Peter David has recntly been ill. We at BuzzyMag wish and pray for a speedy recovery.
Hello. This is Jean Marie Ward for BuzzyMag.com. With me today is New York Times best-selling author and Eisner Award winner Peter David. Welcome Peter.
Peter David: Hi.
JMW: Hi. You’ve written novels. You’ve written comics.
Peter David: I have.
JMW: What’s your origin story?
Peter David: I was rocketed to Earth from the planet Prodigious.
JMW: Oh really.
Peter David: By my parents as it was blowing up because it could not contain my magnificence.
JMW: And how did that translate to becoming an award winning and best-selling author?
Peter David: Well, write what you know.
JMW: Oh yes, just being awesome. That’s really…
Peter David: Yes, that’s the truth. My awesome origin caused me to write awesome stories.
JMW: Yes. But I’m sure there’s a mundane one that you have to put on your biography.
Peter David: Yeah, if you want to hear the boring version.
JMW: Yeah, I want to hear the boring version.
Peter David: My father was a reporter. I grew up wanting to be a writer. I thought I wanted to be a reporter, but eventually, for reasons too involved to go into, I wound up gravitating toward writing fiction. Actually, when you think about it, considering the number of reporters who get busted for making stuff up, I have to think that fiction and fact and the reportage of same is starting to become almost indistinguishable one from the other.
JMW: You’re just a little more honest about it.
Peter David: Yes. I am a professional liar.
Peter David: I tell people this all the time. I make stuff up, and they give me money for it.
JMW: When did you know that you had arrived as a writer?
Peter David: That I had arrived as a writer? If I had to pick one moment, it would be a few years back when Marvel had launched or was about to launch Stephen King’s “Dark Tower,” and we were doing a major launch panel at the New York Comic Con and playing to an absolutely packed hall. There had to be over 2,000 people there plus standing room. I was on a panel that included the editor of the creative team, besides myself, and Stephen King. One guy gets up as we’re doing Q&A and he says, “I just want to say that Stephen King is my favorite novelist, and Peter David is my favorite comic book writer.”
So this project is just a dream come true. Steve and I looked at each other, and Steve goes like this and we wind up high fiving each other. Part of me thought, oh my God, I am high fiving Stephen King. How cool is that? So if I had to pick that one moment, it would be that.
JMW: Hadn’t you met him before?
Peter David: Yes, I actually had, although I don’t know if meeting is exactly the right word. When I was in my late teens, maybe early 20s, I went to Forbidden Planet, a bookstore that is actually there to this day, and they were having Stephen King out for an autographing session, which shows you how far back this was. I said to him, I stood in line and I said to him, “My name is Peter David, and I just want you to know that I’m an aspiring writer.” He took my book that I brought to autograph. I’m trying to remember, it was either “Danse Macabre” or perhpas “Firestarter,” and he signs it and he says, “To Peter, Best of luck on your writing career.”
So now I guess we had more or less come full circle. That years before I was this would-be, young writer and here he was autographing a book telling me best of luck with my writing career, and there we were several decades later. I’m there on a panel with him where we’re talking about my doing adaptations of his work.
Jean Marie Ward writes fiction, nonfiction and everything in between, including art books, novels (2008 Indie Book double-finalist With Nine You Get Vanyr), and short stories such as WSFA Small Press Award finalist “Lord Bai’s Discovery” and “Personal Demons” in the award-winning anthology Hellebore and Rue. Her videos include author interviews and tutorials.