DJ Swykert is a former 911 operator writing fiction. His work has appeared in: The Tampa Review, Monarch Review, Sand Canyon Review, Zodiac Review, Scissors and Spackle, Spittoon, Barbaric Yawp and BULL. Children of the Enemy, a novel from Cambridge Books. Alpha Wolves, a novel by Noble Publishing. You can find him on the blogspot: www.magicmasterminds.com. He is a wolf expert.
1. When did you know you wanted to be a writer? What were some of your first steps toward making your dream a reality?
I don’t believe I ever thought about it in terms of a career. I had a good reading aptitude when I was young and liked reading adventure stories. The first thing I ever wrote was a poem to a potential girlfriend as a teenager. It wasn’t very successful, she went off to college and I never saw her again. I started many manuscripts over the years, but the first one I wrote to completion was Children of the Enemy. It then sat in a trunk for almost two decades before I found a publisher for it.
2. What 3 adjectives best describe you?
I’m curious, honest, and a realist.
3. Tell us about your books. Genre, titles, any favorite characters? What can we look forward to from you in the near future? WIP’s, upcoming releases
Children of the Enemy is in the crime genre, a brutal story about the Detroit drug business. I like the anti establishment hero Ray in the story, he’s a bit of an underworld version of Dirty Harry.
Alpha Wolves was written a decade ago, it’s a historical romance and sequel to an earlier book, Maggie Elizabeth Harrington, which is out of print. It deals with two of my favorite themes, romance and animal intelligence. Maggie acquires a wolf, and a husband, in the story.
The Death of Anyone is a love story and mystery about two Detroit Homicide Detectives searching for a killer of young girls. It’s a mystery, but the relationship of the two detectives is a big part of the story.
How do your values show up in your writing? What do you want readers to take from your writing?
No matter how carefully we disguise it there is always a portion of ourselves in our protagonists. My own beliefs, though veiled, are apparent in the major characters in my stories.
4. What do you look for in a good book?
I like books with a conclusive ending. I want a story I learn something from. I like books that thoroughly explore the characters as much as the conflict they are trying to resolve.
5.What are some of the best social media, marketing, and publicity tips you've come across?
First, write a good book, tell a good story. I think for building a platform the best source are book blogs. It will take time, but if you have a good story and get it front of readers, eventually you’ll build a following.
About the book:
Alpha Wolves is a historical story about a woman in love with two men who is faced with the reality she must choose between them. The story is set in Central Mine, a remote copper mining village in 1900’s northern Michigan. Maggie Harrington lives a quiet life where you can hear the wind without interruption, until Tommie Stetter comes back into her life.
The book is available at: www.nobleromancepublishing and www.amazon.com. You can read an excerpt of the book there, or on my website www.magicmasterminds.com