Monday, March 26, 2012

Exclusive Interview with Dave Custance, Author of “Sammy Knows It All: Singing Through Adversity”

How did you get the idea for Sammy Knows It All?
I was inspired to write this book while my sister Wendy was in the hospital in the ICU after a routine “outpatient” surgery had serious complications, and she had to be revived on the operating table. My grandmother and I spent almost three weeks at the hospital hoping for her recovery, and I spent a lot of time reflecting on my sister’s life and on our childhood. I realized that she really had an incredible life, full of obstacles and adversity, yet she has always been the most positive and inspiring person you’ll ever meet. This prompted me to write her story, which proved to be a very inspirational tale about an amazing girl who’s lived an incredible life. The story also includes many funny stories from our childhood and shows how truly special our brother-sister relationship is.

Is this your first book? If not, what else have you written?
Yes, this is my first book. I started another book about eight or nine years ago to help young boys cope with life who are growing up in a household without a dad or some male figure in their life, but I never finished it. Maybe now that I have a completed book under my belt, it’s time to dust it off and finish it.

When did you start writing? Do you have any advice for beginning writers?
I started writing stories in elementary school and, in fact, I recently came across some of the stories I wrote as a young boy that my mom had saved all these years. (I’m 49 now.) English and Journalism were always my favorite subjects in school.

As for advice for beginning writers... All I can say is that it has never been easier for a writer to write a book, publish it, and promote it than it is today. You can either do it yourself, as I am trying to do, or you can find all the help you need through the internet. My best advice is “Don't get discouraged by all of the naysayers out there who talk about how hard it is to get your books in bookstores or to get reviews, etc. It’s not hard at all... It just takes some serious footwork.”

Why did you decide to write a book in this genre?
I decided to write this book to honor my sister, with the hopes that someday she might be able to do what she loves best, which is make people laugh and help them feel better when they’re having a tough time. She is now on medical disability and cannot hold down a job. I think that if Ellen or Oprah or Rosie get a hold of this book, they might want to have Wendy on their show, and it will give her some purpose in her life. I also have visions of she and I doing a book-signing tour all over the country. This would get her out of the house and give her some excitement in her life again.

Do you plan on writing any future books?
Of course! This has been a fantastic experience, and I’m learning more about the whole process every day. My hope is that I can eventually do this for a living and become a full-time writer, which has been my dream ever since I was little.

Do you have a website? How can we order this book?
The website is www.sammyknowsitall.com, but it is really rough and I created it myself simply as an avenue for people to order the book. It needs a lot of work, which I plan to do soon. So far, the website is the only way to purchase the book.

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