1: What is the most productive time of the day for you to write?
I'm a midnight writer by habit and disposition. On deadline, I can write whenever and wherever, but under normal conditions I'm most productive midnight-3am. My problem with mornings is that my brain is fuzzy until about noon. But usually because I've been up all night writing.
2: Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer?
I carry a composition book around with me, and jot down ideas, notes, fragments. But when I actually sit down to write scenes, I'm at a keyboard. My parents gave me a manual typewriter when I was eight years old, around the time I started working on my first novel, and I've been typing ever since. It feels natural.
3: What do you draw inspiration from?
I'd like to say I draw inspiration from life, but truth be told I get most of my inspiration from literature. I've always been an avid reader, and reading a good book makes me want to write a good book. Nothing gets my creative juices flowing like another author's brilliance.
4: Do you set goals for yourself when you sit down to write such as word count?
Yes. What I tend to do is write daily goals on an index card and tape the card to the wall behind my computer. If I meet my goal, I get to cross it out and move on to the next. When I'm on a deadline, I tend to write hourly goals.
5: Are you a published or a self published author and how do you come up with your cover art?
I've been published in various magazines and newspapers. I self-published a play, a novel, and short story, with more novels on the way soon. Because all of my self-published work has been set in the past, I've used old paintings and etchings as my cover images. As clarified by the recent court ruling Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp. (1999), photos of public domain images are not protected by copyright. Therefore, a digital photo of, say, a Renaissance painting is in the public domain. My next novel is a contemporary detective novel, so I will probably license an image for that.
6: What drives you to choose the career of being a writer?
I've always written stories, since I first learned to write. Turning into a career has been more of a challenge. The drive, I imagine, comes from my love of books and need to see the world through the lens of story.
7: Do you own an ebook reading device?
I'm currently reading ebooks on my BlackBerry, using the Kindle app.
8: Who are some of your favorite authors and What are you reading now?
My favorite authors include J.R.R Tolkien, George R.R. Martin, Gene Wolfe, Raymond Chandler Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Gunter Grass, Umberto Eco, Dante, Shakespeare, Homer, and many others. But I'm widely read in most popular genres (romance excepted). I'm currently reading Chandler's Lady in the Lake. I recently finished re-reading The Big Sleep and Farewell, My Lovely. I'm writing a Chandleresque detective story now, so this counts as both business and pleasure.
9: What do you think of book trailers and do you have any plans to have any?
I've thought about creating book trailers. I graduated from film school at UCLA and I used to produce videogames for Twentieth Century Fox, so the idea of doing a trailer-style promotion for my books does appeal to me. However, I've never actually bought a book because of a trailer. I'm sure I'll experiment with it at some point, but haven't yet.
10: What are you working on now that you can talk about?
I'm writing the first in a series of private eye novels set in the Los Angeles theater world. I recently wrote, directed, produced, and acted in a play at the Hollywood Fringe Festival, so I've lived for a time in the world of the story. The book is called Cold Reading. The hero is Nick Shaw, a struggling L.A. actor who pays his bills with detective work. He's hired by a theater producer to find a missing actress. Complications ensue. I've posted the opening chapters of Cold Reading on my website, www.davidwisehart.com. I expect to finish the novel this summer, and have it available on Kindle shortly thereafter.