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Dave White

Sunday, November 18, 2007


Aldo Calcagno
BlackmooreS Stephen Blackmoore
gentlesavage32 Christopher
gpscribe Paul Guyot Kevin Burton Smith
lunchboxhero007 Bryon Quertermous
MWhite8482 Dave White
Odo6140 Gerald So
TheRealJWinter Jim Winter

MWhite8482: Uh, I believe we're supposed to ask questions for me to answer.

TheRealJWinter: OK, Ginger or Mary Ann?

MWhite8482: Mary Ann, easy.

BlackmooreS: ?

Odo6140: Go ahead, Stephen.

gpscribe entered the room.

gpscribe: Hey!

MWhite8482: Hey. Hmmm... how do I know who's speaking? The little running man seems to be very popular.

BlackmooreS: Was wondering what things you made conscious decisions about to change from Donne in your book from Donne in your short stories. And were there any surprises for you in him when you wrote the book?

MWhite8482: There were a lot of surprises, actually. And most of them came around in revisions.

AldoMystery: YO, hello

BlackmooreS: Hey Aldo

MWhite8482: The first few drafts of the book were pretty much a standard PI book, but once Martin came into play, I found out a lot about Donne I didn't know.

PERRYPARK entered the room.

MWhite8482: Hey Aldo.

PERRYPARK: Hi Dave White.

MWhite8482: Hi... Perry Park

gpscribe: I have a question

Odo6140: JT Ellison is Perry Park.

MWhite8482: Hey JT!

MWhite8482: go for it gp

PERRYPARK: Ah, you blew my cover...

Odo6140: go ahead, paul.

gpscribe: Dave, you've had so much praise, etc., on the book - how do you handle when you hear from someone who didn't respond to it?

MWhite8482: Ummm... privately or publically? Obviously privately I get annoyed... publically I try to handle it with class.

Odo6140: oops, didn't know you were undercover, JT.

PERRYPARK: I'm not, I was kidding. I'm on my Dad's computer. That's a great question, though. You're all just little running guys to me. Except Gerald who's Superman. Oh, wait... if I add you all to my buddies list...

MWhite8482: Kevin, that's interesting... lemme see if I can get some sort of Dave White Icon... there you go.

PERRYPARK: Dave, have you had someone actually face to face dislike the book?

gpscribe: I mean - personally. Does it really get to you? Is it hard to forget the negatives and focus on the postives?

MWhite8482: My old college roommate "Liked it but didn't love it"... I told him to shut up and drive us to the Rutgers game. Ummm...

lunchboxhero007: Thank god, something to take my mind off the stupid fucking Lions

MWhite8482: Yeah, the Library Journal review really got to me because what the reviewer found as flaws was what I was worried about in terms of being a flaw.

TheRealJWinter: Well, there was a Rutgers game involved, so obviously his priorities were off.

PERRYPARK: But don't you think if you believe the bad reviews you must believe the good ones too?

lunchboxhero007: So is there any news yet as to how the book is doing?

MWhite8482: Yes. Which is weird because then publisher's weekly focused on what the LJ said was a flaw and said it was a strength. Well, truth to tell, I was surprised by the extremely positive reaction to the book. So when I finally got to read it, I thought I was missing something. I mean, it's good, but the future of the genre? Yikes!!!

MWhite8482: As for how the book is doing, I'm sure it's doing fine.

gpscribe: heh

PERRYPARK: I personally LOVE the full length world of Jackson Donne.


MWhite8482: I like it too. As for the future of the'd be nice just to have a place in the future... not BE the future.

gpscribe: Where's Sunshine? Is he fielding offers from DJ Qualls to star in the movie?

lunchboxhero007: I'm babysitting so if I suddenly leave its because a baby hit something wrong

MWhite8482: I think he's fellating Duane Swierczynski Yeah, you won't know until you get your first royalty cheques, which of course are written in Sanskrit.

BlackmooreS: Well, don't give it a hammer

gpscribe: ha!

Odo6140: Um, is there an active question?

MWhite8482: nope, not really.

gpscribe: I'd like to know....

Odo6140: go ahead, paul.

gpscribe: how far in the future have you thought - for Donne? how many books are in your head? How did you get so many impressive blurbs?

MWhite8482: Five books.

MWhite8482: Five Donne books.

gpscribe: wow

MWhite8482: Maybe one Martin

MWhite8482: And as for the blurbs... ask and ye shall receive I guess.

BlackmooreS: ?

MWhite8482: The Crumley one was the biggest surprise.

gpscribe: and the best

Odo6140: go ahead, stephen.

