Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
GD Deckard, 76.
Fiona: Where are you from?
Currently, Naples, FL USA
Fiona: A little about yourself (i.e., your education, family life, etc.).
At my age, one thinks in “lives.” In 1966, hanging out with strange people in Southeast Asia was normal for young Americans. That’s me in the truck, wearing the Aussie hat.
Later, in college as a Vietnam Vet, I demonstrated against a war I now knew in my bones was wrong. I vividly recall marching past the White Housewearing a piece of cardboard around my neck bearing the name of a soldier who had died in Vietnam. The lady marching behind me wore her son’s name.
Then came the family & business years, good times & bad times but with kids worth dying for.
Now, I’m semi-retired and enjoying the writing life. This photo shows me a half century after the first. In between, it’s been full, strong lives. Even if I still don’t know what it all means.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
Oh! Sci-Fi Lampoon! It’s a humor magazine I instigated a year ago that is about to be released. They are featuring two of my stories for this first issue, out this Autumn. I say “instigated” because the work is done by real editors, illustrators, and publisher.
They wanted to put me on the mast head as GD “God Damned” Deckard, Mascot.
But I got them to list meas simply “Instigator.” (I think.)
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Junior high school writing contest. Won a trip to Washington D.C. with other kids from around the nation. I suppose it’s too much information to admit that I submitted the same piece the following year and won another trip. Different judges.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
That last chapter. When finished, I thought, well… I did it.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My Lady. One of those things I said early on to impress her was that I had published a book. True. But. An instruction book. Booklet. The Futhark Rune Oracle. I lived in Wiccan country, Manitou Springs, Colorado, at the foot of Pikes Peak on ground once held sacred by Ute Indians and recently re-consecrated by the local coven. A Wiccan Princess (her name may not be spoken) wanted instructions to go with the runes she sold to the Japanese. I spent a summer researching rune mythology. The book is authentic. And copyrighted. Still, I felt guilty. So, I wrote a novel dedicated to my lady. Penguin published it.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
That was easy. When I thought of the story about an ancient diary, written by a man from the stars containing the knowledge needed to revive civilization in a post-apocalyptic world, The Phoenix Diary seemed a natural title.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
Clarity, first. Then a sentence structure that flows easily. Hardest is making images in the reader’s imagination that become the story I’m writing.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
The current work in progress, Code Blue and Little Deaths, is based on the truths young people face daily when serving in a war hospital, and how they cope in order to serve effectively. It’s horror. But you can’t let your feelings get in the way when a soldier’s life depends on you. I call it fiction because I chose how to present my memories of the patients and the people that I worked with.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Thanks to Google, no. I’ve lived in the U.S., Asia and Europe.When I want to remember details, I can go back there on my computer monitor. I once followed a familiar highway in Colorado on Google Earth until it crossed a creek that I remembered, to make sure my characters could bed down there for the night.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I am fortunate to have a couple of covers done by Ian Bristow. The man creates cover images that shows the theme in graphics that stand out. Just what you need when a prospective reader is looking at a page of little icons.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
It’s the same message I’m trying to grasp. My current work explores the life of a medic during the Vietnam War. People behave differently in war, compared to how they would back home. When writing this, memories come flooding back.But, how do I convey the behaviour of young men and women as being necessary to cope effectively, under the circumstances, when the reader has probably never behaved that way or experienced those horrors? Wish me luck.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favourite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
I whistle in appreciation at the way Sara M. Zarig manages to build multiple fantasy worlds and link them together with romantic relationships.
Favorite writer has to be Joseph Heller.Catch-22 scenes are not presented chronologically, but together they become a gestalt of men coping withwar. I admire the depth and truth of his writing.
“It was miraculous. It was almost no trick at all, he saw, to turn vice into virtue and slander into truth, impotence into abstinence, arrogance into humility, plunder into philanthropy, thievery into honor, blasphemy into wisdom, brutality into patriotism, and sadism into justice. Anybody could do it; it required no brains at all. It merely required no character.”Wow.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
That would be song writer and musician,Chris Gabriel. Chris read my first efforts as I wrote them.His attempts to teach me the fundamentals of song writing added to the storytelling.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Not at all. I write to understand what I’ve experienced and to make up answers to those questions life itself never answers.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Nope. Already done that thanks to a nit-picky editor.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
The Phoenix Diary was a constant learning process. I jumped into an idea that became a world with characters that evolved into a plot. It was fun. Fortunately, it took five years, so there was a lot of fun in writing that book.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Gaten Matarazzo, he could handle it. I liked him in Stranger Things.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Never quit. Not that we could, anyway. Being in any part of the writing life is addictive.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Thank you. Especially those of you who took the time to tell me your thoughts.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
My daughter’s. I am proudly reading her first book.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.I was taught to read with that book. But I was only four and I don’t remember much of it now.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Kids. They are fun, painful critters to shepherd into life.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Kurt Vonnegut. He knew about life and death. There’s a scene in Cat’s Cradle where the father, a physician during a plague, takes his young son into the yard behind his clinic one night and shines a flashlight on stacks of bodies. “Someday, this will all be yours,” he tells him.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Photography, target shooting & annoying really serious people on Facebook.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Sci-Fi. Loved Firefly.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
My Lady is a gourmet cook; if she cooks it, I like it. Colors, any of them, so I’ll say white. Music? Hard Rock, Country, whatever, so long as it’s well done and suits my mood at the time.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Play video games more than I do now.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
Remembering the good times, and grinning.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
I’d like it inscribed with big, chiselled letters, “WTF?”
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
I was fortunate enough to fall in with good company when Penguin had its writer’s forum, Book Country. In 2016,five of us started the Writers Co-op. We’ve published a couple of anthologies, with proceeds going to the African charity, “Against Malaria.” We blog something new every Monday. Anyone in the writing life is invited to join us.