Interview with Daniel Donovan Farrow

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Central Illinois, and regularly traveled by car to visit my grandmother and other relatives on a farm outside of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee. Those 12-hour trips barreling along at 65 miles per hour on twisting blacktop roads was always an adventure. I wasn't born in the back seat of a car, but I grew up understanding a lot about the technique and importance of safe driving. We never had an accident, and I developed a real taste for the epic road trip.

Peoria was and is a Caterpillar town. It's headquartered there, and the whole region's fortunes rise and fall accordingly. If sales are down or the union is on strike, everyone suffers... and we all bled Caterpillar yellow.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing essays, short stories, and songs when I about nine years old. That means I've been doing it for more than 50 years. I thought I'd be richer by now.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I survived an automobile accident in 2003. I rolled a Corvette after hitting a patch of black ice, and as you often do after a near-death experience, I made promises to (1) learn from the experience and (2) help others avoid the same mistakes. I began throwing notes in a file folder, and began serious writing about 5 years ago. It's taken 12 years in total. Along the way, I created a Designated Driver program that gave rides to people who had been drinking, and that required me to make sure that my volunteer drivers were safe drivers. I began a careful examination of different techniques and approaches to safe driving, and I tried to incorporate most of what I learned into this book. Like many authors, I dream of receiving the Pulitzer Prize or other recognition, but I realized, as I was finishing it up, that I would be quite satisfied if it helped someone avoid an accident. That's what I'm hoping for - that parents will read it, and then make their teenage drivers read it.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
After working on this for 12 years, I was in a hurry to get it out there once it was in its final form. E-publishing as an indie author met that desire. I researched whether or not I would hurt my chances of getting it into print via an agent, and opinions vary. Time - and sales numbers - will tell. Respectable numbers will bring it to print one way or another. And, I'm a do-it-yourselfer from way back anyway, and why would this be any different?
Who are your favorite authors?
I'm an amateur Hemingway scholar, and I've enjoyed some good biographies lately, particularly "Hemingway's Boat" by Paul Hendricksen. I've read a lot of Anne Rice and John Irving, some David Sedaris. Heinlein, Asimov, and other science fiction authors.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
In the case of "Dead Kid Driving", I never lost sight of the possibility that it could be more than entertainment. It had to be good entertainment for starters, but hopefully deliver more than that. I always felt a great joy when I got down a topic or section that seemed like it would work. Hemingway wanted one true sentence, and so did I, and it feels good when you get close.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I'm a performing musician and recording artist. Aboard the Roger B. Young, I have a tiny recording studio and I have the luxury of doing 99 takes without anyone having to hear it. Once I get something I like, I make it into a music video and put it up on YouTube. I'm also a Master Captain and Certified Instructor / Examiner, so I teach people how to get their Captain's license. I operate charters and do vessel deliveries. I also teach basic ballroom dancing, and I ardently pursue my study of Argentine Tango.
What is your writing process?
Once I get a basic idea, I grab a file folder and start filling it with notes. I log my writing time and other details, and when I write a passage I go through it and edit / rewrite in the same session. On the next day, I'll review what I wrote yesterday, edit, and then move forward. Then, read and re-read and polish. When I'm writing something that's somewhat technical, I may keep the flow going by marking any unknown detail with an 'xxxx' so that I can easily find it and look it up later. Then I read the whole thing a few more times. And again.
Published 2015-03-28.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Dead Kid Driving
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 85,690. Language: English. Published: March 27, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Family, Fiction » Coming of age
Jenna is a teenage driver who is about to run out of luck - until she meets a stranger who is determined to save her life. They are on the road to learn the art and science of precision driving, but the side roads are full of lessons about life and love in suburban Atlanta.