Friday, November 14, 2008
INTERVIEW With Author Darden North, MD
It Is With Great Pleasure, and a Honor to bring to Today's Interview, Author Darden North, MD Author Of: "FRESH FROZEN" Geri: When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer? Darden: Sometime in the early 1990's. By that time, my medical practice in Jackson, Mississippi, was becoming well established. I began to collect first editions of Mississippi authors of contemporary fiction, and began to tell myself, "I believe I can do that." "I want to do that." Geri: What type of books do you enjoy writing? Darden: Mystery/Suspense/Medical Thrillers based in the South. Geri: Did a Special person in your life inspire you to write? Darden: Both my wife, and mother, who are both retired high school English Teachers, encouraged me to write a novel. Now, with three published works to my credit and a fourth planned, I think they are both wondering, "Oh my gosh! What have I done?" Geri: Have you written any books based on a true life story? Darden: No, my three books are pure fiction. But, of course, I do not live in a glass bubble. Geri: Who is your favorite author? Darden: Greg Lles Geri: Are your characters created from people you've known in real life? Darden: That is not a question that an author of fiction can answer safely. However, working as a full-time practicing physician, father, and husband and several close friends, keeps my mind and creativeness working 24/7 Geri: How many books have you written? Darden: I have written, and published three novels: HOUSE CALL, POINTS OF ORIGIN, and FRESH FROZEN Geri: Where can your books be purchased? Darden: Hopefully, they await you on the bookshelves of your favorite bookstore. Nevertheless, any bookseller in the world can get them through the major book distributors: AtlasBooks, Ingram, Baker&Taylor, Brodart, or Book-A-Zine. For examole, or they can be ordered online from: AtlasBooks, Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, or through my website: http://www.dardennorth.com/ Geri: Describe how you felt the first time you were published. Darden: That's easy...every other author probably felt the same...your first born! Geri: Do you have any current work in progress? Darden: My third mystery/medical thriller "FRESH FROZEN" was just released in October of 2008. I hope my fourth (as-of-yet- untitled novel will be out by 2010 Geri: What are some links to your websites? Darden: http://www.dardennorth.com/ http://www.authorsden.com/visit/author.asp?authorid=80958 Geri: Do you have goals set for the future? Darden: I hope to garner the literary, and commercial respect that seems to come with landing a corporate publisher. However, with the release of each of my three books, my readership base seems to grow exponentially. You know, it's fun to write a good story, and see people enjoy it! Geri: Are you exactly where you want to be with your writing? Darden: No, I thought I would have been on Oprah by now. After all, Miss Winfrey is also from my home state of Mississippi. Geri: What can help authors reach their dream of accomplishment? Darden: My favorite answer to this, and similar questions is to quote Winston Churchill who once said, "Never, never , never give up!" Geri: Have you ever experienced writer's block? Darden: Of course, I have experienced writer's block, every time I sit down at my laptop to write! Geri: What advice can you give to prevent it? Darden: To prevent it, just get up, walk away from it. Do something else for fifteen minutes, or so. You'll be surprised at what your brain can come up with, after a little bit of diversion. Many times, I've taken a men's room break or a trip to the refrigerator for a fresh diet coke, only to return to the keyboard with a writing revelation, or two. Geri: As a child, did you have favorite books? Darden: I remember reading the entire Laura Ingalls Wilder series. Geri: As a child, did you enjoy reading? Darden: Not really. It seems as though any time available for reading was spent doing required reading. I think that the summer reading concept remains as a mushrooming, unrealistic, and impractical problem with our school systems today. Excessive reading requirements during summer, and other breaks from school, as though enough is not demanded of the poor kids during the school term itself. Regarding the ubiquitous outside, or summer reading projects, I think students should be allowed their choice of titles within certain genres to include more contemporary work. Geri: If you had the opportunity to one day live the life of a famous author, who would it be? Darden: John Grisham, because he is a southerner at heart, and I hear that he has his own corporate jet at his disposal. Driving to book-signings, and other appearances is time consuming, and results in motion sickness for me unless I drive myself. Regrettably, when I do drive, I eat candy, and chew gum incessantly to stay focused. But fortunately, I have lost almost fifteen of the extra pounds gained as the result of writing three books. Geri: Many authors feel a sense of self-satisfaction, a sense of self-achievement after publishing a book, can you relate? Darden: Sure, the normal human, and maybe animal psyche is built on seeking approval and self-satisfaction . What better way to achieve such earthly, secular self-fulfillment than by producing something that potentially can be savored by others forever? I believe that God meant for us to achieve, within the scope of our given talents as long as others are not hurt. Using one's talents to the fullest is a way we can glorify him, and that moves beyond the concept of pure secularism. Geri: How do you balance your current occupation with your writing? Darden: There will soon be fifteen physician members in my obstetrics and gynecology practice in Jackson, MS. Consequently, I have some free time to pursue other interests, while still maintaining a busy, fulfilling medical practice. Geri: How did you feel at your first book-signing? Darden: My publicist had told me to use a black Sharpie, and that using such was the latest thing, and so I did. Since then I have come to use the thinner- tipped version. Fellow fiction author Nevada Barr attended that very first of my book signings held at Lemuria Bookstore in Jackson, Mississippi, and sent a sticky note on a customer's book with instructions that read Darden, sign here. Nevada was directing me to autograph each book just below the title on HOUSE CALL'S title page, instead of my signing on the blank page located immediately inside the book's cover. Geri: If you won the lottery tomorrow, would that change your plans for your writing? Darden: I would probably devote more of my time to writing novels, and practice medicine pro bono. Geri: As writers, we begin with a manuscript, and end with promotions. What was your most difficult task? Darden: That's an easy one, promotions! I have an even greater respect for people whose livelihood depends on retail sales, and marketing. It was much easier to be a writer, before I had books at there that needed to be placed into the hands of readers at bookstores. Geri: Some writer's need to listen to music, or focus on the ocean, or flowers when writing. Do you have a particular scenery? Darden: Sometimes I look at the window of my home office, out onto the backyard, or at our pool, and that's about it for scenery. However, the sound of the small four fountains that surround the pool can be soothing if the Mississippi mosquitoes don't carry me off when I try to write, using the laptop around the pool itself. The luxury of writing atop a cliff, looking out onto the ocean? Well now, wouldn't that be a piece of fiction? Geri: If you were to have a book published in a genre different from a book you already had published, what would it be? Darden: I would like to write an epic historical fiction piece set around the Civil War, and the practice of medicine. Geri: Thank you very much for your time. It has been quite enjoyable, and a pleasure. Darden: Your welcome!