Book Two: The Obscurité de Floride Trilogy
I loved discussing Kazu Danser’s latest novel, “The Disposables.” I hope you’re enjoying his story as well. Please consider letting me know what you think?
A LIFE THROUGH BOOKS INTERVIEW
July 10th Interview
What is the hardest part of writing your books?
The transition from art to craft that begins when I start working with a professional editor. This shift in focus is vital, even when it means seeing many of my darlings end up on the cutting room floor. I love the writer / editor partnership and the powerful impact it has on improving a novel.
What songs are most played on your Ipod?
Almost exclusively David Gilmour’s solo work. I have no idea what his songs are about and delight in his acoustic and electric guitar mastery and passion.
Do you have critique partners or beta readers?
Not anymore. I already have enough voices and critics in my head (laughter). I look to my editor to point out grammar and continuity concerns once the manuscript is completed.
What book are you reading now?
I’m reading four nonfiction titles about the 1935 Florida hurricane and the history of the Flagler railroad, which was destroyed that year. This is research for the “Chas & Gomez” novel which is the third book in the Vivre au Cinémaseries.
How did you start your writing career?
On a portable typewriter and lots of index cards and number two pencils. Midway through that first novel, “Distractions,” I realized that the fictional Danser family had endless stories to tell and I’ve been their partner in crime ever since.
Tell us about your next release.
“City of the Dead” is scheduled for release on October 1st of this year. This is the third book in the Obscurité de Floride trilogy. I always wanted to write a story taking place entirely in a cemetery. Here’s the brief synopsis:
Jayden has just seven nights to rescue her ownership of the Cimetière du Dernier Vol. cemetery in the backwaters of Northern Florida, by any means necessary, including murder.
Welcome to her world, where life among the dead goes on forever
Jayden has the means, and certainly knows the ways. But the clock is ticking. On the seventh night, the annual Grand Soirée is to be held. If she can pull it off, her future is secure. The problem is the four chairs that she must fill as her part of the event, a planned money-making scheme involving a grim act of necromancy. Four messengers will be put to death and sent over to acquire lucrative market knowledge for the attending gullible investors.
Can anyone stop her?
Two escaped victims are trying. April Danser and her twelve-year-old criminal partner Kazu, both mangled and frightened, have only a few nights to derail Jayden’s deadly train of murder and madness. At times teaming up with other residents of the cemetery – a ghastly cast of recluses – April and Kazu are in the fight of their lives, not only to end Jayden’s deadly plans, but also to survive her repeated attacks.
Taking place during seven nights in the once famous cemetery, City of the Dead is a dance between good and evil with everything at risk, including life and sanity.
MY READING ADDICTION INTERVIEW
July 20th, 2021 interview
Is There a Message in Your Novel That You Want Readers to Grasp?
Never trust anyone over twelve years old. Ever. Once a person has rounded that corner they lose their mind to pursuits that add no spark or value to a good life. Once the wonder and magic are gone, anyone thirteen or older becomes a predator.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Honestly, it’s all a lot of fun and very satisfying. While often challenging and not exactly filled with merriment, the entire process is a delight and I feel blessed when I enter my office each morning. For five or six hours each day, the real world is millions of miles away and I’m consumed by the story and my cast and their rare and strange and beautiful lives.
How many books have you written and which is your favorite?
I’ve completed twenty-nine novels and there are thirteen in print, which is why my publisher is working so hard to release three or four a year. Our goal is to get my back catalog in reader’s hands and eventually be releasing titles closer to their actual completion.
Each of the Danser novels is a daughter to me and while I don’t know a whole lot about parenting, I am just smart enough not to pick favorites. That said, I really look forward to the 2023 release of “Cream of the Wheat” because that work reveals so many of the original family members and their challenges and passions, most of which are criminal.
If You had the chance to cast your main character from Hollywood today, who would you pick and why?
I’m not up to speed with current film actors and actresses, having spent most of my time on film sets learning all that goes on behind the cameras, but I would hope the cast would come from the finer acting schools, where they would be well grounded in both the art and craft. I have a huge respect for the acting profession, having witnessed the preparation and study and experimenting the very best do in a tireless effort to bring a fictional character to life.
When did you begin writing?
In 1984, when I dove into the write of the first Danser novel, “Distractions.” Soon as I got to know some of the fictional family members, they pretty much pointed me to the typewriter and said, “We’ve got this. Just tap the keys.”
How long did it take to complete your first book?
