Interview with Daniel Donatelli

How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
For the intricate beauty of a beam of light to be fully withheld, it must pass through a prism, that its many forms may be separated and presented. Smashwords is a prism like that.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I tend to find my greatest literary joys in others' writings. The joy I have in my own writing is when I come up with something that pleases the easily bored reader that I am.
What do your fans mean to you?
What is the use of clearing and charting a path that nobody cares to follow? Fans are objective validation that the path an artist has chosen has been found to be worth following. My fans are with me in the strange wilderness of my creative mind, and who wouldn't want allies and company in a strange wilderness? Ultimately, however, I also believe this line is true, despite my inability to remember where I heard it: "The audience's response doesn't matter, but you'd rather them applaud you offstage than boo you."
What are you working on next?
I don't know what I'll be working on next, but I'm currently assembling and editing a book that I may have unintentionally written, as silly and uninspiring as that sounds. And I've been stitching together a book of poetry for about three years now, which is currently titled "Riot Uphill!"
Who are your favorite authors?
David Foster Wallace, J.D. Salinger, Hunter S. Thompson, Vladimir Nabokov, John Swartzwelder, Ayn Rand, Franz Kafka, Arthur Rimbaud, Voltaire, John Steinbeck, Leo Tolstoy, George Orwell, Ken Kesey, Sylvia Plath, Truman Capote, Jon Krakauer, Robert M. Pirsig, John Kennedy Toole
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
A symphony of addictions.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Reading, walking, hiking, serving tables, editing newsletters, making love, and other gerunds.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Find someone whose writing you like, find out whose writing they like, and take Maynard's advice: "SPIRAL OUT!"
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I wrote a nonsense story in first or second grade that received high praise from my teacher for my use of language. I wish I could remember the plot-beats, but I also remember during the writing that I wasn't even trying to have the thing make sense -- I just indulged in my weird thoughts. Pretty much holds true with my writings to this day.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
-A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again, by David Foster Wallace. Why? Because this book took my thoughts on the limitations of narration/description/reality-creation and blew their brains out into the stars. Because this man could overthink the color of a kitchen tile. Because from Wallace I learned that one must throw one's whole body into the attempt at making a truly accurate description of reality -- a beautiful face that is constantly turning away from the author.

-Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov. Why? Because there is no more masterful use of language to be found anywhere else in modern literature.

-The Time Machine Did It, by John Swartzwelder. Why? Because it's the funniest book I've ever read.

-The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand. Why? Because this book fished my dead soul out of the bottom of a river of cold depression and told me that I was allowed to feel the sun's warmth -- one of the most important messages my self-loathing soul has ever been told.

-Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction, by J.D. Salinger. Why? Because I'm mainly recommending the book for the first of the two stories therein (Raise High), for it is the finest, smoothest, and my overall favorite piece of fiction writing I've ever encountered.
What do you read for pleasure?
I'm constantly rotating through a troika of books: one work of fiction, one work of nonfiction, and one miscellaneous work such as poetry or avant-garde nonsense.
Published 2017-11-14.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.