Our Round 2 Q and A is with Lachesis Publishing author David Lee Summers. David has written several horror and science fiction novels for Lachesis including The Pirates of Sufiro which is free, and Dragon's Fall: Rise of the Scarlet Order.
What was your favourite book as a child and why?
Two books stand out for me from my childhood. The first is Where the Wild Things Are
by Maurice Sendak. I was captivated by the lush illustrations and the
simple, yet evocative language. The Wild Things scared me as a kid, but
Max impressed me by taming them and becoming their king. The other book
is Pecos Bill: The Greatest Cowboy of All Time by James Cloyd
Bowman. It was the first chapter book I remember reading. I loved the
fact that it was a fantasy set in the Wild West. It included elements
from the stories my mom, dad, uncles, and aunts told me about
homesteading in New Mexico, but ramped them up and made them even
wilder. Really, I think this book more than any other laid the
groundwork for me learning how to adapt stories from my life into
science fictional or even horrific settings.
Who was your favourite teacher growing up and why?
favorite teacher was Elfriede Mayor. We called her "The Frau." She
taught both high school German and journalism. In her German class, I
learned a love of language and words. I also discovered the original
Grimm Fairy Tales and learned they were much darker than I thought. In
her journalism class, I learned to express myself and write regularly
and how to do a word count.
One time, I wrote an editorial
criticizing the school's policy of covering natural areas with blacktop.
The school board actually wrote a letter demanding an apology. The Frau
stood beside me and said I owed no apology, that I had presented a fair
criticism and supported my opinion. I never forgot that lesson in
democracy and standing up for my opinions.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer? Why?
When I was about eight or nine years old, my parents bought me the book The Trouble With Tribbles by David Gerrold. It told the story of how Gerrold wrote and sold the episode of the same name to Star Trek.
At the time, I liked making up stories and writing them down. Gerrold showed me it was possible to do that for a living. I was hooked by the idea.
Who in the writing/publishing world do you admire and why?
is a difficult question because there are so many people I admire, but
if I have to pick just one, I'll go with Ray Bradbury. He spent years in
the library reading great works, then used the lessons from that time
to become a great writer in his own right. He transcended genre and
defies classification. He wrote poems, short stories, novels, plays and
screenplays. He used whatever medium worked best for the story he wanted
to tell. He went from an unknown, penniless writer to one of the best
known, best loved writers of all time. When I first met him in 1983, he
was literally one of the nicest people I ever met. Even as a teenage kid
who'd barely written anything, he made me feel like a peer. What's
more, he had a great family life and raised four daughters. He helped
many other writers get started in the world and he always supported
other writers. When my story "The Slayers" appeared in Realms of Fantasy
Magazine, he wrote me a note congratulating me. Ray Bradbury is the
person who comes to mind not only when I think of the kind of writer I
want to be, but the kind of person I want to be.
Tell us about your daily writing routine – what do you typically do every day?
"day" job is operating telescopes at Kitt Peak National Observatory.
This is a job I do from sunset to sunrise for six nights out of every
fifteen, hence the reason "day" is in quotes! When I'm on duty at the
observatory, writing is irregular, especially during the long nights of
winter. However, when I'm off duty, I try to spend quality time writing.
a typical writing day, I wake up and have breakfast and coffee while
checking my email. I then shut that down to avoid distractions and write
for a couple of hours. From there, I'll take a walk to get some fresh
air, clear my head, and think about the next scenes. When I return home,
I typically write for a couple more hours, then break for lunch. After
lunch, I may run errands, or catch up on social media. If I have time
before my wife and kids get home, I'll usually get in one more afternoon
writing session. Evenings are for family. We share dinner and often
enjoy a good science fiction show or even a scary movie.
What is your favourite snack or guilty pleasure food that you (may or many not ;) indulge in when writing?
writing day always starts with a steaming mug of black coffee beside
me. It's a critical part of my writing process. I also like to snack on
nuts when I write. Cashews are a particular favorite. I also love
habanero almonds. A square of chocolate often serves as my reward for a
successful writing day.
What does “writing voice” mean to you? Describe your own writing voice.
voice" is the way a writer puts words together to present a narrative.
For some writers it's informal and fun as though they're sitting in the
room chatting with you and relating a story. For others, it can be more
gothic and poetic, as though they've picked each word with the utmost
care. Because of my background writing papers in astronomy, I think my
writing voice is clear and direct. Many have described my writing voice
as similar to Ernest Hemmingway's, which I take as a great compliment.
What do you want to accomplish in the next five years in your writing career?
live in a multimedia world and I'd love to see my works transcend the
printed page and move into audio books or even visual media of some
sort. Over the next five years, I would love to learn more about what I
can do to turn that dream into reality. In addition to that, I plan to
complete my Clockwork Legion steampunk series for Sky Warrior books and
hope to complete my Wilderness of the Dead horror series for Lachesis.
It’s the season to give thanks. What are you thankful for?
am thankful for publishers such as Lachesis Publishing that have
believed in me and published my books. I am thankful to my family for
standing by me and supporting me, even when times have been difficult.
Pumpkin pie or Pecan pie?
someone who loves to munch cashews and almonds, and as someone who
lives in one of the great pecan growing regions of the United States, I
have to go with pecan pie.
Connect with David Lee Summers. online via facebook and twitter, and check out his web site.
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