I was so intrigued how someone like Stanley Kubrick or Vincente Minelli could produce stellar work in various genres. My first novel is a Young Adult piece. My second one is Literary Fiction, and the third one I’m working on now would fall under Magical Realism. So, I guess a Western or a Romance novel comes next J
Tell me about your writing process.
I start out with a bare bones skeletal structure, just the basic plot points. Then, as the story gains momentum, I begin to add tons of flesh to the skeleton. Then, I take a mandatory break, which helps restore energy and objectivity. Then, with a fresh set of eyes, I begin the hacking process. If a scene or line does not move the story forward, move the character forward, or stand out because it is so freakin’ excellent, then it dies a bloody death..
Also, during production, I take frequent breaks, and they usually involve short walks or playing video games to decompress.
Where do you get the inspiration for your novels?
I love to ask questions which make people feel uncomfortable. Not for the sake of being provocative, but to explore ideas and transcend barriers. I love the grey area of human nature, for example: the cop who treats his kids like crap and the villain who raises money to help orphans. As a reader, I hate being told what to think and what I’m supposed to glean from a story. As a writer, I want to present a world and let the people decide what to think and whom to like.
Sometimes, novels are born out of accidents. I had one idea for a book about an ex-con who readjusts to life after serving twenty years for a crime he did not commit. I also had an idea about a homeless tent city population who not only fights for survival, but wages a war against intolerance. I ended up combining both of those ideas, which became my second manuscript.
What sort of research do you do for your novels?
It depends. For my first book, the protagonist is a nursing student. I got lucky because I am a registered nurse, and I knew the ins and outs of nursing school hell firsthand. However, she’s a rape victim. I am not a woman, and I’ve never been an assault victim, so to get in her head, I conducted a few interviews, read tons of articles about the effects of abuse, anything I could get my hands on. I specifically asked my female beta readers to let me know if there’s anything about my protagonist or her feelings which come across as absurd or worse: indications that the writer doesn’t know anything about writing female characters.
I like writing about personalities and situations I don’t deal with in my own life. It gives me a chance to not only sharpen my research skills, but also write more objectively. I remember a film lecturer once advising the audience to never have a passionate Civil War buff write a movie about the Civil War, too much subjectivity. I know the old adage of writing what you know, but if you’re overly familiar with the world you’re writing about and have exhausted your sense of curiosity, then you will lose your readers. So, my formula: Research + Objectivity.
Do you have a special place where you write?
My cozy office desk works just swell… that is until cabin fever consumes me and pushes me toward a state of madness. If and when that happens, I hurry down to McDonald’s and continue my work while guzzling copious servings of Diet Coke (Yes, I know about the evil menace known as Aspartame, but the chemical and I have longstanding ties J).
Do you have any type of music you listen to while you write?
It depends. If the magic’s flowing, a little classic jazz transports my mind to a special place. Sometimes, if I need to phase out this reality and totally immerse myself into the world of my piece, I will slap on the headphones and put on one of those YouTube videos which feature hours of white noise.
Do you have any rituals before or while you write?
I do my best work when I spring out of bed first thing in the morning and start writing, no room for noise or the world’s clutter to invade my psyche.
How long does it usually take you to complete a book?
I’m a quick first-drafter, but I way over extend my stay in editing hell. I completed my first full-length manuscript in a month, and then about six months of editing and rewrites.
What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?
Ask me to attend a dinner party and make silly small talk with a bunch of strangers, I’ll be anxiety galore. Sitting at my desk and bleeding my imagination onto paper makes more sense than participating in the normal world.
Do you write full-time or part-time?
I write full-time while on my current sabbatical, but that will change soon.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
Mostly in the area of confidence… now I only question my talent ten times a day instead of two-hundred times a day.
What are you passionate about?
Outside of the writing and reading world, I am incredibly passionate about jazz, urban exploration, college football, Detroit Tigers Baseball, cooking, and the beach.
Have you written any books that made a transformative effect on you? If so, in what way?
My second manuscript, which deals with homelessness, really had a major transformative effect on me. While we have made leaps in the world of tolerance when it comes to different races and sexual orientations, we have yet to fully extend compassion to the homeless. Working on that manuscript forced me to challenge what I thought I knew, and perhaps made me examine my soul with more clarity and honesty.
Do you find yourself returning to any recurring themes within your writing and, if so, are you any closer to finding an answer?
I tend to take my characters to a dark and abysmal place, but then I lift them up and enjoy a rather happy transcendence. I don’t think I ever will have an answer, and it’s the search for an answer which keeps me writing. Someone once said that writers are first and foremost explorers.
What can we expect from you in the future?
If you could jump ahead in time, what would be happening for you?
Hopefully, I will be still writing.
What influenced your decision to self-publish?
Well, I’m a halfsie on this one because I am seeking agent representation for my novels, but I have decided to self-publish my short stories. I think I like to keep a wide array of options open.
If you have experience with both traditional and indie publishing, compare the two.
There are really pros and cons to both of them. If you’re an astute marketer, then you will fare well going self-pub, but if you’re not such a great promoter, you’d be better off taking your chances going traditional.
How do you market your book?
That’s something which doesn’t come to me so easily, so I’m still working on it
Do you design your own book covers?
Yes, and I have one magical word: Canva. It’s now easier than ever to get on board and make your cover pop!
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