5 Minutes with the Author
D. B. Story is a writer living in the southwestern United States. While that territory can cover anywhere from New Mexico to Hawaii he declines to be more specific at this time. His use of the time-honored artifice of writing under a pseudonym comes from the necessity to still maintain a day job and the habit of employers to Google new applicants to discover what stupid things said applicant is willing to foolishly do, and then doubly foolishly post for the world to see afterwards. Such invasions of one’s personal life become an unnecessary distraction. D. B. Story has long had interests in both Science Fiction (since first discovering his mother’s secret cache of Ace Doublebooks stashed under her bed) and writing. (from eXcessia.com)
- What project are you currently working on? (C’mon, give us a hint!)
I am busy working my way through my backlist of stories written over the last decade, now being rewritten and reproofed for publication. I’ve been at that task for the last 18 months, and figure that I’m about halfway through the process. Simply taking a story already written and saying that okay, it was good enough to post on an Internet story site means that it’s good enough to publish is very far from reality — at least for me. A full rewrite, proofing by my 2 or 3 proofreaders, submission, errata corrections, design and creation of book covers, contracts, blurb and excerpts to write, and promotion to do, makes writing real work. And that’s in addition to a full-time day job since I’m not a wealthy writer yet. When I get that out of the way then I can get back to the fun of writing new stories, and new extensions to existing stories. I can’t wait for that day to arrive.
- What is your favorite snack?
Mauna Loa macadamia nuts and Nestle’s semi-sweet chocolate bits.
- I have heard from numerous authors that chocolate is the staple of their diet. Is it in yours?
See previous answer.
Trivia: I actually worked in a candy story when I was young. It’s true when they say that in candy stores they let you eat what you want because you’ll soon not want very much of it. That said, I ate what I wanted and loved every bite.
- Will electronic readers ever take the place of the humble paperback?
There will always be Luddites, so there will always be paperback books. For the rest of us, the ability to carry one’s entire library in a slim pad or cell phone on a trip and buy new books over the air that are never out of stock, will have the eBook replacing the paperback like the CD replaced vinyl.
- If you could be one of your characters – Who would you be? And why?
Any of my characters are on adventures that I would personally love to take. Perhaps the one that would be the most fun due to the length of it is Bill in “Far Future Fembot: Bill’s Story”.
- Who or what influences you when you write?
I write what I like to read. I simply hope that other people like to read it too.
- When you have writer’s block how do you break free?
Some have said that writer’s block is simply an issue of self-esteem. As for myself, leave it alone and it unblocks itself. I like writing too much to have it taken away from me for long. Best rule: Don’t write to someone else’s deadline.
- Who is your perfect hero? And why?
A perfect hero has to have a flaw. Why? Because they simply aren’t interesting otherwise. Master Li Kao in Barry Hughart’s books, who admits to “a slight flaw in my character,” is perfect in this regard.
- What do you do for inspiration?
Basically nothing. A scene will pop into my head and I’ll write an entire story around it just to make it happen. By the time I’m done, even knowing this ahead of time, you’ll be hard pressed to ever identify that original scene unless I point it out to you. This, by the way, is also how the Twilight books were written. One dream that became chapter 13 in the first book and there you go.
- Is there a genre of book you would like to write but haven’t yet?
I would like to write a book that changes the world in a positive way, even if that’s not immediately obvious. A book like “Catcher in the Rye”, or “To Kill a Mockingbird”, that’s still considered great 50 years later. Whether fact, or fiction, doesn’t matter. What I DON’T want to have happen is to be driven into seclusion in the process as the authors of those two books have been, or only be famous for it after I’m dead.
- What kind of research do you do for your books? Do you enjoy the research process?
All of my research for what I write now was done before I started writing. It was all the science fiction, regular fiction, and fantasy books that I read, all the movies I saw, and all of the things I encountered, learned, and took in along the way. Those are the things that now fight to get out of me as stories and won’t leave me alone until they’re written down and shared.
- What is your favorite movie of all time? The one where you can watch it and still get affected at the same spots each and every time?
I could watch “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” endlessly. It remains my favorite airplane movie of all time, and it doesn’t matter where in the movie itself that I start watching.
- If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 5 things would you have with you? *mind you, you do have a strong hunky man to help you with things* *grins*
1) A laptop computer with a reliable Internet connection.
2) Solar cells to power it.
3) Sufficient food and drink to not have to spend all of my time looking for them.
4) A really comfortable chair.
5) A lovely native girl who finds me as appealing as I find her.
- What is your favorite way to relax after a hard day working and writing?
By the time I’m done working during the day and writing into the night, the only relaxation left is sleep. If I’m not too sleepy to continue, then I’m still writing.
- What is the one era you would love to go visit and why?
I’d love to see a Jetson’s type future. It would just be so very much fun to live in a place like that.
- Have you ever faked sick?
- Do you believe in love at first sight?
