Interview with David M. Halladay

When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
When I'm not writing I'm normally working on music. I've been writing and recording my own music since the nineties. I used to rebuild cars and motorcycles until a work related back injury forced me to stop. Much of my time now is filled by my young daughter.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I usually follow recommendations based on what I normally read.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first story of any note that I've written, that sticks in my mind, would be a short story I penned in High School. I had a real bitch of an English teacher who accused me of plagiarism as I was writing at a level above my years at that time. What she failed to take into account was the voracious appetite I had for books outside of the prerequisite curriculum. I was an avid reader and I was simply given an opportunity to be inspired enough to write creatively and ran with it.
What is your writing process?
After I get an idea, I write an outline from the basic premise before doing research on my characters and the world that they inhabit. I then write biographies for my main characters and get to know them, I find that this helps in developing the plot when it comes to actually writing the story.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Anything by Ian Banks. I just love the way he wrote. I was extremely saddened by his passing. I think the first book of his that I read was " The Crow Road." He was a wonderful story teller who used vibrant and snappy dialogue coupled with a wickedly dark sense of humour. Sadly missed.

"Hell's Angels" by Hunter S. Thompson. I revisit that book from time to time. This was my introduction to his work, what can one say that's not already been said? Suffice to say, he was edgy. A man who seemed to embrace chaos. My love of motorcycles and the whole period of the 1960's counter-culture drew me towards this book initially but his anarchic style hooked me immediately.

"Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance" by Robert M. Perzig was another influential book. To be honest when I first read it I was too young to appreciate it fully. Again I bought it for the obvious motorcycle reference. I would have been about seventeen or eighteen. I found it hard going. Only revisiting the book several years later did I get it. This is one of those rare creative works that improves by way of repeated exposure.

"The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test" by Tom Wolfe is another favourite of mine. Probably one of the best books written about the counter-culture of the 1960's. Ken Kesey, Wavy Gravy, The Merry Pranksters, The Grateful Dead and Neil Cassady (Jack Kerouac's Dean Moriarty) and a cast of "crazies" make for a wild ride "on the bus". There is so much synergy with other literary works from that period also.

"Seven Pillars of Wisdom" by T.E. Lawrence is another favourite book. I saw the famous film that was based on this first, only reading the book several years later. A remarkable read. For some bizarre reason, I am fascinated by the African desert and the people who inhabit it, in particular the nomadic Tuareg tribe. I digress, this book is part autobiography and part historical document. Compellingly told and a wonderful insight into events that still reverberate into modern times.
What do you read for pleasure?
I tend to read biographies for pleasure, in particular, musician's biographies. I also read a lot of stuff about World War Two. The significance of the events from that era cannot be underestimated or understated when it comes to understanding current events in a full context.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I own a Kindle that was a Christmas present a couple of years ago. I like it but personally, I still prefer to have a real book in my hands. E readers are handy things though and do have their uses. I'll probably upgrade to a newer model at some point
When did you first start writing?
I've been creative for as long as I can remember. Since childhood I've read books, written stories, drawn cartoons, played music. I'm in no way suggesting that I was some kind of child prodigy. I did have a healthy interest in all things creative though and that's never left me.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Simply put, the greatest joy of writing is the creative process. As it is with making music, the finished piece is what is most rewarding. The creation of something that existed only in the imagination before, brought to life in a tangible form, that's the pay-off.
What do your fans mean to you?
Validation I guess. I think most creative types are insecure and need validation that what they do has some merit or value. For me certainly that's the case. Having a fan base motivates one to work harder at one's art, to push towards progressing and improving all the time.
Who are your favorite authors?
Ian Banks; Ken Kesey; Hunter S. Thompson; Philip K. Dick; George Orwell to name but a few.

There's many more authors I keep promising myself I'm going to read.
Published 2014-03-18.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.