Interview with Dave Weber

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Sure, I was a little kid and wrote a picture book about a sea battle during the Revolutionary War. If I saw that advertised today, I'd never read it, but then it was an intriguing time of history for me, along with medieval knights in shining armor.
What is your writing process?
Something will strike me as worthy of a story and I will write an initial chapter. I say "initial chapter" since the first one I write isn't necessarily going to be Chapter 1 of the final book. I will write chapters 1, 7, 11 and 22, then fill the gaps. I've read some warnings against this from other writers, but it works for me.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
That's a near impossibilty to narrow it down to five individual books, maybe five authors I can do. I wait for each new Michael Connelly novel to come out and Ross McDonald is my favorite old-time detective writer. On the more literary side, William Faulkner is a major influence both for his prose and for the creation of an entire fictional world; that's something I vaguely imitate in my own work. One of my all-time favorite books is "Earth Abides" by George Stewart; it won science fiction awards but Stewart was inititially not thrilled by the designation since he though it was more about people and civilization than the fictional epidemic that made it SciFi in the minds of some reviewers. I write a lot about the world of sports and I don't think anyone did sports fiction earlier or better than Mark Harris with books like "The Southpaw" and "Bang the Drum Slowly."
What do you read for pleasure?
I'm a big fan of crime novels set in the West. When I was growing up, I think I got a chip on my shoulder thinking every single book took place in New York City and I've carried that through life a little bit. Connelly, as I mentioned, the Kellermans, J.A. Jance, Sue Grafton, C.J. Box, Earl Emerson and Tony Hillerman to name many. I spent most of my working life coaching and administering athletics so I have a big love for sports history, though that field has gotten a little cluttered lately with titles claiming to discuss "the play/game/season/athlete that/who changed (enter name of sport) forever."
What is your e-reading device of choice?
An iPad.
Describe your desk
I write at a big round wooden table, with a laptop for the work and usually an iPad for any instant research I might want to do. Plus I will have a stack of scratch paper and pens -- nearly all of them bearing the name of a hotel; I don't buy pens and am still worrying down my stash from my coaching travels.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born in the ever-churning city of Berkeley, California and grew up in the suburbs east of the hills, Concord and Walnut Creek. There's a smarmy kind of pecking order in the Bay Area whereby San Francisco is the be-all and end-all of wonders, Oakland has "no-there-there", Berkeley is Berserkly and the suburbs are not worth mentioning. This built a little bit of an underdog mentality in me; A's not Giants; the old Dead Kennedys' lyric "Oakland uber San Francisco." My writing is influenced by this since I tend to set my stories in "a nearby place" instead of the classic: lots of my characters are from the East Bay; my movie star character buys a mansion in Indio, not Palm Springs proper or Beverly Hills. My point is most of the world takes place outside the NYCs, San Franciscos and Seattles of the world in the smaller towns and suburbs. Stories set in those places can be compelling, too.
When did you first start writing?
I can't remember when I didn't. Formally I was on the high school paper and was a full-time sports writer at 19. Fiction I have written since I was 25 or so but admittedly kinda ran from the challenge of making it a living until recently, though I have boxes and boxes of nearly-complete and half-complete novels and stories written over the last 30 years or so.
What's the story behind your latest book?
A university vice-president I once worked for was absolutely convinced that "athletics is a sexually-charged atmosphere," which myself and others would dispute, saying it was more like "college is a sexually-charged atmosphere. Nonetheless, I began to notice that among the pro and college sports figures I was around there were a number who meandered through life more focused on chasing the next thrill than making relationships and families work. Greg Rittmeyer, the protagonist of "The Oldest Guy Joke" is a character who sprang to mind as a prototype: a guy who spend half a century succeeding in sports as a major league pitcher and later a coach, bouncing from one beautiful woman to another until, just as he starts to focus on his future is hammered in short order with a series of major crises and has to get serious, fast. The financial crisis of 2008 offered up a fun subplot.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I'd love to be published by a major imprint, but I realize that's a lengthy, chancy process. I'm not patient enough to not have my work out there for people to read or to have it sitting in a drawer earning nothing after the thousands of hours I spent on it. This option gives an author a chance to be read while pursuing a wider audience in other forms of publication.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
It's a wonderful chance to take everything going on in your mind, good, bad, substantial or weird, and transform it into a logically-crafted piece of entertainment other people may enjoy.
Published 2014-08-05.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Romans 12:19
Price: $3.43 USD. Words: 40,760. Language: English. Published: October 9, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Sports, Fiction » Urban
Sandra Wynn is a beauty with a passion for basketball but has flaws that drive a wedge between her and her husband, Kurt Krieg, an intense college coach who thinks the sources of those flaws need frontier justice. Their spark ignites a chain reaction involving cops and bums, gangsters and jocks and rages from the Clinton Administration well into the 21st Century.
The OIdest Guy Joke: A Trilogy of Families, Fame and Baseball
Price: $5.90 USD. Words: 281,150. Language: American English. Published: August 5, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Sports, Fiction » Adventure » War & military adventure
Greg Rittmeyer does what he wants with his life. He claims his place in the major leagues as a pitcher and stays there for 13 years; enjoys the company of an unending string of beautiful and accomplished women. But as he ages, foreign concepts-- violence, failure, fatherhood -- rapidly intrude until he realizes his life has never been what he thought it was.