Author Spotlight with David Fingerman
D.F. I'm very excited to be here. Thank you for having me. For people who don't know me well, I seem to have that serial killer persona - he's very quiet and keeps to himself. People who know me quite well seem to think I'm funny, got a very warped sense of humor, and a very recognizable laugh. After spending nearly half of my life working for the court system, I walked away to write full time. Financially, not the smartest move I ever made, but as far as doing what I love to do ~ I have absolutely no regrets.
K.S. Any interesting writing quirks or stories you would like to share with my readers?
D.F. To be painfully honest, I'm an incredibly boring person. I'm most comfortable sitting in my office and writing. The writing stories I can think of even bore me. One of my writing quirks is when I'm writing and have an idea for another book or story, I'll stop what I'm doing and start working on the new idea. I've probably got about a dozen unfinished short stories and five unfinished novels. To be fair, three of the five novels are only chapter one and I haven't worked on them for quite some time. Two novels I'm jumping back and forth. If I get blocked on one, I'll play with the other. When I'm done with those I'll get to work on the other.
K.S. When did you realize you wanted to be a writer? What sparked the desire to pen your first novel?
D.F. I've enjoyed reading and writing since I learned how. With the exception of college years (those four years sucked the creativity out of me) and a couple of years after that, writing had always in in the back of my mind. After having lost interest, I was sitting with some friends who were talking about a book I had never heard of. They were shocked I hadn't read it and one friend threw me a copy. It was "Shatterday" by Harlan Ellison. That relit my interest in not only reading for pleasure again, but writing.
K.S. What genre do you write?
D.F. I've got a book of short stories called "Edging Past Reality." Most of those are speculative fiction. "Silent Kill" is a suspense/thriller. My next book, "Spyder" (hopefully to be released this year) is more of an urban adventure. "Playing the Hand She's Dealt" the sequel to "Silent Kill" (and to be released in 2011) is more of a mystery, but still a lot of suspense.
K.S. What would you say has inspired you most in your writing career? Or, who is your favorite author and why?
D.F. I have to go back to my Harlan Ellison answer. Not only did his books reignite my love for reading and writing, but his writing is extraordinary. I might not agree with everything he says, but he always makes me think. I can't think of a greater compliment to give a writer.
K.S. What does your family think of your writing?
LOL. Even though it's not what most of them would normally read, they've all been very supportive.
K.S. What was one of the most surprising things you learned while creating your book?
D.F. When I first started writing "Silent Kill" the protagonist was going to be a rookie deputy sheriff. Thus, Andrew was born. I wanted to compliment him with a sister who was a Minneapolis cop ~ Louise. She was originally going to be a minor character just giving occasional advice and guidance. The further I got into the book, the more Louise started to take over. It soon became clear that she was supposed to be the main protagonist. I went back to the beginning and did a lot of rewriting and adding chapters.
K.S. What inspired you to write your novel?
D.F. It had to have been all those years in the courtroom. I got to witness just about every type of human behavior. I also wanted to tell a story about police officers (and deputy sheriffs) who work the street. There are so many novels about detectives but very few about the people who do the grunt work. I thought they deserved their fifteen minutes (although, the way some are portrayed, they might wish I hadn't).
K.S. Can you tell us a little about your novel?
D.F. Louise Miller is a gay cop with a huge chip on her shoulder. When one of her few friends on the force goes missing, Louise starts conducting her own search. While she's combing the city, Elias is on a psychopathic tear. All the clues seem to revolve around a certain rottweiler. Here's a small snippet from chapter 1.
The door swung open from the car behind and a skyscraper with mirrored sunglasses stepped out. A bulletproof vest, worn outside the uniform, eclipsed the sun as the policeman approached the side window.
Leonard pressed the button and the driver’s window whirred down. The August heat poured in, making him sweat almost instantly.
“License and proof of insurance.”
“Yes sir.” Dr. Hout unbuckled the seatbelt, reached into his back pocket and removed his wallet. Fumbling through the credit cards he found his driver’s license and handed it to the officer.
“Do you know why I pulled you over?” The huge policeman looked at the license. “Mr. Hout?” It didn’t sound like a question.
“A psychiatrist, huh?”
Leonard frowned and then noticed the copy of Psychiatric Update lying on the passenger seat. “Yes sir.”
“You a doctor?”
Leonard heard a challenge in the policeman’s deep voice. “Yes sir.”
“I’ve seen a couple of shrinks in my day,” the officer said.
I’m sure you have.
“So you think that just because you’re a doctor, you don’t need to obey the traffic laws?”
Leonard shook his head vehemently “No sir. Absolutely not.”
The cop bent over, hands on his knees and stared through the open window.
“Do you think that just ‘cause you’re some head shrinker, that makes you better than everyone else?”
Something didn’t feel right. The cop’s words, his stance, his tone of voice . . . A knot formed in the pit of Hout’s stomach. A drop of sweat rolled down his cheek and he gripped the steering wheel tighter to keep his hands from shaking.
“No sir. Not at all.”
“Do you know the speed limit, Doctor?” The officer spit a wad of tobacco. It splattered on the hood of the Lexus.
“I thought it was thirty miles an hour,” Hout said. He knew the speed limit well, and he knew that had been the speed he’d been driving. He’d seen enough cars pulled over this week to know about the trap. He had been careful.
The officer straightened up. “And do you know how fast you were going?”
Hout wanted to look into the policeman’s face but the man’s stomach took up the window. A swallow caught in the doctor’s throat. He’d noticed it before, but it didn’t register. Cops don’t wear their bulletproof vests on the outside of their uniforms. Two small, circular dents had been punched into the vest. My God!
“I honestly thought I was going thirty, Officer.”
“I clocked you at thirty-one. I’m going to have to give you a citation, sir. Oh, excuse me . . . Doctor.”
K.S. Where can we find your novel?
D.F. If you live in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area (and even if you don't) "Silent Kill" can be found at most of the independent bookstores around here. It can also by found at Amazon.com, B&N.com, and for those of you with ereaders, it's also available on Kindle, fictionwise.com and others.
K.S. Do you have a website, fan site, or Blog that we can visit?
D.F. For all the news about me that's fit to print, my website is http://davidfingerman.com. Also, I'd be delighted if you'd friend me at Facebook and twitter (both of which can be found at my website).
K.S. Do you have any closing advice to aspiring writers?
D.F. Write every day. The more you writer the better a writer you become.
Join a writers group. If there's not one around you, either start one or find one online.
Develop a thick skin. Unless you're one of the very few elite, you're going to get rejected. Don't take it personally ~ publishing is a business.
Well, this was fun! Again, thank you for letting me take up space on your blog.