BlackmooreS: With 5 books planned ahead, are you expecting to follow a particular arc with Donne, or are the stories less planned out? Gee, nobody asked me.

MWhite8482: The stories are... semi-planned out.

MWhite8482: I know what each one is about... Book 1, Donne and Martin, Book 2, Donne and his family Book 3 Donne at school. ut beyond that short description, I don't know much.

lunchboxhero007: When do we get Donne and the Monkey?

MWhite8482: Book 8

MWhite8482: Kevin, I know they sent you a review copy.

gpscribe: but it's really thee monkey's book, isn't it?

Odo6140: Me Tarzan, You Donne?

BlackmooreS: There's just not enough monkey PI fiction out there, if ya ask me

gpscribe: that's what Pronzini said

MWhite8482: Try Warren Ellis' Crooked Little Vein, I hear there are monkeys.

Odo6140: Next q, anyone?

lunchboxhero007: ?

Odo6140: go, bryon.

MWhite8482: oh boy

AldoMystery: I'm gonna be on the road for the next fifteen minutes. Let see if this Neighboorhood WiFi really works

gpscribe: Dave, how was your actual finger-to-keyboard process different writing the book as opposed to when you would tackle a short?

lunchboxhero007: Will there be a Rutgers football book with Donne?

MWhite8482: Okay, we'll go Bryon first... Rutgers basketball in book 3, but not football, I'd like to attempt to write off my season tickets. Oh, gee, just what we need... someone chatting while driving.

AldoMystery: How bout I chat, while Kasey know that student driver thing.

MWhite8482: Paul, writing the book took a loonnnggggg time... And I let it sit a lot longer... sometimes I feel like I can get short stories done in one or two drafts...

gentlesavage32: of beer?

MWhite8482: each book so far has taken between 4 and 8 drafts. The problem with a novel is coming up with ways to keep momentum going for a long period of time.

MWhite8482: I wish beer were involved.

BlackmooreS: ?

gpscribe: did you find yourself struggling - like midway through the story? keeping it fresh or interesting?

MWhite8482: In the first book definitely. IN the second book, which has many more Points of view, not as much... I just jumped around to whomever I felt was more interesting.

Odo6140: You're next, Stephen.

BlackmooreS: So beyond Donne books, what else have you got planned? Anything?

MWhite8482: I have an idea for a serial killer novel and a spy novel.


gpscribe: ?

Odo6140: Go ahead, JT. How about a spy who is a serial killer?

MWhite8482: that's all you Kevin.

Odo6140: Paul after JT.

PERRYPARK: Would you approach it the same again with new characters, ie: writing a series of shorts then a full length novel?

MWhite8482: Um. I think it helps make Donne fully realized, but at the same time, it'd be nice to start a novel with a clean slate... by the time WHEN ONE MAN DIES starts, there's a hell of a lot of backstory.

PERRYPARK: And if you knew your actor would win Sexiest Man Alive, would you write a book just for him?


MWhite8482: If the actor was me, then yes. Dave has an actor?

BlackmooreS: Dave can act?

Odo6140: Paul Giamatti.

gpscribe: Are the non-Donne book ideas things you've had in your head a long time, or were they born during the writing of the Donne books?

PERRYPARK: Didn't you know, he's the body double for Josh Hartnett.

MWhite8482: The serial killer idea has been in my head for years...since college. The spy novel popped into my head about a year ago. Josh Hairnett? And here I was trying to like Donne.

lunchboxhero007: ?

gpscribe: are they character-driven like the Donne stuff?

Odo6140: go, bryon.

MWhite8482: I hope so. The spy novel definitely is... the idea I have for it... it's kind of a guy lit novel.

PERRYPARK: Dick lit?

lunchboxhero007: Are you preping any short stories for the newly resurrected Plots with Guns?

Odo6140: LOL, JT.

MWhite8482: um what? newly... did I miss something? I've kind of been out of it the past month or so.


gpscribe: holy crap!

Odo6140: yes, kevin.

BlackmooreS: When did this happen?

MWhite8482: way to overshadow me, Bryon.

MWhite8482: Jeez.

gpscribe: yeah, forget White!

lunchboxhero007: I try

Odo6140: today, announced on Neil's blog.

PERRYPARK: ? for Dave, really

Odo6140: Go ahead, JT,

lunchboxhero007: (evil grin)

gpscribe: Dave, what can you tell us about the new PWG?

gpscribe: j/k

gpscribe: :) Oh, boy!

