At Balticon I had the pleasure of sharing the "Good and Evil in Genre Literature" panel with several writers including David Wood, who did an exemplary job as moderator. Later in the con, my publisher and fellow writer, Steven Wilson and I shared an author reading session with David who read from his upcoming YA vampire murder mystery, You Suck. David kindly agreed to an interview and what a prolific writer he is! Read on...
First, tell us where we can find you online.
The best place to start is my blog, davidwoodweb.com/blog. That’s where you’ll find the most current information on me, plus links to my Twitter, Facebook, website and podcast.
What was the first story you ever completed, published or not?
The first story I saw to completion was a science fiction story I wrote in seventh grade. It had no plot; just a hero shooting an alien who had invaded the “World Battle Station.” The first story I actually sold came much, much later.
Your Dane Maddock series has been highly praised for its seamless blending of historical fact and high adventure in the spirit of Indiana Jones. Starting with your debut novel, Dourado, continuing with Cibola, Quest, and the novella, Icefall, what inspired this very successful series?
I’ve always loved adventure stories. The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle was an early inspiration and, of course, the Indiana Jones movies. I drifted away from the genre for a while but rediscovered it while delivering pizza in college. I became a Clive Cussler audiobook junkie, and Cussler is perhaps my greatest source of inspiration.
Individually, I look for an ancient mystery, a lost artifact or treasure (usually Biblical), a monster, and a few exotic locales that fit together in a new an interesting way. Once I find the combination that I like, I’m off.
Correct me if I’m wrong but I understand that you co-wrote Into the Woods with your father. What brought about this collaboration?
My dad was an amateur historian and had spent much of his adult life researching family history, particularly the life of Jonathan Wood, my many-greats grandfather. He was a surveyor and pioneer who was one of the earliest settlers in southwest Virginia and fought in the American Revolution. My dad wanted to publish his research for the benefit of the family but, after kicking around some ideas and discussing some of the colorful stories and characters he’d uncovered, we decided to go the historical fiction route, and supplement the book with some of Dad’s research.
Tell us how The Zombie Driven Life came about. What motivated you to write a tale about the zombie apocalypse?
I was teaching middle school in the Atlanta area at the time and hadn’t written anything for teen readers. I wanted something that captured the cynicism and resentment of adults and institutions that so many teens feel. When you live in the “Bible Belt” you’re bombarded with religious literature, and Purpose Driven Life was everywhere, so it was a prime target for a little satire. I was turning that over in my mind when I noticed one of my students reading The Zombie Survival Guide, and something clicked. I wrote the first chapter during my planning period and shared it with several of my students who ate it up. I love the way it turned out. It’s a serious zombie apocalypse adventure with some dark, satirical humor and something to say about everyone’s purpose.
What is your writing schedule and what advice might you have for new writers struggling to find time for the craft?
When I still had a day job, I was a night time writer- usually ten to midnight Sunday through Thursday. That takes it out of you. Now that I write full-time, I write from about nine in the morning until lunchtime and then work on the business end of the author gig until it’s time to pick the kids up from school. Of course, our recent cross-country move has disrupted that, but I’m settling back in. Deep down, though, I’m still a night owl and kind of miss my late night writing sessions. I don’t miss the sleep deprivation.
What does David Wood do when he isn’t writing?
I coach fast-pitch softball, annoy my wife and daughters, and follow the toils and travails of the Atlanta Braves. I also co-host the ThrillerCast podcast, along with Alan Baxter, an Australian writer. We discuss issues relating to writing and publishing, interview thriller authors, and discuss books we enjoy. Our definition of “thriller” is loose, so we cover everything from military thriller to mystery to action-adventure to urban fantasy.
What can readers expect next from you?
This year is busy for me. I’m wrapping up a new young adult book titled You Suck, a murder mystery that spoofs the vampire genre, reality shows, and teen pop stars. The next full-length Dane Maddock adventure will be out in August and another Maddock novella in time for Christmas. I’m working on two co-authored projects: a horror novel with Alan Baxter, and the next in my fantasy series under my “David Debord” pseudonym, which I’m writing with spec-fic author Ryan Span. Finally, it’s not a done deal, but I think I’ll be co-authoring another book in the “Callsign…” series with Jeremy Robinson.