Name Daniel Patrick Curran (DP Curran)
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc.
My mother died at the age of 35, leaving behind eight children. We were scattered to the streets, relatives etc. My wife Jackie and I were married young and have three grown children. We have been married for 30 years. I’ve been clean and sober since 1997. Anything is possible…
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I just signed a contract for my latest novel, Born of the Sea. DP Curran. Mystery & Suspense in Portugal. Release date pending. (2016)
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
My first real recognition for writing was in seventh grade. I had a lay teacher in Catholic School who saw something in my writing and encouraged me. Reading and writing came natural to me. I think you are either a writer or you’re not. What you do with it depends on persistence and your environment.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Seventh grade. I was wayward in all ways, except for writing and sports. I felt a certain comfort zone and confidence at both.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
When I first got sober, an older gentleman who had been sober and successful for many years asked me a question. “If you could do or be anything in this world without fail, what would it be?” I blurted out above the high wall that I had built for myself, “I’d like to be a writer.” He asked, “What’s stopping you?” I gave him five reasons why I couldn’t do it. I won’t tell you what he said next, but that was the catalyst.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Yes. A cadence that has taken over any thought or notions that I may have had about writing. The “Muse” as Stephen King calls it. I sit down to write and the muse takes over. I won’t compare myself to anyone else, I’ll leave that sort of thing to editors and readers to judge.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The title of my novel about to be published evolved as I wrote. I had a simple one-word title at the start, but I’ll save that for another book. Born of the Sea, is based on the main character.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Most of what I write concerns the grey areas in life. There can be beauty in the simplest task to the most harrowing. The characters are real people to me and I would hope, for my readers.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
Locales and landmarks are “Real” The characters become real as soon as they are written. They take on a life of their own at that point.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
My love for the sea and all things simple, yet beautiful.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
Ask The Dust. John Fante. The book left me in awe, as a writer. My first editor was my mentor. Without ever planning it, she taught me about the art of writing and that it needed to be shown respect. Also, about going deeper when writing. You have to let yourself be vulnerable in order to write in any meaningful way.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
In Cold Blood. Truman Capote.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Not new, but younger than me. Michael Patrick MacDonald. He is from Boston and his first book, All Souls was a great book that I related to. Growing up in turmoil and violence. The work he does for underprivileged kids in inner cities is remarkable.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I’m writing a novel, Swampoodle. It’s about three generations of family living in the Irish Immigrant section (Swampoodle) of North Philadelphia. (USA) All of my grandparents settled there from Ireland.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
John Fante’s son, Dan Fante. Dan was a tremendous writer and an honest springboard for me. I am blessed to have known him, if just for a while.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes. I am writing as a career now.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Not as it stands right now, no. I rewrote the entire first draft of, Born of the Sea. I’ll see what changes, if any, the publisher has in mind.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
No, just when I started being noticed for it. The teacher that I mentioned earlier is one example. I do believe I was born with a gift, so I can’t take any real credit for it.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Other than the title, Born of the Sea, not just yet. As soon as it goes to print, I will be happy to share with you and your readers.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Not with writing. The challenging part comes after the manuscript is complete, as other authors might admit.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
John Fante. His writing is so tight, not a wasted word. That struck me right away, from the first page. Ernest Hemingway had that same quality, terse and to the point. John Steinbeck as well.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I do. Readings and signings at book shops in Philadelphia and suburbs. That is changing, though. I’ll be going to Los Angeles in April of this year.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
The publisher. I have had some input.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Research. Having to go from researching to writing on the fly. Since I don’t use an outline, this was something that I had to get used to. I loved every minute of this project.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
This book is the longest in length that I’ve written. Staying with it, knowing you’re just half way through. My mindset when writing doesn’t lend itself to negative thoughts, it’s thinking about a project while not writing that can be tricky. I’ve learned how to recognize the difference and stay positive.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Persistence over resistance wins, every time. Don’t let anyone (relatives) tell you, “You can’t do it.” You can do it. I did and out of nowhere, remember that. Read, On Writing. Stephen King. It’s empowering and it shatters a lot of old misconceptions about writing.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Whatever I write will be all of me. Know that when I’m writing, it was written in the place you are reading about. The characters are real, “Fiction be damned.” They would say.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The bible, in the most hellish place you could imagine, my childhood. I didn’t understand it, but it gave me a tangible feeling of strength that is still with me.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
A lot of things make me laugh. My wife and kids, all have the same dry sense of humor that I have. That makes for some laughs, for sure. Crying, that’s something that I stopped doing so long ago, as a small child. A hardness that has not left me.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
My father. I would like to tell him, “It’s okay, all is forgiven.”
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
Just my name and dates. My kids and grandkids will tell the stories, not my head stone.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
Coaching football. My son played football from the age of five, all the way through college. He is now in the military, but I still love having a catch with him. Baseball or football, it seems like time is standing still when we get together.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
A good documentary where you can form your own opinion on the subject. I love a great movie, old or new. I just watched, The Godfather Epic. The first two films in chronological order. I don’t watch TV shows.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
A good steak and seafood. Certain shades of green or blue, I know it when I see it. Colors are tough, certain colors for different things. Music is easy, The Blues.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Film and photography.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
Author Page, DP Curran. (Facebook) Website is forthcoming.