1. What’s your name? Where can we find you? Blog? Twitter? Facebook
David J Castello
2. Other than writing, what is your favorite hobby or thing you enjoy for fun?
I love to play my drums. It’s a wonderfully physical departure from writing. I also love to travel. All of my grandparents are from Italy and I’ve been there and throughout Europe many times. I believe that travel nurtures the soul.
3. How long have you been writing? What genres have you written? They don’t have to be published.
I wrote my first newspaper story when I was eleven about a Civil War slave cemetery in the South (yes, I was a strange child) and I began excavating Indian mounds when I was thirteen and wrote extensively about that, too. Today, my brother and I manage an internet network with names like Whisky.com, Bullion.com, Kennel.com, Nashville.com, etc. I’ve written numerous articles for all of those sites covering a wide variety of topics.
4. What has been the greatest influence to your writing? Other authors, life experiences, etc…
There are two writers who made an early, profound impact on me: Walter Lord (A Night To Remember – 1955) and William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich – 1960). I loved both of those books so much that they made me want to write. Travel has also influenced my writing. I’ve toured the US and the UK playing drums in rock groups and I’ve spoken at internet conferences about internet marketing in the US, Canada and South America. Every person, place and culture I’ve encountered has influenced my writing in some way.
5. Are you currently writing anything now? If so tell us about it? If not make something up…
When I began answering these questions I was in the midst of writing an update about a strange email I received from a World War Two veteran over fifteen years ago. I finished the story and The Daily Beast published it:
An idea will pop in my head that motivates me to write and I’ll hit the ground running. That’s how I began writing my debut novel, The Diary Of An Immortal (1945-1959). I had this freakish dream, woke up and thought, “What was that all about?” Once I have that spark, I’ll completely immerse myself as long as it’s moving in a direction I feel passionate about. There has to be passion. Lots of it. That’s the fuel that feeds my creative fire.
7. What aspect of your writing do you consider your strength? Your weakness?
I believe my strength is that I can easily slip into this twilight zone state-of-mind where I’m actually there in the moment with the characters in my book. I’m with those people. I’m in that year. I’m in that place. My weakness is that I tend to get emotionally attached to them. I guess you can also say that’s a strength, but sometimes it can be very taxing.
8. After publishing, the next trouble facing writers is marketing. What do you typically do when marketing your novel? Do you have tips you’d like to share?
My experience with internet marketing has been helpful. There are a lot of charlatans out there and I know what is effective and what is a waste of time. I have many writer friends and I try to steer them in the most productive marketing direction possible. I believe we are all in this together. I also believe your book is your baby. Be proud of your work. It can be quite contagious. You never know who is eavesdropping on your conversation.
9. What advice would you give a writer who is starting out?
Never try to write a book. Simply tell a story that you feel is so compelling that it will make the reader care.