Hope everyone is having a wonderful Thursday, today I get the pleasure of introducing you an author that has prevented me from going into the woods or at least being a bit overly cautious, Douglas Wickard. earlier this year I volunteered to read his novel “A Perfect Husband”, fantastic novel, very suspensful, it kept me sleeping with the lights on while my husband was away. lol I hope you enjoy our interview, and a special thank you to Douglas for taking the time to answer my questions.
Please tell me about your first novel. What or who inspired you to write it?
Well, my first novel was titled IMMITATION OF CARROLL and it was inspired by my desire to firstly, write a full-length novel and more importantly to work out my ‘voice.’ For years, the notion of writing a full-length novel lingered in my consciousness, but I never sat down and did it! IOC was my first attempt and taught me so much about craft, style, voice, characterization, narrative, dialogue, description…everything.
Who are some of your favorite authors and books? Did they influence or inspire your writing style and give you ideas?
I am an avid reader and when not actively writing, I read. Now, I am completely enmeshed in independent author’s work. When my novel A PERFECT HUSBAND first got published I had no idea the independent network of authors thriving. Since buying my kindle in January, I have downloaded so many books from so many diverse authors I don’t know where to begin. I have always loved the craft of writing, the poetic way to turn words into a living, breathing entity. Works from James Baldwin, Bret Easton Ellis, Pat Conroy all helped me develop my craft.
What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What was the biggest compliment? Did those change how or what you did in your next novel?
I have been blessed with awesome reviews for my first novel A PERFECT HUSBAND. I try to take it all in stride. I’ve had reviewers gush over my work and some, who won’t even read it, let alone review it. So, I try to keep an honest, balanced approach. My friend, who was in publishing for years, gave me a rule to live by as far as reviews: don’t read them!
This or That – Chocolate or Vanilla?? Coffee or Tea?? TV or Movies??
Chocolate. Coffee. Movies
When you sit down to write, are you at a computer or do you do it, the ‘old fashioned’ way with pen and paper? Do you prefer one way or another?
I have my desk with all my ‘tools’ around me. Lots of dictionaries and my writer’s lamp. I always write on my computer except when I’m writing in my journal (daily musings). That writing is always in longhand on a legal pad with a sharpened pencil.
What do you do in your down time? Do you pick up something from your ‘to be read’ stack?
I work a full-time job. So, when I’m not working, I’m writing and when not writing, reading…or sleeping! Zzzzz!
If your protagonist was a real person, what would they think about you? Sami would think I’m the cat’s pajamas! Would they want to hang out with you?
What do you look for in a book when you sit down to read for fun?
Intriguing plot, characters that jump off the page, three-dimensional development.
When you go to Starbucks or Jamba Juice, what do you order? Do they know you by name or drink?
Pikes Roast, black. No room for cream. No. I make my coffee usually at home. I don’t think Starbuck’s opens that early. I’m usually at my computer writing by 5 AM and already ingested far too many cups!
What has been your favorite part of being an author? What has been your least favorite?
I have been given a gift. I write novels. There could never be a downside. I have become good friends with procrastination, but I think I’ve made a peace treaty with that persistent heckler.
When you walk into a book store, where do you head first?
To the new arrivals! Then I check out all the books in my genre. Thriller, mystery, suspense. I will also peruse the titles from the current New York Times Book Review section. I still receive my paper every Sunday and root through the pages for the review section. It’s like candy to me!
Did you get to quit your ‘day job’ and become an author, or do you have a ‘day job’ and writing is something you do for fun?
Writing has always been for fun, although I’ve always taken it very seriously. When I got married, in the early 90’s a shift happened. Where I once worked to support my art, I began working to support an income. For years, I got lost in the whole executive, climbing up the ladder to success thing…somewhere along the line, my art suffered. With the publication of my first novel, that all shifted. I now work solely to support my art.
What has been the strangest thing a reader has asked you?
I can’t tell you. Lol. No, because Sami is a female character, many women cannot understand a male writing so honestly about the female psyche. I have to admit, it was an epiphany to me as well. But, now, I go with it. What the hell?
What is your favorite junk food vice?
Oh, I’m not much on junk food. For a long time I was a 90% Paleo diet follower. In the last three months I’ve gone off it somewhat but I look forward to getting back on the Paleo horse, again, soon.
Is their any movie you have seen that was based on a novel, which you think lived up to the novel??
Yes. The Hunger Games. I thought the movie was far better than the novel. The art director took her words and visually manifested so much more then what I envisioned.
If you could step into the shoes of your protagonist for one day, would you?
I do! Daily.
What would you like to experience or see during that day?
A day off! A vacation. A nice relationship!
Did you have any teacher(s) in high school or college that encouraged you to write? Did you take their advice?
Yes. I devoted a blog piece to Patsy Grimm. I called it A DEDICATION TO TEACHERS. She was my 10th grade English teacher and told me upon graduation that I would become a writer. She saw that, years before. That’s pretty amazing. My new book A PERFECT SETUP, the sequel to A PERFECT HUSBAND is dedicated to her. Thank you, Patsy!
What type of ice cream could I find you eating on a hot summer day?
Caramel praline, if you’re lucky. I’m not a big ice cream fan.
We all have our little ‘things’ when it comes to reading or writing; is their anything that bugs you when you read a novel?
Lack of editing. I can’t read a book that I continually want to rewrite.
Is their anything else you would like to share or say to those who will read this?
Thank you, readers, followers and fans of A PERFECT HUSBAND. I can’t wait to get A PERFECT SETUP done. So many fans are asking about it, daily. Thank you for all the wonderful support!