Dave spent 15 years writing his first book. Off and on.

This is an interesting topic since many authors take years to write their first book, but once that is done, they don’t spend nearly as long on subsequent books.

Find out what Dave has to say about taking so long to write his first book. He shares his advice for how to succeed and what you need to be aware of, no matter the amount of time to finish the writing.



00:00:00] Dave: Are you working on your author career, but struggling to get that first book published? Does the goal of being an author seem too lofty? Or thoughts of having multiple books and making a full time living are as fantastical as living in Cinderella’s castle? Welcome to Discovered Wordsmiths, a podcast where you can learn Where aspiring authors can be heard.

[00:00:26] Join Steven Schneider is he finds and talks to authors. You may not know, but authors that have gotten their foot on the author career path, hear what they’ve done to get there and where they want to go now. Settle back. It’s time for a bit of inspiration and advice. Come listen to today’s discovered word, Smith.

[00:00:44] Excellent. Let’s talk about why it took me 15 years to write my first

[00:00:49] Stephen: book. That sounds good. All right. So besides taking 15 years, Dave, let me ask you this. What did you learn, uh, from the beginning to the end [00:01:00] that you’re doing different or with your next book that you’re looking to do different?

[00:01:05] Dave: Excellent. Thanks for the question there. The first part that is most important for authors to learn is that there’s always room for growth. We think we have this notion. If we get a book when we’re finishing that draft that it’s done and I said draft not book We need to think of it as a draft. I thought it was done.

[00:01:23] I thought it was good I got some feedback from beta readers and someone said man It was short man. I could have used more and I thought they don’t know what they’re talking about. It is brilliant I sometimes have pride issues that I god has worked on me kindly to help shrink down and my family my bride Worked to shrink down to size, but I think it’s wonderful It is not.

[00:01:43] And so you have to then say, if I think it’s wonderful, uh, well, step back, let’s do some look at it again, do a thorough piercing edit, give it to somebody else as good as close to you can edit it. Pay for an editor, pay for a private editor. That’s a publisher’s job. Well, your [00:02:00] stuff isn’t good enough to get to a publisher, quite possibly.

[00:02:03] Pay for someone to edit it. Look at those revisions before you’re shopping it around, which means you need to invest in this project. I was always of the mindset when I began the process that all the money flows to me and there’s very little capital outlay. I’ve got a computer clickety clack all the time.

[00:02:18] My keyboard. And then I will have the goal. I’ll print out a copy. I’ll edit it. It will be golden. I will clear the agents and then the money will flow to me post haste. You’ve got to invest money. It’s like any other job you would do. This is the part time job or maybe a full time job. If you’re good enough down the road, you have expenses, you have costs.

[00:02:38] You have to make sure things are professional. You want the best quality of product going out there. That’s before anybody outside your immediate circle sees it. Then you beta test it. Then you send it out. You know, you can do some of that there. Then you are getting looking for endorsements and this is the first endorsement major endorsement on the front cover that I’ve gotten In my years [00:03:00] of writing books, I’ve gotten endorsements from friends who are writers, but this was one I got.

[00:03:04] I got it from a author named Thomas Locke, who’s the pen name for Davis fund, one of his names that he writes under. It took me 18 years from the first time I met the man to him for me, writing something good enough for him being willing to put his name on it. And they, when he did, it was good enough for him to put it on the front cover.

[00:03:20] And if people see that and they got, oh, my goodness, that’s good. What would you do for that? It took me 18 years. I had to meet him, get to know him. I was a fanboy, if you will, for quite a while. Every six months to a year, I write him an email. Oh, love your book. This is great. A few years back, I did a blurb for one of his American releases for one of his books.

[00:03:39] And, you know, then I’m thinking, okay, if I ask him, if I ask for the endorsement, what do I do? He gave me some advice, uh, through a screenwriting buddy of his for a screenplay I’m working on. And then it got to the point where I’d asked him before and said, no good, this time he said yes. He would endorse.

[00:03:56] And you would look at it, you consider it, and you liked it. So, [00:04:00] it’s, it takes time. It takes time to develop contacts and connections. Everybody you meet is not going to be someone who’s going to get your book published, but might be a friend that can help you out. Give you some advice or just commiserate with you along this long, strange, terrible journey that is from writing the first draft to getting it in somebody’s hand.

