Thursday, November 3, 2011

Shelly's Therapy Hour: Dave Farland

Hello everyone. 
Today on the couch we have author Dave Farland, author of Nightingale, which comes out tomorrow, November 4th. Book release time is a stressful time for many authors and I’m never surprised when they come knocking.
Dave, I’m here to help you, OK?

How do I know that you aren't a figment of my imagination?  I mean, this whole world feels so real sometimes, and then at others I see the universe for what it really is--a cockroach scuttling over a corpse.

Lovely way to start off, Dave.
This is going to be a long session.

Anywho, I told my husband that you would visit my couch today, and he said that you were really famous and wrote a New York Times Bestseller. Is that true?

No, I've written several of them. Or at least the voices in my head seem to think so. They're yammering now. Fifty books. Some sold very well. Some won awards.

Wait, did you say fifty books? Fifty? Do you sleep?

I try. Sedation helps. Fatigue helps, too. Work until you drop. Work until you drop. And if you wake? What is life really all about? Work some more. Prove that you live, by working until you drop.

Speaking of sleeping, my husband attended one of your lectures in March. Do you remember him?

Yes, the one with the knife behind his back?  I remember him--that piercing gaze, the malevolent grin.  I could tell that he would have a hot wife. His kind always do. . . .

You have an amazing memory! I hope he didn’t stress you out too much. He only brings knives to things because he says it makes people take him more seriously.

It worked when he proposed.

But seriously, huh, fifty books! **Takes off glasses and rubs eyes** Fifty books! This isn’t just a passing phase is it? What drives you to write?

The need to communicate eloquently, to shape words as an art form, even if only to bestow them upon the wind. . . .  I've been doing it for so long now, so long.

How long?

1973. It was in April, a sunny day. Paul Toups started me doing it. Can I stop? Will death ever give me respite? Or even in death, will my spirit still continue to compose?

I’m not even going to acknowledge that last question.
You’ve been doing this since 1973?!?! Most people who started back then have stopped. The sane ones at least. You know that don’t you? **pretends to look up stats on iPad while really playing Angry Birds**

I don't know most people. There are billions. Some leaving the earth, and more keep coming. How could I know them all.

If my sources are right, 97.7% of writers who started in 1973 have quit writing.

If my sources are right, 97.7% who begin this craft cease to speak. The voices in their heads fall silent, and the lips follow suit.

Yet I keep writing. Nightingales sing at night. Their small voices swell with the rising wind, and they warn against coming storms. I am a nightingale.  I wrote a book called "Nightingale." About a boy like me who is lost. But then aren't we all lost?

The people who sit on my couch are, yes.

Dave, I’m looking over your forms here and it says that you have two names?

I have many names. Some are legal, others are not.

O-kaaay. Well, this paper says Dave Farland and Dave Wolverton.

Dave Wolverton was the name of my youth, though my friends called me Wolf or Caveman. David Farland is the name that I use now. Though I have been called many things. Publisher's Weekly called me "a wizard of storytelling." In the United Kingdom they called me "The King of Fantasy." So am I a wizard, I wonder, or a king? Perhaps I am both, or neither. Perhaps I AM the cockroach scuttling over a corpse.

I’m going to call you King Wiz from now on if that will make you more comfortable.

I can understand you being so embarrassed to be a writer that you would use a fake name. **coughs in hypocrisy**

It is necessary to lie at times. When they put your books down near the floor only to maintain "alphabetical order," well what can you do?

Change your audience to leprechauns?

Alphabetical order is the hobgoblin of little minds. I defeated them all--the booksellers and librarians with the penchant for order!

Way to go, King Wiz. Did you ever consider becoming anything besides a writer?

Yes. When I was a child of eight, a woman once asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. I thought about it, and strung some words together to describe what I wanted to be: "A paleo-biological engineer." She asked what we do, and I told her: "We build dinosaurs." Not now, of course. Someday. Time is such a bother. I wish I could dispense with its linearity. I would build dinosaurs if I could. Instead I am relegated to designing imaginary world, elaborate fantasies. I create nightingales instead.

That scientist guy on Jurassic Park built dinosaurs
but he’s dead.
I’m just sayin’.

Yeah, when I think about it, I think you made the right choice. If you had become a paleo-biological engineer you probably would have ended up a bigger nerd than you are now.

Pat yourself on the back.

That’s an order.

I have done other things. I have designed videogames and scripted movies. I have guarded prisoners and kept society safe. I have run entire companies, and built software to educate children. There may be hope for me yet. I have been considering more lucrative lines of work. Perhaps pizza delivery?

Pizza delivery would make you appear more normal but it doesn’t pay well and you’re married, right?

Indeed, I found a woman who would have me. She is a charitable soul, given to caring for stray cats.

What a saint. Does she get to see the therapist as well? The things you must put her through.

It's terrible being married to someone like me. However, all of her conversations with her therapists are confidential.

I want you to understand that this therapist can’t say the same thing. If my sessions were confidential I wouldn’t have anything to laugh about on facebook.

Tell you what I am going to do for you. I’m not actually licensed to administer counsel, but since you’re paying me, I’m going to give you some advice.
Are you listening?

You were meant to write.
I feel that in my bones.
Dave, Dave, King Wiz, the caveman, keep writing!

But stop telling people that you’re doing it.
If someone asks, you should laugh, and say, “No way! I’m way cooler than that guy.”

Wise counsel. Wise counsel indeed. Are you an elf? Perhaps part of the White Council itself, like Gandalf and Radagast the Brown? "Never go to the elves for council," the voices say, "for they will answer both 'yay' and 'nay.'"

Do I look like an elf?
Wait, do you mean like Keebler elf or like Liv Tyler elf?
I am most definitely a Liv Tyler elf.

It might be time for you to get a new name King Wiz.

A new name, yes, that is what I need. Another pseudonym, something rational and commonplace, to make me fit in. Perhaps . . . Gloriast? Gloriast Profundus, Master Nightingale?!

Wow. Oh my Gentlemen Broncos! **shakes head** That’s all the time for our session today. I’m glad I could help. Now don’t hit your butt on the way out the door.

**watches Dave leave, rings receptionist**

Chad? Is Dave gone? Good. I’m going to need you to bill both Dave Farland AND Dave Wolverton for that. That was a two bill kinda session.

A big thanks to Dave for being such a good sport!

David Farland has just released NIGHTINGALE, the story of a young man, abandoned as a child, who discovers that he's not even human.

"Soon to be a best-selling, award-winning book!" David hopes.  If you don't believe him, just go to and see the cool enhanced novel, with its own soundtrack and illustrations!

Have a book you want to promote? Willing to sit on my couch for it? Email me at shellybrownwriter at gmail


  1. too funny. i'll be keeping my eye out for that book.

  2. LOL Love it! Dave is one terrific writer.

  3. Great interview. You are both hilarious. You should charge for this Shelly :)

  4. 'Fifty books! This isn't just a passing phase is it?'

    Best line ever.

  5. Hey, I don't know if you saw, but I posted my song Summer Snow :) from your poetry schometry blogfest :)

  6. LOL! This is fabulous. Apparently I need to find a way to buy another book without my husband knowing! lol. So glad he needed to sit on your couch today.


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