Name David Jaggers
Where are you from Bowling Green Kentucky, USA
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I am a graduate of Western Kentucky University. I am married and my wife and I run an Investment Management firm. I enjoy skydiving, hiking, and good Bourbon. All at the same time if possible.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I have a collection of short stories called Down in the Devil Hole out for release on Dec 19th through Near to the Knuckle which I am very excited about, and I have a handful of other stories accepted for publishing at some great magazines and anthologies.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I guess I started writing when I was nine years old. I loved to draw and map out my own comic books and found I had to come up with the dialogue to fill in the text bubbles. I remember going to the public library when I was twelve and happening upon a copy of Stephen King’s short story collection Skeleton Crew. The only short stories I had read up to that point was Poe which I loved. The story Survivor Type, about a doctor stranded on a small island and forced to amputate his own body parts for food to survive really struck a chord with me. It showed me that horror doesn’t have to be about the supernatural. From that point forward I wanted to write dark stories like that.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Looking back, I was a writer when I put down whatever book I was reading at the time and said to myself, I can do this. But as a practical adult, I guess I would say it was when I got back my first acceptance letter from a submission several years ago.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
After a couple of years of successfully publishing short stories in various magazines I decided to look back over my body of work with the idea of putting together a collection. About the same time, a friend of mine gave me a copy of Donald Ray Pollock’s Knockemstiff and that really opened my eyes to the idea that a collection of stories could be interwoven in time and place. Down in the Devil Hole is my attempt to unify a group of stories around an event (a devastating storm) and a place (the town of Bronson Kentucky).
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I’m not sure what my style is, but I would say that I always strive to write sparse, to distill my writing down to only the essential words and phrases.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Down in the Devil Hole is the title of one of my favorite stories in the collection. I think it gives the collection a sense of foreboding and alludes to the evil that is sometimes right below the surface in the lives of the main characters.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I would hope that every reader finds something different that speaks to them, but overall, I feel the take away is that in every seemingly bucolic setting, there is rot and decay under the surface.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic ?
Quite a bit actually. Anyone who has lived where I grew up will recognize certain landmarks although I have fictionalized the names and taken some liberties with the geography.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
No, I live a relatively safe and boring life, so as a writer of fiction, I have simply let my imagination run free.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
There are so many. I will just name a few. Brian Panowich’s Bull Mountain is one of my current inspirations but Jim Thompson and Donald Ray Pollock are big influences.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
My to read pile is huge right now because I have been busy with my work in progress, but I just finished Paul Tremblay’s Head Full of Ghosts which is beyond excellent. Todd Robinson’s The Hard Bounce is another great book I just finished that I can’t recommend enough.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
More than I could list here. Anything from Mike Monson or Angel Colon or Paul Brazill to name a few. There are just too many good writers out there right now and not enough time to read them all.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I am 40k into a novel set in North Charleston South Carolina about an aging enforcer who has a psychotic break and starts seeing the decaying corpses of the people he’s killed over the years. It is a study in the effects of guilt and PTSD and the downward spiral of self-destruction.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Getting the dialogue to sizzle is always my biggest concern. It needs to draw the reader in and that can sometimes be a task.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
The infamous Ryan Bracha did the cover for Down in the Devil Hole and knocked it out of the park.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Don’t let rejection get you down. Write like you don’t care if the thing ever sees the light of day. Write because it feels good to write. That has gotten me through the dark times when I felt like everything I produced was hot garbage and nobody would ever want to read it.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Pardon all the swear words. These characters are mostly an unsavory lot and they say whatever comes to their minds.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website?
If so what is it? Links to all of my writing and blog posts can be found at www.straightrazorfiction.com