[00:04:16] Stephen: Right. And what you’re saying about it’s a draft and editing and stuff, What I personally found is I had to keep writing and keep writing and keep writing and gain that experience and get the hard feedback and get more hard feedback and have someone tell me this because I didn’t even have enough experience at the beginning to understand some of what an editor was telling me.

[00:04:41] And I, like a lot of people I’m discovering, when I wrote my first thing, great, I wrote, wrote it, boom, done, sent it to an editor, come back, 20 pages of notes, red marks all over, and I’m like, well, that’s stupid, they don’t know, uh, you know, no, I was, I didn’t know enough to know what I didn’t know. [00:05:00] Uh, and it took a while to get that not only confidence to listen to what they were saying openly so I could improve, but also to understand that what my first draft is a first draft.

[00:05:12] There’s a lot of things I could work on and along with that. Now, my first draft is even better because of all the things

[00:05:18] Dave: I’ve learned. Yes. I see a lot of the editing process is very important. It can feel adversarial at times and I’ve struggled with that where I’m arguing with them and it’s a fight and it’s a combat.

[00:05:31] And then I have to ask myself, which I think is the hardest part of the writing process. Is the thing I’m fighting for worth saving? Is the editor right? And like, uh, either it’s bad or it’s not important or is it vital? And I’ll give you a great example from fool’s luck. My editor was my publisher. We’re having a back and forth regarding the political convention.

[00:05:53] And I’m saying it is absolutely crucial because it is for the narrative. I think it is the convention, uh, [00:06:00] part of it was, and then the inauguration, inaugural, I think it’s the inauguration to clarify, uh, is an inauguration necessary? Well, he went through all this, I think it is, and then the editor also said, well, what about the ending?

[00:06:13] And I thought the ending’s fine. I looked at it and going, no. Okay. And I reworked that. And we’re talking, I probably added a thousand words that ending is now much better. People that read it say, wow, that’s better. People that knew the previous one say, wow, that’s better. So, uh, one thing it was worth fighting for, because I think it was integral to my story and we agreed on it.

[00:06:34] The other one, I was wrong, just flat out wrong. And I needed to go back and to myself and say, well, is it good for the story? Yeah, maybe she’s got a point. And she absolutely did. And she helped me make that a better story.

[00:06:47] Stephen: And that’s hard. And again, it takes experience and you have to come to the realization that every word, every sentence is not a golden.

[00:06:58] Uh, you know, sentence and word [00:07:00] that, uh, your stuff can change in that and what people remember is not the individual words and sentences. It’s the overall story. It’s the characters, the feeling they had. So you could change every other sentence in the whole book from what you had originally. And the people aren’t going to remember one sentence or another it’s end result and editors.

[00:07:23] That’s their job. They don’t always get it right necessarily. But if you’re telling an editor, Hey, 80 percent of what you said is junk and I’m not going to listen. Then you’re the one with the problem.

[00:07:33] Dave: Oh, absolutely. So, and sometimes they are the individual words and phrases that are moving and powerful and the ones that are the best you fight for, but other ones.

[00:07:42] Sometimes I ended up saying, okay, sure. Why not? It’s a reasonable change. No big deal. It changed a little bit of the wording if they think it’s better. I didn’t have much of an argument. It’s funny. I used to be a reporter for a newspaper. And so Associated Press writing style is ingrained in my brain.[00:08:00]

[00:08:00] That is not what they’re editing are. And so sometimes the issues with commas or other capitalization rules, there are small things to me, but it’s just how I write. It’s just how my fingers move on the keyboard. And that gave them some challenges here and there. Uh, we had a fight over or discussion over the Oxford comma.

[00:08:18] I think it is unnecessary and pointless. People that are editors think it is absolutely wonderful and cherish they’re paying for my book. I’m not gonna argue over the comma, will put it in , but you know, I have an opinion on the Oxford comma, which is , the kind of things writers do, right?

[00:08:34] Stephen: Yeah. I, I had a popular writer basically tell me, he’s like, who?

[00:08:39] Caress, just change it. Move on. It’s not such a big deal. It cha doesn’t change your story. No, it doesn’t. And that’s the important thing. And it’s the, the characters and the feeling that really matter and that unless you’re like horrible, the editor is helping you to improve

[00:08:59] Dave: that, [00:09:00] right? And I’m making the character more relatable.

