Here at Danville Public Library, we are proud to feature the works of more than 150 local authors. Each Monday, we are featuring one of our beloved local authors by sharing a bit about them and their work.
This week, we feature local author, Christopher Dunn.
We asked him a few questions about his past and present work, his favorite books, and what his writing process is like.
What made you decide to start writing? Did you (or do you currently) have another career?
In 1977, I was struck by an idea regarding a different purpose for the Great Pyramid in Egypt. I was working as a tool & die maker at the time, so in analyzing my resources when trying to decide what to do about the idea, the simplest and least expensive route to take was to write about it. In September of that year, I started to write The Giza Power Plant. Throughout the process of writing, I always continued to work in my career.
What do you love about writing? What is challenging about it?
The most important aspect of writing, for me, is when I enter what I call “the zone.” This is when words are flowing and you wonder, when you have finished, where they came from. Certainly not necessarily from your thinking mind, but by immersing yourself in a mystical world where knowledge and inspiration exist. The words come through you, not from you. That is what I love about writing.
Do you have a writing routine? Daily? Whenever the fancy hits you?
When under a deadline, I try to set a routine. You can’t really wait for the fancy to hit you. Even if you don’t feel like writing, you cannot expect “the zone” to come to you and drag you in, you have to start writing.
Which of your books gave you the most pleasure in writing? Which was the hardest?
All of my books provided pain and pleasure in different ways. Both in the writing process and the aftermath of publication.
What’s one piece of advice you’d offer to young or beginning writers?
Examine your motives. Do you want to just write or have a successful career as a writer? Each generation needs to produce good authors who can inspire the world with their words. In 1977, when I started writing, the path to publication was arduous and there was no guarantee of success. It was 21 years from the day I started to write my first book until it was published. Today, anyone who wishes to be can be a published author. Conventional publishing, I believe, is the best path to take, because you will be held to higher standards than online publisher have for their authors. Patience is one piece of advice I would give. Another piece of advice is: don’t be too much in love with your own words that you won’t accept criticism and change them. Buy or borrow a copy of Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style and read it.
You’re stranded on an island with one book (written by another author). Which book did you bring?
Any books in progress at the moment? Expected publishing date?
I’m currently writing a sequel to my first book, The Giza Power Plant. The publisher is Inner Traditions/Bear and Company, VT. They expect my completed manuscript on March 1, 2022 and publication should be next Fall.
We’re so grateful for this author’s participation in our featured post. Be sure to check out all of Christopher’s books on the shelves at Danville Public Library!