Interview with Donald White

This is an interview that Michael S Gardner did recently with talented writer Donald White on his blog A Taste of Terror. Both were kind enough to let me repost/blog the interview here for you to read. Take the time to check out the links and a great little story at the end of the interview by Donald. 



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*Make sure to read the story at the end of the interview! It's really good!*

Without any further adieu, I present an interview between me and a writer you should definitely keep your eye on.






Mike: Donald, you’re an up-and-coming writer, who focuses mainly on horror and fantasy. Why don’t you tell us a little more about yourself?


Donald: I grew up on the North Carolina coast, but moved to Durham for job opportunities. I work in tech support during the day, and the majority of my free time is spent reading, writing and reviewing. I am a prolific writer and a voracious reader. I have very eclectic tastes, enjoying work from many different genres.  


Mike:  How long have you been writing? And when did you decide to take a shot at doing it professionally? Also, what drove you to do it?


Donald: I have actually been writing for over twenty years. However, only recently did I decide my work was good enough to be published. Like many authors, I am a perfectionist and I only really thought about publishing when other people told me my writing was that good. I think I was driven by a desire to have my work read. Writing is hard work, and it would be a tragedy for it to remain unknown.


Mike: Horror and fantasy are both genres that have become convoluted with the same old story regurgitated over and over again. Does this thought stew in the back of your mind each time you sit down to weave a tale? I mean, there are only a number of ways to end a story, so how do you try and set yourself apart from the pack?


Donald: Honestly, the characters write the story for me. Once I know who they are, I can determine how they will interact. My goal is not to impress people with my skills as a wordsmith. Rather, I focus on making the story feel real: real people in real situations in a real world. Even when I write things that are supernatural, I write them in a natural way. In other words, what would be they be like if they were real? Because the work is organic, the ending must simply be a satisfying conclusion to what went on before.


Mike: We all draw inspiration from different sources. From where do you get yours?


Donald: I read a lot and watch a lot of movies. I soak in influences from many sources. I love the work of Robert E. Howard and J.R. R. Tolkien. I am a big fan of Ray Bradbury and H.P. Lovecraft. When I was younger, I read a lot of comic books, so the X-Men and Avengers movies are favorites of mine.  Inevitably, an idea will come to me; and most people won’t even recognize what my inspiration was.


Mike: You have a blog which is updated weekly where you offer your thoughts on the process of writing. What, in your opinion, is the best advice to give newcomers to the craft?


Donald: Pour your heart into whatever you write. People are moved by emotions, and something of depth has the ability to compel. If you like what you are doing, that enthusiasm will be contagious.


Mike: Personally, I prefer the unhappy ending. Call me pessimistic, but I think the sappy endings are, for the most part, overrated. Which do you prefer?


Donald: I like a satisfying ending. If it is a tragedy, then the story must be leading up to it due to the personal failings of the protagonist. I like happy endings if they are done well. Typically, they are the result of an arduous journey with many perils and a final achievement of some goal.


Mike: Self-pubbing or the traditional path of getting your work out there? Why?


Donald: I have been published in magazines, an anthology and online. I also have about a half dozen self-published works. I spent a lot of time trying to get published and I will probably still submit work for consideration. But the thing I like about self-publishing is that it is all dependent upon me. If it fails, then I take all the blame. But if it succeeds, the credit is mine.


Mike: Three favorite movies off the top of your head…


Donald: Gettysburg, The Dark Knight and Star Wars.


Mike: Now, have any of these flicks helped you craft your style?


Donald: Gettysburg was highly influential. I have never seen a movie where I was moved deeply by so many characters… on either side of the battle! The Dark Knight was a gritty portrayal of the classic superhero. I focus on making my work gritty and compelling. Star Wars was born of classical mythology, and another thing that I work at is bringing mythological creatures to life.


Mike: Have you ever collaborated with another writer on a story? If not, have you given any thought into doing that?


