Interview With Author David Isaak
Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
David T. Isaak (1954-2021) was an American author of both fiction and nonfiction.
Dr. Isaak held a BA in Physics and MA and PhD degrees in resource systems. He co-authored three technical, nonfiction books on oil and international politics, and wrote numerous papers, monographs, and multiclient studies.
David passed away in April 2021. He left behind five novels, which his wife, Pamela Blake, has encapsulated into The Isaak Collection. The books in The Isaak Collection are A Ma[ of the Edge (new release, available now), Tomorrowville (dystopian sci-fi, available now), Things Unseen (a murder mystery with metaphysical elements, available for pre-order), Earthly Vessels (magical realism, available later in 2023), and Smite the Waters (a political thriller, with a twist, available in early 2024).
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
A Map of the Edge. A Map if the Edge is not autobiographical, but it is founded in David’s actual, lived life and pulls forward his experience of that liberating, mind-expanding time of the 1960s and 70s.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
David did not have any writing habits that would be considered unusual. He did immerse himself in his books—the characters took over and told their stories.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
David absorbed everything ever written by JRR Tolkien, Patrick O’Brien, Rex Stout, Connie Willis, Robert Jordan, Roger Zelazny, Isaac Asimov, Carolyn and Lisa See, Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, Jamie Ford, Rufi Thorpe, Mary Renault, Tom Sharpe. The list goes on – he was driven by great characters and story, original voices, and especially by his love of the craft of writing. David’s own writing reflects the influence of these pivotal authors.
What are you working on now?
Since David has passed, he has not, of course, been working on any further novels, which is sad in so many ways. However, I, his wife, Pamela, am working on keeping his legacy alive by bringing his fine novels into the world.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
AwesomeGang is, of course, awesome! BookBub New Releases for Less has also been effective, as has KBookPromotions. I also think that having good Kirkus reviews has been helpful.
And, more than anything, having a devoted set of readers who read, follow, and write reviews.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Stay with it. Give yourself the time to follow your dream. In David’s words, “Be prepared for the fact that failure (however defined) and rejection will be constant companions. Frequent failure and rejection, both artistically and financially, should be expected as a part of the process. Then again, as Lawrence Block has said, it doesn’t matter how many times you are told ‘no’ when that can all be wiped away by a single ‘yes.’”
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
One of David’s favorite quotes is from Julian Barnes, “Success is a mixture of luck and timing.” From the perspective of writing, in David’s words, “This means that talent (however defined) and diligence are necessary for success in writing, but far from sufficient; success requires talent and diligence, plus a generous helping of luck.”
What are you reading now?
David loved writing, and loved learning about the craft of writing. As he put it, he “read books on writing the way most people watch TV.” I bet right now, that’s what he’d be reading (like AJ Harper’s “Write a Must Read”) – or the latest book from one of his favorite writers (like Jamie Ford’s latest book, “The Many Daughters of Afong Moy” – which has a fantastic audio book.
What’s next for you as a writer?
Stay on the look-out for the release of David’s other novels. If you want to receive updates as the books become available, please consider subscribing to “The Isaak Collection” newsletter:
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
I, David’s wife, would take as many of David’s books as I could. I think that David would have taken The Lord of the Rings Trilogy with him.
Author Websites and Profiles
David Isaak’s Social Media Links