Hello Don! Glad you dropped by for a visit. First tell us which author you would never get tired of and why.
Don: For years I’ve said John Steinbeck was my favorite, and that’s still true. There’s such a realism in his characters, and the problems they are thrown into are such that you cannot help but care and want to know what happens next. If you’re only familiar with his novels, I’d encourage anyone to pick up his short stories. There is so much depth there. And when he wants to be funny (e.g. Cannery Row), he succeeds wonderfully while still giving a dignity to his characters. As much as I love his fiction, his classic Travels with Charlie will always be one of my top picks, giving us a delightfully colorful view of average Americans throughout the continent, anywhere his truck and camper could go, with his faithful poodle (Charlie) by his side.
A classic author indeed with wonderful characters, both good and evil. Speaking of bad guys and gals, who is your favorite fictional villain?
Don: A couple stand out for me. I like Professor Moriarty, not necessarily for who he is, but for how Sherlock Holmes considers him. We really don’t see much of Moriarty in Dr. Doyle’s stories, but we hear the detective talking about him so much, building him up as some kind of evil omnipresence that is somehow connected with nearly all the crime that occurs in London. And Holmes doesn’t hate him so much as he admires him as a cunning adversary. The other villain would most certainly be Professor Weston who appears in the first two volumes of C.S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy. (Coindidentally, Weston is also the name of a real-life antagonist in William Bradford’s story about the Pilgrims). But in Lewis’ second book in particular (Perelandra), he gives us such an insight into the character of evil that is both fascinating and horrifying in its depiction of the selfishness and pyschopathic nature of the corruption that comes from a heart that is totally devoid of anything good and godly. As the author of The Screwtape Letters, Lewis has thought much about the nature of evil and how it fits in, not only with Christian theology, but with everyday life.
I love reading Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and C.S. Lewis! There’s some great villains in their stories. Now tell me something about your writing. What project are you currently working on?
Don: Now that my non-fiction book is done, A Plymouth Pilgrim, I’m picking up on a fiction project I started over ten years ago. The Doll-man is a novel set in the fruited valleys of Eastern Washington state in the early 1950’s. The story revolves around Jesse, a silent and mysterious young man who lives in a world of his own, unable to communicate, but with the seeming ability to make dolls comes to life. Children are drawn to him, and adults are leery of him. John Page, a church pastor, takes Jesse into his home, which intensifies the conflicts which already exist between him and key church and community leaders. Having spent some time in the orchard country of Washington state years ago, I admit that I’m reminiscing quite a bit as I write this novel. It is a beautiful area, and a perfect setting for the novel.
It sounds like a fascinating concept for a story, Don. Thanks so much for the visit. If you’d like a chance to win a copy of Don’s book, A Plymouth Pilgrim, please leave a comment.
A Plymouth Pilgrim
You’ve heard about the Pilgrims, but have you read the original true story? Here is the dramatic story of the Plymouth Pilgrims as told by an eyewitness to their lives: their persecutions, secret meetings, angry negotiations, religious disputes, savage storms, kidnaping and sabotage, fear and faith, and their desperate struggle to survive. This is William Bradford’s own story—the Plymouth Pilgrim thrust into the leadership of a struggling colony. His 400-year-old story is now carefully paraphrased for twenty-first century readers.
Don White is a writer, artist, and longtime church minister from the Northwest. Born and raised in Washington state, he holds graduate degrees from Pepperdine University and Abilene Christian University. He is a member of Oregan Christian Writers (OCW), and was awarded the OCW Cascade Award for short fiction. When he is not writing, he enjoys fine arts, woodworking, and rummanging through stacks of old musty books at thrift shops and yard sales. His favorite reading includes good short stories like those of Bret Lott, Flannery O’Connor, and John Steinbeck. His wife Cheri is an oncology nurse and they enjoy living in the high desert of Southern Oregon. He has recently published his non-fiction book, A Plymouth Pilgrim: William Bradford’s Eyewitness Account of the Mayflower Passengers, which can be found at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Find out more about Don and his writing on his website: http://www.donaldwaynewhite.com