Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Up Close & Personal with DANA GRIFFIN Author of COERCED and THE COVER UP

    I am so excited today to have Dana Griffin on my blogsite. Dana is the author of two chilling novels THE COVER UP and COERCED which I completely enjoyed reading.  I've put together a few questions so we can get to know Dana and his writing a bit better. Here's Dana Griffin!

1.       Writers. Authors. Creative spirits. Why do we do it? Why write?
Do the questions get any easier as we go along? Hmmm… I can’t speak for other writers/authors, but sometimes feel I am a medium that creative spirits chose to tell their story. I never grew out of that game we played as children called, “Let’s pretend.” Writing satisfies that need to continue acting out my fantasies. Or, the fantasies my muse surfaces in my head.   
2.       Kyle Masters. Your protagonist in your first two novels THE COVER UP & COERCED. Who is he and how did he come about? How much of Kyle Masters is really you?
Hang on. That’s three questions at the same time. I guess the questions don’t get easier.
In The Cover-Up, Kyle’s marriage of sixteen years has begun to coast along with no surprises or romance. His teenage son has a life that seldom interacts with his father’s. So Kyle buries himself in his work hoping to find the satisfaction he’s missing in his personal life.
Kyle can’t accept evidence that points to corruption affecting the safety of airline flights. In Kyle’s case, he has to take matters into his own hands because others want to bury their corruption. Because of what he experiences in both books, Kyle learns to appreciate and cherish those close to him.
Kyle and I are similar in that we both abhor influential individuals or organizations that feel they’re above the law or common decency. We both can immerse ourselves into our work and ignore the people in our lives. We both try to see the good in people and lifeand enjoy humor in our lives. I used to have a job similar to Kyle’s. Where we differ is Kyle is more tenacious than I am.
3.       As a professional pilot for many years, you obviously have experience in the world you write about. Where do your ideas come from? Actual scenarios? Fabrication? 
Psst… Don’t tell anyone, but they’re real life experiences that have happened to me. Just kidding.
Prior to writing The Cover-Up, I had a routine check by an FAA inspector who didn’t say much while observing my flight. During the flight I wondered what he’d do if I made a decision he disagreed with and voiced his opinion. What if I followed his advice and it caused an accident. What would the FAA do? I ran with that idea and The Cover-Up came into being.
In January of 2014 the U.S. airlines will have to adhere to new rules governing flight crew duty and rest that came about because of the Colgan Airlines accident in Buffalo, NY. The airlines and their lobby group, Airlines for America, fought hard to oppose a rule change. I ruminated on just how far they’d go to prevent the change if there was another incident or accident in which crew fatigue was a contributing factor. Thus, Coerced was born.
So, the short answer is my ideas are fabrication based on industry knowledge that I’ve blown up for literary fun.
4.       For some reason, people want to know… your habitat...your writerly habits?
Don’t touch anything on my mess of a desk. It may look like chaos, but I know where everything is.
I like to write with popular music playing for the first draft. During the editing process, I need quiet so I can hear the words in my head. My wife reads a lot of the story aloud to me so I can hear the flow of the words I might miss if reading on my own.
Since I travel a lot, I write in hotel rooms, or in the terminal between flights. During Coerced, I wrote some of the first draft longhand while riding as a passenger on flights. I find writing longhand cumbersome, but I can put actual words to a scene in my head rather than waiting when I can type it.
When home I try to write in the morning. When I’m traveling, I sit at my laptop whenever I’m not flying.
5.       Self-promotion, marketing and selling books. What’s your approach?
This is the part of being an author I love/hate. I’d prefer to spend my time dabbling at another story, instead of tweeting or posting on Facebook, or looking for another group that’ll promote or review my books. Yet at the same time, I’ve become acquainted with people, such as you, who I wouldn’t have if I didn’t self-promote on social media.
To answer the question, I really don’t have an approach. I tweet my books, and those of supportive authors, on Twitter and Facebook and post reviews of books I’ve read on my website and Goodreads. I took a break while finishing Coerced, but I post on my website interviews of characters from novels I’ve enjoyed. I hope the reader of the interview might discover my books that way. Look for an interview of Sami Saxton soon.
6.       Share your writerly dreams?
The ultimate dream is every airport book store I walk into I’ll see my books on their shelves.
7.       If you could describe your creative writing in four words, what would those words be?
Only four? Sheez! Vibrant, thought-provoking, engrossing, I-wish-as-good-as-Douglas-Wickard’s. (Thank you for that!) Does the last word count as one since it was hyphenated?
Drumming fingers.
Fun, engaging, exciting, worthwhile.  (I agree with all those!)
8.       As indie authors, we self-publish and wait…what do you wait for?
The royalty payment. No, seriously, to hear someone read my story and enjoyed it.
9.       The editing process. When do you know the book is finished?
Are they ever finished? Isn’t there always a better way to write a sentence, or align a plot point that could be emphasized better, or show characters’ personality in a more illuminating way?
When I’ve brought the plot to a logical conclusion, the sentences are worded correctly, and I’m debating if a character should frown, or quirk an eyebrow, then it is done.
10.   What’s next?
I’ve begun the research for another novel that will have an airline accident Kyle and Lori will investigate. The parties involved (the airline, the FAA, the aircraft manufacturer) try to limit their portion of the cause by exposing the other parties’ culpability. The working title is, A Calamity.

Thank you, Douglas. I appreciate the opportunity to tell others about my books and writing process. Readers of your blog can find out more about me at my Or follow me on Twitter: friend me on Facebook: My books can be purchased at Amazon:

Dana, thank you. All the best to you and to your success. I can't wait to see your books at every airport as well. I tried uploading some photos of your books and a photo of you, but for some reason it wouldn't upload, so folks, please use the links above.