PERRYPARK: Do you think your age has helped or hurt you in the process. Outside of the sheer jealousy of your compatriots, I mean...

MWhite8482: I think it's helped because by the time I'm 35, I think I'll be a much better writer... or at least I hope I will... so maybe that will give me more of a window of time to be in my prime as a writer?

PERRYPARK: good answer

MWhite8482: Ah, Plots With Guns... my white whale.

gentlesavage32: ?

Odo6140: Go ahead, Christopher. Well, some kinda fish... oh, mammal.

gentlesavage32: Are there plans to release a book of the collected short stories pertaining to Donne?

MWhite8482: Not that I'm aware, you can always print them out on your printer and staple them together, if you want.

gpscribe: ?

Odo6140: Go ahead, Paul.

gpscribe: How was it working with an editor for the first time, and will you keep the same editor as far as you know?

MWhite8482: Book 1 and 2... had... two different editors... worked with Jason Pinter until last February and then Julian Pavia took over, but most of the WOMD heavy lifting was done. Julian and I just finished up the major edits on Evil.

MWhite8482: As for what it was like? I love the back and forth of revision... so I don't mind...

gpscribe: ?

Odo6140: Go ahead, Paul.

gpscribe: can you speak to the differences between the editors - not personally, but how they worked or what they focused on?

MWhite8482: One focused on the big picture the other focused on the minutiae of each line.
Odo6140: Interesting.

MWhite8482: But both were equally helpful and both made each respective book better.

BlackmooreS: ?

Odo6140: Go, Stephen.

BlackmooreS: Though both of them were helpful, did you find it easier to work with one style over another? Are you drawn more to the big picture or the small details?

MWhite8482: Actually I think each version worked for each book. One book needed a lot more help than the other and probably required it to be worked on line by line.


Odo6140: Go ahead, JT.

MWhite8482: I have a preference for whatever makes the book the best it can be.

PERRYPARK: Do you find that being a teacher helps your presentation when you're out promoting?


PERRYPARK: Do you like the promotion part?

MWhite8482: Yeah. It's given me a lot of public speaking confidence. As for the promotion part... I enjoy it... I like being the center of attention, but I can see how too much of it can be overly annoying. I mean I only did 4 days of actual out in bookshops promotion. 3 of which were speaking events and one a drop-in

PERRYPARK: Bastard You don't like to travel, right?

Odo6140: uh-oh.

MWhite8482: I don't mind travelling, but I don't like to fly.

PERRYPARK: yu need to go hawk your wares for at least a week on the road


MWhite8482: this summer for book 2 will be more intensive I'm sure.

Odo6140: Go ahead, JT.

PERRYPARK: Is it true that you w2ere kicked out of a Borders for trying to sogn your bok? No sogning allowed!

BlackmooreS: Quite drinking, JT

PERRYPARK: sorry, i just had Thanksgiving dinner and a little champagne...

MWhite8482: I was kicked out of a Barnes and Noble for trying to take pictures of my book on the shelf.

Odo6140: "Soil your book?"

BlackmooreS: Eeew

PERRYPARK: that's insane. I hope you sent a smackdown back to them

MWhite8482: Nah, I just came back and signed the book so they couldn't return it.

Odo6140: Telephoto lens, Dave.

Odo6140: Aerial shot. Ah, corporate America. God forbid someone disrupt the slugs sleeping on the floor...

gpscribe: ?

Odo6140: Go, Paul.

gpscribe: any plans or desire to try other forms - screenwriting, etc?

MWhite8482: There is a curiousity there, yes... but i find it hard to think in screenwriting format. I think it'd take a lot of practice for me to be able to write something that would be good for the screen.

Odo6140: Next q?

gpscribe: ?

Odo6140: Go, Paul.


Odo6140: then JT.

gpscribe: at what point - or how many short stories in - did you have the moment of "I'm going to try a novel?"

MWhite8482: Right after I finished "God's Dice." I think I ran out of short ideas for Donne (at the time) and I decided to say what the hell... let's see what he can do in a novel.

Odo6140: I think Dave actually wrote a novel first.

MWhite8482: So about 5 stories before I wrote a novel I expected to get published.

Odo6140: what about the novel you wrote in college?

MWhite8482: Though yes, I wrote a Jackson Donne novel "Borrowed Trouble" for my senior thesis at Rutgers. We try to forget about that one, though.

gpscribe: how long was it?

MWhite8482: 260 pages... not sure on word count... didn't know what that was then.

Odo6140: Go ahead, JT.

PERRYPARK: How did you develop Jackson Donne?