[00:09:03] The character would do something realistic or not realistic if I have a different word for the emotion, if they cried versus sobbed versus weeped. Okay, sure. Uh, if it conveys the idea that the person was wracked with emotional pain and guilt and suffering, that’s all I care about.

[00:09:19] Stephen: How many times do you think you revised and edited this manuscript over 15 years?

[00:09:25] Dave: The first book, yeah, when I was looking at Chase and Deception, which is my first novel, that was, the first one I had a bound copy of it, it was at least a third less than it ended up being. So what I did, I wrote it, I got some feedback for, you know, a couple of years. I fed it to publishers and then I just put it aside for like a decade.

[00:09:44] I just, I couldn’t do it. I failed as a writer. There was no point. And I sat around, I lived the rest of my life and I did teaching and other things. And then I thought to myself after a while, I’m going to go back to that. I’m going to take a look at that. I’m going to try that out again. [00:10:00] I’m going to give it another shot.

[00:10:01] I had some extra writing, put some other stuff and move it in there. And then I tried again and you know, I got more rejection letters and eventually went into the, had an agent for a while. You couldn’t place it. Wasn’t a bad guy, just couldn’t place the work. And so I then went independent publishing. And even then, you know, I paid for editors and.

[00:10:20] Process like that there. I think I didn’t, I paid for some, but not as much as I did books two and three. And that’s another part of the process. The editing is probably the most important part of the process. And you need to pay for quality. You need to pay for somebody who’s good. Try them out, test them out.

[00:10:36] I’ve had people pay for bad editors, pay a lot of money for bad editors for their genre, or they weren’t a good fit with the writer. They may not be bad people, but they weren’t a good fit for the project. So find someone good, have them pay for quality and then use that quality. To create a good product.

[00:10:52] So yeah, you know, I put the book away for a decade. I ate 10 years. I just couldn’t do it. I’m, I’m not going to write anymore. I’m done. I tried that [00:11:00] dream. I had to get mature myself as a human being, I think, to be able to come back to that. Thankfully, the process now is usually I drafted this book 2019, 2020, uh, is able to publish it in July of this year, 2021.

[00:11:13] So it’s a lot less onerous than it used to be.

[00:11:17] Stephen: And during this whole process, were you. Any classes or in any critique groups or anything like that to help you?

[00:11:27] Dave: I did. I went to a writer’s conference up in, uh, at Mount Hermon in the San Jose mountains in Northern California. I want a couple of those there.

[00:11:34] I got to meet with some people. Uh, I got to learn from them, take notes on fiction writing. I had done a, it was a reporter did a story on a friend who had written a book and he was part of a group as an encouragement group. It’s not critique, which is intriguing. They’re a creatives encouragement group and it’s different and they would go and sit and encourage you you have a meal together and you You know, we did religious groups of some things and praying.

[00:11:58] So it’s just like a night of encouragement. [00:12:00] And I can tell you that idea of being around other creators who are frankly, some of them a lot better than I was, and they’re still a lot better than I am. Struggle with the day to day self. That was encouragement too. So then in growing my writing and and doing some of a lot of work on my own here and reading some better authors, I sort of grew into that, but I definitely had to take some training, take some classes.

[00:12:21] I did some recent stuff on screenwriting last year to help out with that process. And it was screenwriting. When I dove into that writing partner of mine, he’s like, okay, this is different. This is how it works. Not the same way as novel writing the novel. We’re going to take, which is my second novel and adapt.

[00:12:37] We’re going to change it. You have to be okay with that. That is hard. That is like your baby. That is your precious little one. And they’re going to do bad things to it. And so that’s part of that, where you have to let go again. And my partner, he’s published a film, produced a film, excuse me. Okay. He knows what he’s doing and we’re working on this again, but that’s gone through several edits and that’s where he’s writing.

[00:12:59] I’m writing. We’re talking to [00:13:00] each other. We’re collaborating together. Uh, my friend of mine has written a book on the Inklings, the group CS Lewis and JJR. Tolkien was in a book called Bandersnatch.

[00:13:11] Stephen: I’ve got that, uh, book. It’s from Kent State Press, which is like eight miles from me.

[00:13:15] Dave: It is. Diana Glyer is a good friend, a real good friend.

