Today’s guest, Essence magazine bestselling author, D.T. Pollard, has authored several books and is a member of the Authors Guild. His first novel The Trophy Wife Network was published in April 2006 followed by Rooftop Diva: a novel of triumph after Katrina in September 2006. Fool’s Heaven is his third novel. Rooftop Diva made the Essence bestselling hardcover extended list in October 2007.
Shelagh: Please tell us a little about yourself, D.T.
D.T.: I was born and raised in a small rural town in northeast Texas. I am the youngest of nine children. After High School I attended college in Florida on a scholarship to business school. I now live near Dallas, Texas with my wife and we have one adult son.
Shelagh: When did you first begin writing and what did you write?
D.T.: I started writing fiction stories in junior high school. I used to get a series called the weekly reader during summer break and also read the Reader’s Digest. We had an old copy of Aesop’s Fables and I real enjoyed reading those stories.
When you started writing, what did you set out to accomplish? Is there a message in your books?
D.T.: I stopped writing in college and started back after almost thirty years. I really wanted to finally complete a book and found myself playing off actual events as a basis to my fiction writing. I wanted to understand the book and publishing business. After understanding some of the quirks of the business, I wanted to publish my books under a publishing company that I owned. I wanted readers to feel what I wrote and have it connect to their real life experiences. My books tend to have a theme of perseverance of the main characters in my fiction work. My nonfiction work deals with political and social issues in the world.
Shelagh: Briefly tell us about your latest book. Is it part of a series or stand-alone?
D.T.: Obama Guilty of Being President while Black is an examination of the roots of racial hatred towards President Barack Obama in his own country after winning a decisive electoral victory. This book has elicited sharp reactions by the very title and I feel it will meet my expectations to generate conversations on an issue few like to bring up in America.
Shelagh: What’s the hook for the book?
D.T.: There is not much of a hook beyond the title and reality of what has taken place with protests and disrespectful behavior towards the President. Some of the language has been close to incitement to carry out violence.
Shelagh: How do you develop characters and setting in your books?
D.T.: I develop characters through event driven revelation of appearance, mannerisms, speech patterns and morals. I often use settings that I am very familiar with and get into details that I can describe to a level that allows the reader to feel that they may know where they are.
Shelagh: Who is your favorite character?
D.T.: After four fiction books my favorite character is Monique Devareaux. Monique is the main character that survived Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Louisiana and I want to do something else with her in the future. My most unusual character is in my next work to come out as an epic poem and he is a supernatural being.
Shelagh: Do you have specific techniques to help you maintain the course of the plot?
D.T.: My main technique is making sure events make sense in the time line.
Shelagh: Do you have a specific writing style or preferred POV?
D.T.: My main style is to create a strong hook on the first page of the book. I like third person omniscient as a point of view.
Shelagh: How does this style influence your writing?
D.T.: I tend to write in a gritty, real-world style without a lot of curbing of what would happen in reality in order to soften it for political correctness.
Shelagh: Share with us the best review that you’ve ever had.
D.T.: March 29, 2008 By The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers:
“Mike Robertson amused his parents when at the age of twelve he inquired about the Bible and told them he wanted to preach. They indulged his request thinking it was just a passing fancy. When at fifteen he started preaching at the church of his minister friend, they were astounded at his abilities and equally shocked when approached for permission to allow Mike to travel and preach at tent revivals. It was on this circuit Mike met Janice and their romance ensued. He was fifteen; she was nineteen. He was white; she was black. Despite the racial climate of 1970s Texas, their parents gave permission for them to marry.
Mike’s true calling was the ministry and he had accepted positions at several churches as he grew as a minister. Some churches were accepting of the young energetic preacher with a black wife; others were not. His pastor suggests he move to Dallas where the people will be more receptive of his interracial marriage. The move to Dallas was good for them as their ministry, family and love grew. With that growth, it did not take long for Mike to become the pastor of a mega-church. With this increased responsibility, the presence of lust, greed and threats from haters arose.
FOOL’S HEAVEN is a true and gritty depiction of the reality of life behind the pulpit. Pollard does an excellent job developing Mike and Janice’s characters. They are likeable, yet real individuals trying to live and love right. Despite the opposition of being an interracial couple in the south, their industrious attitude, love for each other and for God carries them through. A great read.”
Reviewed by Paula Henderson (RAW Rating: 4.5)
Shelagh: What are your current projects?
D.T.: My next release is an epic poem unless something else grabs my interest.
Shelagh: Where can folks learn more about your books and events?
D.T.: My website: http://DTPollard.com