Author Spotlight- David Beers

David Beers

David Beers is a former pizza delivery guy, a yacht coveter, and a recently debuted author.

He tweetsposts, and updates from Florida.

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CMStewart: First, I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed your novels “The Devil’s Dream”  and “Dead Religion.” I recommend these novels to horror fans and thriller fans. I’m also a horror writer, and your books inspired me in my own writing. Thank you, David.

David Beers: That just made my entire week! I’m kind of speechless about to say about that, besides thank you for reading! That’s one of best compliments I’ve ever received and I’m smiling so hard right now.

CMS: What genre(s) do you like to read?

DB: I’m a pretty voracious reader. To give you a bit of an idea of what I read, right now I’m reading: The Brain and Buddhism (nonfiction), A Brief History of Nearly Everything (nonfiction comedy), Cholesterol Clarity (nonfiction nutrition), Good Calories, Bad Calories (nonfiction nutrition), and Carrion Comfort (horror).

I generally like anything from fantasy novels to nonfiction science, but I try to stay away from YA.

CMS: So YA is something you avoid. Why is that?

DB: My answer here might seem arrogant, but I promise it’s not meant to. I need a lot of mental stimulation, almost constant. I make sure I meditate early in the morning and that’s because the rest of the day I’m trying to find hard tasks to put my mind against. Young Adult fiction hasn’t been able to supply me with that–to me, they’re kind of like a James Patterson novel, fast but more of a surface skim rather than a deep dive. Again, no knock on people that love YA–my fiancée reads them constantly, and she’s a much better person than I am.

CMS: Religion is a major theme in your novels so far. Was this an intentional decision?

DB: I was brought up in a Christian fundamentalist household, and I think working my way through a lot of things I was taught in order to create my own belief system left a mark on me psychologically. I don’t intentionally ever create themes, but they do recur quite a lot. Religion is one. Loss of a loved one is another. Relationships between siblings is something else that I explore a lot both in my head and I think in my novels. I imagine themes will change as I continue growing as a person, as well.

CMS: Who are your favorite authors?

DB: Stephen King ranks at the top here. In the field of horror, he is the standard bearer.

Robert Pirsig is an absolute genius, and it’s unfortunate that he only published two novels.

George R.R. Martin, as far as I’m concerned, has replaced Tolkien.

I also am excited to see how Joe Hill’s career turns out. So far, I’m wildly impressed.

Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card. Card never reached so high again, but to do it once is more than most people can ask.

CMS: Do you focus on one genre in your writing?

DB: No, not at all. I write stories that I like telling, and they tend to be darker, and can mix elements of horror and science fiction into them. At the same time though, I find myself writing a good bit about love, although not your typical romance novel type love.

However, I never think about genre when I write. I think about characters, and everything else comes from what those characters tell me about themselves.

CMS: When did you first know you wanted to be an author, and what were the circumstances?

DB: I worked in a pizza shop during my undergraduate years, and I remember the exact moment with surprising clarity. My boss was twenty-six, about to graduate college, and I asked him what his plans were once he graduated—because surely no one wanted to get a degree and then manage a pizza parlor.

He looked at me like I was either willfully ignorant or slightly stupid; I imagine he was unsure which. He said, “I’m a writer, man.”

Before that moment, I’d written my entire life and never once thought it could be a profession. That sentence, though, opened my mind to a completely different universe of possibilities.

CMS: Do you have any advice for aspiring authors in general?

DB: I do. Well, for entrepreneurs, but a writer (whether they know it or not), is an entrepreneur.

What you need to be an entrepreneur (in order of importance):

1. Vision. You have to see yourself in the future. This is important because every day is not rainbows and puppies. There are a lot of days where you feel like quitting, even more days where you look at someone with half the talent you possess, and wonder–’just how in the hell is this guy doing it?’ Yeah, that’s jealousy, but so what? Without vision, without seeing where this will end, or at the least, has a possibility to end, YOU’RE GOING TO QUIT. Before you start down the road of opening a business, know exactly where you want to end up. Don’t say, I want to be rich. Don’t say I want to be famous. Your vision needs to be specific and attainable. Some people say put a timeline on it; I don’t subscribe to that, but specific and attainable are necessary.

