I had the pleasure of reading and sharing my thoughts about Douglas Dorow's first published book titled, The Ninth District.
I must admit to having enjoyed the story immensely, so much so that I wanted to learn more about the man behind the book.
I had the opportunity to catch up with Douglas Dorow and ask a few questions; it was a pleasure to learn more about him and I thought I'd share what I learned with you.
Budden: What does being an author mean to you?
Douglas: I think an author is a story teller who tells the story in the written form. With their story they can take their readers to places they've never been and may even give them experiences that seem almost real.
Budden: When did you first realize that you wanted to write and publish a book? How old/young were you at the time?
Douglas: I can't remember the moment, but I think I've always been a good writer and I've always been a big reader of fiction.
I really enjoyed the creative writing classes I took in college and got some good encouragement from the graduate assistant who taught the class; he wanted me to enter a piece in a regional magazine - but, at the time, I was immersed in my engineering courses and that was my focus.
After college I told people I thought I'd like to write someday. When I moved to Minneapolis, about 20 years ago, I finally started moving forward with the dream. I took a couple of writing classes at the Loft Literary Center and joined a critique group that I've been meeting with every two to three weeks ever since.
Budden: From its inception, how long did it take you to write and publish your first book? Was the experience mostly rewarding or filled with varying levels of frustration?
Douglas: I started writing a story - a thriller with an FBI agent as the hero, 20 years ago. That's the story I wrote, but there's nothing there from that early writing. The only constant is the hero: Jack Miller, FBI Special Agent.
I really enjoy writing and creating the story in my head and writing it down; some I plan and some emerges while I write.
The frustration has been in the time it took. I have a day job, a family and find time to write when I can. But now I have started on the sequel as well as the first book in an action thriller series. I don't have as much to learn as I did 20 years ago so I feel a focus. And it's even stronger now that I've found the freedom of self-publishing and readers who've enjoyed my story.
Budden: Are you currently writing another book which you hope to publish at some point? If so, we'd love to hear more about it.
Douglas: Yes, I'm working on the second in the series. It follows Special Agent Jack Miller. A year later he's on vacation at one of the 10,000 lakes in Minnesota. While swimming at a beach, his son finds a dog license tag in the lake from 1941. As they embark on their own mystery to find out who the dog tag belongs to, they stumble upon a local crime operation which Jack is drawn in to bring down.
This story idea started with a real life event when my wife lost her wedding ring in the lake at the beach. We returned a couple of weeks later with a metal detector and found the ring along with other metal objects, one being a dog license tag from 1941. I wondered how it got there and the story idea was born.
Budden: Who has been a major source of inspiration for you as a writer/author?
Douglas: I think my inspiration started with my mom, who taught me to read and supported that with trips to the library and book mobile when I was younger.
Some authors include Stephen King - who just wanted to write great stories, JA Konrath and all of the people who contribute to his blog, which I have been reading for a long time. Also, all of the great authors I have read over the years who told stories - and worked their methods and story beats into my brain - as they took me on adventures through time and around the world.
Budden: What is your ultimate dream, in terms of being a writer/author?
Douglas: I'd love to be able to support myself as a writer and continue to tell stories that people want to read. I also enjoy helping other writers.
Budden: What is one of your favourite quotes? It can be from a book you wrote or something you heard throughout your life.
Douglas: I think it was Albert Einstein who said, "Imagination is more important than knowledge." That has stuck with me from the first time I heard it and applies as much to writing as to science and other areas.
Budden: Tell us a little about your life. What does an average day look like?
Douglas: I work a day job as an Information Technology manager. I get up, walk the dog, go to work. My wife works and usually gets the kids to school, so after work I become my son's chauffeur getting him to his sports practice (baseball, soccer or hockey.) Thank goodness my daughter can drive and get herself where she needs to go.
While my son is at practice I often stop in at a nearby coffee shop and write or now, spend more time catching up on social media :) I try to get some exercise squeezed in afterwards. That's the routine. Rinse and repeat through the week.
Budden: What are three of your favourite hobbies?
Douglas: Reading (usually fiction and usually a thriller), spending summer weekends at the lake cabin, and we like to travel, when we can.
Budden's closing thoughts: I am curious to see how far this book goes. With the various editions of this book being available for a wide variety of audiences, the sky is the limit to where Douglas Dorow can go. I'd read any work set in front of me if I knew Dorow was the author.