Wednesday Wonders with Damon Ferrell Marbut
You seem to be a popular guy this week. I have seen you being interviewed on a couple of other blogs.
So I Thank you for taking the time to stop by and chat with me here on Wednesday Wonders.
I won’t take up too much of your time, but I know my readers are excited to hear what goes on in that philosophical head of yours. So on to the questions!
Many people don’t like the name they were given at birth. Do you like your given name? If not, what would you rather have been named?
I do like my given name, now, as an adult. As a child I believe my dislike of it was standard because it seemed customary to be fussy about anything that set me apart from others. I railed against mainly sharing my middle name, Ferrell, with my father, who I grew up thinking was a goofball and therefore made me guilty by association. Now, the distinction is what I enjoy. No other Damon Ferrell Marbuts around. I like the names Tristan and Dylan, if I had to choose a different one for myself. But Damon has worked out just fine.
Do you write under your given name or a pseudonym?
I use my full, real name. In graduate school I knocked around the idea of using a pseudonym. Two, actually, because I had a wealth of constant projects in my head that seemed estranged from my core style. A phenomenon, as it turns out, where I was developing in terms of creativity and craft, and I needed to go through those “I should use a pseudonym” phases, which was really just a period of not knowing myself as a writer. Soon enough I recognized I wanted open, honest ownership of my works and not to hide behind a persona. Not that I’m suggesting others are hiding from their work, necessarily. A pseudonym just never, at the end of the day, seemed to fit what I was doing.
Is there a routine you go through before you begin writing?
These days, I get up earlier than the house, make coffee, stretch well, have a quick bite of something small—fruit, usually—and then work until I’m very hungry. And then it’s time for the rest of the day. It really is that simple, and that specific. I’m not always working on something. But these days, sure. That’s my process. Rarely at night do I work with a heavy head. I try to stay accessible to the other aspects of my life which are crucial to my happiness and creative output—exercise, my much more centered and less deranged other half, my friends, music, laughter. Lots of laughter. And that reasonably requires time away from bananas, coffee and keyboards.
Is there anyone you admire?
I admire people who possess a drive toward the perpetuation of contentment in their lives. The drive toward wholeness, too. I look up to those who don’t tear themselves (or others) down for not getting “it” right, regardless of their endeavors. But to target someone with that characteristic, I’d say my big sis is a person I admire with a completeness that, over time, has shocked me into liking myself, or being proud of who I am. I suppose that’s one way we can appraise ourselves, through others, by being genuinely able to admire someone for being a pretty heroic person so naturally, and not resenting them for making it look so damned easy. So, short answer. Lindsey. I admire my sister Lindsey.
What do you like to read?
Philosophy, for the athleticism of it, as well as the language. But fiction, non-fiction, memoir are all favorite genres. I enjoy historical topics, and politics is fine in small doses. Poetry, certainly. My thesis in graduate school was a pretty substandard batch of poems, but I read a lot of good works in the program. I can still spot and argue in defense of good poems. And my poetry has gotten better, thankfully. When I read the poetry of others these days, it’s to see how I can grow as a sometimes-poet, but still get turned on and thrilled by really powerful lines and stanzas. Dorianne Laux and Sharon Olds get to me still, in a wonderful way. And Pablo Neruda makes me feel he’s the only manner in which I’ll ever comprehend love. I guess I’m ok with that. I know I’m not the only one who feels that about Neruda.
Do you have a favorite author?
First thought is Marquez, James Baldwin, Salinger, Olds and Laux from above. Munro’s short stories. Some Kerouac. So no single favorite.
Does it have to be quiet when you write or do you like background noise? TV, music, etc.
Quiet, or nothing gets done. Even the potential for distraction is distracting. So a set environment is important for me.
Beach or mountains?
Mountains. For me, it’s a different sort of grandeur and awe than shorelines and bodies of water. I grew up near the beaches of the Gulf Coast, so perhaps that wonder was spoiled early on.
What inspires you?
The various languages of people and music.
Favorite snack food?
Pizza, without question. There was a Ben and Jerry’s scare in late 2011. But pizza is my reward system.
Doesn’t matter who we are, man, woman, child, all of us get freaked out by something. Spiders, mice, snakes, bugs, geese, etc. What freaks you out?
Public sickness. It may sound like an odd issue to have, especially when you mention bugs or rodents from which to choose. But try working as a bartender on Bourbon Street for two years. You’ll understand.
Damon, I worked in an elementary school for 17 years, I understand, believe me. 🙂
What is the most unusual job you’ve ever had?
Ham glazer at a holiday store in college. No joke. I was the best, too. Leader in color, coverage and timing. I’m sure I could find my old manager and get a confirmation out of him…
I read on another blog, that a writer was working on 10 novels at once. Confusing! Do you work on one or multiple novels at a time?
One at a time. I used to try to pick at multiple works simultaneously when I was first beginning graduate school. But I think that stemmed from 5 years of business school and I was playing catch up. Plus, in honesty, I wasn’t disciplined enough or very patient. So it had to be right now, all or nothing. It was exhausting. But some writers do formulaic pieces almost on a template that can be met and left alone in intervals without suffering in quality or clarity. I respect that.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I read a lot, and bike at the park. I’m also incredibly talented at falling asleep during movies.
And last question…Do you have anything new coming out that you’d like to share with us?
My novel, “Awake in the Mad World”, is my debut novel and It’s available in Apple ibooks and Kobo.
And the Kindle version http://www.amazon.com/Awake-The-Mad-World-ebook/dp/B008HS7MS0
My blog has plenty of information about it. Readers can connect with me there at http://damonferrellmarbut.com/
On Facebook https://www.facebook.com/DamonFerrellMarbut and through Goodreads.
My blog, though, is really intended to be a forum to discuss anything that pertains to writing, publishing, craft and process. I hope it becomes a location for fans to become friends as well.
Damon, Thank you so much for being a part of Wednesday Wonders. I have picked up “Awake In The Mad World” And look forward to reading it. And Thank you to my readers for stopping by! HUGS!
Oh, before I forget, on Monday I found two other blogs that have interviewed Damon, so if you’d like to know even more about him and his novel “Awake In The Mad World” You can find them here