2. Work. A Lot. A close, close second here. Between this and vision, you’re probably leaving behind 90-95% of the population. Much of the world values their down time as much or more as their productive time. I don’t understand these people, and I’m not going to lie, a part of me thinks they’re wasting their time here. That doesn’t matter for this post though. You have to put in more hours than anyone else. I’m not being facetious; that should be your goal. 70 hours a week, minimum. If you go into this thinking you’re going to work 40 hours and be successful, apply to Enterprise Rent-A- Car, because owning a business isn’t your calling. I wake up at 4 AM weekdays and don’t stop producing until 6 PM. That’s fourteen hours. Plus another thirty minutes to an hour of studying between 8-9:30. So, around a fifteen hour workday. On the weekends, I slack. I probably only work five hours on Saturday and then another five on Sunday.

That’s 85 hours and I feel like I could be doing more.

3. Read Everything. The first two on this list will be absolutely nothing if you don’t follow this. Charlie Munger called Warren Buffett a learning machine. You have to be one too. Each day, the entirety of your day has to be concerned with either producing or learning (both, daily). To learn, you can watch television, but mostly you’re going to get garbage. The real learning comes from reading. I don’t care if it’s blogs, messageboards, books, newspaper articles, fiction, non-fiction, memoir. I don’t care. Just read. Read extensively in your field and extensively out of your field. Right now, a book I picked up on a whim–A Brief History of Nearly Everything has substantially influenced Against the Dark, so much so that the book would have been a completely different novel if I never read that non-fiction novel. Stretch yourself to read until your eyes hurt and you think you can’t find anything else to read. Then read another sentence.

4. Concentrate on Positives. Learn from Negatives. You’re going to have a lot of negative experiences, and the human brain is wired to pay more attention to them. This comes from our hunter-gatherer days, in which a lion looking at you was a lot more important than an apple tree. We put more emphasis on negatives in our lives, and that can change your entire mindset. When something negative occurs, find out the source of that event, and move on. When something positive occurs, spend time–a good bit of time, focusing on that positive event. This will help rewire your brain as well as put you into a better mindset.

5. Customers First. When I’m not crafting a novel, I’m thinking about what I can do for my fans. Have I answered all my fan mail? Have I spent adequate time thinking and coming up with ideas that can delight them besides the novel? When I’m actually writing the novel, I’m constantly thinking of one fan in my mind (I won’t say who), and I’m wondering what he/she will think given this or that. I try to make sure that fan is going to be pleased, because if he/she is, then I’ve done my job well. Your customers are your heart that that keeps blood pumping throughout your body. They’re your core. Treat them well.

6. Build a Network. I ignored this for so long and it has hurt me. I was like, f-it, I’m going to write good stories and the world can find me. That’s a fine attitude to have, I suppose, and it helped me develop into the writer I am, but if that’s the case–don’t be surprised if the world doesn’t find you. When you’re reading, when you’re learning, converse with people about your thoughts. Promote others. Help others. Become their friends and ask them to be your friends. Bill Clinton didn’t become President because he shagged well; he became President because he had the ability to make friends out of anyone he came in contact with. That’s your goal. The more friends you have, the more you can help them, and the more they will help you.

7. Have a Supporting Significant Other. This is number 7, because some people don’t have a significant other. If you do, then this is up there with vision, because if he/ she doesn’t understand your vision, it’s over. All of it. I have probably the best significant other I could ask for. I go to bed at 8 PM, wake up at 4 AM. I spend about an hour to an hour and a half with her on the weekdays, a bit more on weekends. She wakes up at five in the morning to edit my work before she goes to work. She doesn’t complain.

She sees the vision. Could I do this without her? Sure. If she left me for some reason, I could continue doing what I’m doing–however, could I stay with her (which I need) and continue with this if she didn’t see my vision? No. Not at all. Be thankful for your other half, and make sure they know you are.

CMS: Do you have any advice specifically for writerly yacht enthusiasts with a pizza delivery background?

DB: Yeah.

Party hard. Help others. Try to produce something of value every single day. Attend therapy regularly. Meditate. Remember to appreciate those that allow you in their life.

