Welcome to WOLF NOTES, where interview questions stray from the rest of the pack. It’s nice to know the usual stuff like where an author gets their inspiration and why they write, but sometimes we need a little fun in our lives.
David Siegel Bernstein, PhD is the author of Blockbuster Science: The Real Science in Science Fiction and the forthcoming mystery novel Poisoned Pawn. His fiction and poetry have been published in numerous print, podcast, and online magazines. His nonfiction has been published in academic journals, newsletters, book chapters, and science fiction magazines.
He also volunteers his time promoting writing and his fellow authors. He serves on the board of directors for the Philadelphia Writers’ Conference. This is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to bring writers together for instruction, counsel, fellowship, and the exchange of ideas. He also leads the Words in Progress writing group—a group dedicated to helping members to improve their writing and publishing skills.
His non-literary projects include: Re-inventing the wheel, the Sisyphus relief project, referring to myself in the third person (as THE David, lest fools confuse him with the other one).
Wolf: I like the last line of your bio. It’s good to have a sense of humor. If you could be any animal in the universe, what would it be and why?
David: Since much of my writing is science fiction and fantasy, I’d have to answer: Space Kraken. Although considered evil by most (misunderstood really), I’d keep all Earth colonies safe. Naturally a few would be fed to me as offerings. That’s fair. Whenever there is an alien invasion, they would have to release the Kraken!
Wolf: Love it. If you had to pick a weapon, what would it be and why?
David: A sharp tongue to cut down my critics… errr, I mean my enemies. As a hidden backup piece, I’d have my wit.
Wolf: Good plan. What is the nicest thing you’ve ever done to your characters?
David: I’ve kept my main characters meaningfully employed. Their fictional paychecks keep on rolling in. I remember for one character I provided a touch of insanity. It made him much more interesting—though not much of a people person, but he was happy.
Also, when it has fit into the story (never gratuitously) I provided a merciful death. My latest novel is a mystery with a fair number of victims. I was easy on the ones I liked.
Wolf: Remind me not to get on your bad side. What is the meanest thing you’ve ever done to your characters?
David: A merciless death. Another cruel thing I’ve done on rare occasions is to make them two-dimensional.
Wolf: I think that is the cruelest thing you can do to a character. While walking in the woods you come across…
David: A car to take me out of the woods.
Wolf: I take it you aren’t much of an outdoors person. How about this? There is a door at the end of a dark, damp corridor. You hear rumbling. What do you do?
David: Turn around and leave! I’d come back with a new lightbulb and dehumidifier for the hall and a new drum for the washer to stop the rumbling.
Wolf: You must have read the same story I did. What five items would you want to have in a post-cataclysmic world?
David: A suicide pill; I’d only need one.
Wolf: That is sad. What was left of the world would miss your wit. What story are you working on now?
David: I’m scribing the next book of the Caleb Jacobs series. Poisoned Pawn, the first book in the series, is hitting the market this November. I am also working on a couple of new science fiction short stories. One will challenge the reality of characters. It may turn out a few of them are fictional. The other story is a space adventure.
Wolf: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
David: I enjoy interviews with very nice bloggers.
Wolf: Thank you. If you were stranded on a deserted island and only had one book, what would you want it to be?
David: I’d choose War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. It would be the only time I’d be able to get through it.
Wolf: Great answer. Connect more with David through these links: