David Michael Slater

Slater - Dictionaries Out of Order - Photo*

Zharmae Bibliography:

Dictionaries Out of Order (S&E): Available in June 2014


David Michael Slater is an acclaimed author of fiction for all ages. His work includes the hilarious comic drama for adults, Fun & Games, which the New York Journal of Books raves “works brilliantly”; the teen fantasy series Sacred Books, which is being developed for film; and the picture books Cheese Louise!, Ned Loses His Head, and The Bored Book. David teaches in Reno, Nevada, where he lives with his wife and son. You can learn more about David and his work at www.davidmichaelslater.com.


You, the Author

Why do you write?

I could come up with lots of reasons. For example: “I find it intellectually stimulating”; or “It helps me work through my thoughts and emotions”; or “It’s just plain fun!” And they’d all be true. But the real truth is probably that I just need to on some level I don’t really understand.

What do you write?

Fiction for children, teens, and adults.

Who inspires you?

Selfless people of all stripes.

Who are your influences?

I began writing almost immediately after reading Jorge Luis Borges, but I’d add John Irving, Tom Stoppard, Philip Pullman, and Dr. Seuss for good measure.

What are your three most favorite books and why?

Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borges – A mind blowing exposure to cross-breeding of genres I never knew existed.

The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien – So gripping, so thoughtful, so smart.

The Remains of the Day – Perfect control; every word chiseled into place; a masterpiece!

The Mechanics

How do you write?

I grab writing time as I can find it (I teach middle school English, full-time). I struggle with the blank page but can revise a lousy draft until the cows come home. I rarely outline or know much about where I’m going. Instead, I work in a somewhat cyclical manner, forging ahead until I hit a wall, then circling back to revise, hoping that when I get to where I faltered I can make my way a bit farther ahead before hitting that wall again. At which time: back to the start for another cycle ‘round.

Where do you like to write?

Typically, the couch. Coffee shop once a week with a writing buddy is a new and promising phenomenon.

Do you set a goal of so many pages per day, or something else?

No. I just try to make some progress in some way related to my writing career every day, even if it’s just sending a query letter and jotting down an idea.

What program(s) or tool(s) do you use to write?

Microsoft Word

What do you do when you get stuck on a problem which blocks the writing process?

Too many possibilities.

Do you envision the entire story at once and just fill in as you go, or do you just see where the writing takes you and troubleshoot as necessary?

See where it takes me and troubleshoot as necessary. Sometimes I just barrel on ahead with little regard to the quality of the draft—as long as the ideas are coming. If they aren’t, I’m happy to steadily revise/improve whatever I have so far.

What do you have the most fun with during the creative process?

Two times: 1) When arriving somewhere wonderful in a plot that I could never have predicted yet that feels utterly inevitable, and 2) When working on “alternate history” and I find real history cooperating with my twisted desires.

Do you have any special rituals or superstitious behaviors you must follow while writing?


Human You

What is a cherished memory from your life you’d like to share?

I cherish the memory of my mother helping me pack for sleepover camp every summer.

Do you prefer coffee, tea, or something else entirely?


What comes first, the chicken or the alien egg?

Whichever the waiter in the Restaurant at the End of the Universe serves first :)

What is your favorite  {movie}? (Your Choice)

The Princess Bride

This Particular Story

Who do you most identify with in this work?

Easy, the book has Borges written all over it (he would approve).

Why this story?

These pieces reflect the way I see the world: as endlessly fascinating, frightening—and funny. They also reflect my obsession with books and words.

Who do you think would be most affected by or touched by this work?

Fellow book- and word-lovers, philosophical folks with a sense of humor. People who like their philosophy with a dash of farce.

What is a profound memory from this title’s writing process?

The first piece in this collection was my first published work as an author. I remember deciding to use my middle name on it because it made me feel more “authorial.” Been stuck using it ever since. :)


One thought on “David Michael Slater

  1. Pingback: Announcing: David Michael Slater | Shannon & Elm

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