Featured Friday! David Gerald King
David Gerald King grew up in Connecticut and is probably the only person not really complaining about the Polar Vortex. He has always been the weird one in his group, and, at younger ages, paid the social price. As such, he understands, at least somewhat, what it is to be the one in the group getting no respect (no respect, I tells ya!). But paper doesn’t really care whose voice it is. Though he often worries about whether or not he represents his characters well, he continues to make an effort to include diverse characters and his novels are, more often than not, female-led.
He has always been drawn to writing (as opposed to written to drawing), and enjoy the crafting of new worlds. When speaking about sci-fi, he likes to say “You get to make all the rules, but then you have to remember to follow your own rules.”
Now that he is a teacher, he tries to impart the full power of language(s) on his students so they can feel the full power of scenes created by others and so they can properly paint their scenes with the depth and breadth of emotion and meaning to show others what they really mean.
What’s your favourite part of the lifestyle of an Author?
I can make something and, hopefully, somewhere out there, there is a person who really needed to see that story at that moment in their life to feel strong again.
What made you start writing?
I’ve always been writing, so, basically, because it was the art I was made to do (I have 0 ability at visual arts). The thing that made me start my first novel was very interesting, though. I had a friend in school, who was very closeted and afraid to come out. She told me once, how there were no stories “for her.” Now, this was back before LGBTQ+ books were commonly available to be found in the average bookstore, and a ways off before we were all buying digital books from Amazon (back in my day…). So, I took lesbian romance and vampires (two things on her “for her” checklist), mixed in my experience studying abroad in Japan (why not?) and started writing Utsukushii Kuro basically for her.
Is there an Author that you consider your inspiration?
Yes, but, honestly, how much bandwidth do you have? The two things that really make me start thinking are reading an interesting idea and asking questions like “Cool, but what if that convenient/horrible thing in the Prologue never happened/happened differently?” OR listening to new music, imagining the music video, and hitting on something that is worth a whole story.
That being said, big shapers of me when I was younger would include Garth Nix, Stephen King, and Shakespeare. Now they would also include Fred Perry, Rebecca Sugar, The Dresden Dolls, Nancy Garden, Chynna Clugston Flores, and James Luceno.
What’s your number one tip for an aspiring Author?
Just write it. Write the notes, write the ideas, write the stray thoughts you have about “that story.” You can organize it later, just write it. And, since you have either a computer, a phone, or a free online e-mail NEVER THROW ANYTHING OUT!!! It might not work for this story, but it could be the spark of the next one.
What type of book do you like to read and does this differ from the genre that you prefer to write?
I love to read science fiction, but I also love reading science, history, and language studies. Reading the science gives me a starting point to say “Well, where will this lead in 20, 50, 200 years?” The history triggers “Hmm, what if that had gone just this much differently?” And the language studies help me think in ways other cultures do, at least linguistically, like how a complex social value, that takes over a page of English and still isn’t quite right is expressed in 4 characters in Japanese.
Which one of your characters would you most like to spend time with?
They’re all too cool to hang out with me!
Which book do you consider a must-read?
The Art of War by Sun Tzu. Authors can apply these lessons well in knowing how to plan out character actions, especially for making intelligent and capable antagonists and throwing in uncontrollable elements, like weather or “the public” interfering with the plans of main characters.
What’s been the hardest edit that you’ve had to make? Why did you want to keep the material in?
Writing the first full half of a chapter and realizing “No, that doesn’t follow the rules I set out” or that it sets out a rule I will never be able to follow later. That happens about once every novel. But, again, I always save it, because I might be able to use that “great phrasing,” or that scene, or that rule in something else. NEVER THROW AWAY! Recycle!
If you could live in a book, which one would it be?
A Star Wars novel…and I would probably last a good 8 seconds.
If you could pick an Author to write your biography, who would it be?
Stephen King…mostly for the lols.
Is there any conflict between what you want to write and what you think your readers will like?
If you write it, readers will come. I write about what I think is worth writing about, and then I put it out and let people decide for themselves. I already work two jobs, so I don’t NEED money from writing (though I wouldn’t object to making some), so I can just write what I want and see if anyone reads.
What effect can a review have on you, if you read them at all? Both the good and the bad.
If it is good, I’m giddy for days. If it is bad, first, check if it is valid (“1 star, did not read” is not a valid review). If it is simply a matter of opinion, okay, that’s that person. If it raises valid points about my writing, time to do some deep thinking about what we do.
Can you sum up your life story in ten words or less?
“Work harder, and don’t expect to be paid for it!”
What’s exciting you about your next project?
I will drop vague hints: Trying to do right by Henrietta Lacks and well-meaning Congressional legislation lead us back to old mistakes.
And finally, you have one quote to be remembered by, what is it?
“Learn so you can Think. Think so you can find the Truth. Find the Truth so you can Learn.”
Thanks David. I think we can sense a bit of passion behind the “not throwing out” sentiment. Perhaps the teacher in you coming out?
You can find out more about David and his recycling on the links below, give them a click!