Interview with writer David L. Faucheux

Writer
David L. Faucheux is here
with me to chat about his memoir, Across
Two Novembers: A Year in the Life of a Blind Bibliophile.
During
his virtual book tour, David will be awarding a library edition audio book (US
only) to a lucky randomly drawn winner, or if an international winner, a $15
Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card (winner’s choice). To be entered for a
chance to win, use the form below.
To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit his other tour stops
and enter there, too!
Welcome,
David. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m
pleased to take a moment to talk about myself and what makes me tick. I’d have
to say books, books, and more books. Let me explain. Braille and recorded books
take me places and show me things I would otherwise never get to encounter. They
see for me by their descriptions, their vivid word pictures, and lyrical prose.
They befriend me when I’m lonely, educate me when I’m curious, and amuse me
when I’m in a blue mood. I have always known I could pick up a book and for a
time be in a better or at least A different place. Books don’t judge, ignore, or
marginalize us. I remember long, hot, Louisiana summers that were perfect for
curling up with a good book. I have had to struggle some nights to put the book
away because I’d not be able to get up for work the next morning. That’s being
a bit too biblioholic.
I
have worked as a medical transcriptionist and braille instructor. I attended
library school in the late 1990s when the Internet was starting to take off. I
ran an audio blog for several years. I have also served on the board of a
nonprofit organization that attempted to start a radio reading service in the
town where I live. Since 2006, I have reviewed audio books for Library Journal.
Please
share a little bit about your current release.
This
bit is from the CreateSpace blurb. I think it sums things up rather nicely.
“Friends
and family. Restaurants and recipes. Hobbies and history. TV programs the
author loved when he could still see and music he enjoys. The schools he
attended and the two degrees he attained. The career that eluded him and the
physical problems that challenge him. And books, books, books: over 200 of them
quoted from or reviewed. All In all, an astonishing work of erudition and
remembrance.”
What
inspired you to write this book?
I
wanted to be heard; I have long felt invisible. I was at a place in my life
where several career options simply collapsed. I had no idea what to do next. A
friend asked me to review something she had written. I did and thought, ‘I
think I could write a journal.’ So I dove in and did.


Excerpt from Across Two Novembers:
Introduction 

More
than at any other time, when I hold a beloved book in my hand, my limitations
fall from me, my spirit is free.
—Helen
Keller (1880–1968)

I
have long wanted to write and publish something, be it an historic novel, a
young adult novel, or nonfiction. When, in November 2013, Dr. Katherine
Schneider asked me to read and review her just–published Occupying Aging, I
conquered my usual reservations: Would I be a good reviewer? Would I be able to
write something interesting and help her book sales? I dove in and came up with
this review, which appeared on www.goodreads.com:
This
book, with its mixture of the quotidian and sublime, stands as an interesting
glimpse into the life of one early 21st–century woman. Schneider, a retired
psychologist, recounts a year of thoughts and events in this journal. Her
ruminations on death, spirituality, dogs, and navigating the landscape of the
sighted as a totally blind inhabitant of her Wisconsin college town are
enlightening. Touches of humor involving Fran, her Seeing Eye® dog, add a sense
of fun.

As
someone who is acquainted with Dr. Schneider (we have exchanged emails), I
could wish I occupied my 40s quite as well as she does her 60s. The proactive
attempts to educate about disability issues, the volunteering, and the public
speaking are outstanding. Maybe some of her enthusiasm for life will rub off on
all her readers.—An excellent vade mecum, a handbook, for handling the
uncertainties of retirement.

While
reading her book and formulating my review, I thought, Oh! I just might be able
to write something in this journal–type format. So I jumped in right then, not
waiting to begin on the more traditional January 1. I thought that to wait was
to postpone indefinitely and fail; to start could mean a chance at a successful
resolution. Who says a journal has to run from January 1 to December 31 to be
of interest?

So,
everyone, here goes nothing!

