Wednesday, June 26, 2013

C. David Cannon Interview


I ran into C. David Cannon on twitter and he agreed to share his story with us here at Eye on Ashenclaw. An interesting path surely taken, the journey has brought him here to aid in entertaining and enlightening....

First off, tell us a little bit about you...
I was born in Houston Texas and currently reside in Humble, which is on the outskirts of the city. I am a high school drop - out that was kicked out of my house and placed in a thirty-day mental / drug rehabilitation center at the age of thirteen. After my stint there, I bounced between homelessness and a faith – based foster group home for boys until I was sixteen. At this point, I moved in with a family from the local church the residents of the boy’s home attended. I was able to earn my GED and get a Bachelor’s degree in elementary education. These were tough times for me. I went from work to school to bed. Then, got up and repeated the process again.

Fast - forward fifteen years to now, and I am married with three children. I am a fifth grade teacher of fifteen years and also have a Master’s degree in science instruction. I have always desired to express myself creatively. I was a skateboarder as a teen whose number one goal in life was to travel the country in a Volkswagen Beetle, skating different spots and surviving off the free fry crumbs they would give you at Long John Silver’s. I transitioned from this creative outlet to starting at Junior College as a voice major. When that didn't work out as planned, I looked at the degree plan that would best fit the classes I had already taken. This is how I stumbled blindly into a career in education. As an adult now, I only recently decided to write The Prominence League and pursue its publication to the end if I had to. Fortunately for me, it has worked out so far.

Tell us about your books/What genre do you consider your books?
I consider my books to be middle – grade dystopian fiction. While the text is a bit higher level than most fourth and fifth graders read, they really seem to enjoy them. However, my best feedback has been from adults. My books are quick reads, but are full of indirect and direct ideas hidden just beneath the surface of what I think is also a very entertaining story.

When did you start writing? I only started writing for publication three years ago. However, I have been a writer my whole life. From the voluminous love letters I’d write to my wife when we were in our teens and dating, to the collection of journals and memoirs I've written in faithfully since my youth. I have always been best at communicating via the written word. This has been especially true in light of how I seem to so often put my foot in my mouth when communicating verbally.

Why do you write? My series, The Prominence League is really written to expose my very Libertarian – leaning views to a younger audience. I really liked what one reviewer wrote when they said, “The Prominence League is perhaps a more believable dystopian future than most I have read.” This desire however, has transitioned into a story that I have both fallen in love with, and become madly passionate about. Every word seems to be influenced by some part of my life.

What would be your choice for a superpower?
It would have to be immortality. I am fearful of death as I truly have no idea what it holds. I’d love to think that my consciousness could live on in some way. Even answering this question now makes my heart beat a little faster. Having such a tumultuous upbringing, I struggle everyday with abandonment issues, anger, and insecurity. I hate the thought of not being able to be around for my kids to make sure they don’t suffer the same.

Who is your favorite author? I hate saying Suzanne Collins because I feel like people will think I am shallow because of it. But she is a great writer and the Hunger Games books are amazing stories. I actually only recently read Collins though. I grew up on C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. I got lost in The Chronicles of Narnia, and still re-read from the Lord of the Rings books today.

Fiction aside, nowadays my favorite reads are non-fiction, science related books. I am fascinated by the life sciences and quantum mechanics.

What are you reading now? The Self – Aware Universe: How Consciousness Creates the Material World by Amit Goswami, Ph.D. Yes, I am a science geek now, and am especially excited about the very idea of consciousness. The fact that something we see as immaterial (as in non – matter) actually exists in some substantive form, and has the ability to influence material things is amazing to me. As someone who was programmed with Christian ideology from birth through adolescence, I had walked away from faith altogether until reading some of these ideas. It perplexes me that religious people seem so threatened by them. This is the most spiritual stuff I have ever read.

Who is your favorite character to write? The main character in my series name is Carriane. Yep, she is a sixteen year old girl. When I started writing from a female perspective, it never dawned on me that it could be construed in a weird way. It wasn't until one day at one of my son’s baseball practices that a fellow coach was giving me a good – natured hard time about it, that I realized it was a bit different. I did get embarrassed at first, but now just go with it. I felt like a female would be more introspective and thoughtful about her life. That is why I wrote from her perspective.

Although, this answer has missed the point so far. My favorite character to write is Micah McAdams. Only slightly mentioned until Part Two of the series, Micah is the younger brother of Carriane. He was taken from his family at birth and under false pretense. Now he is forced to fight in brutal spectacles in Community Two. He only speaks when he has to, and says the bare minimum at that. He is quiet, strong, and self – confident. He is everything I wish I was, but am not.

Do you have a writing process? Yes, but I don’t recommend it. It is very disorganized as I scribble down ideas in a journal as soon as they come to me. When I visit schools, I tell the kids that I have started writing maybe eight books or more that haven’t gotten past the third chapter. The Prominence League series is the only one I have ever been passionate enough about to finish.

What advice would you give to an aspiring author? Write frequently and jot down ideas the moment they come to you. Just never try to start a manuscript if you are not passionate about the premise.

What are your favorite TV shows/Movies to watch in between writing?I try not to watch movies or television. I feel like they are designed to control our minds via a group-think mentality. Yes, I can be a whack – job conspiracy theorist. But yes, it is inevitable. I guess my life just isn't interesting enough to avoid them altogether. Once I like a movie, I will watch it over and over again. There are just movies that tend to put me at peace just by having them on in the background. The main one being, The Last Samurai starring Tom Cruise. That plus, I am a fanatic that has memorized every episode of The Office from season one until now. Well, except for this last season. Once Michael Scott (Steve Carrell) left, it just wasn't the same.

What are your current projects?The Prominence League: Part Three is in the works!

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to readers?Buy my books of course! But really, I just want the story to spread. If you can’t pay for them, just email me and I will send you a copy somehow. Follow me on twitter @cdavidcannon. Check out my website at cdavidcannon.com. Like my Facebook pages. And of course, Amazon reviews are greatly appreciated!

Quick Fire:
Cats or dogs? Small Dogs, My Boston Terriers need me for companionship. Whenever I lay down, they nestle right on up.
Coffee or tea? Both – sometimes the acid in coffee is too much, especially if I drank too much wine the night before L
Favorite food? Any form of man – meat J
Vanilla or chocolate ice-cream? Vanilla all the way, gotta be able to put fruit in it.
What are 3 things you never leave home without? Iphone, wallet, kissing my kids goodbye
Laptop or desktop? Desktop - laptops never work out well for me.
Who are 3 famous people you would want to hang out with? Not sure, I kinda feel like meeting any would be awkward anyway.
TV or Movies? TV – I love watching the Astros play baseball!






Please join me and the other amazingly talented authors over @ Skulldust Circle where we have formed a Writer's Circle that must be seen--a collection of brilliant, up & coming independently published speculative fiction authors with much to give both now and in the future!



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