Dave Conifre Interview
1: What is the most productive time of the day for you to write?
I really don’t have a set time that works better than any other. If I have a large chunk of free time I find that I don’t write well, regardless of what time of day it is. I think it has to do with pressure: if I feel like I have all day there is no sense of urgency and I don’t get much done. I write better when it’s loud and I’m in a rush before I run out of time.
2: Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer?
My best work is with pen and clipboard. I tend to work through scenes and ideas in my head and then write them down as soon as I feel like I’ve made it work. Later I’ll type it in at the computer, editing heavily as I go (and many times filling in the blanks where I couldn’t read my own scribbles).
3: What do you draw inspiration from?
Mostly I get my ideas from watching people, which I love to do. If I hear or see somebody doing something I can’t figure out, the wheels start turning. This is a tough question, really. It might even be true that every book I’ve written is based on an idea that came to me in a different way, now that I really think about it. So I don’t really know if there’s a single answer.
4: Do you set yourself goals when you sit down to write such as word count?
No, that would never work for me. I’ve never understood how that works for other writers although I know it does. If I had self-imposed goals I’d write gibberish until I hit that number.
My system is to write when it’s ready to go down on paper. Sometimes it zero words, sometimes it’s a few thousand. But even if I got zero words down on a given day, it might have been one of my most productive days because ideas moved along in my head and are almost ready to go.
5: Being a self published author how do you come up with your cover art?
That’s a real weakness for me. Initially I did all my own covers and they were horrible. I tended to find pictures and symbols that meant a lot to me, but not to potential readers. This all changed when J.L. Penn, who writes women’s fiction including Reunion, developed new covers for all my books. Unlike before, I’m really proud now of how my books look.
6: What drives you to chose the career of being a writer?
It chose me, really. Even before I formalized my writing to the point where I herded my words into books, I always wrote. My teachers noted that I loved to write stories when I was as young as second grade. There’s nothing more enjoyable than crafting a story that works logically and is compelling (or at least interesting).
7: Do you own an ebook reading devise?
I have a Kindle. I’m sure I’d be just as happy with any of the ones on the market but that happens to be the one I received as a gift.
8: Who are some of your favorite authors and What are you reading now?
Jeffrey Archer, John Grisham, Ken Follett, Tom Clancy, David Halberstam, Stephen King. I’m not very high brow.
I usually have at least two books going. One by the bed, which is usually something I’ve read at least twenty times already. Right now it’s The Far Arena by Richard Ben-Sapir. The “fully conscious” book I’m reading right now is The Last of the Wine by Mary Renault.
9: What do you think of book trailers and do you have any plans to have any?
I’ve never used one because I had neither the means to make a decent one nor a platform to display it on. I’ve recently upgraded my promotion efforts and have both a Facebook Fan Page and a Web Page, so I suppose the platform is there. I just have no idea how to make one that looked professional enough not to be an embarrassment. I can visualize it but I wouldn’t even know where to start.
I imagine they work, just like movie trailers work. At least they must be fun to make.
10: What are you working on now that you can talk about?
I’ve got two books in the works. One I’ve been working on since 2005. It’s about a college football player who is accused of rape by an acquaintance. It’s 90% written but I’m struggling with the motivations of the major characters. Specifically, I’m afraid they might be making decisions just to move my plot along. I’m not going to give up on it though.
I’m also writing a kind-of sort-of romance thriller. The main characters appeared in a short story that I put out last Christmas on Smashwords (It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas). One of the main characters is a handyman who has an interesting background, and the other is a dissatisfied housewife who is married to a real horse’s ass.