In a previous post, I reviewed Swykert’s .The Pool Boy’s Beatitude. D.J.’s writing is fresh and engaging and I wanted to know more about the man behind the writing. Indie authors should be promoted, their writing spotlighted. It is why, and how the writing profession expands. So without further adieu, I give you D.J. Swykert.
DJ Swykert is a fiction writer living in the Cincinnati area. His work has appeared in The Tampa Review, Detroit News, Coe Review, Monarch Review, the Newer York, Lunch Ticket, Gravel, Zodiac Review, Barbaric Yawp and Bull. His books include Children of the Enemy, Alpha Wolves, The Pool Boy’s Beatitude and The Death of Anyone. You can find him at: www.magicmasterminds.com/djswykert He is a wolf expert.
1) What is Jack’s story? Why is it important?
Jack’s story is a redemption song. Addiction, drugs, meth, and alcohol are a major problem facing our society. Jack faces these same issues. In a round expanding infinite universe there are no corners, but Jack manages to turn one. There’s a little bit of the writer in every character you write, there’s a little, maybe even more than a little, of Jack Joseph in me.
2) Who or what was the inspiration behind the mouth-watering Cajun meals Jack comes up with?
Emeril LaGasse is my favorite chef. I love Cajun food and have my own secret Cajun seasoning.
3) How long did it take you to write The Pool Boy’s Beatitude?
The first draft, maybe three months. The editing process, another three months or so. And then a third edit with the publisher’s editor, Jayne Southern. And she’s a brilliant editor, I was very fortunate to work with her.
4) How did find your publisher, Rebel Press?
A directory of Indie presses on the internet. They were recommended. The owner of Rebel e, EJ Knapp is great to work with.
5) One of the reasons I selected The Pool Boy’s Beatitude was for the science, the physics which is a central part of the narrative. How did you go about researching this?
All the information Tom Clancy needed to write The Hunt from Red October he found on the internet. I did the same thing. I had time to spare working overnight shifts in 911 and did a lot of internet research. There are a lot of anomalies in physics and no unified theory of physics, no Theory of Everything.
6) What are you reading now?
Brave New World, Aldous Huxley.
7) Where did you learn to write, to craft stories that are compelling, real, and yet entertaining?
I belong to Francis Ford Coppola’s writing site, Zoetrope. You post stories and get critiques from other writers. The interaction with other writers really helps improve your craft. I also belong to a writer’s group, several of the members are writing professors. I have a girlfriend with a masters degree in literature, The Pool Boy’s Beatitude is dedicated to her, for the help she gave me with my first edit. You can make a comparison to writing and playing the piano, you get better with practice. There’s only three real components to any story, characters, conflict and resolution. You develop a character through characterization, you put them into a conflict and write about how they resolve it. I’m still learning and improving at the craft.
8) What is one thing you would suggest to authors looking to publish their first book?
Have your manuscript finished to as perfect as you can write it would be the number one thing. You need a good product regardless of how you end up publishing it. Once it’s ready, start the query process. You can query agents and Indie publishers at the same time, almost everyone is okay with simultaneous submissions. Publishing is like the wild west right now, even the majors are into what amounts to self-publishing. You can publish now with Penguin and Harper Collins the same as publishing through Create Space. If you think you have strong market potential it might be worth the expense to publish through one of the majors just to carry their imprint on your story. But whether you publish through Penguin, Create Space, an Indie publisher or just self-publish, you’ll have to do the promoting for your book yourself.