[00:13:17] She talks about the creative process with these folks who are encouraging each other. And when you read that, you realize, my gosh, we’re talking Jack Lewis. We’re talking about C. S. Lewis and Tolkien and others. Are sitting there arguing over elves, and they’re arguing over elements and stories, but they’re also encouraging one another, um, you know, at a place where they’re gathering and chatting there, and you need that collective encouragement, or it’s going to fall apart, or you’re going to be the silo guy or gal writing, and it’s just going to be miserable.

[00:13:47] I don’t know how people like Hemingway and Steinbeck and Fitzgerald, I mean, they had their groups in the last generation. How they do it because it is hard. So you need that encouragement plus ideas here, plus feedback [00:14:00] that helps you grow as a creative or writer in particular.

[00:14:03] Stephen: And that’s part of the actual reason I started this podcast because I felt.

[00:14:09] When you get online, you’re on some of the Facebook groups or whatever, all you ever really hear about and listening to other podcasts, it’s the writers that are like, Oh, yeah, you know, I made 300, 000 this past month. So it’s gone up a little bit. And it’s like, I can’t even relate to that. I’m not at that level.

[00:14:26] I, I, it doesn’t inspire me to hear somebody like that. So I wanted to talk to people. Had pushed past the hardship and got something public. They’re not, you know, in New York lights yet Because I think that being that close to the Golden Ring is a little more inspired. It’s like, okay, I relate to this guy I I feel like I can push on and you know I can reach the heights that they’ve reached and move on from there So that was part of the reason for the

[00:14:55] Dave: podcast and I it’s appreciated I have a very ambitious goal as a writer for this [00:15:00] book not to lose money I don’t want to lose money on the title.

[00:15:03] That’s it. Yeah. I’ve lost money on my other titles. I don’t want to lose money on this title. And I’ve even got my publisher talking, Hey, let’s look at some of the awards to enter them in. I’m like, okay, sure. That’s awesome. If people think it’s that good, we’re going to jump onto the award circuit. I still want to lose money.

[00:15:17] I would like to make up and recoup my costs. And so when you’re at that point, okay, if it sells some extra copies, praise be and be thankful, but I am not sitting here saying this is paying for my car. It’s paying for my house. I wanted to pay back the cost of the editor and the advanced copies that I bought.

[00:15:33] And you know, a few people read it. We have a fun chance to chat. I’m a happy fellow and you need to have that unless you’re Stephen King, John Grisham, uh, Chris and Hannah and Janet about of it. You’re someone famous, you know, Sue Grafton is passed on great. Good for you, Daniel Silva. Otherwise, we’re just trying to make enough money to make this to be not too inexpensive of a hobby.

[00:15:54] Okay, that’s pretty much where I’m as a writer and have a little fun and hang out with people. That’s where I am.

[00:15:59] Stephen: Yeah. [00:16:00] You know, if I fly my model airplanes, I’m going to be putting a lot of money into it. And that’s all that had happened. You don’t, you, you write, cause you enjoy it and you love it, but it can get expensive unless you’re just writing for yourself, putting it in a drawer.

[00:16:14] So breaking even is a good goal.

[00:16:17] Dave: It is. I’ve got a friend of mine who wants to write a book and I said, okay, what’s your goal? Do you want it for your family? Do you want 5, 000 copies sold? And that that’s a different approach. You need to kind of frame up what you’re looking at, what you’re going to do and what you’re willing to invest.

[00:16:29] Money, effort, resources, that kind of thing. So what are

[00:16:31] Stephen: you doing to market the book, get the word out?

[00:16:35] Dave: Excellent. Again, I had made contacts through a writer’s group. I was in at social media and I’ve actually got a blog tour coming up in about two weeks now. And I’ve contracted with a blog tour organization, a company where they’ve had people been doing some social media posting.

[00:16:50] Uh, they’re amplifying what I already have out there. And then I’ll have an official blog tour about two weeks straight. A new blogger every day, a couple of bloggers every day, reading, posting, sharing. I’m doing [00:17:00] wonderful podcasts like yours. I’m working with my fun folks at Ambassador International, my publisher, where I’m doing social media posting there, you know, reposting those things and sharing on those as well.

[00:17:11] I’ve done two book signings already. Hopefully my local Barnes and Noble and we’re coordinating with them to get one as well. An event in my local library. Just the kind of things I’ve learned over 15, 20 years of writing, how I get into places. And it’s amazing once you have a traditional publisher or at least a good press release, I walk into my Barnes and Noble, Oh, can we get a book in here?

