Author Interview with Deen Ferrell, 2013 winner of "The Book Pick" Contest and Author of "Cryptic Spaces: Foresight"
Created By: BookBundlz
1.If you could have coffee with any 3 authors, living or dead, who would they be?
My first choice would be Emily Bronte, not so much for her prose (which I think are brilliant) but also because her life fascinates me. She lived in such a bleak area, a life that seems, from the outside, to have been bland, if not austere. She appeared to experience little in the way of romance or intrigue, yet, her prose are thrillingly untamed, reckless, and mysterious. I am certain her presence and conversation would be, if anything, stimulating. I would also love to have Ray Bradbury join us. I had the opportunity of meeting Ray a couple of times in person and know that there's never a dull moment when he's in the mix. Also, he was my first author-hero as a boy. I devoured "The Martian Chronicles," and "The Golden Apples of the Sun," and "The October Country." I went to bed at nights with "Dandelion Wine" and "Fahrenheit 451" tucked under my pillow. My third choice would be J.K. Rowling, arguably one the finest authors currently alive. Her characters and settings created a world that is fun and adventurous, yet real and wholly believable in the context of the angst of youth. I so admire her ability to playfully capture both the foibles and fantasies of our human condition, and believe I would enjoy her counterpoint perspectives.
2. If you could only take one book, food item and drink with you to a deserted island what would they be?
The one book would have to be "Dandelion Wine." The book wraps up everything bright, and warm, and magical about being alive. I could read it a thousand times and always come away with a sense of wonder and hope--something that might come in handy on a deserted island. The food item would have to be chocolate. If you're going to die anyway, might as well die eating chocolate! The drink would be cold, fresh water. There is no sweeter nectar for the parched and thirsting throat.
3. What are your secret indulgences?
Okay, I admit it, I love the smell of books. I love to walk the nooks and crevices of libraries just to breathe in the sense of wonder and magic. I get the whole Kindle and Nook and iBook revolution, but I hope the library is always there, safeguarding the majesty of those bindings that bond us to paper and ink. I can turn down the adventure aisle and immediately smell the burning sands of Morocco, the salt-tang of a sailor's hemp rope. Turn left into romance, and it's rose buds and crisp snow. Turn right into fantasy and pinch your nose from the bite of dragon dung. Straight ahead to the classics and you smell time, aging in a hundred slow-burning percolators.
4. What about you would surprise your readers?
I don't know--my mother is descended from a Cherokee chief?
5. What is your perfect day as an author?
It would start with a walk along the beach. A pirate ship whips around the edge of the cove, cannons blazing. I see a small rowboat, hard at it for shore. The boat is hit, but miraculously, a fiesty girl and a rattled old sea-hand escape out just in the knick of time. They make it to land, and I run to help them up. Cannon fire drives us from the beach. The old sea-hand is hit. He grabs my arm. "Get 'er to the Duke of Pompeii!" he mutters. "She's the only one what can save the city!" I grab the girl's hand. She swings, bulleting me in the stomach with a doubled fist. "Who are you?" she screams. "You're not taking me anywhere!" Luckily, I've a stump of pencil and sheaf of paper in my back pocket. I pull them out and frantically begin to write...
6. If you could be any fictional character who would it be?
I have to admit that I would love to be Artemis Fowl. With Butler at my side and Holly at my back, how could I lose?
7. What are the book(s) you are reading now?
I recently finished "The Black Count" by Tom Reiss, a fascinating non-fiction book about the father of Alexander Dumas who was the first black General in the French army. I'm currently reading "Shadows in Flight" by Orson Scott Card.
8. What was your favorite book as a teenager, and why?
I had many favorites, but one that comes quickly to mind is "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter" by Carson McCullers. I find a haunting beauty in the book that penetrated to my very heart-tangles when I was a teen.
9. (Aside from your own) What book(s) have you read that you think are perfect for book clubs?
