Davis MacDonald Interview Published on: 29, Apr 2021

Which is your favorite childhood memory while growing up in Southern California?

The ocean of course. I’ve loved the ocean, and sailing on my uncle’s 40 foot schooner, moored in Newport Harbor. How much I used to lobby my parents to go see my uncle on his boat…�� Now I write my novels and practice law from my own 65-foot motor yacht in Marina del Rey.

Do you remember the first book you ever read? What was it about?

At seven I discovered an old box of my dad’s childhood books, from the 30s. I couldn’t read every word, but with help from my mom I puzzled my way through the Tom Swift series (my favorite), and the Hardy Boys.

What was your biggest dream as a child? Did it ever come true?

To own a boat like my uncles. Yes. I’ve raced boats, owned many boats, and right now have three, including the motor yacht, and a new Sea Ray sport boat I keep on a mooring in Avalon Harbor, Catalina.

Since you are a writer, were you a bookworm as a child?

Yes. Of course, I was always reading, years ahead of my grade. I was twelve and studying Zen, and Greek mythology.

Why did you opt to write novels inside the genre of the classic Murder Mystery?

Mystery novels have a great following of fans. They are lots of fun to read. My characters face all of life’s challenges you find in any novel, from a Tale of Two cities, to From Here to Eternity, with all the drama and color of any novel. I simply set them inside a rollicking mystery novel, with twists, turns and puzzles which engage the reader, while I quietly explore inside the plot significant social issues we all should know about in this first quarter of the 21st Century.

What challenges did you face while publishing your first writing, The Hill?

My books are intended to be read. That’s the most important thing to me. I want people to know about and consider the social issues wrapped inside my suspenseful mystery novels.

As Stanislaw Lec wrote, “I give you bitter pills in sugar coating. The pills are harmless: the poison is in the sugar.”

So, I write exciting ‘join’ the chase mystery novels. The social issues are hidden in the chase, but serious social issues they are.

There is so much competition in the mystery genre, its hard to get noticed. People who pick up my first book, THE HILL, will usually read the entire series, currently 8 books, with a 9 th out in November of this year. But getting people to pick up that first book of mine from among all the books published, is very difficult.

Did you plan all the books in The Judge Series in advance?

No. Each book starts by my selecting a serious social issue that interests me. One I think people should know more about.

The homeless.

Human DNA tinkering by scientists.

Plastic pollution that may be our next pandemic.

Yellow press journalism where people are found guilty in the press before they ever get to tell their side in a trial.

What means love and how much would you risk for your loved one.

Slavery in Mexico.

And so on.

Then I select an interesting physical place for the action.

I have my series Protagonist, THE JUDGE.

And I start writing. Spinning a tale of suspense, mystery, and intrigue.

What motivates you to write mysteries?

It’s my vehicle of choice for writing about significant social issues facing our 21 Century World. Issues everyone should know more about.

I admire authors like Upton Sinclair for instance, who wrote the novel, The Jungle, in1906, detailing conditions in U.S. meat packing industry. His book caused such a public uproar the Meat Inspection Act of 1906 was adopted by Congress.

It takes about a year for me to write a novel. I decided at the outset that if I was going to invest a year of my life in writing a novel, there’d better be good reason and I better have something important to say. The mystery genre was simply selected as a vehicle, like Stanislaw’s sugar coating…��

Is mystery the only genre your readers will get to read from you? Which other genres are you looking to explore?

I explore timely social issues, as varied as humanity. Is that a genre?

Book 9 in THE JUDGE SERIES, coming out in November of this year, has a mystery built around the “Dark Web”, and the difficult problem of sales of illicit drugs to teens and young adults over the web.

The drug dealer around the corner and down the alley from the high school is still there, but now he has heavy competition from drug purveyors on Dark Web, targeting teenagers and delivering via the US postal service.

In what ways has being a member of the National Association of Independent Writers and Editors benefitted you?

Haven’t really been active in that organization to date.

If you have a choice between all the secrets of the universe, and $1,000,000,000,000, which do you choose?

The secrets of course. Money is useful, but experience is everything.

What advice would you give to your 18-year-old self?

Slow down and smell the flowers. Life doesn’t have to always be a race…

What are some common mistakes writers make when world-building?

Truth is really stranger than fiction. So strange that sometimes you have to jolly your readers along to get to the point where they can accept that what you write about is plausible.

The people and plots and vignettes in my books are ‘fiction’, but based on real experiences I’ve had, or clients have had, or associates have had. When you read my books, you’ll find characters you know, characters we all know or have met, caught up in extraordinary facts and circumstances which actually do happen.

How many plot ideas are just waiting to be written? Can you tell us about one?

How many important social issues do we face, or are just over the hill from discovery, in our 21st century world?

Consider the Dark Web (see response to question 9 above)

When did you join AllAuthor? How has your experience been?

This year. So far so good. I like that your organization has a strong focus, and cares.

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