Interview with Daniel Shegrud

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Renton, Washington in the middle of the woods on the south side of town. I had two brothers and two sister, with me the middle child, and we were a solidly middle class family. That's a lot of middling, but life was good.

In my neighborhood and at school we had a fair mix of all races, yet I never saw a single example of racist behavior. I also never saw a single time when someone was persecuted for being gay, catholic, a stoner or a nerd. People were just people. Possibly the only persecution I ever saw was when some jerk of a jock found a dork alone in the halls, and then all bets were off. Dorks were not well liked in my school. Anyhow, the point is that I was raised in an environment mostly free from the annoying knuckleheads who feature prominently on social media today.

The only way I can think of that this influenced my writing is that, because of my family, my friends and my neighborhood, I didn't grow up hard or cynical. Naive? Maybe, but in light of all the other negative characteristics I could have adapted, that just doesn't seem so bad, at least not to me.
What do you read for pleasure?
Newspaper comics and The Smithsonian Magazine.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
I can't answer that, at least not completely. My favorite book is The Bible and my second favorite is Fox in Socks, by Dr. Seuss. After that, it's authors all the way. Most anything by Stephen King, Dean Koontz, John Stanford, John Steinbeck, Harlin Corban, Clive Cussler, etcetera, will suit me fine and dandy. If you put a gun to my head, Stephen King's The Stand would probably be number three.

The why of it is less complicated. The Bible because it paints the clearest picture, at least for me, of sacrificial living and perfect love, both of which I strive to perfect in my daily life. Fox in Socks because it is, hands down, the funnest (yes, I said funnest - deal with it) book I have ever read. The Stand because it demonstrates better than anything I've ever read the difference between good and evil.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I don't e-read. I have no objection to others doing so - in fact I'm counting on it - but I like the feel of real paper. That said, most of the books I've read over the last 24 years have been recorded books. Some well-meaning folks have told me that listening to a recorded book is not the same as reading, but I disagree. When I think back on the books I've listened to, I see the words in print form in my mind, and that qualifies as reading in my world.
Describe your desk
My main desk is a tiny, cheap black thing made of pressed wood situated in the corner of my bedroom. It has room for a monitor, a keyboard, a printer and my coffee cup, so it isn't really much of a desk. My secondary desk is a lap platform, a Microsoft Surface RT and a Lazyboy recliner. When i can't take staring at a blank wall any longer, I transition to my overstuffed chair with a view of lilac trees.
Published 2016-05-05.
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Books by This Author

Come In
Price: Free! Words: 2,230. Language: English. Published: July 10, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Religious, Fiction » Christian » General
(4.00 from 1 review)
Imagine you are walking through a strange neighborhood when a storm begins to rage. You look for a safe place, but you don’t know who will take you in and who will chase you away. Where do you find shelter?
The Mighty Apple Tree
Price: Free! Words: 1,720. Language: English. Published: February 22, 2017. Categories: Nonfiction » Religion & Spirituality » Christian Life / Relationships
The Mighty Apple Tree is a short poem that makes a long point. God created you for a specific purpose. Your job is to discover that purpose and fulfill it to the best of your ability. Did God make you an apple tree? Then grow great apples!
Flying Lessons
Price: Free! Words: 3,880. Language: English. Published: November 29, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Religion & Spirituality » Christian Ministry / General
There you are, comfortable as can be, minding your own business, reading a book, and daydreaming about a peanut butter and raspberry jam sandwich. Suddenly God shows up and tells you he wants to give you something. So what do you do?
The Planet Perfecters
Price: $3.94 USD. Words: 136,480. Language: English. Published: April 18, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic, Fiction » Humor & comedy » Satire
He was a common, homeless, nameless drunk. They were indestructible star creatures who promised perfection. The cost? Every human life. The cure? As common as common can be. Common even to you. The Planet Perfecters is a sci-fi-political commentary-adventure-comedy about the evil potential of governments and the uniting commonness of humanity that is anything BUT common.