Interview with David Huffstetler, Author of Blood on the Pen
Educated in Dallas, North Carolina, David Huffstetler holds degrees in Engineering and Business Administration. He has worked in the area of human relations and spent fourteen years weaving through the maze of politics, including participating in a Federal Law suit as Chairman of the Workers’ Compensation Commission, with a sitting governor over issues of separation of powers. David has served on Boards of Directors for numerous professional organizations including Crime Stoppers, SC Workers’ Compensation Educational Association, SC Safety Council, the SC Fire Academy, and the Governor’s Advisory Committee on Workers’ Compensation. He has advised governors and legislators on matters of public policy and legislation. His wealth of experience is broad and brings deep insight to his writing.
David’s work as a senior manager with a major industrial concern took him to international venues and exposures that helped feed his urge to write Disposable People, a dramatic expose of the working conditions and politics that engulf undocumented workers. Disposable People is a top-ten “Suggested Book” at Tufts University in Boston, MA.
He turned the frustrations and rejection that plagues thousands of yet-to-be-published authors into the heralded mystery/thriller Blood on the Pen, with a serial killer disposing of literary agents. David, an avid history buff, led him to write Dead in Utah, the story of Joe Hill, the controversial musician and union organizer accused of a double murder in 1914. His books receive praise from mystery readers across the globe.
As an editor, David edited a treatise on the South Carolina workers’ compensation laws, as well as, Shannon Faulkner’s novel Fire and Ice. Shannon was the first female cadet at the Citadel. She received national publicity for her federal lawsuit and was a guest on Good Morning America. As an editor, public speaker, and seasoned professional, David has appeared on television and radio, and has lectured on the East Coast, California, Canada and Mexico.
David currently lives in Lexington, South Carolina with his wife, Trudy.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in several places, all in North Carolina. My earliest memory is of Lexington, watching our dog being hit by a car. As you might guess, my siblings blamed it on me, and they may have been right. I spent several years in Winston-Salem, the most progressive city of my childhood. Then we moved to a textile town, Gastonia. Even when living in the same city, I remember a lot of moves.
Do you write during the day, at night, or whenever you can sneak a few moments?
If I only have a few moments, then I make notes on ideas or concepts for the story, maybe even describe a character. I need time to write, because I get caught up in the plot and lose track of time. I sit down with a cup of coffee and, when I look up, the coffee is gone or is cold, and it’s three hours later. Sometimes the day has gone from afternoon to evening.
Who is your favorite character from the book?
Hard to say, but the most fun to write about was Moses Browner, the Deputy Medical Examiner. He’s the smartest guy in the book, and he has a unique personality, always reminding people that he is a doctor and fastidious about his personal preferences, like chicory in his coffee. Do you have an agent or are you looking for one?
Many authors can relate, when I say no agent wanted me. We face that dilemma that major publisher only accept submissions from agents, and agents only want to represent someone who has been published. Now that I have some publishing credits, I may look into an agent in the future, but I’m not in a hurry.
Was the road to publication smooth sailing or a bumpy ride?
Oh, everyone has an easy time getting published, and, if you believe that, I have a bridge to sell. I suffered through the same rejections and form letters that most other authors do. Signing that first contract is very rewarding, but there is a price to pay before you get there.
Do you have a website or blog where readers can find out more?
My website is http://www.davidhuffstetler.com/. It has information about all my books, reviews, and some personal information. I hope people like it. I also have a blog, but I confess to being a poor blogger.
What is up for you next?
The second book in the series, Blood on the Cards, should be released later this year. We are about to begin the edits on it. Like Blood on the Pen it is being published by Wild Child Publishing, and it will start as an ebook. The final book in the series is Blood on the Badge, but I don’t expect to see that one published until 2012. I am working on the manuscript for Thread of Life, the story of nine-year-old boy whose elderly, billionaire father is murdered. Yes, I said elderly father, and that is part of the plot.
Jack Harden is a modern-day Texas Ranger haunted by his wife's death a year ago.
But when a murderer strikes, he is called into duty. Now he must battle the urge to kill the drunk driver responsible for her death and the hunger to kill himself as he hunts for a serial killer who wants him dead.
Elsie Rodriguez is assigned to report on the murders for her newspaper and ordered to stay with Jack Harden. He's old school, tough, and doesn't want her there, but, despite his gruff manner, the big Ranger triggers something inside her. Something more than just her Latin temper.
Can she pull him back from the edge of sanity? Or will death win again?