About D. James Smith
Q. Previous occupations
A. truck loader, cashier, teacher.
Q. Favorite job
A. squirrel feeder
Q. High school and/or college
A. In California at the state college here.
Q. Name of your favorite composer or music artist?
A. Miles Davis
Q. Favorite movie
A. The Godfather
Q. Favorite television show
A. Seinfield reruns
Q. How would you describe your life in only 8 words?
A. My life is busy, challenging, interesting and meaningful.
Q. What is your motto or maxim?
A. Everyday be of service to others and yourself.
Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?
A. I can't imagine perfect happiness. I do like a good book, a fire, and a dog curled up at my feet.
Q. What’s your greatest fear?
A. To lose a sense of wonder about the world.
Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
A. My home.
Q. With whom in history do you most identify?
A. All the unknowns who just got up each day and did the right thing without making it into history.
Q. Which living person do you most admire?
A. A firiend I have who is fighting for her life against an illness.
Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?
A. In conversation, "Really."
Q. What do you regret most?
A. Not having more time to write
Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
A. To play the guitar.
Q. What is your greatest achievement?
A. To accept chronic illness and continue to be creative in spite of it, and perhaps, because of it..
Q. What’s your greatest flaw?
A. To stick with something past any reason.
Q. What’s your best quality?
A. To stick with a project until it is done and has prevailed.
Q. If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?
A. My beastly appearanc: old, bullet-headed, one eye squinted. And my absurd sense of humor.
Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?
A. I don't think I have a favorite.
Q. Who is your favorite fictional villain?
A. Captain Ahab in Moby Dick. He is not exactly a villian. More a victim of his obsessions. Though others suffer because of it.
Q. If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
A. I'd like to meet St. Peter and ask if the apostles told jokes and what would have been an example of one? Surely these young Jewish guys in dire straits had to have used humor. Just as surely the literary sensibility of the day would not have seen it as helpful to getting out a message that was deadly serious.
Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?
A. Getting caught with too many deadlines.
Q. What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
A. Playing with and "training" my Pit Bull-Dachshund cross, Lil' Big Dog.
Q. What’s your fantasy profession?
A. Elephant trainer.
Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
A. Authentisity, generousity of heart, and the kind of massive humility guys like myself have.
Q. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
A. Mac 'n Cheese sandwiches
Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?
A. These change all the time. Today I was humming, Blue Skies/Falling around me
On Books and Writing
Q. Who are your favorite authors?
A. Larry Levis, John Steinbeck, William Faulkner, Herman Melville, Walt Whitman, Pablo Neruda....
Q. What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
A. Winter Stars, Tortilla Flat, Moby Dick, For Whom The Bell Tolls, The Avenue Bearing The Initials of Christ into the New World. These are five of the top 50 of all time.
Q. Is there a book you love to reread?
A. WInter Stars by Larry Levis
Q. Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?
A. Put in the time at your desk practicing your craft.
Q. What comment do you hear most often from your readers?
A. The kids in your books are funny and get to do a lot of roaming around that I don't get to do.