The Dave White Interview
Congrats on the long awaited release of NOT EVEN PAST! With its February 24th release, fans of detective fiction will be able to continue following the adventures of Jackson Donne. Tell us about Mr. Donne, and a little bit of what readers can expect this time out.
Dave White: First off, thanks Dan and the rest of the CrimeSpree family for having me here. I’m so excited to be talking about NOT EVEN PAST, a book that’s been in my mind for a while. Jackson Donne, the former PI hero of most of my books, is a guy who started like most PIs. A heavy drinker, guy just trying to get by and recover from the death of his fiancée, Jeanne. But over the course of the series, Donne has lost his license and tried to find himself. He’s gone back to college and when we see him in NOT EVEN PAST, he’s a new person. He’s 3 years into college, cut down on the drinking a little bit, and is engaged to a great woman named Kate. But, one day he sits down to check his email, and he gets an anonymous one and inside is a link that takes him to a video page. Donne opens the video and finds a shot of Jeanne tied to a chair, but very much alive… and off we go on another Donne adventure.
NOT EVEN PAST also marks your first book with Polis Books, a publisher that is really making a lot of noise with a slew of notable authors putting out an array of different types of books. There seems to be a real sense of excitement with these authors and their titles. In my mind, I see the chocolate factory from WILLY WONKA: fantastic awesomeness behind the doors of a traditional publishing house. Tells us more about Polis Books, and your answer better not ruin my completely unfounded assumptions.
Well, I guess I’m lucky that I’ve landed the Golden Ticket. Jason Pinter is the founder of Polis Books, and he really, truly knows his stuff. He’s been a pleasure to work for, and yeah, he’s putting out some great books. He acquired the entire JD Rhoades “Keller” series—including a brand new book in DEVILS AND DUST. He landed Jason Starr, and nearly his entire back catalogue. Plus he’s got some great new authors in Bryon Quertermous, Rob Hart, Patricia Abbott, and Casey Doran. I’m not even naming everyone here.
I’m really looking forward to Terrance McCauley’s SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL. Also, Polis is really impressing me with their YA and Romance catalogue. Seriously, what’s your word count here, because I could go on and on…Zachery Klein, Brenda Janowitz, Grant MacKenzie, John Rickards…I’m going to forget someone, but Polis Books is really, really, REALLY up and coming and exciting to work with. It’s a great place for Jackson Donne and for me.
That’s a good question and one I struggle with. My son Ben is awesome, but he’s two and a half years old. When I was writing NOT EVEN PAST, he was a lot younger and he napped more. I wrote then. I try to do a lot of my writing in the summer when my day job slows a little bit (though I do often work in the summer!). But times like now, in the winter, I just have to find time. My in-laws will keep Ben for an extra hour and a half after I’m done with the day job, so I get time then. Otherwise, it’s night time after Ben goes to bed, but not when Rutgers is on.
As mentioned above, you are a pretty constant presence on the interwebs. What are your thoughts on social media? Massive time waster, the Holy Grail of book selling, or just a wasteland filled with unfulfilled promise?
Oh, man. Big time- but fun-time waster. I don’t think my Twitter account is going to sell me many books, honestly. I love Twitter and Facebook, but it’s just a way to interact with people and make silly jokes about Uatu the Watcher (you didn’t think I’d get through this interview without mentioning him, did you?). But it’s fun and it distracts me while I’m writing so my subconscious can work.
So. Rutgers, huh?
Yup. My alma mater. I’m a big time college basketball fan, and I cover Rutgers hoops for On the Banks, the SB Nation RU blog. That means, in the wintertime especially, I tweet a lot about hoops. But I love it. My favorite hobby, even though the team hasn’t been to the NCAAs in 24 years, and they need administration to build a practice facility… and ARRGGGHHH DAN YOU GOT ME GOING AGAIN… Let me take a deep breath.
In the spirit of “Inside the Actor’s Studio” and the Bernard Pivot questions asked of every guest, I have my own set of questions I ask of every interviewee.
When did you finally say, “Yeah…I’m gonna write stuff for a living. And it will be AWESOME.”
Wow. Good question. I think I wanted to start pursuing it when I got my first Jackson Donne story published in college. I got some good feedback for that story, and it lit that fire really, really brightly.
What was your favorite moment in mystery writing? The moment that when you read it on the page, you smiled and said, “That was so cool!”
I still get chills about the closing couple of chapters of SHUTTER ISLAND. Even though I saw the twist coming a mile away, the way Dennis Lehane wrote it… blew me away.
What was the moment that made you say, “Writing books is amazing”?
The first time I saw my books on the shelf at the NYC independent bookstore Black Orchid, which unfortunately has since closed.
The standard Beatles or Rolling Stones question: Raymond Chandler or Dashiell Hammett?
Chandler, mostly for the quips and memorable lines. But my favorite Hammett novel is THE THIN MAN.
Actually, I’d probably pick Ross McDonald over both of them, but saying that out loud might get me hurt.
Guys, I’ve always loved CrimeSpree and am so happy you gave me an opportunity to be interviewed. I hope everyone takes a peek at NOT EVEN PAST or one of the other awesome books Polis is putting out.