Donald: I have not collaborated, and I would tend to avoid it. I like other people’s work, but I do not think that I could find someone who shares my vision.


Mike: Who are some of your favorite writers, up-and-coming or established?


Donald: I have already mentioned a few. Others would be: C.S. Lewis, Steven King, Clive Barker, J.K. Rowling, H.G. Wells, Kevin J. Anderson, the list goes on. As for up-and-coming writers, a few to watch for are Todd Card, Kevin Rodgers, William Cook, Michael H. Hanson, Brooklyn Hudson, Damian Stevenson, Chantal Noordeloos and April M. Reign.


Mike: This is where you promote anything and everything…


Donald:


The Monster:






There is a monster in Eldenborough. And a young girl is endangered…  Karg is an orc and he has stumbled into the land of men. A grisly murder sets the humans on his trail. And he, in turn, hunts them. Blood will be spilled, and more lives lost. Dark secrets will be revealed. A young noble is forced to make a difficult choice. And all the while, a warrior fights against overwhelming odds. There is a monster in Eldenborough. Survive if you can…


The Visions of Sandy Brown:

 





 



Sixteen year old Sandy Brown is seeing things: her history class flooding; rows of desks that go on and on; a mysterious being who threatens her in various forms. She is about to learn the awful reality: that she and her friends are all in danger. Who is this entity that pursues her, wearing the face of the people she knows? Where does it come from? What does it want? When did high school become a fight for survival? Innocence will be lost, trust betrayed, and friendship put to the ultimate test. For when your soul is at stake, can you really believe the things you see?


The Hallowed Collection:






Cloaked figures gather around a stone table, perusing ancient parchments. It is All Hallows’ Eve, and they have come to hear tales of great terror. How a ghostly seduction drives a man to madness. Another walks the world of dreams and must come to face his nightmares. A child braves the dark of night, seeking out the place of friendship lost. There is the tale of foul murder, frustrated by forces beyond the mortal ken. Finally, they will hear the story of a wicked man, who faces monstrous vengeance. What is sacred? And to what purpose do we dedicate our lives? For only through the shedding of blood, can we be truly clean…  


Mike: Thanks for stopping by, man. It was great having you!


Donald: Thanks for having me on A Taste of Terror, Michael. Hopefully, I have sated a few appetites and left others wanting more…


Bio: Donald White grew up on the coast of North Carolina with his mother and father, an older and a younger sister. He has a degree in Information Systems, having graduated with honors. Later, he moved to Durham and is now employed at a software company in Raleigh. He is an avid reader of classical and modern literature. The following works are available: Vengeance and Valor, The Hound, the Hallowed collection, The Visions of Sandy Brown and The Monster.










 And, as promised, a tale from Donald White. Enjoy!

 


The Noisy Dwarf


     Though two heads shorter than a man, the dwarf was heavily built, clad in armor consisting of chains. He carried an axe and a shield, forcing his way through the underbrush. The dwarf's name was Dengarr, and he was combing the jungle in search of goblins and orcs. "When I find them, I will chop them down." Dengarr swiped the air with his weapon, grinning broadly.

     Hidden among the trees, two goblins watched him. Each one was as tall as the dwarf, but with smaller, nimble frames. Their eyes were a deep shade of blue, and they wore no armor and very little clothing. One was perched on a branch, holding a bow and staring coldly at the dwarf. The other was armed with daggers, and hiding near the tree's trunk. He motioned at the one in the tree.

     The goblin climbed down to where the other one was. "What do you want, Adder?"

     "You see him, Crow. Does he know that he is being watched?"

     Crow stared at the dwarf. "He is not aware."

     Adder hissed "He is ours."

     Crow cocked his head to one side. "He is not ours, unless we take him."

     Adder leaned forward. "Then, we must take him."

     "No, we must watch him first. His axe will chop us in two if we are not careful."

     Adder's tongue shot out and then back into his mouth. "Then, we follow him."

