Monday, April 30, 2012



We at Great Minds wish to thank you David for allowing us this interview. Our first question has to do with one of your previous occupations. It says in your bio on the Simon & Schuster site that you were a musician/singer. What kind of music did you perform and what were some of your favorite highlights during this time?

I have performed folk songs and popular ballads in concerts, night clubs and saloons. A few years ago I began performing jazz standards by composers such as Cole Porter, Rodgers and Hart and evergreen songs typically thought of as 'The American Songbook,' tunes often associated with such singers as Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett. I was fortunate enough to have been born with a pleasant voice and enjoy singing, particularly when accompanied by good musicians. But in my travels, jazz musicians were not always available. I had strummed simple guitar progressions to accompany myself in my early days, but the songs of the masters required more. Though I never attained mastery of the guitar, teaching myself jazz chords so I could play the classic arrangements and perform as a solo artist was an achievement I was proud of.

Give us a little more insight into your writing process and what was the main reason you began writing?

I began writing as a pastime and because I had stories to tell. I stayed with writing when I discovered a sense of personal satisfaction matched only by the sound of applause after a good performance. There are few endeavors in life that allow one to see, to feel, one's achievements with such immediacy. At the end of each day of writing, your work is there before your eyes, for you to appreciate or critique as you choose. To see the tangible results of one's labors is a great gift in life.

Tell us more about your book.

In Ice Fire an unscrupulous energy company steals the intellectual property of a scientist who has devised a process for recovering a new source of energy from the ocean floor. Misuse of this discovery could cause an ecological disaster. A Cajun born New Orleans federal judge is caught in this web of intrigue and takes justice into his own hands, literally. When motivated by an uncontrollable impulse for revenge, he kills bad guys. When the principal characters are not exploring the depths of the sea at great peril, the setting is New Orleans and the character, color and even the cuisine of this historic and resiliant city add to the 'flavor and spice' of this thriller.

Do you have any plans to write in other genres?

I have written in other genres, but I am enjoying writing thrillers and have no plans to change at this time.

What are your plans for future novels and when can we likely expect your next one?

I plan to test my protagonist, Jock Boucher, in ways beyond imagining. Fortunately he is a clever and resourceful fellow and I believe he will rise to the challenges I am devising for him. I have completed the second in the series involving this character and am hard at work on the third. I don't know the timing of publication of upcoming novels, but I don't think the wait will be too long.

Do you allow your family to critique your work?

My wife is my first reader. She is a former lawyer and checks any legal references in the novels. Having lived in New Orleans for many years, she also corroborates my location descriptions.

When you're not writing what are some of your most favorite pastimes or hobbies?

Music and reading. I am amazed at the amount and variety of reading I am doing these days. I remember an author saying he did not read while working on a novel, afraid that the work of others would somehow influence his own. I could not disagree more. I'm not quite sure why, but I'm enjoying reading the works of my favorite thriller writers more than ever before. I often recognize aspects of their art and want to stop and say 'well done!' I'd like to think my own efforts with this genre have made me more observant of the skill of others.

Where would you like to see yourself in the next 10 years?

I'm not sure if this answers your question, but one thing I am looking forward to is meeting other authors, both those who have reached the pinnacle and those on the trek up. In ten years I'd like to be able to look back on the fascinating associations I made while pursuing the writing biz.

Tell us about the inspirations in your life, not only authors but people or places you may have known or visited that have inspired your work.

James Lee Burke is an author who inspires me. I have always enjoyed his work, the richness of his writing, and the tale he never hesitates to tell of how long and hard he worked before achieving recognition for his considerable talent.
I have been fortunate to have traveled extensively in my life, and there are places where I have felt inspiration. Paris inspires; the entire city. But for reflective moments I recommend the garden of the Rodin Museum, and Place Furstenburg, near Boulevard St. Germaine. Another is the Oracle at Delphi, Greece. There is also a flat rock in the woods outside the village of El Tuito near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. There are symbols said to be etched two millenia ago. Sit on that rock some afternoon and see if you don't feel the wisdom of the ages trying to communicate with you.

Do you have any advice for other authors you'd like to share with us?

It's not very literary, certainly not very romantic; but for me writing is mostly about keeping your butt in the seat. It's about word count, pages written, hours spent. It's about discipline. And when you feel you've done your very best, that you have something worthwhile to offer and you and your work are rejected time and again, then it's about faith. Maintain discipline. Keep the faith.

Thank you for the opportunity to share some thoughts with you.

David Lyons

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