HEIDI'S PICK SIX: David J. Corwell


As part of the virtual book tour for Many Genres, One Craft, I have more contributor interviews this week: Teffanie Thompson White, David J. Corwell, Adrea Peters, and Lee Allen Howard.

See what David had to say:

David J. Corwell

1. Which of your characters is your favorite?

2. Tell me about your travels.
My family and I had pretty much just visited places around the U.S. until this past summer, when we took a seven-day, western Mediterranean cruise. We started in Barcelona, Spain, visited Monte Carlo in Monaco, Pisa, Florence, Rome, Naples, Pompeii, and Sorrento in Italy, and the island of Mallorca before returning to Barcelona. It was an awesome trip, except for the part where we got stuck in Spain for an additional week…

Being steeped in the architecture, culture, and history of each city/country we visited was wonderful, and I hope to incorporate these experiences into future stories. I certainly came home with lots of ideas! And with a greater appreciation of how all these elements are intertwined and can give an imagined world more depth. In particular, Mallorca was an inspiration for me to start looking at my fantasy novel (which is set on an island, even though I had never been on one) again.

3. Coffee, tea, or milk?

4. What else can you do besides write?
I’m a fairly proficient proofreader. I’ve worked on numerous newsletters (Gila Queen’s Guide to Markets, Hellnotes, the Horror Writer’s Association Newsletter) in this capacity, as well as business publications, and I’m currently on staff for the Sandoval Signpost, a local newspaper. Though I hate sales, I’ve found that I do pretty well selling my stories at various book signing events. I’m the cook of the family, and I love to bake – I’m the “official” pie maker for Thanksgiving, and I make biscochitos (my grandmother’s recipe) during the holiday season. I’m also an avid collector of books, comics, movies, and other associated sundries.

5. Who are you reading right now?
Recently finished Ghost Shadow (book one of the Bone Island trilogy) by Heather Graham and Unclean (the first book in the Haunted Lands trilogy) by Richard Lee Byers. (I’m partial to series, short story collections, and trilogies.) Currently making my way through the first Blood Lite anthology and reading anything I can get my hands on with a Halloween theme – Shadowfire Press has invited me to submit a grouping of stories for a possible e-book release next fall, and I’m seeing what’s already been done and coming up with ideas. Any and all recommendations would be welcome!

6. Pop culture or academia?
While I enjoy many of the classics, give me commercial fiction, graphic novels, movies, and superheroes any day! These are the types of stories that speak to me and excite my muse. I actually thought about being an English professor until I realized I’d have to write research papers my whole life.

7. What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?
8. Where do you find your inspirations to write?
9. Food you could eat everyday.
10. Are you into sports or other physical activities?
11. What kind of music speaks to you?

12. Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?
With short fiction, I usually start with a conversation, an idea, image, or plot point, or a combination of these and then discover the characters and story as it’s written. I tried the same process when I wrote the first draft of my novel, but the story sprouted in numerous directions and quickly became unwieldy. If not for a close friend, I might have never gotten the book back on track. That said, I would suggest keeping a loose outline of a longer work. Nothing too elaborate – it should be general enough to keep things fluid and interesting.

13. Celebrity crush.
14. Who are the biggest influences on your work?

15. Do you still watch cartoons?
With three daughters (the youngest not yet three), I’ve gotten to relive my childhood several times – with lots of my favorite cartoons: Charlie Brown, everything Disney, Dungeons and Dragons, G.I. Joe, Johnny Quest, and Scooby Doo. These and the classic, holiday cartoons have basically become a tradition in our house. What can I say – my girls are their father’s daughters!

David J. Corwell's stories appear in Cloaked in Shadow: Dark Tales of Elves (Fantasist Enterprises), Daily Flash: 365 Days of Flash Fiction (Pill Hill Press), Día de los Muertos (Elektrik Milk Bath Press), Voices of New Mexico (LPD Press/Rio Grande Books), and Tales of the Talisman (Hadrosaur Productions). He is an indefatigable promoter of his work, and his latest lineup of book signings can be found at http://booktour.com/author/david_j_corwell. David is also a 2006 graduate of the Seton Hill WPF program and the New Mexico sales rep for Fantasist Enterprises. He lives in Albuquerque with his beautiful wife and three daughters.

David is a contributor to Many Genres, One Craft: Lessons in Writing Popular Fiction, a writing guide edited by Michael A. Arnzen and Heidi Ruby Miller and based on the Seton Hill University Writing Popular Fiction graduate program.


  1. Hello David!

    Nice of you to share your six with us. I'm always interested in the outline question because I have to outline everything extensively, even short stories.

    ;) Heidi

  2. It was a pleasure, Heidi - thank YOU for the opportunity to share! I absolutely love what you're doing with both the Pix Six and Paths to Publications columns - keep up the fantastic work!!

  3. Heh, heh, heh!! Meant to say Pick Six. Guess I've got pixies on the brain.


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