An interview with the ebullient David Watts is always something to cherish. From the astounding beauty of his writing, one must believe that he is one of the writers we can truly call talented. His new book, “The Lucifer Connection,” is currently riding high on the bestseller charts, and this interview will explain how that so very popular book came to be. This interview is frank, fascinating and free to read. Read on…
Which books have most influenced your life?
The Web of Life, Frost’s Collected Poems, The Great Gatsby, Siddhartha, Jack Gilbert’s Collected Poems, Catch 22, Uncle Remus, The Alphabet vs. The Goddess, To Kill a Mockingbird, Doctor Zhivago, West Side Story, The Cherry Orchard, Ol’ Man Adam and His Children.
How did you research your latest book?
By living it. Well, at least part of it. Here’s the deal. I was in San Francisco during the Summer of Love. Because of my job as a medical intern, my participation was limited to attending a few Bill Graham rock concerts, walking Haight Street to mingle with the colorful crowds there and occasionally dancing along with the other wild people in the park. Enough to get the flavor, to pick up the vibe, so to speak, which, along with some reading about specific names and places of the time, about did it. The trick is, of course, to place inside a carefully-made authentic environment a compelling group of characters on an exciting journey. That’s what makes it interesting.
Tell us about this new book. What is the overall story?
Hero gets knocked off his horse by getting blamed for a death. Police botch the investigation. Boy meets girl. Boy calls upon an old, crazy as hell friend, and they set out to save the day. Lots of danger. Some smart planning. Chemistry.
Do you prefer writing about the heroes or the villains?
Ah, that is the question. Mostly the heroes are visible. The villains. . . that’s another story. Because they lurk, they are more interesting. So to make it right we have to include a little villain in the hero as well. Isn’t that more like life? We do find some interesting villains in this book, but I do not guarantee that we find them all.
A good villain is hard to write. How did you approach writing your villains?
They have to have at least two sides. Maybe more than two. No one is all bad. What makes a villain seductive is the ability to charm. One cannot charm without a personality that recognizes and has participated in the good side of life. Like Lucifer, the Fallen Angel, himself.
What real-life inspirations did you draw from for your book? Are any of your characters people you know?
A writer’s characters are always people he/she knows. Not exclusively, of course, much gets mixed in. I myself am in the book in certain ways. Others are people I know whom I’ve idealized for the purpose of character enrichment. But they are real, even if they are not.
Where do you think the book is heading? Is it dying or growing?
By leaps and bounds, growing. Every time we release something, the sales peak. Reviews are mostly 5-Star. There’s a buzz on. Hollywood’s even interested. If that happens. . . you know the rest.
Can you see your series turned into a TV series or movie?
I wrote the book with that in mind. You will see that it is highly visual and the dialogue fits well to a screen adaptation. Characters are ones you love to love or love to hate. This could last a long time.
Did you learn anything from writing this book and what was it?
How really hard it is to write a f—ing book. I did at least five drafts before the final one. But like the artist who keeps going back to the museum where his exhibit is hanging carrying a paintbrush in his hand, there is always something to be added or subtracted. The problem is deciding when to kick it out the door.
Is there a message in your novel that you hope readers will grasp?
Friendship. Generosity of spirit. Staying ahead of evil with courage and intelligence.
If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be?
I’ve done several careers: music, television, radio, acting, medicine. They’ve all helped me to be a better author and a better person. I suppose I’d just fall back on the bevy of careers I’ve already done. But that’s hypothetical. This is working.
Jack Barnstone is an outside-the-box, motorcycle-riding physician who, finding himself in two kinds of trouble, leaves Texas to start a solo practice near Chinatown in San Francisco. When a patient walks in his office with an undiagnosed mortal illness Barnstone’s life changes forever. Finding himself in deeper trouble than ever he must work his way through a malpractice suit, the mistrust of his colleagues and the suspicions of the San Francisco police in order to vindicate himself. Since he has arrived in San Francisco just at the start of the Summer of Love to pursue his quest he has to learn the inner workings of Hippie culture, the sinister workings of the Satanic Church while he is dodging the unpredictable actions of the San Francisco Police. With help from his new Hippie girlfriend and an old flagrantly gay East Indian assistant coroner he discovers why the case was so difficult to solve, confronts the perpetrator and stumbles upon a well-hidden and sinister web of criminal activity. Download your copy today from Amazon.