I do believe in it completely, but not for myself. I’ve seen it in action beyond doubt with other people close to me and I truly envy them for it. For myself, unfortunately, I was absolutely, spectacularly, overwhelmingly, completely, embarrassingly wrong about every bit of it for myself the first time and I’ve never trusted that feeling again.
- What is your perfect pizza?
Deep dish with everything — and I do mean everything — on it.
- Do you have a celebrity crush?
No. Not only am I too afraid that in real life that said celebrity wouldn’t be anything like the fantasy that they’re shown to be in their public life, but I also think too well of myself to have a crush on someone that unobtainable.
- If you could change your name, what would you change it to?
- Out of all your books, do you have a favorite one? If not, then which one is closest to.
I am in love with every one of my stories as I write them because I’m living that adventure as I type the words. So I could honest say that my favorite one is the one I’m working on at the moment.
I can also say that “Far Future Fembot: Bill’s Story” was my most ambitious undertaking when I wrote it, and remains a story that, if you were to read only one of my books and I got to pick the one that you’d read, that would be the one.
- What character out of all your books is the closest to your personality?
Hard choice to make. In some sense everything I write is autobiographical — or at least wishful thinking — to some significant extent on my part. But you want something more specific on that I’ll bet. I would say that I can reasonably answer this question with the first person protagonist in “Betrayal & Jill” from the anthology “The Fembot Chronicles Volume 5” releasing in 2011 — and as an individual story sometime after that. I wrote a lot of my personal pain into that story, which is why it’s authentic to me.
- Have you ever been nervous over reader reaction when a new book comes out?
I’m more nervous over being sued by someone claiming that I stole their idea. The copyright climate we live in today can be terrifying.
- How much does reader response mean to you over your books?
I love every bit of it and never get enough. But be nice, this is my child that you’re speaking about.
- What do you hope readers get from your books after they read them?
1) Entertainment. That is always first.
2) Life lessons. I put everything I have that I’ve learned about life and relationships that I can fit into every one of my stories.
3) Truth. I try to be true to every idea I espouse.
3) Education. That you’ve learned some things that you’d never considered before and that I’ve introduced you to some new ideas that you may want to go out and explore further on your own.
4) Tolerance. I often write about uncommon romances, including ones that can cross species boundaries. Learn to love the other person’s soul, regardless of the body that houses it and reevaluate your prejudices daily to determine if you still need to keep on carrying them.
5) Entertainment. That’s always last, but never least.
- If you could make a movie of any one of your books which one would you choose and who would you cast at the h/h?
Actually, the movie I would/will make is already written. The script is titled “Fembot” and it is based on the overall ideas espoused in my already published 8 major fembot books (including 5 anthologies) and several more books still to come. This movie is best described as: Pretty Woman meets Steven Spielberg’s A.I. at Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. The result would be rated-R, and I would happily cast compete unknowns in all the roles, rather than see all of the profits taken by name actors with better agents than I had. I don’t only write about fembots and m-bots, but it makes up a significant body of my work because they are just so interesting to have and interact with.
- Who is your favorite author?
Barry Hughart. Many authors can write an entertaining book. Good ones can ensure that every chapter is fascinating. Great ones make every page fun. Barry has managed a couple of books where every sentence is completely rewarding. I wish he would write more!
- What is the weirdest thing a reviewer has ever said about one of your books?
This is the review that is never far from my thoughts and I absolutely love it! From Seriously Reviewed about my story “Encounters: Pig Girl”:
” Be prepared to be entertained. I have to say that at the onset, I had no idea what I was getting myself into reading this story. Somewhere in the middle, I knew I had to be too tired to read because the story was just so bizarre. But the words are very well written, engaging and so I simply couldn’t stop scrolling down the pages. (and it wasn’t late so I know I wasn’t tired) Then the tale gets even stranger, but I wasn’t confused, wasn’t bothered, I was simply…entertained.”
- What is the nicest thing a reviewer has ever said about one of your books?
There are several reviews that I could easily pick among to answer this question. Perhaps the one I think of first, because I feel that the reviewer really “got” what I was intending is posted on Amazon.com for my story “The Runaway Starship”:
“excellent writing. very remincent of “the ship who…” books by the dragon lady. a very expandable universe if not story line. (no pun intended.) looking forward to more mr. whoeveryouare. I would tag this human/AI relations but the term artificial inteligence rankels.”
- Do you have a bucket list? If so, what are 2 things on it?
Yes. 1. Spend a summer solstice at Barrow, Alaska. 2. Go up in the tallest building in the world, currently the Burj Khalifa.
For everyone else’s bucket list (been there, done that, most highly recommended) I suggest: 1) New Year’s Eve, Sydney Harbor at Milson’s Point under the harbor bridge and across from the Opera House. 2) A full moon day/evening at The Taj Mahal.
- What is your favorite color besides YELLOW? I know everyone love yellow.
I’ve always been fond of blue, although it’s not the political party I most often find myself in agreement with. Green could come in second, but wait – that’s another political party.
- Boxers or briefs?
Do I really look like that much like Bill Clinton?
- Red Pill or Blue Pill?
Is the Blue Pill Viagra?