Sunday, October 2, 2011

Michael Davidson (herocious) interview

1: What is the most productive time of the day for you to write? 

The morning. My brain hums in the morning. My fingers can't keep up. As the day progresses, my fingers outpace my brain, and the writer in me becomes inert. That's when I do things like run down to the lake and fill my brain with new smells and images, which often slip their way into whatever it is I'm working on the next day.

2: Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer? 

I always start longer manuscripts on the computer. But I enjoy writing book reviews on my notepad first, usually while drinking bottomless coffee at my local coffee shop. I also tend to write short stories and essays longhand. Whenever there isn't a mountain of material behind whatever it is I'm writing, the whole pen and paper thing works quite well. I'd even go so far as to say that writing by hand gives a different pacing to my sentences and paragraphs. It's almost as if I'm a different writer depending on my tools.

3: What do you draw inspiration from?

It's hard to say what exactly inspires me to write. Definitely not just any one thing. I think almost everything inspires me always. I tend to write stuff down. I'm the person taking pictures of inanimate objects and composing odes to them.

4: Do you set goals for yourself when you sit down to write such as word count? 

When I'm focused on writing a novel, word count does come into play, at least on the days I'm writing as opposed to revising. The goal used to be much higher when I was just starting, but as I wrote more, the quota dropped, and I began to care more about the weight of each word, making the most of the space on a page.

5: Are you a published or a self published author and how do you come up with your cover art? 

I've had short stories published in print journals and magazines. That's what motivated me in my early 20s. This year I decided to self-publish my first novel because it seemed like the best thing to do in this economy. As for the cover art, I came up with it. The typeface is Helvetica. The image is a close-up I took of a girl's lower back. I was going after the whole 'slice of life' idea.

6: What drives you to choose the career of being a writer?

Something indestructible. It's almost scary how hard it is. I think it sits somewhere close to my heart, or maybe inside my lips.

7: Do you own an ebook reading device? 

No. I still read books. I lug them around with me and stare at how beautiful their binding is. Since I handpress books on my kitchen table, binding is no small miracle.

8: Who are some of your favorite authors and What are you reading now?

I'll start with what I'm reading right now: HEAVY PETTING by Gregory Sherls, MUSEUM OF THE WEIRD by Amelia Gray, and DON QUIXOTE by Cervantes. Some of my favorite authors are Thomas Bernhard, W. G. Sebald, José Saramago, Knut Hamsun, and Noah Cicero.

9: What do you think of book trailers and do you have any plans to have any? 

Book trailers are a fresh new medium great for communicating your book's premise to a wider, bouncier audience. I'm not sure if the effort that goes into making one actually increases sales, unless is goes viral, but I do know that it gets your book out there, it opens up some inroads. I actually already have one for AUSTIN NIGHTS. My girlfriend, Bridget, put it together using footage I took on our epic move from Miami Beach to Austin. She kept it short, under two minutes, and so far people who either review the book or interview me have enjoyed including the video on their site. I'm happy to have it.

10: How did you come up with the title of your latest book? 

AUSTIN NIGHTS, when read aloud, sounds exactly like Austinites, which is what denizens of Austin like to call themselves, and the book wouldn't have been possible without its weird cast of homegrown Austinites.

11: What are you working on now that you can talk about? 

Great question. Thanks for asking.

40% of my energy is dedicated to Tiny TOE Press, which is an imprint I started to publish my first novel but has grown beyond that. For Halloween we'll be releasing our second title, a killer vampire story by M. L. Kennedy called THE MOSQUITO SONG. It's not your usual fare, but it will leave readers of this genre highly satisfied and yet hungry for more. Both handpressed and ebook versions will be available for consumption.

30% of my energy is concentrated on giving love either directly or indirectly to my book. It's like a slightly crippled creature I've had to coax into reader's hands.

20% of my energy is concentrated on reading and reviewing books from contemporary small press authors who deserve way more attention than they're getting.

8% of my energy is reserved for indulging in creative outbursts just to keep my trusty legs oiled for the next marathon.

And 2% of my energy is focused on editing 'completed' manuscipts to get them up to par for the light of day.

Relevant links:

Tiny TOE Press:
Austin Nights:

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