What is your name and where do you live now?
I'm David Haywood Young, and my life is distributed strangely. At the moment my family and I are in an apartment in Silver Springs, MD...but we may move out in a week. Simultaneously we own a cabin just outside Wasilla, Alaska. And our RV is in San Antonio, Texas. Frankly I have no idea where we'll be by the time people read this.
First off, how has your week been?
A little bit hectic. I also write software, and a longtime customer has been having trouble with his website. Strictly speaking I don't do that sort of work, but he's a friend. In the midst of that I've been doing some writing and telling people I'm not available for freelance work.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?
Sure. I actually started writing little books for my younger brother and sister when I was about six years old. My mom helped me staple them together. I guess I've always known what I wanted to do. Somehow or other I've ended up splitting most of my time between writing software and playing poker. A strange mix, I know, but I swear each step made sense at the time.
Are your books available as eBooks? Were you involved in that process at all? Do you read eBooks or is it paper all the way?
Yes, they're eBooks. In fact there are no paper versions available...yet. I'm still thinking about that. Personally, it's been months since I've read a paper book—and I read at least a couple of books a week. This kind of crept up on me. My wife and I have collected hundreds of first-edition hardcovers, having a great time scouring used bookstores and thrift stores. And now I won't even pick one up.
How does your family feel about the book?
Hard to say. They say nice things. But none of them actually read the sort of book I tend to write, and it shows. I'm happy to give them copies, but I've learned to pay very little attention to anything they have to say about them. On the other hand, it's nice that they all support me and this strange third career I'm attempting without apparent reservation.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Several! But there's no point in explaining that sort of thing. I hope readers get it, and it's nice when one says something that proves I didn't utterly fail.
How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
From current experience, anywhere from three years to two months. So far the trend has been in favor of more-frequent publishing.
Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
Well...I built myself a treadmill desk. I think it's a lot nicer than the ones you can buy online, because my monitors (anywhere from two to four, depending on what I'm doing) are at eye level. Plus, it cost about $150 instead of thousands.
How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
Truthfully I have no idea whatsoever. They're just there.
Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
Ha! The less I plan, the better the writing. Mostly I tell myself stories as I go along. If I don't know what comes next, I just write whatever I think might be fun to read. I keep thinking I'll write myself into a corner and have to scrap everything, but so far it's worked out. Of course I spend much more time editing and rewriting than I do banging out the first draft.
David Haywood Young started writing books for his younger brother and sister when he was about six years old. Without any industry contacts, he was forced to self-publish. Distribution, too, fell on his young shoulders. Since then he's alternated between being a software developer and a professional poker player. On the software side, he has his own company. On the poker side, he might enjoy yours. He and his family are semi-nomadic, but they do own a home in Alaska. Just lately he's returned to his first love: writing and publishing fiction.
Shiver on the Sky is available to purchase on Amazon.