Interview with David J. VanBuskirk

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, I do. It was a first person article that I wrote for Reader's Digest. They didn't print it, but sent me a nice letter, signed in ink, encouraging me to continue writing and submit more articles to them. I sent my story off to the Leatherneck Magazine, and they bought it for $50.00.
What's the story behind your latest book?
During my thirty-two years as an undertaker, I saw death first hand. I've seen the bodies of old people who died of natural causes, and some on the most gruesome, and grotesque looking bodies imaginable. My story tells about some of those bodies, my relationship to the circumstances, and the part I played in the removal and disposition of those bodies.
How do you approach cover design?
I've only done that once. I believe the cover should reflect the interior. My book, "My Life With Death", deals mostly with the dead, the gruesome dead. The murders, the suicides, and the horrible accidents that happen to people. That's why I chose the Grim Reaper for its cover.
What is your writing process?
I like to write my first draft in longhand, then type it into my computer. I put down as much information as possible. Once I've transferred my longhand to my computer, I make a complete copy and start editing, with my trusty #2 pencil. I always have my lined tablet at the ready for notes, etc..
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I can't remember the first story I ever read. My favorites though, were Edgar Rice Boroughs' Tarzan series, and Louis Lamar's western classics. My favorite, and the book that influenced me most was Battle Cry, by Leon Uris. Probably why I joined the Marine Corps.
What do you read for pleasure?
I thoroughly enjoy the daily newspaper, which I read cover to cover, starting with the comics. I love my monthly magazines, too (Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, and Disabled American Veterans). I also enjoy reading short stories on Smashwords.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I like to carve wooden Indians. I use wood chisels and carving knives to create my statues, which are about thee feet tall. It is a hobby that helps me relax. I am also very active socially with my wife, and we enjoy entertaining in our home.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I haven't done a lot of promotion for my book, except on Facebook. If I can get at lest ten five star reviews, I'll start a more active campaign (So far I have four 5 star reviews on www.barnesandnoble.com and six 5 star reviews on www.amazon.com).
Describe your desk
It's a mess. But a pleasant mess, adorned with pictures and mementos. I like to spread out while I'm working, but when I'm through for the day I like to put things where they go. I know where everything is, and I can lay my hands on whatever I'm looking for.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Elmore City, a small town in South Central Oklahoma, population of about a thousand. I don't know as it influenced my writing at all. I never had the urge to write until I submitted my article to Reader's Digest, which was eventually published by the Leatherneck Magazine.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
To see the finished product, and to actually hold the fruits of my labor in my hands.
What are you working on next?
My next book is going to be the true story of my five brothers and myself - our shenanigans and exploits as poor Okie kids, traveling back and forth on the old Route 66 between Oklahoma and California, finally finding roots in Oklahoma. I have also written several short non-fiction articles which I plan to publish later, either seperatly or in book form.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, I do. It was a first person article that I wrote for Reader's Digest. They didn't print it, but they did sent me a nice letter, signed in ink, encouraging me to continue writing and submit more articles to them. I sent my story off to the Leatherneck Magazine, a magazine for Marines, and they bought it for $50.00.
Published 2017-02-22.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Bill's Diamond Lane Caper
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 1,380. Language: English. Published: March 19, 2017. Categories: Nonfiction » Law » Biography, Nonfiction
Does a dead body count as a person? A true life adventure, and an excerpt from my book, "My Life With Death".
My Life With Death
Price: $9.99 USD. Words: 96,730. Language: English. Published: January 19, 2017. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Personal memoir, Nonfiction » Biography » Autobiographies & Memoirs
The memories of an accidental undertaker's journey. During my thirty-two years as a mortician, I've seen nearly every kind of death imaginable, and I've had my hands on some of the most gruesome and grotesque looking bodies imaginable. Out of the thousands of experiences in my career with the injured, the dying, and the dead, these are the incidents that will forever be etched into my memory.