Bookpleasures.com is pleased to have as our guest today, Dan O'Brien, founder and editor-in-chief of The Northern California Perspective.
Dan has written over 20 books––including the bestselling Bitten, which was featured on Conversations Book Club’s Top 100 novels of 2012.
Before starting Amalgam, he was the senior editor and marketing director for an international magazine. In addition, he has spent over a decade in the publishing industry as a freelance editor.
Norm: Good day Dan and thanks for participating in our interview.
How did you get started in writing? What keeps you going?
Dan: I really got started writing when I was around 6 or so and I wrote and performed a play for my cousin’s birthday party. It evolved from there into little stories, and then eventually full-blown novels read around the globe.
Norm: Why do we read fiction?
Dan: I think we read fiction to escape, to have conversations with the unknown.
Norm: What has been the best part about being published and did you read any special books on how to write?
Dan: When I first started out, I went the traditional route and bought every book imaginable. That was about 13-14 years ago now. The best part about being published is the ability to continue telling stories. It’s like I never have to grow up.
Norm: Do you work from an outline?
Dan: I like to use a living outline that I alter and manipulate as the story takes form.
Norm: What do you want your work to do? Amuse people? Provoke thinking?
Dan: Sometimes, it is to provoke thinking; other times, it is for amusement and entertainment. Lately, I have been moving toward shorter works that offer an escape from the horror of the world. Silly, quick, little reads that can distract you for a time.
Norm: What's the most difficult thing for you about being a writer?
Dan: Having more projects than I reasonably have to finish them in. Honestly, it started out as one book a decade and a half ago; and now, it seems I am always in need of a new whiteboard.
Norm: What do you think of the new Internet market for writers?
Dan: I think it offers a unique opportunity that is both wonderful and frightful. The court of public opinion has been so accessible before for artists. Tread lightly, give willingly, and develop a thick skin.
Norm: What would you like to say to writers who are reading this interview and wondering if they can keep creating, if they are good enough, if their voices and visions matter enough to share?
Dan: Life is too short to worry about what others think and not chase your dreams. Write, publish, read, and love life. Do you know what happens if you don’t try? Nothing. Nothing at all. What could be worse than that?
Norm: Could you tell us something about your most recent work, Mobsters, Monsters & Nazis and what was its inspiration? As a follow up, what would you say is the best reason to recommend someone to read?
Dan: I wanted to write a throwback as I love old movies; and I have abiding love for Lovecraft. I also have a fantastic working relationship with an artist who absolutely gets what I am trying to do, so the time seemed right. Plus, we are inundated with so much awfulness that I wanted to write something people could escape into. I think that is the best reason to read it.
Norm: Where can our readers find out more about you and your books?
Dan: You can find me at my BLOG on Twitter (@AuthorDanOBrien). Stop by and say hello.
Norm: What is next for Dan O'Brien?
Dan: I have this series to finish before the end of the year, a new illustrated series, and a sequel to Bitten that will be out in 2015.
Norm: As this interview draws to a close what one question would you have liked me to ask you? Please share your answer.
Who my favorite literary character is? Easy answer: Sherlock Holmes
Norm: Thanks again and good luck with all of your future endeavors