[00:17:29] Well, do you have an ISBN? Here’s my press release to go. Oh, my goodness, tell her picture all this stuff. All my socials. Here’s your endorsement. Okay, let’s see what we can do for you now. Get you up there in a local author. We’ll get you, you know, an author event. We’ll do some other placement out there. So it’s building that.

[00:17:45] It’s all about building, building, building. You’re not going to be famous overnight unless you lose a limb or save somebody from death and destruction. Otherwise, you’re a normal Joe or normal Jill, just like you and I, and it takes years and years and years to build that up to a point [00:18:00] where you are someone who is known and like the book Bandersnatch that we just talked about a minute ago.

[00:18:05] The friend of mine, and she’s been a CS Lewis scholar for a year. She’s done other books that are great, but Bandersnatch is the one that caught on and people know about. She’s, uh, got, uh, with a company for deep heaven, which is a book that their students did about the CS Lewis space trilogy. That’s coming out August 3rd.

[00:18:20] Well, he’s taking her honor college students work that she works. He’s a professor and CS Lewis experience and interwoven them, but that’s taken years to do that here. And now she’s doing podcasts and interviews and things like this here, but that takes time. And so you’ve got to realize if you want to put out a book for you and your friends, he’s a cake, got to create space, pick another platform.

[00:18:40] It takes time. A little bit of work, a little bit of money. You’re fine. You want to become a writer and become a novelist and author of note and some significance. That’s time, money and, uh, investing of your resources that will take considerable effort. You have to figure out how much it’s worth it to you.

[00:18:57] How much you want to do to make that a reality.

[00:18:59] Stephen: [00:19:00] And at what point, what stage? Because you mentioned getting an ISBN. And I think that’s important because it’s very easy to self publish a book nowadays, really. I mean, you just get on Amazon, hit a button and, oh, I’m self published. I have a book out. But I think because of that now, and there’s so many people getting into it, the bar is raised a little bit and the libraries and places online and people, people aren’t just going to, oh, there’s a new book out by this author.

[00:19:27] I’m going to buy it. I, there’s 500, 000 books I could buy in the last week. So. That professionalism is what’s starting to set people apart, I think. Uh, so even if you just do that first book and move on to the next, as you go and you want to become more professional, you’ve got to start doing these things like ISBNs and

[00:19:47] Dave: stuff.

[00:19:48] And you also have to realize that your first book may not be the one that people know you for. You’ve asked several questions about my previous trilogy. Those were my only books until this hit. This is the book that is good enough for people that are traditionally published. [00:20:00] pick it up. And so theref book I talk about, but I why are the books have, y cards and hey, you like t gonna love this other guy old ones here.

[00:20:11] So look in marketing that as you mov your body of work. My wife and then she’s got a good good standalone book curr And she’s thinking, well, if I sell my standalone book right now, they’ll ask, what else do you have? Well, I’ve got a trilogy right back here. So thankfully she’s learning again from all of my mistakes and errors.

[00:20:34] And I’ve made plenty of them about how to be ambitious, but also to be patient that dynamic balance. I haven’t quite figured out yet, but I’m working towards, and that’s helpful in the process as I do things like traditionally published and improve the caliber of my work.

[00:20:50] Stephen: Yeah. And, you know, you mentioned, may not be your first book, you know, when I think John Williams, I think Star Wars, Indiana Jones, he [00:21:00] also did the theme song for the original Lost in Space, but that’s not what we know him

[00:21:05] Dave: for.

[00:21:06] Well, and to think right now, since it’s August, you hear John Williams all the time if you’re watching the Olympics. Yes. That’s the piece he wrote in the 80s. And that Olympic fanfare is something we’ve played for decades. Maybe, you know, I’m from Schindler’s List, the violin solo and Schindler’s List remembrances chills me every time I hear it, because I’ve seen the film and I’ve used it in the classroom sometime, but that was later on here, the fact that he did, you know, the later Star Wars pieces.

[00:21:31] Yeah, these are later on, but his body of work when you hear it, because you know, John Williams, you know what a John Williams soundtrack sounds like. I hear a piece, I go, that’s John Williams. Yeah, hopefully when they read books, they say, Hey, that’s like that. That’s Dave Milbrandt guy. I’ve heard of his other stuff, right?