     Crow jerked his head in the dwarf's direction and then back at Adder. "That will be easy."

     Dengarr the dwarf, was drinking. He placed the bottle back in his pack. "This jungle is thick and dark, with many places for goblins to hide." He stepped forward heavily, his chains rattling with every step. The dwarf searched behind trees and used his axe to hack through the undergrowth. "Those orcs killed my fellows. When I find them, they will suffer for that." Dengarr leaned back and yawned. "I would rather dig in the ground, then plow my way through these trees. But there are orcs in these trees, and goblins, too. I will find them, and then they will feel the fury of my axe!" He raised the weapon high.

     Adder crept low to the ground, focusing his gaze on the dwarf. "Soon, noisy one, you will feel my bite." His tongue shot out again, swiftly retreating between his lips. His two daggers were held in front of him, as he slid through the brush.

     Above him, Crow stared at the dwarf, his gaze never leaving the quarry. He listened to the rattling of the chains. He noted the sound of the enemy's footfalls. The goblin climbed down one tree, and swiftly proceeded to another. However, he did not roost there, but continued on, following the dwarf further into the jungle depths. "He cannot hear us over his own noise. Perhaps, he may indeed be ours."

     Dengarr swung his weapon at the air. "Where are you, goblins? Show yourselves, that I may split your heads. Though you could hide among these trees, you cannot harm me. Come out! Or do you fear my axe?" He kicked at the underbrush. He peered up at the tree branches above him. Dengarr raised his weapon in one hand and his shield in the other. "Are you out there?!" An arrow whistled through the air, sinking into his chest. He looked down at it, speechless. Another arrow spun towards him, but he held up his shield to deflect it. "Goblins! I knew you might be watching. Come, feel the fury of my blade!" He felt a stinging pain, and looked to see where his side had been pierced. Another arrow sunk into his shoulder. "Ahh! Curse you goblin scum! I will hack you apart!" He plunged through the brush, swinging wildly. "I will find you!"

     Adder slithered back into the trees, grinning with silent mirth.

     Crow focused on the angry dwarf, aiming his arrow at the enemy's heart.

     The dwarf continued deeper into the jungle. Dengarr shouted angrily "Show yourselves! You cannot remain hidden from me!" He fell against a tree, holding his weapon in front of him. Blood soaked his side, and some dripped from around the arrows embedded in his chest and shoulder.

     Adder snuck closer, grinning with glee. He wiped one dagger and placed it in its sheath. Then, he raised his other blade next to his face, hissing softly. "Soon. Very soon."

     Crow was perched above, aiming down at the weakening dwarf. He cocked his head to one side and then loosed another arrow.

     Dengarr's shield went up instinctively, and the shaft stuck in it. "You... will not kill me... so easily! Goblins! The... scourge of... all existence." His arm lost its strength, and he lowered his weapon.

     Tasting victory, Adder struck.

     The shield came up unexpectedly, impacting with his head.

     Adder dropped to the ground.

     Dengarr's eyes burned with hatred. "I told you... I would find you." He stumbled forward. "Now, I will chop off your head, foul goblin."

     Crow loosed an arrow and the dwarf evaded it.

     "Do not fear, goblin in the tree. I will kill you, next." He dropped his shield and pulled Adder to his feet, facing the direction the arrow had come from. "Will you shoot through him to get me?"

     Adder hung limply.

     Crow aimed, but hesitated.

     Dengarr raised his axe over his head.

     Adder opened his eyes, swiping with his blade.

     The dwarf choked, releasing the goblin and placing a hand over the slit in his throat.

     Adder fell to the side, as an arrow buried itself in the dwarf's chest.

     Dengarr dropped his axe and collapsed on the ground.

     Adder crawled over to the body.

     Crow climbed down and stared over his shoulder.

     Adder hissed "He was a noisy dwarf."

     Crow cocked his head to one side. "He is silent, now."


 
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