Seek truth. Stay out of needless Facebook debates. Track everything important to you meticulously. Write for the sake of writing, not for the sake of ‘making it’ (I don’t care what Russell Blake says about this).

CMS: What are your long-term goals or ambitions as a career author?

DB: Long term goal? Simple, really, I guess—to be remembered for my work. That’s it.

Short term, as in my life time? To be able to pay back my fiancée—for all of her endless devotion to this start-up I’m building—with massive amounts of shoes and jewelry.

Part of me hates Kanye West with a passion that runs deeper than the Mariana Trench, and the other part of me is like, dude is right. No one wants to say their goals because they sound grandiose, and make you seem arrogant. If I’m being honest though, and indeed that’s what the Good Lord told us to do, I’d have to say my goal is to be known across dark fiction genres as someone who consistently delivers quality prose and compelling stories. People may show that they appreciate this prose and excellent fiction by showering me with money and praise.

CMS: What’s next for David Beers?

DB: Surprisingly, a lot. I actually just hired two people that work exclusively for me, so it’s going to give me a lot more control over what I’m producing.

I have the first part of a 2-3 book series coming out this summer. It’s titled: Against the Dark.

I’m finishing up the sequel to The Devil’s Dream in the next week—should have a summer release date. I’m also working on a serial novel which I’m digging just about as much as anything I’ve ever written. It’s called: A Series of Somewhat, but not Entirely, Sinister Business Proposals. It’ll be at least ten parts, so around 130,000 words.

All in all, I hoping by this time next year I have out an additional 5 books, with five chapters of the serial novel available as well.

CMS: Whoa, that’s a whole lotta writing, and more books for me to read. But I digress . . What’s something your fans don’t know about you?

DB: Oh, man. I’m pretty open and honest about everything—especially to fans that follow me on Facebook.

One thing that they don’t know—my cholesterol numbers are absolutely horrible by traditional medical standards, and I’m not the slightest bit worried about this (see the book Good Calories, Bad Calories above).

CMS: Any final comments?

DB: Just a great big thank you to CM for allowing me to talk a bit about myself as well as reviewing my novels!

Oh yeah, I can’t prove it, but I’m fairly certain that signing up for my mailing list improves your chances of dying from any sort of disease by about 50%.

CMS: Awesome! I’m signed up.

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If you wanna read my reviews of Beers’ books, click anywhere on this sentence.

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 List o’ Beers’ links:

mailing list AKA free stuff
website
G+
Twitter
Facebook

The Devil's Dream e-book

The first person to a comment will win a free digital copy of “The Devil’s Dream”!

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Wind Turbine Destruction- a Flash Fiction Challenge

Here’s a Telegraph article about the incident.

Flashback- 2009: an unknown force mangles a wind turbine in Lincolnshire, UK.

Flash forward- 2011: your challenge is to write a flash fiction tale explaining the mysterious “wine turbine destruction” incident.

Did a UFO do it? Or maybe highly selective ice? How about a giant illuminated octopus?

What’s your explanation?

Genre- horror, science fiction, or fantasy.

Or if you actually KNOW what caused the incident, write a non-fiction explanation.

Oh yeah- of all the eligible* entries (excluding my own) I’ll select one at random as the prize winner. The prize? This T-shirt! (Available in blue, and in your choice of size, or a reasonable substitution if shirt is unavailable at time of winning. Must have Amazon.com account.)

*Eligible: Entries must have word count of 500 – 1000, and be a cohesive story or explanation of the “wind turbine destruction” incident referenced above. Post your entry on your blog, and link to it in the comments of this post. Deadline is next Friday at noon, EST, 12-16-11. EXTENDED to SATURDAY at NOON, EST, 12-31-11! WOW! I’ll be posting my entry here by then.

Here’s mine:

Spin, Baby, Spin!

“Attention Earth base, this is Svigz base, do you receive?”

“Yes, Svigz base. This is Earth base, we receive. We are ready for your next instruction.”

“Excellent. We will transmit your instruction, but first we have some bad news. The conditions on Svigz have further deteriorated. We regret to inform you that Svigz is at war. Our entire planet. Our worst fears are coming true, as prophesized. The carbon in Svigz’s atmosphere is nearly depleted, and Svigzians are suffocating by the hundreds of thousands. We must transport our top officials, dignitaries, and wealth-holders immediately.”