[00:21:47] And hopefully my other books, which have their own flaws are good enough. When people buy this book, you know, fool’s luck. They’ll say. And the earlier stuff’s okay, too. I’ll pick that up, too. Right. And I’ve met some people that didn’t know I was a writer going, Oh, I’m reading your earlier [00:22:00] stuff. I really like that.

[00:22:00] Like, well, if you like that, you’re really going to like the new stuff because it’s written a whole lot better than the earlier stuff I wrote.

[00:22:05] Stephen: Right. And using John Williams analogies a little more, he also directed the Boston Pops for years. And there are people that know him as the director of Boston Pops, and they almost are surprised that, Oh, he wrote all these soundtracks?

[00:22:20] And to them, that’s not who he is. But he wouldn’t have had that opportunity without all the success writing the scores.

[00:22:27] Dave: Absolutely. And people might know me if we get the screenplay off the ground here as someone who’s written a film, you know, written a film and great. Well, I’ve also done books too. And, you know, dabbled with other things.

[00:22:38] I have a nonfiction book about helping high school parents help their students do well. It didn’t sell anything. I was like nine, 10 years in the industry. I’m a veteran teacher. I had a cover. It was fun. Went nowhere because I didn’t have enough platform, but Hey, now that I read my book, they might go, Oh, high school teacher.

[00:22:53] I’m going to pick up that one too. Who knows with your body of work, you put it out there. People buy it at different times. If it sells [00:23:00] copies, okay. I make up the money that I lost when I printed that book. I’m all happy.

[00:23:05] Stephen: Right, right. So when you’re writing, uh, what tools and software do you use to write?

[00:23:11] Dave: I’m a Scrivener kind of guy. Um, I like it. Scrivener is a good platform for me. Um, I tend to make notes in Microsoft Word or Pages depending on what Probably Pages because I tend to use my laptop where I haven’t bought the Microsoft Word. So I do outlining. Um, I just, I became a, from a Pantser to a Plotter.

[00:23:28] Those are the fancy terms out. Fly by the seat of my pants. I like the plot. I like the outline. Now, how’s my story go? Someone was telling me who is a professional author writer as well. They like the pacing of my book and I’m thinking in my head. Well, I really worked. To not to outline it so that the pacing worked out.

[00:23:46] So do the outline. I’ve got another book in my head right now where the dialogue keeps writing my itself. So I need to start outlining that book. Um, I’m doing research because it’s got to be real. Um, my most recent book. I had a medical drama as a [00:24:00] sub story here. I need someone that went through some pretty tough stuff.

[00:24:04] So I said, Hey, Okay. Can you talk to me? And, uh, and she poured her heart out and I just reflected that pain and suffering in this story. It’s not my brilliance. It’s just reflecting it with some different character names to fit my narrative. And that, uh, is important to get real life elements to it. You need dialogue that sounds realistic.

[00:24:22] So talk it out. If you never say, Whither thou shalt go to thine home? We don’t talk like that. I shall arrive at your domicile shortly. Hey, text be there in a minute, you know, how do I shorten that? How do I connect that? How do I talk naturally up? I live in SoCal. So Spanish slang introduces itself into my speaking.

[00:24:45] And that’s how people talk in LA. So it’s got to feel real to the time period, real to the characters, real to the emotions. If you’re writing a World War II drama, I need to, I don’t need, I don’t need shortcuts there in phrases. If you’re writing Edwardian England, like in Downton Abbey, please.[00:25:00]

[00:25:00] Contractions, not nearly as much. Thank you. So, making it real, making it tangible here, and that’s, those are important parts of the process to me. Uh, telling that story. First draft is getting it down, in my head, on the keyboard, out. Second draft, or second go through is, okay, polish, change, and I will go through with a red pen.

[00:25:16] It’s cuttin cuttin cuttin My wife gets the next draft. My lovely bride is out there editing that boom, boom, boom. If it’s cheesy, she will say it is cheesy. I need to accept that if it is good. If it may, she’s happy. She it’s a good joke. She’ll smile and she’ll put a sad face. If she cried, if she actually cried and I’ve done my job, hopefully it’s not over typo, but it’s over real good content.

