TBM: How do you imagine the ideal reader of your book?
TD: My ideal reader understands that we live on a strange, often bizarre planet and that a sense of humor is essential. Laugh or go crazy – take your choice. Life is a roller coaster ride without the safety harness.
TBM: How was the writer inside of you born?
TD: It probably began at an early age when I first looked at the world and held my nose. Discontent may well be the driving force behind fiction writing, which is really world-building. On the plus side, it’s cheaper to be a writer than a painter or a photographer. Art supplies and cameras are expensive. A writer only needs a pencil and paper.
TBM: What genres do you work with and why are you attracted to these forms of writing?
TD: Thrillers. The suspense genre reflects our world like a mirror. Each day, the newspaper is packed with edgy stories that could fuel countless thrillers.
TBM: As a reader, what elements of a story do you love, or do you hate?
TD: A truly good story opens in front of you, and you fall in. Time stops. You forget that you’re turning pages. You’re inside the story, moving along with the characters. When you finally look up, the sun has set, and shadows have crawled across the floor.
TBM: What inspired you to write FLOATERS and what do you hope your readers will take away from this book?
TD: FLOATERS began as a dream. I dreamt the opening scenes, turned it into a short story, and submitted it to San Francisco’s 2013 Litquake Booktrack Halloween Short Story Competition. To my surprise, it won. Shortly thereafter, I went blind in one eye due to a detached retina. Surgeons returned my sight. This experience sparked a new idea about “seeing and being seen.” My short story became a novella, a dark story about pervasive surveillance, loss of privacy, drones, and going blind. It's centered on a young couple who are in for the ride of their lives. Oh, there’s a bit of humor, too.
TBM: How long did it take you to write this book and what did you do the day that you finished it?
TD: It took about three months to write (a novella, approximately 100 pages). Upon completion, I began thinking about a sequel. Stay tuned.
TBM: What would you like to say to your readers?
TD: “Thank you” x 1,000.
TBM: Hi, Tom. How much stomach-scorching coffee do you drink while writing a novel?
TD: Tom, is that you? Hi. Well, enough coffee to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool. Each day I look like I’m being Tasered, but it’s actually the caffeine jitters.
TBM: Lastly, a direct message to the readers, about why they should read FLOATERS.
TD: “Big Brother is Watching You” is the famous line from Orwell’s “1984,” where citizens are under constant surveillance. These days, we are indeed being watched from various sectors and angles. Satellites in the sky, security cameras on the street, cell phone cameras in the crowd. Say goodbye to privacy. In FLOATERS, say hello to drones. The drones are coming, and things are about to hit a whole new level of weird. If you enjoy a (very) near-future tale with adrenaline and dark humor, put FLOATERS under your surveillance.