“Oh the Svigzianity! Why didn’t we listen to our prophets? The science was there all along!”

“Pure Svigzian greed, my friend. But we’ve no time to dwell on our foibles. Is Earth ready for the Svigzian transport?”

“Only in the areas heavily populated by the dominant Earth life forms.”

“You mean the dominant life forms aren’t dead yet?”

“Not all of them.”

“What about the under-populated areas? The atmospheric carbon isn’t at a high enough level?”

“Not yet, but many of the moderately populated areas are reaching acceptable carbon levels.”

“Excellent.”

“But there’s a problem.”

“What? Dead Earthlings are piling up faster than you can burn them?”

“No. Some of the dominant life forms are starting to slow the production of atmospheric carbon emissions. Some are even switching from oil and coal power to geothermal and solar power.”

“No. That can’t be. Not after all the probes we put into the hydrocarbon and war industries. Are the probes malfunctioning?”

“No, they’re working at top efficiency, and have recruited the vast majority of the dominant life forms on Earth. But the worst development is that some of the highly intelligent Earthlings are switching to spin power.”

“What’s spin power?”

“It’s carbon-free and peaceful. I’ve researched it, and as far as I can tell, it uses Earth’s temperature differentiations to produce energy. The differentiations cause the atmosphere to shift over the Earth’s surface, and the resulting energy is captured by giant, elevated spinning blades. It’s horrible. The spinning blades not only produce carbon-free energy, they hypnotize the rest of the dominant life forms into making even more blade spinners. Soon Earth will be covered with giant, rotating, carbon-free energy machines. We’re doomed!”

“Did you hit the spinners with the plasmic octo-ice ray?”

“The ice ray doesn’t work so well on Earth. We only managed to temporarily disable one of those nasty spinny things. But now there are ten in its place.”

“We can’t give up yet.”

“But what can we do? The Earthlings keep making more spinny things.”

“We’ve no choice but to reactivate our Palin probe.”

“But the Palin already announced it would not seek presidential status!”

“Excellent. The Palin’s fan base will undoubtedly see the reversal as a display of maverick behavior. They’ll love it. And make sure Palin gets a bravery award this time. Tack a bravery pin on Palin’s wealth lapel, right under the USA flag pin. The USA-ers value bravery up there with myth-worship and wealth-worship.”

“Understood. But how do we secure the Palin’s award?”

“Plant a youtube video of Palin shooting wolves from helicopters. That will guarantee a bravery award. It worked for our Vick probe.”

X

Happy Holidays, readers!

Doing my part to promote lovely wind turbine energy,

CM

We Need Coffee Contest, Fall 2011

The Automat

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Play the above video to hear the contest question.

Find the answer *somewhere* in Whittington’s blog.

And please don’t ask him for the answer, I’ve already asked him to not give it away!

Good Luck!

Rules, details, and other fussy stuff:

1. Answer the relevant question in the video correctly in a comment to this post (below).

2. Participants may leave more than 1 comment, but the first comment-answer by a specific participant will be the only answer counted from said participant.

3. What constitutes a “correct answer” will be determined by me.

4. Winner will be randomly selected (using an online random number generator) from all correct entries.

5. Winner will be awarded a $10 gift certificate to Larry’s Beans.

6. Deadline is Friday, October 7, 2011.

7. In the event of “no correct answers,” this contest expires on Friday, October 7, 2011.

8. The certificate will be emailed to the winner’s email address within 1 week after said winner provides said email address to me.

9. Not responsible for lost or misdirected email.

10. I’m not affiliated with Larry’s Beans, I just think this is a cool-as-beans prize! Good luck!

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Haiku:

Sip of coffee heats

A leaf falls, covers my cup

Embittered tisane

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Tyburn:

Dunkin’ Donuts

Unseen

Caffeine

Obscene

Latrine

One must drink the unseen caffeine doom

And then use their obscene latrine room

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10-7 UPDATE: No certificate winner in this contest. Visit The Automat and search for “coffee” to see what you missed!

Check out the update on my last flash fiction challenge!