You mean in the days of uncertainly and an insane number of drafts (Laughter)? About a year and a half. The story and the cast were solid, it was the monkey at the keyboard that needed to find his narrative voice. Once found, it was then simply a matter of trusting it, and letting it speak for itself.
Did you have an author who inspired you to become a writer?
Not one, but so many of the rule breakers. Somerset Maugham, Richard Brautigan, John Cheever, Truman Capote. J.D. Salinger and Peter S. Beagle were and are all inspiring. Each showed me the beauty and wonder of taking literary chances in an effort to share the rare beauty that their characters lived and breathed.
What is your favorite part of the writing process?
I do about three months of sketches before I start a book. These will often be about twenty thousand words of what I call Ingredients and The Skeleton. This is when I get to know my cast as well as develop the steely edges that are going to change and shape their lives. This writing is a blast because it’s a cyclone of imagination and research, when I never say no to anything, as long as it sets their world on fire.
Describe your latest book in 4 words.
Stay Away From Adults.
Can you share a little bit about your current work or what is in the future for your writing?
I’m one-third of the way into the first draft of “Chas & Gomez.” This is Chas Danser’s third novel and he is a delight to work with. He’s seventeen and living a life of crime while also struggling to live with fugues brought about by his mom having cracked his skull with a baseball bat when he was seven. Ever wise and resourceful, he’s taking advantage of his spells of disassociation by becoming, what else, a successful actor when not running from the law.
The Avid Reader Interview
July 30th, 2021
By Greg Jolley
- For those interested in exploring the subject or theme of your book, where should they start?
Everyone should start with J.D. Salinger’s “Catcher in the Rye” and Charles Forsman’s “The End of the F***ing World” graphic novel. There are many other fine and scary and brave books of youth taking on the frightening and sordid world of adults.
- How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book?
Watching the young surfers at Ponce Inlet blow away and ignore the older surfers and all their “bro” and “dude” nonsense. Up to the age of twelve, kids really are in another world that shuns the normalcy of their elders, finding joy and laughter and meaning in each other.
- What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?
Anytime I have Kazu Danser in the cast, I know things are going to get both lively and terribly out of hand. For “The Disposables” all I really had to do was turn him loose on the world and go along for the ride. The only goal I had was hoping that he would still be alive at the end of the novel so I might get a chance to work with him again.
- Anything you would like to say to your readers and fans?
As always, I love the questions and comments and always learn from them. Please continue sharing your ideas and reactions to “The Disposables” and all of the Danser novels. I’m always open to concerns and criticisms as they only make my writing more effective.
- What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
I find most all of the processes enjoyable and entertaining. While working with my editor before the book went to my publisher was a humbling experience, (as it should be), even the revisions were fun inasmuch as they added even more life and clarity to the story.
- Can you tell us a little bit about your next books or what you have planned for the future?
I’m in the middle of the first draft of “Chas & Gomez.” As with the prior Chas Danser novels, there’s a story within the story. Because Chas is a successful actor when not in up to his neck in crime, the middle part of all his novels feature him in dangerous and twisted roles in films. This approach is both challenging and satisfying as each part of his books demand that I work in much different narrative voices and styles. At the same time, I love the cinematic world with its time restraints and massive choices of music, lighting, palette and, quite simply, magic.
- How long have you been writing?
Six hours a day, seven days a week for a whole lot of years. It’s a wonderful part of daily life that sparks the imagination and the dance with language. I love having a half day of the art and the craft of story telling before going out to play in the real world (mostly surfing Ponce Inlet).
- Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in “The Disposables”?
Kazu and Sippi are both wild child’s of the most dangerous kind. They are brave, a bit twisted, certainly daring and not at all in favor of adults and their deadly games. Together, the sparks are always flying and their caustic language reveals a distain for pretention and grown-ups in general.
Carson Staines is the ugliest shadow over their young lives. The journalist is rife with evil and hatred and determined to snare them or kill them, if need be. Each time his attempts fail, his frustration only further unhinges his already sick mind.
- If you could spend the day with one of the characters from “The Disposables” who would it be? Please tell us why you chose this particular character, where you would go and what you would do.
It would have to be Kazu Danser, who I would surf Ponce Inlet with. While sharing waves, I would try to get him to open up a little more than he usually does, as he loves to keep his emotions and cards close to his chest. I would also try to get him to laugh – likely by falling badly from my board – as it’s something I wish he did more of.
All the Danser novels are available at select bookstores, Kobo, Barnes and Nobel and:
Here’s wishing you good and interesting days and continued enjoyment of the Danser novels,
All the best,