Jeff Dondero

DONDERO - PhotoZharmae Bibliography:

The Energy Wise Home: Practical Tips for Sustainable Living (S&E): Available in August 2014


Jeff Dondero is a long-time resident of the San Francisco Bay area in California. He attended college in San Francisco where he studied a special major consisting of journalism, communications, broadcast arts, and English. One of his first gigs was as a stringer for the San Francisco Examiner, and he worked as a reporter for various suburban newspapers before becoming the entertainment editor for the Marin Independent Journal. He has written and edited many newspapers and magazines, and contributed to KTVU, a local television station. After a stint with a publisher of trade magazines, he and his partner, Patrick Totty, formed a company that furnishes editorial content and publishes a website for sustainable industries. Along with The Energy Wise Home, he has written a book about toys, conserving resources and energy in the workplace, and a book on How to Survive Natural Disasters, Before, During and After. He is currently working on a non-fiction tale about an alternative energy source. When he is not writing, he enjoys sailing on the San Francisco Bay.

You can read more about Dondero on his website. You can also visit him on Facebook and Twitter.


The “Author Exposed!” Interview:

or, Things We’d All Like To Know…


- You, the Author -

Why do you write?

Money would be a good answer; but I once told someone that although ditch digging was a lot like writing, the main difference was that ditch diggers made more money, get better benefits and more recognition. Truth is I’m a masochist that feels compelled and I can’t really do anything else and I’m too chicken to write (according to Elmore Leonard) what really can bring in the big bucks—ransom or “this is a stick up” notes.

What do you write?

I’m an omnivore. I have written a little bit of everything from business copy to celebrity interviews, to how to and reference books. My newest project is the toughest of all genres—the narrative non-fiction “novel.”

Who inspires you?

Me. And other artists.

Who are your influences?

The good article or book that I last read. At present Richard Preston, Sarah Vowell, Mary Roach.

What are your three most favorite books and why?

That’s like asking who was your favorite dog, girlfriend, parent, music, food, ad infinitum. I’m a little fickle as in the last question. When I’m looking at impressionism I’d probably say Monet, the bad boy of the renaissance Caravascio, post modernism Bruce Lauritzen, sculptor Bernini, music Andrea Botticelli, Pharrel Williams and Corinne Bailey Rae, (bossa nova) Teka, king rack of lamb and a really good burger, really cold beer and single malt scotch, summer fruit, frozen yoghurt and gelato, I digress but you get the drift.

- The Mechanics -

How do you write?

With a computer. To be more aesthetic and to paraphrase what Dorothy Parker said, just turn on the computer and open a vein.

Where do you like to write?

In my loft. Or a cardboard box—I really don’t think it matters if you have something to say. In fact a fantastic view would probably distract me.

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

Depends on the project. Mostly when I feel like it’s time for C&C.

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

Windows 7 (I just graduated when Microsoft mothballed XP) and I dislike changing software—it’s like tossing your favorite sweats.

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

Attack at a different angle. But it rarely happens. When I get stuck it’s more like I don’t know what the hell I’m doing rather than constipation.

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?

Both. You really should have a roadmap of where you want to go, but that doesn’t supersede a side trip once in a while.

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

I love to do research, but sometimes it can be frustrating. The most fun is when you kind of upchuck all over several pages and you write some good stuff almost by accident—although it really isn’t.

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

Nope, I’m mostly agnostic.

- Human You -

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

Falling in love. First few times sailing when the adrenalin flew and when I actually knew what I was doing.

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

Something else entirely.

What comes first, the chicken or the alien egg?

A Big Bang.

What is your favorite  {dog}? (Your Choice.)

German Shepherd and Shih Tzu. Go figure that one out.

- The Energy Wise Home: Practical Tips for Sustainable Energy -

Who do you most identify with in this work?

Zharmae publishes mostly fiction; I believe I might be one of the first to contribute totally non-fiction. So I identify with the person that thinks they can use what I have compiled.

Why this book?

I think it’s the most comprehensive and informative about conservation and energy. And people have to learn not to poop in the place they live—earth.

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

Those who need it and read it—that means almost everyone I hope.

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

What I learned about the process, the subject, and the monstrous amount of work it took. But I would not call it profound as in traumatic or an epiphany. Enjoyably exhausting, like after good sex.

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