Interview with David Schachne

When did you first start writing?
I started writing for my school newspaper while in business school at Harvard. Prior to then, I never thought I had an ability to write. I just decided to do it and realized I enjoyed it thoroughly. I then spent the next twenty years in sales, marketing and management roles, unfortunately just writing memos and emails for various companies. It wasn't until after 9/11 that I decided to spend more time writing about things I enjoyed telling the world. And it wasn't until late 2004 that I decided to write my manuscript...but only as a pet project for many years, until my mentor, Sherry Suib Cohen, advised me to stick with it. The end result is The Trek.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Just as I was about to depart for my trip to the Himalayas, my wife handed me a travel journal as a gift and asked me to record the daily events. Prior to that moment, I had no intention of keeping a diary of the trip, but she knew that I enjoyed writing and wisely realized that I would have plenty of downtime. When I returned from my trip, she read everything I wrote and told me it would make a great book. Nine years later, The Trek was born.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I had a mentor, Sherry Suib Cohen, who has written two dozen books. She explained to me (and ultimately convinced me) how difficult it is to get a book published by one of the large publishing houses as a first-time author. I also did a ton of research myself, and came to the conclusion that it would take me another two years (or more) to get my book published through the traditional route. I have been an internet marketer for many years, and I am very tech-literate, so I figured I should attempt to self-publish it and build my own platform. Time will tell if it was a good decision.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Too early to tell. Ask me in six months!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Openly expressing myself. I do a much better job of expressing myself as a writer than as a speaker. I believe I can be much more open about things when I'm writing. I'm just telling my story to the world. I also like the fact that I can read back, time and again, what I have written and each time make it just a tad better. It's on my clock, not somebody else's.
What are you working on next?
I have a few different stories I am considering. One would be another non-fiction and the other would be a historical fiction. I believe both would make fantastic books. I also have a number of short-story concepts. My goal, however, is to spend at least a couple of months promoting The Trek before I decide what comes next.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I need no inspiration to get out of bed. I love life and all that it has to offer. I awake each morning around 6 A.M. I have been waking up early as far back as I can remember. Early morning is my favorite time of day.

We all are given such a short time to live our lives and I try to make the very best of it. I exercise every single day in order to attempt to prolong my life just a little longer. I love to stay fit. I love to eat. I love my family. I love to watch movies - although I watch very little television. And of course, I love to read - but mostly, surprisingly, newspapers and magazines. I can squeeze in either one in between daily tasks. I generally only read books on vacations or when I know I'll be travelling for a few hours on business.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Staying fit, helping my wife or kids with anything they may need from me, talking with my friends and watching sports.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I'm not sure if it was the very first story I read, but the one I remember most as a child is "Of Mice and Men." It had a huge impact on me. It helped me understand the importance of friendship and I believed it led me to being much more sympathetic to disabled individuals. I'm sure my parents helped form my sympathetic attitude as well, although I'm not sure if it was prior to or after reading the book.
How do you approach cover design?
Although you shouldn't "judge a book by the cover", I believe the cover is the first marketing step leading to the buying process for a book. For The Trek, I felt it was a no-brainer to use a picture I had of me from the actual trek. I think it's vivid and helps attract the prospective reader, allowing him/her to wonder what the story is about and why I'm standing in front of Mount Everest. The cover is an important marketing tool, not unlike the packaging that Godiva Chocolates uses or the beautiful Tiffany boxes.
What do you read for pleasure?
Since I have limited time, I read newspapers and magazines so that I can squeeze in reading in between my tasks. That said, my wife does a great job of screening novels for me. She is voracious reader and knows I'm not into romance novels. So I take her lead. I enjoy books that keep me on the edge of my seat, such as The Da Vince Code, Prince of Tides, The Firm.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I have been a marketing person for over 20 years. I have plenty of tools I plan on utilizing over the next couple of months. I will test many of them and get back to you and update my answer in a couple of months. Stay tuned.
Describe your desk
If you read The Trek, you'll understand that I am a very organized person. I therefore have a very organized desk. I have always believed a clean desk is the sign of an efficient person. No matter how messy it may get throughout the day, it's always neat and clean by the time I go to bed so that I can start fresh in the morning.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Again, if you read The Trek, you'll learn more about my childhood and how it formed me to this day. As for my writing, however, growing up in Brooklyn didn't lend much to this process. The classes were very crowded. I think my high school class had a couple of thousand kids.

That said, my mom was a substitute teacher, so she made sure her kids were good students in school. Once I went off to college, I just fell in love with reading....again, mostly newspapers and magazines. I had a thirst for knowledge and reading helped quench this thirst.
Published 2013-09-07.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Trek
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 67,360. Language: English. Published: September 5, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Autobiographies & Memoirs
In The Trek, David Schachne takes readers with him on his harrowing attempt to reach the summit of Kala Patthar, in the Himalayas. It is a riveting, gut-wrenching account of his physical, emotional and spiritual odyssey, where you will encounter the most spectacular, awe-inspiring scenery on the planet, along with some of the most horrific physical conditions imaginable.