Thank you for hosting me on your site, Sophie. You have a wonderful blog! This is a great place for us all to indulge in our shared love of reading and writing. I am grateful to be here and hopefully I have the opportunity to get to know your audience better.
1. What inspires you to write?
Great question. The simple answer is that it’s just been something I always loved to do. The long answer is that I can remember writing as far back as middle school. I can recall writing stories and poems when I was just 5 or 6 years old. Outside of my fiction works, I have contributed to a wide variety of blogs and publications over the years—sports, law, marriage, business…Writing has been something I have always enjoyed doing myself and admired in other people. Story telling is a beautiful gift. I love learning to hone the craft.
As far as inspiration, I try to find it in my everyday life. I think good writers have a unique gift of empathy. They work hard to understand another person’s pains, hopes, dreams and fears. I really try to understand each person that I encounter in my life. These experiences tend to inspire me and seep into my writing.
2. Who is your favourite author and why?
I feel like this is the question that readers and writers always ask in a judgmental way. It’s as if your readers are going to judge me by the authors I enjoy. “Oh no, I don’t agree with that at all. John Grisham? This guy clearly isn’t serious about his writing.” (I’m smiling if that’s not showing through your computer screen.)
I am constantly inspired by writers and I have a lot of authors that I love, though. A few, in no particular order: Gertrude Warner, Shell Silverstein, Dr. Seuss, C.S. Lewis, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Charles Dickens, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Grisham, Malcolm Gladwell, John Buri, Cormac McCarthy, Bill Bryson and Mark Twain. I could probably list another hundred who’s writing I enjoy with wonderment.
If you forced me to choose one author, I would select one work specifically and it would be because of the circumstances surrounding the first time I read it. I would choose The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. I have read it a half dozen times or so, but the first time I read it was with my mother. I think I fell in love with storytelling hearing my mother read this book to me. It’s a beautiful fable. I can recall lying up at night before bed as she made the world of C.S. Lewis a reality for me.
3. Do you have a special writing routine?
Once upon a time I thought I needed to write in a particular time and place. I would typically write at night and I would need to be in the perfect mood. With a very demanding job, however, and a lovely wife and two-year-old daughter that I love spending time with, I quickly found that I was not finding much time to write at all. I had to begin writing anytime I could find a free 30 minutes. I was lucky I did too.
I think young writers always wait for the moment of inspiration to strike. These moments are amazing, but they are a great luxury. The truth, in my opinion, is that writing is as much about editing and revising as it is about the writing itself. I have so many pages of Pieces Like Pottery on the cutting room floor. Maybe editing is a beautiful and inspiring process for some people, but for most writers I know, it is painstaking. There’s nothing inspirational about it for me. Having very little time to write each day helped me to begin taking my writing to the next level, to learn to hone it as a craft, rather than writing simply being an inspirational hobby. I had to find time to write whenever I could, regardless of whether the circumstances were perfect.
That being said, I still love to write at night over a glass of wine or a fine whiskey. Nothing beats that.
4. Tell us about your work?
Pieces Like Pottery a collection of linked stories that explore the sorrows of life through the five Sorrowful Mysteries that are celebrated in the Catholic tradition. It is not a religious or even a spiritual book, but it does mirror overarching and universal themes from the Sorrowful Mysteries. It exposes the strength of character and the kindness we all need to find redemption from our own pain and suffering.
I get asked regularly why I chose to write this book. I guess I am moved and inspired by people’s real life stories of overcoming tragedy. Every person has trials in life. Life always presents obstacles and disappointments. I wanted to examine how individuals overcome these obstacles in a variety of characters. I toyed with the idea of each of these stories being its own novel, and I still may expand a couple of them into full length novels, but I settled in on a collection of linked stories because it presented the opportunity to have a range of characters and to display that, despite how different our life experiences are, we are all connected as human beings. We all suffer and laugh just the same. My hope is that readers recognize that and are inspired or moved to compassion through the book. Utilizing the thematic framework of each of the five sorrowful mysteries was simply a way to communicate that suffering and redemption.
Thank you, Sophie! I have appreciated this opportunity to spend some time with you and your readers. You have a wonderful site. I really do hope you and some of your readers will check out my book. I would love to hear your feedback. And if your readers have questions or comments, please contact me. You can reach me via email at danburi777 [at] gmail [dot] com or on twitter @DanBuri777. Thanks!
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