What
exciting story are you working on next?
I
am in an in-between time. I am trying to promote this book and figure out where
my writing career wants to take me. Will I write a nonfiction book about an
ancestor? Will I try to write a short story collection?
When did
you first consider yourself a writer?
I’m
not sure I consider myself a writer. I concede that I may have writing ability.
I don’t feel compelled to write. I more feel compelled to read. But I thought I
should try to write, too; just a bit. Oh, as a child, I did rather like the
idea of being this exotic creature known as “a writer.” But I had no idea w hat
such a career involved.
Do you write full-time?
If so, what’s your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and
how do you find time to write?
I
try to write several hours a day. I can’t write more than that because of the
Fibromyalgia Syndrome that nips at my heels like a stray dog that just won’t go
home. If I try to write longer, I get so befuddled. This caused some problems
in the editing of my book. I kept finding better ways to say things and it
drove my long-suffering editor crazy.
What
would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I
am hung-up on grammar. I need to just fling the words onto the page, or type
them into a computer file and not worry about any punctuation or spelling — Just
plop a word-mess right there, no grammar or style litter boxes. Like Jackson Pollock
painted! Drip … splat … splot. The novel as abstract expressionistic art.
As a
child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
This
is a hard one. Being blind, I had no real role models. I had no idea what to
be. Even in college, I had no idea what to major in. I tried Spanish as I thought
being an interpreter would be rather fun. I didn’t have the knack for this
language, having only had a year or so in high school. I never got past its
rapid staccato sound. So I changed my major to English (linguistics option)
with a Spanish minor. A very unsympathetic professor destroyed my interest in
pursuing linguistics at the graduate level. I literally came to a screeching halt
after college. It was not a good time. I managed to get a job teaching braille
for a time and also did medical transcription for a time, but neither worked
out well.
Anything
additional you want to share with the readers?
Yes, and I
appreciate this opportunity and your thoughtfulness.
I’d like to answer the question – If you had
the talent and resources to research and write any kind of book, what would you
write or if you – as an editor – could commission any kind of book, what would
it be?
I have several ideas for books though I
suspect the fiction options are beyond my skills and would have to be
commissioned. I suspect long historic fiction is out of favor with the reading
public of today. Alas.
1. Empress Eugenie: She was just as
interesting as Empress Elizabeth of Hapsburg or Queen Victoria, two of her
contemporaries. But I find no writer today, writer in English, who has done
anything with her, be it a fictionalized biography, or even a straight memoir
or biography. If French writers have written about her, I have not located the
translations. She has not been written about for the young adult set though
there is a series of books for younger readers that feature a young Queen
Elizabeth I and other young royals, some written by Carolyn Meyer. Eugenie
lived at a particularly interesting time and reigned over the circus that was
the empire of the third Napoleon. It all came tumbling down in 1871 and she
later lost her son in a hunting accident in South Africa. She lived until 1920.
Surely, if Marie Antoinette rates, Eugenie should. Margaret George could have
written the story. She did Henry VIII, Mary Queen of Scotts, Queen Elizabeth I,
Helen of Troy, Cleopatra, and Nero. If I could, I would have.
2. Inca: Gary Jennings wrote Aztec. (Actually,
there were several follow-up books to his Aztec, but it was Aztec that was
outstanding, the others were possibly written at the suggestion of an editor to
hopefully cash in on Aztec’s success. I always hoped he would have lived long
enough to write Inca to do for that group of South American natives what Aztec
did for Mexico.
3. Short story collection about my days at a
residential school for the blind: I could possibly do this with some guidance. This
type of school is rapidly fading from popularity. Most blind children today are
mainstreamed into public schools. In the 1970s, this was not always true.
4. Isabella Mora: She is an ancestor of mine.
She came here to Louisiana in 1779, about age 10, with her Canary Island
family. I found her story interesting because two of her descendants married
and we think caused the eye condition in our family. Also, exploring her life
in Spanish Louisiana would be interesting because few people recall Louisiana
was Spanish for a time, not just French.
5. Wahl Diet: I’d like to go to a diet boot
camp and attempt this diet. The author, a Dr. Wahl, developed it and it cured
her MS or made it more manageable. But it’s a very hard diet, kinda like paleo.
I’d be curious to see if it might help my Fibromyalgia Syndrome. I think it’d
be a neat book or at least major article. I’d want to put it to the test. Takes
money to go to see any doctor like that.
6. MFA in Gastronomy: Books have been written
about the author’s time at business school, Snapshots from Hell, or in law
school, One L: The Turbulent True Story … And now we need a book describing a
class beginning its time at Boston University to obtain an MFA in Gastronomy.
Seems such a unique degree, rather new, developed by Julia Child and Jacques
Pépin.
Well, enough said. I am
running on.
So many ideas to work
with!
Links:
Website
| TV
interview
| Goodreads
| Amazon | Barnes
and Noble
| Apple



Thank you
for being a guest on my blog, David!


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5 thoughts on “Interview with writer David L. Faucheux

  1. David L. Faucheux says:

    Hello,

    Thanks for visiting today. I hope you find the book bit given above to be of interest. Check out http://www.dldbooks.com/davidfaucheux/ to learn more.

    Be careful if you read the book as you might find yourself curious about other books mentioned and want to read them.

    I have a question: If you could visit the world described in any book, which would it be?

    Check back later for my answer.

    Thank you!

    David

  2. David L. Faucheux says:

    Hello, Blog Visitors,

    I’m back.

    I’m ready to answer the question I asked earlier today.

    If you could visit the world described in any book, which would it be?

    That is a hard question for me. Do I want an historically accurate world such as that of a 19th-century circus depicted in Gary Jennings’s Spangle? Do I want a fantasy world such as that in any of the David and Leigh Eddings books? Would I like an alternate history world such as that depicted in the Two Georges by Richard Dreyfus and Harry Turtledove? Or perhaps, a science fictional world such as that depicted in Ben Bova’s Titan?

    Well, I could choose so many worlds. I suspect one world that might interest me is the America depicted in John Jakes’s novel Homeland. The novel is set in the late 19th-century and tells the story of Paul Crown who has come to Chicago. There is a section of the novel, my favorite part, that is set at the famous 1893 World’s Fair which took place in Chicago. You get a sense of wonder and possibility. The world had not yet had either world war. Science was beginning to change how people lived. Electricity, the marvel of the age, lit up the White City as if by magic. A teenaged Helen Keller visited with her teacher and companion.

    Paul Crown’s story is continued in American Dreams. I have no idea when the last in the trilogy will appear. These long novels can take time.

    Thank you.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Oh WOW! What a joy to read, and exciting to think about what world I might want to live in from a book. David, you give such thought provoking answers, and make a person really think! You're magnificent. Isn't he magnificent? 🙂

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