[00:25:38] So I’ve got, it’s not just me. I’ve got to move other people and that my writing must inspire others to. have a feeling of thought and emotion to laugh, to cry to sigh with relief for joy, excitement, what have you got to move them to Uh,

[00:25:53] Stephen: you mentioned dialogue. I’ll do a shout out to a friend of mine. Uh, he calls himself the dialogue doctor.

[00:25:59] He [00:26:00] actually, in his day job, he writes scripts for AI learning. And from that, he has gotten a lot of experience in dialogue. Uh, so he’s, you know, offering his services to authors to help with the dialogue of the characters to help you bring out the best dialogue for each character that you can. So shout out to Jeff Elkins, the dialogue doctor.

[00:26:24] Dave: Hey, we need people like Jeff out there that are encouraging good dialogue, both in AI, but also in the life of our writers here, I noticed for me that it should sound like a well written movie, not like how we talk, but I said like three times now in the last 45 seconds, but a little bit polished, a little bit up, up here and a little bit more humor than you might have exactly.

[00:26:47] Although I tend to be as sarcastic as my character that sort of bleeds through in my writing. But you want the dialogue to be believable. I can hear someone saying that as opposed to thinking that’s a really [00:27:00] good line. It’s really well formed and it’s grammatically correct. They’re 15. She or he doesn’t talk like that.

[00:27:08] Right. That’s not what they say. Um, I had one of my characters was, you know, I tried to this one boy and he says in there at the heart was what the heart wants and the dad’s like, that’s exactly what every father of a teenage daughter wants to hear the mind. Like, it’s a real piece of dialogue and I’ve heard that kind of conversation, you know, from parents, teenagers and whatnot, being a high school teacher really helps.

[00:27:32] With teenager dialogue, because I hear it all the time, right? Good, bad, and otherwise, right? And so that’s kind of fun too. All right. Well,

[00:27:42] Stephen: uh, Dave, it’s been really fun. Good talk. Um, before we go though, uh, what last minute advice do you have for other new authors?

[00:27:52] Dave: Um, I would advise other new authors to take time to learn your craft, uh, to read widely and well, and to surround [00:28:00] yourself with people who will encourage you.

[00:28:03] Sometimes that means critique and improve, but often you need people that are just going to say, you’re doing a good job. People who know you’re doing a good job that will encourage you along the way on a process. I try to be open and free when people ask for help with ideas, often students and I’ll do so if I helped a student edit a book and get it published, I really want to encourage people.

[00:28:21] I’ll say you want me to be honest. Okay, we’re going to go down that route. I’ll tell you you look lovely or handsome. I’ll tell you you’re a fine, wonderful person. Let me talk about your writing. Okay. This is problematic. This is something else here. So you need people that will push you along the way. The idea of iron sharpening iron is an old religious metaphor.

[00:28:39] It really is important in this process because you can be the most frustrated writer of books that five people have read or you can be people that be the right people have read a lot. You get to 0. 2 by having people telling you how to get there. And that’s very important here. It’s and you make connections.

[00:28:56] Don’t ask The person you just meet for an endorsement or help [00:29:00] or something wonderful in the first meet is a, Hey, you’re awesome. I love your work. That takes time. But when you’re good enough, I was like, Oh yeah, I’ll do that for you. You partner together. I’ve been amazed at the people that I’ve known now for years that helped me out.

[00:29:12] Like let’s work together. I’m thinking, yes, that’s great. Took me a while to get there.

[00:29:18] Stephen: All right. Well, Dave, it’s been really great this afternoon talking with you. I’m glad you could take some time and, uh, let everybody know about your book and a few advice, uh, tidbits on, uh, for

[00:29:29] Dave: authors. Awesome. Thank you.

[00:29:31] Hopefully you get a chance to pick up Fool’s Luck or some of my Jim Mitchell books. But beyond that, as long as I’ve been able to encourage you as a writer or a reader or whatever stage you’re at here to improve where you are, to grow where you are, and to get better. We’re all getting better. There’s always room for growth.

[00:29:46] And hopefully if you do that, that’s my goal for today. So thanks Steven, for the chance to chat a little bit about John Williams on the side too. That’s just fine.

[00:29:54] Stephen: You said that like a true teacher. Let me tell you.

[00:29:58] Dave: Thank you, sir. I appreciate it. Thank you. [00:30:00] Thank you for listening to discovered word Smith’s come back next week and listen to another author, discuss the road they’ve traveled and maybe sometime in the near future, it might be you.