Interview with David Garland

When did you first start writing?
I began writing for my own personal enjoyment when I was around 10 years old. I would take songs that I liked, or songs with interesting lyrics and try to make stories about them.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Middle School Menace was actually inspired by a couple of students I had in middle school. One girl truly did have eyes that sparkled every time she was excited about something. She would even sparkle when she'd say good morning. The boy in the story was probably the most unorganized student I have ever seen when it came to his locker. This is different from Ethan in my story who was very organized. But, the boy in school had them most disorganized locker. It was constantly popping open...thus the exploding locker haunted by Nathaniel.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Two things bring me joy in writing. Number one is creating a world and the people within their world; how they interact, what they feel and more. The second joy is hearing what people think about the book. I read my book to one of my classes. It was so fun to hear how they reacted to the characters, or the AH-HA moment when they put the story together. That's why I encourage people to let me know-good or bad-what they think of my stories.
What do your fans mean to you?
I love to entertain. Having fans that follow my writing and want me to do more is the fuel needed to keep creating. If I can enlighten or entertain one person, I feel good.
What are you working on next?
I actually have three stories that I have started to write. Each one of the stories is a little heavier reading than Middle School Menace. These stories, Spirit Within, The Fifth Bell and Dragon Nation, are all a bit darker and more descriptive. I still try to keep the protagonist a positive role model. I am thinking of continuing the Middle School book as a short series. Titles so far are Middle School Phantom, Middle School Spy, and Middle School Alien. None of those have gone further than discussions. Keep posted.
Who are your favorite authors?
I can't say I have favorite authors. I have favorite books or series, however. I like young adult and middle age books. I find that I can enjoy them because I teach middle aged students and students emerging into adulthood. I guess if there were authors that have impressed me, I would have to say it would be people like J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter was a fantastic series) or Lois Lowry (The Giver quartet painted such an interesting alternate world).
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
It is hard for me to choose a new book to read. I like to read a variety of books from spy novels to mysteries to biographies. To choose my next reading material, I sample a bit of the book first. If the conversation the book has with me keeps my attention, I will probably read it. If the beginning of the book is confusing and leaves me lost, I'll delete it and move on. I am a very finicky reader.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
It may not be my first story, but the one I remember was based on the song, "Ticking" by Elton John. It is a song about a boy/man who is deeply troubled and dies in the song. I wrote it as a young man with cerebral palsy. After years of people making fun of him, despite his good heart and good deeds, he reverts to violence against those who mocked him.
For a 10 year old, it may have been a little dark (had my mom a bit worried, I recall), but it was what the song moved me to write.
What is your writing process?
Write, write and then write some more. I try not to get critical of my story as it emerges. I just write. When I finish a chapter or sometimes the majority of the book, I go back and begin to edit. Sometimes, I will write the chapters out of order; skipping around within the story. Other times, I find I have to write everything in order. I am trying to discipline myself to create a flow-chart or diagram my stories, but I'm not there yet.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I use a Kindle. I have one of the first models they ever made. It has a keyboard at the bottom. But, I like the way you can use it inside or out (I do need a light at night though).
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I am still a newby at this. I am using a four pronged approach. One is word of mouth. I have to tell people, or they will never know. Two, my website. I use that to promote what I have written and what I am presently working on. Third, Facebook. I have created my own author's Facebook page. Here, I will be able to blog about what I am doing, run contests and have fun hearing from people. And the last is Twitter. I'm a rookie at Twitter, but I'm trying to utilize it as I learn.
Published 2015-08-16.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Middle School Menace
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 35,860. Language: English. Published: April 23, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy, Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
A boy, excited to begin a new school year at a new school, wants to have the perfect school year. But, a menace from his past follows him. That's not all! As if that's not bad enough, he has to contend with something living in his locker; a ghost! Fortunately for Ethan, he is befriended. See how Ethan and his unexpected ally tackle the Middle School Menace together.