Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
My name is Davis Summerlin. I’ve currently only written one book but I have three in the works, one of which I’m co-authoring with my brother.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My current book in publication is titled, If Only. To answer the question of what inspired it is somewhat difficult. While “If Only” is a work of fiction I began writing the book as a response to losing a baby, and watching what that kind of loss did not only to myself, but to my former fiance as well. My book centers around whether or not the protagonist is going to get an abortion or not, and all the people potentially affected by her decision. While the baby we lost was due to a miscarriage, and came with its own burdens. A miscarriage is a natural phenomenon, yet despite that the loss was still overwhelming at times especially for my former partner. I can only imagine how much harder it is for people who go through the abortion process. Regardless of their political ideals and sentiments its never an easy decision. In my book I hoped to capture the weight of that decision, both on the people making it, and those affected by it.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I like to write by hand. The computer is rife with potential distractions and while I’m working on increasing my focusing ability, a plain notebook is a welcomed substitute. Its also much more portable. I enjoy writing in nature, going off trail, sitting on the edge of a cliff with my notebook and seeing where my mind goes.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Hemingway has been my biggest and most recent inspiration. I like to think my writing style is a cross between him and Mitch Albom (another strong influence on me). What I love most about Hemingway in the works I’ve read is his limited use of description. Often times we praise an author on their ability to paint a picture with words, but more often than not their description is too flowery, almost to the point that it becomes meaningless if not flat out boring. Hemingway’s descriptions are to the point, so much so that at times he won’t describe the setting at all. He’ll simply say the name of the place he’s talking about. I love that. Its as if he’s challenging the reader. As if he’s saying: “If you want to know what it looks like, go see it for yourself!”
What I love about Mitch Albom’s work is his ability to create a nice mix of reality and fiction, both in his list of works but also within the stories themselves.
What are you working on now?
I’m currently working on “The Love Frog” a tribute to my wife. It is our story, or rather a collection of stories that culminate into our own. I hope to have it published by the beginning of July 2018 in an effort to celebrate my coming son or daughter expected to be born later that month.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
My favorite method that I’ve seen the most results thus far is email marketing, like with your own lists. I’m currently building my own lists but such a task is a long term tactic and I’ve only just gotten into the game. However, even with after my list becomes respectable utilizing lists such as yours will most likely still be a favorite tactic of mine, as the results are almost instantaneous and exciting.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Don’t edit…just kidding…sort of. What I mean to say is don’t waste your time editing as you write. Get it all out on the page in its freshest and most likely ugliest form. When its all said and done and you’ve got all your thoughts on the page then put it away for a few days. Then take the red pen to it. You can rinse and repeat this process however many times you’d like but remember no matter how many times you self edit, its always best to hire an editor after you’ve fixed “all” your mistakes, I guarantee you they’ll find more. I hired two, a content editor and a line editor.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Basically what I said above.
What are you reading now?
I’m currently reading a slew of books. A training book for my 3 dogs, a new fantasy book I found on an email list titled “The Buried Symbol” by Jeffrey L. Kohanek, Shooting Eros by Benjamin Laskin, and Dude You’re Gonna Be a Dad by John Pfeiffer.
What’s next for you as a writer?
Well after “The Love Frog” I’m co-authoring a book with my brother. Then I’m trying my hand at my company’s namesake product the “Dicebook” in which I attempt to merge the CYOA and the Game Book genre’s of the 80’s together. Ultimately these books will essentially fill the role of gateway books for fans of the CYOA genre to explore the similar genre of Game Books, but either way that should be fun. I’ll also be putting together several contracts and begin expanding Dice Book Publishing’s authorship, moving forward from just my brother and I to bringing in new authors.
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?
1. How to survive on a desert island for dummies (if that exists)
2. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
3. Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader
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