Friday, August 17, 2012

Please say Hello to Author DL Hammons!

Please say Hello to first-time Author DL Hammons! His debut short story, "Itinerary", will be published in Open Heart Publishing's An Honest Lie Volume 4: Petulant Parables. He comes to us through, well, let me let him tell you how he found Open Heart Publishing.

Donna Hole [a blogging friend], who is one of the authors included in this anthology, had one of her stories included in a previous volume of An Honest Lie and when she was spreading the news about that book she suggested that [writers] who were looking for ways to get their writing out there, submit to Open Heart. I took her up on the suggestion and here I am.

Well, I for one am very happy you found us. Donna came through us the same way, via me, so there is definitely something to be said for networking as an upcoming author. Can you tell us about your blogs?

I've maintained a writers blog since 2009 and its addrress is:

My Twitter account is: DL_H

I've held off establishing a Facebook Author page until I was actually published, so that is on the horizon shortly.

Outstanding. You have over a thousand followers on your blog, which is a lot of support from your online community. How about at home? Do your friends and family support your writing?

Everyone in my family, including my extended family, is totally behind all of my writing pursuits. I bounce plot idea's off my wife before I write word one, then she's my number one critique partner while I'm writing. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law, both avid readers, are next in line for critiques. The entire family has devoted long car rides taking turns reading my novel out loud to catch needed edits. I've developed and practiced my elevator pitch for hours with my daughter. My family is behind me 110%!

Wow. You're a lucky man to have so many devoted family members. Two questions: 1) Can you give us your elevator pitch for said novel? 2) What have you learned most about hearing someone else read your story aloud?

1) Elevator pitch: I like to compare my novel - FALLEN KNIGHT - to a hybrid between David Baldacci’s The Camel Club and a adult version of The Goonies. It revolves around small group of tight-knit friend’s quest to find the person responsible for beating one of their own into a coma. Teaming up with a female private investigator they are soon drawn into a murderous plan involving a copy-cat Columbine attack and a bio-terrorist threat targeting our nation’s capital. In over their heads they come to doubt themselves, their purpose, and most importantly, their safety, but there is one thing they will never doubt...each other.

2) Having someone else read your writing aloud to you really helps spot those area's that are clunky, needing more work to smooth out the flow. Even though you've gone over your manuscript a hundred times, they stick out like a sore thumb when read aloud. It's also great way to pick up on plot details that need more context.

Love the pitch for Fallen Knight! How about you personally? Tell us about how you grew up.

I was raised a military brat. Sandwiched between an older and younger brother with one other younger sister, both of our parents were in the Navy. Mom became stay-at-home when us kids started coming along, and we all found our own ways to deal with the constant moves and adapting to new environments that life in the military demands. Space was always an issue with military housing, but whenever the possibility arose I always had my own room because I kept my space the neatest. My wife now wonders whatever happened to that trait!

Sounds like you traveled quite a bit as a child. Where was your favorite place to live (as a child), and why?

This was a tough choice. We lived in Sheboygan Wisconsin to be near my Mom's family when my dad was in Vietnam, and I have very special memories from our time there. But I'm going to choose Havelock, North Carolina, for a couple reasons. First, we were stationed there for my entire four years of high school, so it has a special place in my heart. The second reason is that I just really loved the diversity of North Carolina. In thirty minutes and I could be laying on the beach catching rays, or a couple of hours in the other direction I could be hiking in the mountains.

Sounds like quite an adventurous and noble childhood. Let's talk about your writing style, now. Which is more important: That you make the reader see your viewpoint, or that you make the reader see theirs?

A combination of both. I hope that my writing elicits feelings within the reader that mirror the ones in me when I wrote it, but I'm constantly amazed at the depths some readers can see. The sub-conscious evels at play I wasn't even aware of when I write that their unique life experiences allow them access to.

That's an acute observation. I find that readers often see things in my writing that I never consciously intended. Part of being a writer is self-discovery. Which is more important: Writing without constraint, or within the confines of a publisher's guidelines?

They are equally important. We cannot grow as writers and improve our craft if we're constrained by whatever borders that exists. However, a publisher knows their market, their targeted readers, and what bodies of work will serve them best. Not staying within a publisher's guidelines is detrimental to them both, and ultimately the writer.

Well, I'll conclude on that remark -- which every writer should make note of -- and say THANK YOU to DL Hammons for taking the time to answer my questions. I have known him for quites some time in the blogosphere, and now through OHP. I know readers are as anxious as I am to read his debut story "Itinerary", in An Honest Lie Volume 4: Petulant Parables.

BIO: D.L. enjoys taking a break from writing technical journals and procedure manuals for his regular job and crafting an occasional short story or novel. Son of a military family, he grew up across the southeast and ultimately graduated with a Business degree from Louisiana State University. After a stint working in the big city (Atlanta), he packed up his family and settled in central Arkansas to be closer to family. His love for writing was seeded in high school where he wrote both news and feature articles for the school paper, but it wasn’t until his children began heading off to college that he found the time to resurrect his passion for prose. Although his novels fall mostly into the Mystery/Suspense vein, his short stories run the entire gamut of genres. Itinerary is his first published work.

Eric W. Trant is a published author of several short stories and the novel Out of the Great Black Nothing. He is currently represented by Debrin Case at Open Heart Publishing. See more of Eric's work here: Publications


Wine and Words said...

Eric I love what you are doing with OHP to further the dreams of others. It heightens you, (in my eyes...but that is of little consequence) and creates a ripple effect that can reach far beyond your flesh years. It is another donation, by which the creativity of others is given a chance at life.

~ Annie

Amanda Borenstadt said...

Great interview. I'm jealous that you moved around so much. I've lived in the same town practically all my life. I often think I'd have more to draw on, setting-wise, had I lived more places.

DL Hammons said...

Thanks a lot for having me Eric! I too admire your writing and consider it a privileged to be working with you on my first publication. :)

DL Hammons said...

Amanda - I actually wish I could have stay put in one place. Maybe then I wouldn't have grown up to be such an introvert. :)

Anne Gallagher said...

Congratulations, Don! That's fantastic news your story has been selected. Love the interview.

Thanks, Eric. DL's the bomb!

dolorah said...

Hi DL! Sorry I almost missed this - I've been ofline for a few days. This was a great interview; I am thrilled to hear all your family support for your fiction writing. Must be hard going from dry facts and procedures to emotive characters and settings. I applaud the skill - I've done it a time or two myself.

Congratulations of making it into AHL4; I am looking forward to reading your submission. I love your mystery writing excerpts.

Eric; I'm glad you posted this here. I can't wait to see what your next story idea will be either.


Julie Dao said...

Terrific interview! Moving around so much as a kid must have been hard at times, but must also have been a great source of inspiration for writing and taught you to be observant of new people/surroundings for your stories :D So glad your family is behind you 110%!

StratPlayerCJF said...

You've snared a great one with DL -- Wonderful interview!

I'm thrilled to see his work be published -- May this be the first of many!

Misha Gerrick said...

Excellent interview! DL's blog is one of the first ones I ever followed, so I love getting to know a little more about him and his writing method.


anarchist said...


Apologies for the off-topic comment, but I couldn't find a contact email for you.

A while ago I put out an ebook of my writing, called The New Death and others. It's a collection of short pieces, mostly dark fantasy.

I was wondering if you'd be interested in doing a review on your blog.

If so, please email me: Let me know what file format is easiest for you, and I'll send you a free copy.

You can download a sample from the ebook's page on Smashwords:

I'm also happy to do interviews, guest posts, or giveaways. Just let me know what you'd prefer.


Jai Joshi said...

Many congratulations on being published, DL!


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