An Interview with D J Swykert, Author

Today, I’d like to welcome D J Swykert, author of The Death of Anyone.


D J Swykert When did you first discover the desire to write was so strong in you?

This might make me sound like a schoolboy, (and I no longer am, that was a long while ago) but the idea I’d like to be a writer came from Tennyson, Flower in the Crannied Wall. I read the poem and was just in awe of it, and felt inspired by it.

Do you usually write in the same genre you tend to prefer to read?

No, I write in several different genres, much as I’ve read books with a wide variety of themes. I think I am more likely to be impressed by characterization than plot, or even theme. Everyone’s life is a story, it’s how the character experiences his story is what interests me.

When reading, do you prefer traditional printed books or ebooks?

I prefer printed books. But, I have yet to read a book using a reader. And I see the advantages they present. But, I’m old fashioned, give me an old fashioned paper book.

Have you been influenced and/or inspired by another writer, or writers?

As a young person, Mark Twain. And like Tom Sawyer, I still don’t like whitewashing fences. As an adult, though I’ve been influenced by many authors, the one that always comes to mind first is Hemingway. I relate to his characters.

Do past or current events in your life have an influence on your writing?

I am an alcoholic, so addiction has always appeared in my themes. I worked in law enforcement, so, I can write about police procedures with authenticity. And I’m a romantic, so, I do like to write about the adventure of romance.

Have you got a favourite author, who stands well ahead of all others?

I’ve already mentioned Hemingway. But I also liked F. Scott Fitzgerald and Jack Kerouac.

Have you got both printed and digital books published?

I have both, all three of my books are currently available in both versions.

Do you try to write to satisfy what is fashionable, or do you write pieces that you would want to read?

This might sound a bit haughty, but I write what’s on my mind, a story I have an opinion about or something to say on the subject. Even when I’ve done genre work, there is a theme in the story.

How do you fit writing into your life? Do you have set times for writing?

I generally write in the morning and waste the afternoon sitting out in the courtyard. I’m jesting a little, I usually read in the afternoon, and outside when the weather permits.

Do you keep every jotting of ideas, just in case they might be developed at some later date?

Yes, I have notes scribbled all over the place. And though I seldom dig them out when I write, by writing them on a piece of paper they are indelibly written in my head, and they will appear at some future date in a story.

When writing, most authors now use a computer of some description. Which do you find more satisfying: writing using any means available, using a computer, using a typewriter or using a pen/pencil?

I used to write longhand in a notebook. But I’ve gotten more accustomed to using my laptop, longhand is now mostly just for notes.

Have you ever been somewhere and discovered a copy of a book that’s extremely difficult to find, and drooled over the discovery?

Yes, a copy of Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience. I found it at Artis Books, a small indie bookstore in Calumet, Michigan.

If you’ve had books published in print form, have you ever come across a copy of one of your own books by accident?

No, but my daughter-in-law has. She’s a travel nurse, and in visiting one of her patients she saw a copy of one of my early books, Maggie Elizabeth Harrington, sitting on her patient’s kitchen table. She told him, “My father-in-law wrote that.”

What is your greatest ambition in writing?

To keep producing good writing.

Where can readers find out more about your works?

I am on an artistic website: I have a page to myself under authors and it has information on me and my books, and how to buy them.


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