There are a lot of wonderful writers living in our state. As the Director of the NH Center for the Book I get the opportunity to talk to many of them. This interview series of Q&As with New Hampshire authors here on Book Notes lets me share that experience a bit with my blog readers.
I write both stand-along thrillers and a mystery detective series, along with lots and lots of short stories. For readers who like thrillers, I’d recommend either Betrayed or Resurrection Day. For readers who enjoy traditional first-person detective stories, I’d recommend my Lewis Cole series, which take place in and around the New Hampshire seacoast. There are currently seven books in the series--starting with Dead Sand and ending with Deadly Cove--but each is a stand-alone book that can be read individually.
When did you first think of yourself as a writer?
When I was about 12 and wrote my first short story. I felt a real sense of fun and accomplishment. I knew then that I had some sort of writing ability and I also knew that I would never be happy, doing anything else.
How did you end up living in NH?
I was born in Dover, N.H., and now live in Exeter, N.H. I love New Hampshire and have no desire to move anywhere else.
Where do you like to write?
At this stage of my writing career, it’s wherever my laptop happens to be. But early on, it was in my office, at a desk, because I began by using an electric typewriter, which can curtail your writing location. I still prefer to work in my office, but with my laptop, I can write in the living room or outside on our porch. I’ve written on aircraft, in buses and on a cruise ship. If the desire is there, the location doesn’t really matter.
How important is place in your writing?
Very important. Most of my novels and short stories are placed in New Hampshire and New England because I love the geography, the history, and the character of the people. But I’ve also stretched my settings, and some of my works have taken place in medieval times, in South America, Europe, Africa and Asia, and a few times in outer space.
What do you do when you aren't writing?
Editing, thinking of writing, answering e-mails, answering questions, updating my website and Facebook, trying to keep my office clean and working on other projects. In the mundane world, I mow the lawn, shop for groceries, do the laundry, make meals and hang with my wife Mona, our nutty English Springer Spaniel Spencer and our one-eyed wild cat Bailey. We love the outdoors, dining, boating and going to the movies.
What’s the best piece of advice (writing or otherwise) you were ever given?
Never give up. Put your butt in your chair and do it, day after day. The most successful writers are those who have an excess of drive, not talent. It’s drive that keeps you going.
What books do you love and what about them speaks to you?
Hard to say. I own several thousand books, and most of them speak to me in some way. I read more non-fiction than fiction (leaning towards history, biography and science) and the fiction I do read tends to suspense and thriller, written by such authors as Lee Child, Nelson DeMille and Stephen Hunter.
What are you working on now?
I’m in the final edits of my eighth Lewis Cole mystery, currently titled Broken Harbor, and I’m also editing a different kind of novel for me, a science fiction novel that I had a blast writing. In the near future I’ll start writing another suspense-thriller, probably in a couple of months.
What do you want to share that I neglected to ask about?
Writing and publishing are currently in a challenging phase, where the old publishing model is being replaced by more exciting opportunities in self-publishing. For example, with more than 120 short stories published, I’ve spent time “bundling” them into anthologies and selling them as e-books on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com. I’ve also regained the rights from my earlier books and have self-published them as well.
I also encourage readers to check out my website --- www.BrendanDuBois.com --- or look me up on Facebook to see what mischief I’ve been up to.
And my proudest achievement last year was becoming a “Jeopardy!” game show winner on Friday, September 28.
And I’m just pleased that I love writing so much, and have been able to do it over the past decades.