How I got started writing

Written By: bookmark

Pete David, Author


My creativity probably stems from my father, who I sensed always desired to write fiction, but unfortunately never had the opportunity before he died at the way-too early age of 58. Despite spending most of his professional career in the insurance business and voting Republican (he and my liberal mom always cancelled each other out with their votes), my dad had a great sense of humor. He did dabble in writing—whole comedy skits submitted to the Johnny Carson show, eliciting no interest except for a polite rejection letter.  While unemployed in 1974, my father decided the country needed a series of humorous bumper stickers, and proceeded to invest his savings accordingly. Needless to say, the large packs of bumper stickers remained unopened and neglected in our basement storage room, and such timely phrases as “Pardon Nixon, Impeach the Nation” didn’t catch on in a country already saturated with pundit jokes related to the unfortunate resignation of our 37th President.

As I entered my 50’s, still in excellent health and of sound mind, the thought of writing a novel and perhaps fulfilling my father’s dreams appealed to me in a very profound way. The challenge didn’t come until my wife and I listened to Carl Hiassen’s Skinny Dip on CD as we drove to Tucson during a Christmas break in 2007. I had read several of Mr. Hiassen’s books, primarily because we previously lived in Florida and although not literary gems, the stories at least provided some entertainment by poking fun at the eccentric behavior and absurd actions us Florida residents knew only too well. Adding to the incentive to read, or in this case hear the story, was the fact that the main protagonist, Chazz Perrone, the corrupt marine scientist (what those of us in the business termed a “biostitute”) worked for the South Florida Water Management District, an agency that employed me for 17 years, and where I met my wife Carolyn. The book’s narrative ended on the return trip about the time we hit Arizona’s White Mountains, and I turned to my wife and said, “I can write better than that,” which triggered the now infamous retort, “well why don’t you.” So, if I ever sell any books, I will have to include a dedication to Carl at some point (although I’m sure he won’t buy one of my books now that I trashed one of his) for providing me the incentive to record my creative ramblings.

Pete1There are many reasons people write. For me, it’s a creative outlet that let’s me escape from the realities of the world news filled with stories of rape, suicide, famine, pestilence, climate change, mass species extinction, religious conflict, and flashing across the computer screen as I write this, the story of a young man who walked into an elementary school in Connecticut and killed 20 children. Therefore, writing takes me away from the ugliness in the world, and it’s cheaper than taking drugs.

People ask me how I come up with the stories, but it’s difficult to explain. The idea for my second book, L.A. Confrontational, arrived as a dream the night before I attended some meetings with the Bureau of Land Management in Carlsbad, so go figure …

Anyway, I’ll sign off for now, but thanks for listening, or reading.