First and foremost, David L. is a writer of various subject matter (race relations in the U.S., male/female relationships, pros & cons of the publishing industry just to name a few), author of 4 titles (Over Your Dead Body, My Life Is A Movie, Chalk Outline Confessions: The Remix & Represent - written in that order), CEO/President of Total Package Publications, a small imprint publishing house catered to the aspiring writer looking to share their writing gift with the world, father, son, and believer in patience, perseverance, and preparation in order to get ahead in life. Secondly, David L. is a calculating, methodical individual who is a keen observer in what is going around his immediate surrounding and an active listener to what is being told to him from others. I strive to not make opinions of others, but instead - pay careful attention to one's actions - not the words that are coming out of one's mouth. After all - actions speak louder than words!
2. When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I first considered myself a writer from a very young age. At about the age of 11, I began writing comic books and wrestling magazines (with pictures cut out from actual articles) from sheer boredom. I would then distribute amongst my friends in the neighborhood and I immediately began making a name for myself with demands for more. It was a hobby born from boredom that I enjoyed - so I continued throughout my college years - writing controversial articles in the local college newspaper.
3. What inspired you to write your first book?
My inspiration for my first book, Over Your Dead Body came from the subject matter of divorce. Always a taboo conversation in inner circles, I wanted to show mainstream America the pitfalls of what happens when a couple allows a small, sometimes insignificant argument or event spiral uncontrollably into an all-out melee of sorts. Plus, I always wondered why when driving, I would see huge billboards across the highway intersections promoting divorce, conveying just how cheap and easy it was to get a divorce. To this day, I've never seen a billboard promoting the family unit to try and stick it out and make the marriage work. It's because divorce is big business for the lawyers, judges, and other aimed at making a profit at the expense of the couple going through the divorce. I also wanted to illustrate just how fine the line is when it comes to "a thin line between love and hate" and what could make a once happily-married couple want to turn around and kill one another. That there is actually a partial synopsis on the back cover of Over Your Dead Body.
4. What books have influenced your life most?
Books that have influenced my life the most come from autobiographys of individuals that I have aspired to be growing up. Individuals such as: The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X, and Clarence Jowars Smith (founder of the 5% Nation of Gods & Earths). These books made me want to challenge mainstream America with their racist ways and at the same time, teach me that everything is not always what it appears to be. Basically, these books taught me the fundamental aspect of knowledge of self.
5. If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Unfortunately (depending on how one perceives this), I did not have a mentor when I first entered the business of writing and publishing - and make no mistake about it. This is most definitely a business! I have reached out to some unnamed writers/authors in the past, but either they were too busy to lend a helping hand, or they were just not interested in helping out an upcoming writer. That is why going forward in my writing endeavors, I've made myself a promise NOT to continue the vicious cycle of ignoring those that are also aspiring to make a name for themselves in this business
6. What book are you reading now?
Actually, I am not reading any books right now. I am too busy and focused on working on my next book, tentatively titled, Revenge Is A Promise. It should be out late summer of 2013.
7. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
When I am not writing (which is rare!), I enjoy hanging out with my children, going out to eat (because tours forces you to eat at less than stellar fast food restaurants!), catching up on some good movies from back in the day, and listening to my favorite music: hip hop (circa 2000 when music was music!)
8. Where do you get your ideas for your books?
I get my ideas for my books from real life situations. As a self-proclaimed movie critic, I often wonder how much better a movie could've been if I had been part of the storyline concept from its inception. So I often find myself changing the end and crafting a story line that although somewhat similar, still very much different so that the viewer (reader) can get a fresh perspective seen through my eyes. I also want to ensure that the average reader can get something educational from my writing and still be entertained. And in order to do that, I feel that they must be able to relate to it.
9. What new author has grasped your interest?
Honestly, I have not had the time to follow any new writers at this moment. There are some writers that I have noticed on Facebook making a name for themselves, and I am happy for their success. They may not be mentioned here in this interview, but I have hit a few of them up from time to time to let them know that they are on my "radar".
10. If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be?
If I was not an author, I would still be doing social work. I am a licensed Master's level social worker with a clinical background so that is why the majority of my books have storylines in which I tackle subject matter which forces the reader to think and at the same time, be entertained with my uncanny style of humor and all around good fun.
11. What was your favorite chapter to write and why?
My favorite chapter to write would probably be the prologue for Chalk Outline Confessions: The Remix. It was there that I began experimenting with 1st person / 3rd person as well as past tense / present tense writing styles in which I had to challenge myself to give parts of the ending away without giving too much of the overall storyline away. That was alot of research, but in the end, made me a much better and complete writer.
12. Why do you feel you had to tell this story?
I had to tell this story because as an avid fan of serial killer movies, I never saw one in which the antagonist (killer) was a female, let alone a Black female. Up until I wrote Chalk Outline Confessions: The Remix, all of your typical, neighborhood serial killers have been white males. I wanted to put my own unique twist to this and create a character that could also still be believable as well as intriguing from a male perspective so writing this book, I interviewed several women in order to grasp their understanding on how they would go about doing certain things throughout the book.
13. Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
My upcoming book is about 4 females that re-unite at their 10 year high school reunion and find out that they have much more in common than they could possibly ever imagine. Without giving too much of it away, it portrays just how much a person's life could change when faced with a traumatic event in which they feel that they are all alone in their situation. In this book, we have an ex prom queen who turned into an obsessive-compulsive food addict, and a woman voted most likely to succeed who is now in and out of jail, battling a heroin addiction.
14. How do you market your book(s)?
I market my books the only way I know how - WORD OF MOUTH! Although my books can also be purchased via the conventional route: booksigning tours, bookstores, online websites, word of mouth has been my greatest ally because people want to get close to the person that wrote the book and possibly get into their mind - if only for a minute to find out why they wrote what they wrote. It is for that reason alone that I am so interactive with my readers. It's because those are the ones that keep my name alive and allow me to be here presently interviewed by you. Without them, there would be no David L. and no forthcoming book!
15. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
My advice for aspiring authors is as cliche as it can be... but it is still true to this day: JUST DO IT! Although that slogan is taken from an old Nike commercial, it is as true as true can be. Stop talking about what you WANT to do and why you DON'T have time to write and start writing! Get your a** off the couch and away from the television set, put down the chocolate donuts you just purchased from Dunkin Donuts and pick up a pen! If you have time to watch Real Housewives of Atlanta and all them other trivial "reality" shows, you have time to write. If you have time to post 28 comments of Face book within a 30 minute time period, you have time to write. If you have time to wait on line for that new Iphone 5, YOU HAVE TIME TO WRITE!
This is a public service announcement from David L. and I am looking forward to becoming your new favorite author for each and every person reading this right now. Stay tuned because the best has yet to come... and remember - all David L. titles are available via my website at www.totalpackagepublications.com, Kindle & Nook. Please remember to post a review on www.amazon.com afterwards!
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