Well, I was very impressed by the other finalist in "The Book Pick" contest. I have added each to my shelf to read. A book series that I enjoyed more than "The Hunger Games" was "Gregor the Overlander," an earlier series by Suzanne Collins.
About Your Book:
10. Where did the inspiration for your book come from?
I was walking around at the mall one day, waiting for my car to get repaired, when I saw a stream of sunlight that shone down through a skylight. It illuminated a dim corner under the circular stairway. The corner was dusty and empty, and it was obvious that no-one had stepped foot in that corner or even seen it for a long, long time. That struck me as odd--here was a crowded mall, and yet, a space that lay hidden and completely unnoticed. I got to thinking, "I wonder how many spaces like this exist around the world?" Then, I thought, "What if this space isn't really empty, but holds clues that can somehow connect it to other seemingly empty spaces?" And thus, "Cryptic Spaces" was born...
11. They say every book written is the author telling a personal philosophy. What personal philosophy are you trying to get across?
I believe hope comes from finding the hidden things around us and inside us. We are all more, better, stronger, smarter than we may think we are. Everyone is unique and special in some way--the world around us is unique and special if only we have the eyes to see it the way it truly is.
12. Writers are often surprised by something that happens in their book. Perhaps a character says or does something you did not think they would, or something you thought would only be a couple of paragraphs turns into 10 pages. What surprised you about your book?
When I originally conceived the book, the character calling himself "Beelzebub" was not in it. Penguin had some interest in the book if I could cut the word count in half. I tried, but didn't feel good about the end result. When I abandoned the attempt and began expanding the book back out to it's original size, there was Beelzebub, literally tearing his way into the story.
13. If you were crafting a discussion question for book clubs to discuss about your book, what question do you think would generate the most discussion?
What would a Sydney Senora concert in the US be like?
About Your Writing Process:
14. What is your writing process like?
I imagine my process may seem a bit chaotic from the outside. Like many writers, I juggle family, work, exercise, church, and a dozen other things in addition to writing. I've learned that I need to have a part of my mind always observing and cataloguing and listening, so that, when I am able to steal a few moments away for my writing, I have the seeds of a hundred of ideas ready to attack the page. I remember Ray Bradbury used to compare his creative process to an "explosion" on the page. Of necessity, it has become similar for me. I have to make good use of the snatches of time I am able to grab. Of course, once characters are born, they don't give me much choice. I've found my characters to be quite bossy. They sit around in my office, cat-calling at my skill, and deluging me with questions about why I'm so slow getting their story down...
15. What gets you in the mood to write?
Fall leaves, an empty street, the first snow of winter, beautiful old-world architecture, a long summer night on the beach, thunderstorms, a unique painting or sculpture, cherry blossoms in spring, a classic movie--all of these can trigger senses, filling me with thoughts, intoxicating smells, memories that begin to gel into stories. Stories are everywhere, all around us. Usually, they reach out and grab me. I'm just the poor guy with the pen who has been commanded to write.
16. What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
A lot of people have asked me why I write. I don't have a choice. Things bubble up inside me, and they have to be said. Characters grab me by the throat, and I have to tell their story. Writing is something akin to breathing for me. When I am away from words for too long, I begin to physically whither. I think that's the key for aspiring authors--find and feed the passion that makes you write. It's not an easy road to become an author and there are plenty who will try to discourage you. Unless you have a passion that can't be quieted, you may end up with the "almost there" club, a group perpetually "working" on something, but never crossing the finish line. When you're driven by passion, when you truly find your voice, you become successful because you have to. No matter what, you find a way. It's not about the audience, it's about what's inside you, it's about what you have to say. Don't get me wrong, it's good to know who you're writing for, and it's always exciting when others share your passion and appreciate your work, but the truth is, when you write because you have to write, all the other becomes background. Inside, you know that somewhere, sometime, there will be an audience searching for your work--your perspective, your words. I take my hat off to you, aspiring writers! The journey ahead is bright and brimming with excitement when you follow your passion! It can hone your voice for all to see.