Daniel Herring [starsofeight]
What did you first read? How did you begin to write? Who were the first to read what you wrote?
The Bible was the first thing I read. I recall running to my Mom to ask what this or that meant. She always told me, 'go look it up'. The dictionary was the second thing that ever I read. I was told that I used to go around quoting the Bible at a very early age. I think I always had an interest in writing. In elementary school, I wrote poetry, and even had one published about the school by the principal. I wrote my first short story in first or second grade as a class assignment.
Life sort of got in the way, but in the mid eighties, I began a study of the Bible for personal reasons. It was an exercise to see what could be drawn only from the Bible employing prayer, and relying solely on the Holy Spirit. It was intended to open my spiritual eyes and ears. I really wanted to see the bigger picture. The study continued into the 21st century, and my findings found their way into a book. I published my first book, The Great Reflection, with Amazon.
My wife was the first to read my work. She did not get much out of it. The book is filled with surprising and troubling revelations. It is not intended for the general public, but for a few special people who have desired to see the bigger picture.
What is your favorite genre? Can you provide a link to a site where we can read some of your work or learn something about it?
My favorite genre, of course, is the discovery of hidden truth, which necessarily includes religious texts. I also am partial to what I like to call apocalyptic sci-fi. Beyond that, my taste runs toward sci-fi, fantasy, and poetry.
Samples of the rest may be found at http://www.booksie.com/sevenstars
What is your creative process like? What happens before sitting down to write?
The process differs depending on the project. With my studies of the canon, and now other texts, the process begins with prayers. I open the top of my head, and the Holy Spirit pours in the truth.
When I wrote the fantasy novel, The Faerie Dusters, I began with an outline and a psychological profile for each character.
With short stories, I begin with a concept. To that, I attach a story line. Characters are added after consideration of which best fits the bill.
Poetry just happens. I have jumped out of bed in the middle of the night with a full poem in my head - needing only to copy it to paper.
What type of reading inspires you to write?
Of course - number one is the Bible. But wait; there's more. Before my eyes went bad, I read insatiably. I read sci-fi, being especially fond of time travel and robots exploring their humanity. My absolute favorites among those writers was Robert Silverberg (Nightwings), and Keith Laumer (Retief).
However, I must not fail to mention two writers not associated to sci-fi. They had a big impact on how I process information. They are, first, Charles Fort, and second, Fredrick Neitche.
What do you think are the basic ingredients of a story?
We are told that conflict is the necessary core of a good story. For me, I like to see something new in a story. I want to see it begin somewhere new, take a new road to where it ends. The end of a story must show or prove something that is better than good, higher than ordinary.
What voice do you find most to your liking: first person or third person?
Third person works well for me, but I have yet to fully explore the poosibilities of first person.
What well known writers do you admire most?
Robert Silverberg, Keith Laumer, Charles Fort.
What is required for a character to be believable? How do you create yours?
A fish that breaths air is an unbelievable fish. We may only know of the fish because we see it just beneath the surface - just before it leaps through the air, makes a big surprising splash, and returns to its place.
Are you equally good at telling stories orally?
I don't get tongue tied to often. Thrre things must be the same to keep one's balance. One must write like he talks, and one must talk like he thinks.
Deep down inside, who do you write for?
A writer is a child with a big bowl of candy. When he gets his fill, he stands on the corner and sells the rest.
Is writing a form of personal therapy? Are internal conflicts a creative force?
I do not wrestle with my writing. Something is already there, and needs only be presented well. Discovery motivates me. Finding is fun.
Does reader feed-back help you?
Feedback falls into two basic categories. Category one: "What am I supposed to do with this fish!?" Category two: "You forgot to dot your I."
Do you participate in competitions? Have you received any awards?
Do you share rough drafts of your writings with someone whose opinion you trust?
Do you believe you have already found "your voice" or is that something one is always searching for?
I am not one to romanticize the inner writer.
What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.?
If I had to impose disciplines and schedules, writing would be altogether unsavory.
What do you surround yourself with in your work area in order to help your concentrate?
Concentration is an internal skill. Nothing outside the witer can help it.
Do you write on a computer? Do you print frequently? Do you correct on paper? What is your process?
I used to use paper. I still think of it as a great tool. I use a computer now, and with the rise of digital-on-demand-everything, I find that my printer gets used less and less. Every time I look at my writing, I see something I want to correct - a writer has to draw the line somewhere.
What sites do you frequent on-line to share experiences or information?
I only seek sites to publish on - or promote.
What has been your experience with publishers?
They are business men, and administrators. Like restaruant owners, they will generally only build near other established eateries.
What are you working on now?
I am continuing my studies. Both The Great Reflection and Thomas, ( a study of the gospel of Thomas) are published on my homepage and await purchase. I have progressed to my second in a series of gnostic studies, The gospel of Mary Magdalene. There is enough gnostic texts to keep me busy for quite a while.
What do you recommend I do with all those things I wrote years ago but have never been able to bring myself to show anyone?
Re-write them from the present day, and from your present frame of mind. That will prove its viability.
What do you do? What is your musical specialty?
Electronic computer generated music
Do you work alone or in a group? If in a group, who are the others you work with?
Is there a web address where one can listen, see, or read some of your work?
Please list any awards, competitions, or other acknowledgments you would like to mention.
Please list discography in which you have participated.
How did you begin making music? Who introduced you?
Years ago, I made a start with a small Yamaha keyboard. I created and recorded melodies. In 2000 - 2001, I bought MTV Music Generator and began to publish, first through CD Baby, then online. My next move will be to a larger keyboard.
What was your musical education?
I have no music education to fall back on - I must do everything the hard way.
When did you realise that making music could be a way of life for you?
When I made my first sale through CD Baby. The album was "Unicorn Jazz". The customer lived in France. Oui, oui!
What is your creative process?
slow, laborious, layered.
When do you have your most lucid moments, in the morning or night?
Have you ever awoken with a melody created from your dreams?
How do you know when a song is finished or needs no more changes?
Two standards, actually - one: it sounds good; two: I'm tired of working on it.
How did you discover your creative territory? How would you describe it?
My creative territory is everything that is beyond my current capability.
What part of your job is your least favourite?
How often do you practice?
Life gets in the way, but I practice whenever I can.
How do you feel right before going out on stage?
Have not been there.
Which musicians or groups have been inspiring to your career?
Enya, and all Celtic music. Electronic artists - my first exposures being Miami Vice theme, and the music from "The Mind's Eye".
List three songs that are key to your life.
Amazing Grace, Martin Martin, King of the Road.
What should be done to stop piracy?
Pandora seems to be on the right track.
What type of music do you detest?
Country, although I like bluegrass. Jazz: it never gets to the point. Rap: its really not music.
What time did you get up this morning?
How do you sell yourself? What has been your experience with record companies and representatives?
My sole source of self-promotion is whatever is free on the internet.
What other things have you done to make a living?
Retail, management, cooking, janitorial, labor, flea markets, etc.
Have you ever played on the street or in the subway? How much did you collect each day?
Who would you play with, without a doubt?
I'm sure I don't know.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in the business?
Never give up.
Sioux City, Iowa USA