Author David Michael Rice
This interview will be the first time we meet David, and I can’t wait. His bio sounds very interesting. I’m so happy he took the time to answer some questions for us.
Please allow me to introduce, David Michael Rice.
I am currently a cowboy who lives and works on a remote cattle ranch in the canyon land wilderness of Northern New Mexico— a job I have had for about 17 years. Before being a cowboy I was a seaman rated Able Body for about four years (any vessel, any ocean), and lived on my cutter-rigged 30-foot sloop Myste at Dana Harbor, California. Before my work on the sea, I was an Information Technology professional for twelve years. I am autistic and also a Zen Buddhist.
Interview Conducted by Very Sherry Terry.
Let’s get the ball rolling and discover more about David.
TNR: What was the hardest thing about writing your latest True Adventure memoir?
David: The hardest part about writing a True Adventure memoir is to live the adventure first. Several people who have read my book have told me they would like to have a similar adventure, but few follow through. My book is an encouragement for would-be adventurers.
TNR: I think adventurous things sound cool, but I end up on the couch. I admire those who take the leap. What drew you to write a True Adventure memoir?
David: I like to read historical diaries, journals, and accounts about hardships people have gone through, and their solutions to those hardships here in the real world via creative nonfiction. Several “first world countries” are currently in civil and social decline, such as the United States of America, and we need to relearn how to survive harsher environments with less social support— preparing for our near future. How we coped in the past, and how we cope now, is knowledge we need to propagate into the future, and writing helps do this.
TNR: Very interesting take on what is going on around us. How much research do you do?
David: Everything I write has been researched and studied extensively, both for nonfiction as well as fiction, with the best peer-reviewed material I can find. I owe my readers a view of reality that is as close to the real world as my nonfiction stories require, but I also work hard to make my fiction match the real world as closely as possible where doing so does not distract from the tale.
TNR: What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever researched?
David: In the 1980s I studied the “Satanic Panic” that swept through parts of the United States and the United Kingdom. I met with scores of Satanists, Pagans, Neopagans, FBI agents, Occultists, Fundamentalist Christians, and assorted characters during this study. I have concluded that the Satanists were by far the saner of the bunch, and the best behaved. Huh.
TNR: I remember that. It swept through where I live with a daycare. Where do you see publishing going in the future?
David: I am glad you asked, as I think this question is vital for writers to contemplate. Modern writers seeking publishing success need to know the current state of the market, and the probable future based upon current trends. My most common advice is to note that writing is not necessarily a business, but being an author is: writers need to follow good business practices. Publishing has changed and is changing, chiefly due to businesses that have grabbed the lion’s share of the business (such as Amazon.com and The Big Five), and also due to inexpensive on-demand printing. Self-publishing will continue to expand and be seen as one of the legitimate ways for writers to be authors.
TNR: Do you proofread and/or edit your own books?
David: One of the reasons why I took the time to learn how to perform two common types of editing (proof, line edits) was to save the expense of hiring these tasks out to an editor; the other major reason is that learning how to perform these two types of editing has improved my writing organically, “up front” as I write. For the other kinds of edits, such as for content and style (“voice”), consistency has never been a problem in my writing so I do not need an editor for those tasks.
TNR: Marketing is a tough one all writers have to deal with. Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?
David: Where ever and whenever possible, be a whore. Writing is extremely hard work, for little pay; you owe it to yourself and your intellectual products to promote your work even to the point of being obnoxious. That means a YouTube channel, Twitter account, Facebook author’s page, and your own web site (called “platform” in the writing business). It means finding local bookstores that will sell your books out-right or via consignment. It means shoving your product into people’s faces— for example, I had United States postage stamps made with images of my memoir’s cover on them to mail personal letters (never for business letters: that’s just tacky). Authors must self-promote: that’s just part of the job.
TNR: Do you have any advice on how to deal with bad reviews?
David: The most entertaining reviews for my writing tend to be the negative reviews, which I cherish. It is my hope that writers understand that negative reviews may or may not be legitimate reviews and/or should not to be taken personally by the writer (even if the reviewer is correct that the writer’s little darlings are ugly). A legitimate negative review merely means someone did not like the book: =YAWN!= Get over it. Of course if you only get negative reviews, you might wish to find a different profession.
TNR: Now for a couple of personal questions. Which famous person (or author), living or dead would you like to meet and why?
David: I would love to meet Rex Stout and spend a few weeks listening to him talk about his life, his writing, and his orchid collection. Mr. Stout was a brilliant writer, and I would like to compare the writer with his most famous creation, Nero Wolfe. Both Stout and Wolfe had behaviors that I recognize as autistic behavior, and the subject of autism augmenting intelligence interests me.
TNR: What is your favorite movie and why?
David: DEADPOOL #1 is my favorite movie at the moment, and I suppose it will be for the rest of eternity. The writing of DEADPOOL was beyond excellent, and I love the fourth-wall breaching as well as the sarcasm. Perhaps the lack of caring about the mass slaughter and butchery of imaginary human beings can help us understand the same lack of caring in the real world— a theme common in Quintin Tarantino’s films.
TNR: Awesome interview! I had a blast getting to know you. Thanks for stopping by.
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