MWhite8482: I wrote about him.

PERRYPARK: ha Good answer!


MWhite8482: I don't know, I just kept asking what drives this guy... and why is he still hooked on his dead fiancee?

lunchboxhero007 left the room.

PERRYPARK: Can you identify with him? He seems to have a few "issues" that you don't...

MWhite8482: (something I started writing about when I was hooked on an ex-g/f)

MWhite8482: I can identify with him to a point. I mean obviously I don't drink nearly as much as he does, I don't have a drug problem and I don't kill people

MWhite8482: but his voice deep down... part of that is or was me.

gpscribe: unless you count chicken wings as drugs Well, there is THAT.

MWhite8482: I like chicken.

gpscribe: ?

Odo6140: Go ahead, Paul.

gpscribe: let's go to the old standard - who are your influences?

gpscribe: besides me

MWhite8482: Robert B. Parker, Lehane were the two who got me to start writing PI stuff.

MWhite8482: But from here on out, everything is an influece... The Sopranos probably taught me best how to write New Jersey.


Odo6140: Go ahead, JT.

PERRYPARK: When do you write -- with full time work and a full time writing schedule?

MWhite8482: oh and an adverse reaction to James Patterson helped influence me as well (take that PBP)

MWhite8482: I write when I can... When I'm on a roll it's usually when I get home from school until about dinner time.

gpscribe: ?

MWhite8482: so say 4-6

Odo6140: Go ahead, Paul.

gpscribe: on the influence thing...

MWhite8482: yeeeeeeeeessssssssssss

gpscribe: take the Sopranos, how do you keep from just being derivative ?

MWhite8482: What do you mean?

MWhite8482: In terms of just doing New Jersey the same way they do?

gpscribe: you said the the show taught you how to write NJ... how did it do that without you just writing like Chase?

MWhite8482: I mean, I live in New Jersey, I am part of NJ so my own experience is going to play a part in the book too

gpscribe: because your writing has a unique voice/pov

MWhite8482: And so taking that experience and sewing it into the lining of what I'm writing about...

MWhite8482: keeps it from being derivative, I think.

MWhite8482: Basically what I learned is The Sopranos knows that New Jersey is more like a big city than a state.

MWhite8482: So you can go from town to town in 3 minutes...

gpscribe: Like, what did you not know before the show that you leanred and thought "I can put that into my writing"?

MWhite8482: Basically it was the offhanded way they mentioned things about NJ. As a writer I always felt that something like "Rutt's Hutt" would need to be explained.

PERRYPARK: Sorry to chat and run, I've got to go back to the family... Pumpkin pie awaits the worthy among us...

Odo6140: Thanks for attending, JT.

MWhite8482: But the Sopranos showed me that you can just say "I went to Rutt's Hut today" and no one is going to lose their hair worrying about what Rutt's hutt is

PERRYPARK: Have fun, boys! Dave White RULZ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

MWhite8482: bye JT.


gpscribe: bye JT

PERRYPARK left the room.

gpscribe: I see what you're saying, Dave.

Odo6140: Next q? No, that's the way to do it. If you have to explain your settings or even your word choices too much, you're not doing your job. Like David Simon says, "Fuck the average reader."

MWhite8482: Right, Kevin, but that was one of the things as a writer I had to learn.

BlackmooreS: Gotta go, folks. Glad I popped in. Loving the book, Dave.

gpscribe: I gotta run - thanks, guys. Dave, congrats.

MWhite8482: Bye guys! Thanks! Gee, was it something I said?

Odo6140: Kevin, here's your chance to grill Dave.

MWhite8482: uh oh. Why "Uh oh"?

MWhite8482: no reason... just the word grill... negative connotations. Oh, well, okay... lemme see... Chicken wings, huh?

MWhite8482: heh, not really

MWhite8482: I like 'em, but not obsessively. What's the title of the next one? (Sorry if I should already know it... but I just can't keep up with everything)

MWhite8482: The Evil That Men Do.

gentlesavage32: Dave, how is your stalker doing?

Odo6140: Good question. :) Oh, okay, right, I saw mention of that somewhere... DetecToday. You have a stalker too?

Odo6140: He's being stalked by Snoopy. Oh, gee... he shops for books at WalMart? I'm surprised he can read.

MWhite8482: hahaha

gentlesavage32: I prefer to buy my books at Costco.

Odo6140: Dave, is the pov-switching easier in Book 2 than Book 1? At least I'm a bookseller who can read.

MWhite8482: Easier to read or easier to write?

