Interview with Dale Peterson

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
My very first story was about how I got the role of General Grant in my High School's production of "Thurber's Carnival". This was mostly because I was the only Junior who could grow a full beard.
What is your writing process?
Frequently I write most of a story, or event ... whatever, by imagining the whole thing as a sort of movie running through my brain. Then I mostly just describe that movie vignette and the rest kind of builds from that. Once I get going I find it very easy to keep adding scenes and details. I write from real life experiences. I am mostly a visual artist and produce a lot of drawings and paintings and illustrations, so my writing tends to have a very visual descriptive nature to it.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Winnie the Pooh. Loved it and the original books, many years ago, had not been made into movies and cartoons and lunch boxes. The few illustrations in the original books left a lot up to a child's imagination. I realize today how important that was to me. As a child you had to build in most of the action and details and stuff as you read. Very important I believe to allow a reader to do this.
How do you approach cover design?
Since I have been a professional visual artist and designer for so many years, I am first of all working towards getting the attention of prospective readers. A cover needs to be colorful and appealing. I also try to design covers that create curiosity and a trickle of mystery. It always bothers me when I pick up a book because the cover has very appealing artwork and then there is nothing in the book that refers to that cover. As though the cover artist didn't bother to actually read the book. I use imagery that is IN the book. The cover and book's content should be part of a complete work together.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
"A History of Nearly Everything" by Bill Bryson. I have read and love all of Bryson's work. This book, in particular I have read at least once a year since it was first published. Bryson make science and history and everything to do with both, entertaining and just plain fun.
"Shakespeare" by Bryson. The history and mystery of the greatest genius of the English language are explained and brought to life in this short book.
"A Walk in the Woods" by Bryson. Same thing - funny, written with deep wit and skill. A classic.
"Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" by Robert Pirsig. Inspirational, motivational, intelligent, thoughtful.
"The Thornbirds" by Colleen McCullough. Simply beautiful writing.
What do you read for pleasure?
These days I read a lot of spy novels, mysteries ... anything that is well written. At times I have been solidly into science fiction, fantasy, natural science, history. It depends. When I need to do research for something I am writing myself I can get very caught up in that. I have read many books on brain development, teaching and learning ... all of the work by Temple Grandin and Howard Gardner for instance.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have an iPad 2.
Describe your desk
My desk is a plain oak slab with four round legs. No drawers, a minimum of clutter. I have a pencil pot with way too many pens, pencils, scissors and other junk stuffed in it. And I have a small bowl into which I throw all my change and motorcycle keys.
Published 2013-12-23.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Drawing Blind
Price: Free! Words: 15,600. Language: English. Published: April 6, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Art, Architecture, Photography » Art - how to
You can learn to draw!(?) Every living human being draws, every day. You may not think of it as such, but you are! When you write yourself a note, sign your name, do any kind of doodle, you are drawing. You are moving a pencil or a pen around on a piece of paper, or a napkin, or even the palm of your hand (if that’s all that’s available) and you are drawing. Just newly reformatted.
Boxes of Clay
You set the price! Words: 41,570. Language: English. Published: December 23, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Entertainment » Humor and satire, Nonfiction » Inspiration » Personal inspiration
This is the second volume in the series Stories from East Pickerel Corners by Dale Clarence Peterson. This volume continues the laugh or you’re gonna cry saga of a large family. These pieces of life are told in the first person narrative with such skill that you feel as though you are sitting across a table from the author, in your favorite coffee shop. Undoubtedly to become an American Classic.
The Granite House
Price: Free! Words: 36,230. Language: American English. Published: September 26, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Relationships and Family » Parenting / child rearing
Previous title "The Dollar-Table Hammer". This book tells the story of what life in a 200 year old house in the central region of New Hampshire was like. Humorous and inspirational stories. The seasons were harsh, the house was old but solid and living in it was not at all easy. It taught this unique family, many lessons and made them all better people in the end.