Odo6140: for you as writer, I mean.

MWhite8482: Yeah it was easier. Costco? Yes, their selection can't be beat.

MWhite8482: It was a great way to ward off writer's block.

Odo6140: I would think switching from 1st to 3rd was tough.

MWhite8482: it would have been, but I wrote the first person first and then the 3rd person. Do you ever worry you'll switch POV one too many times and lose the reader? i must admit, the switch from 1st to 3rd stumped me a few times -- it's an awkward rhythm.

Odo6140: oh, I see. and then edited them together.

MWhite8482: Yeah, it was a major concern in the 2nd book actually. Which is why the entire book ended up as 3rd person. As for the WOMD, it was a hard judgment to make and not a concern of mine until it was done, then I started to worry if it was too awkward. Why wasn't it a concern?

Odo6140: You didn't think much about it while writing?

MWhite8482: I don't know... I wasn't really thinking about the reader I guess... it was more I was trying to figure out how to tell the story. And I figured if it was too awkward one of my reader's or editor would have told me.

MWhite8482: Not in WOMD... I didn't think about future readers, no.

Odo6140: I see. Not quite what Simon meant, but i see your point. The story has to be written first.

MWhite8482: The second book has more of a "this would be fun to put in it" aspect. I did a lot of things that I thought would be fun for me and therefore fun for my friends to read. What would you do different in WOMD if you could? (Since it's just us three girls here...)

MWhite8482: hmmmm. Had Donne be a little more hooked on what Martin tells him late in the novel.

Odo6140: Intriguing. Yep. I'm nodding slowly, trying to look intelligent. Very interesting.

Odo6140: That was the shock of the novel for me.

MWhite8482: Yeah I don't think Donne reacted enough to it as he went along.

Odo6140: Oh, one more question, does Bill Martin borrow any traits from former Yankee manager Billy Martin?

MWhite8482: Just the name, I think.

Odo6140: I saw some of the same "I'm No 1" mentality, control freak, etc. He did seem to bounce around a lot in the novel, shuffled back and forth by outside forces. Does he become more of a catalyst and less passive, a victim of circumstance, in the next book?

MWhite8482: Donne? Yeah I think he pushes the plot forward a lot more.

MWhite8482: But I think that's Donne. He doesn't want to do this stuff anymore, so he gets bounced around. I actually like how he bounced around in the book, BTW. but it would get tiresome if it kept on book after book...

Odo6140: Good point. It's a change from the usual plot-driving PIs.

Odo6140: That's what I think happened to Kenzie and Gennaro. They became Lehane's crash-test dummies. Well, generally, they DO have to drive the plot at some point. The ineffectual P.I., of course, has a long noble tradition in noir, but noir is hard to sustain well in a series.

MWhite8482: I think Donne more and more will have to push the plot forward... The second half of the 2nd book he really does.

MWhite8482: though he's not a PI anymore so...

Odo6140: Yeah, some characters have to be pushed. I'm looking forward to it. And as a big Lehane fan, what did you think of GONE BABY GONE?

Odo6140: I liked it.

MWhite8482: I loved it, actually. It made me want to go and write.

Odo6140: I thought it was a bit long.

Odo6140: I would have ended it on Angie's line, "There's nothing to say."

MWhite8482: What are you guys reading now? Me too. It was far better than the book. It cut out a lot of the unnecessary crap in the book, but then, I've never thought Lehane was as good as some people do.

Odo6140: I'm reading CRUEL POETRY by Vicki Hendricks.

MWhite8482: ah cool

gentlesavage32: I'm reading NO DOMINION by Charlie Huston

Odo6140: It doesn't have enough plot momentum for me, but I like her writing in general. Me? A romance (shudder) mystery by Elizabeth Lowell for a mystery reading groups at the local B&N. Not very cool, I'm afraid. Then it's back to something more hard-boiled, I hope.

MWhite8482: Okay... I'm reading an ARC of THE GUILTY by Pinter.

Odo6140: How do you like Houston, Christopher? More something new I need to catch up on, or maybe an old pulp book by as research for a book I'm doing.

gentlesavage32: I love his writing. I hope to read THE SHOTGUN RULE next.

Odo6140: Dave chats with him often, I hear.

MWhite8482: I've been emailing back and forth with him. I just finished A Dangerous Man this morning. Network, baby, network.

Odo6140: The hour is up. Thanks, everyone.

MWhite8482: Do what I can. Okay guys, thanks for coming! Thanks for showing up.

gentlesavage32: Thanks Gerald. Thanks Dave. Great chat.


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