Author David Curfiss shares his new book and love of writing apocalyptic thriller themed stories.
RL: Tell me about your latest book and why you wrote it?
DC: A Thousand Miles to Nowhere started off as a project between me and my brother Matthew. We both love post-apocalypse themed stories and the have an equal passion for the undead. However, we were both tired of the same run of the mil zombie novels. So, I came up with a new breed of the undead that I call the withered. But that wasn’t enough, there needed to be more. So, we took the plague and phased it. Phase one is death. Phase two is the rage. Phase three they become the withered. After we came up with the plague, we began to pass the story back and forth via email. It was supposed to be a series of short stories, but the more I wrote about my characters, developed the setting, and dove head first into their world, I became obsessed. My brother’s availability to write dwindled and mine grew, so I took the story and expanded on it. What started off as a fun project between me and my brother turned into my debut novel, A Thousand Miles to Nowhere.
RL: How long did it take you to write this book?
DC: I finished my first draft in October of 2015. It was barely 10,000 words. At that time, the story was only supposed to be a series of shorts but once it became obvious to me that I was going to expand the story into a novel, I realized I had some weak areas that needed reinforcing. So, I stopped writing and went to school for two years to get a degree in Literature. After I graduated, I hit the laptop full speed and began my second draft. Four rewrites, and four heavy edits later, I finally finished the novel in October of 2019. Ultimately, the novel took me four years to the month to complete.
RL: What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
DC: I work a full time job in a very demanding field. Most days, I work ten or more hours, then I go home and handle any daddy/husband duties. I sit down most nights and write after the kids are in bed, so usually around 8:30 until I get to tired and can’t be creative any more. I usually push for about two or three hours. Sometimes, I write from 4 am to 6 am, but that does more harm than good to remaining hours of my day, so I focus on the pm creative shift. I also dedicate a few hours on Saturday to writing. I am for anywhere from 2k to 4k words. I type about 500 words an hour on average but if I am in the zone, I can easily knock out 1k plus. Sundays are my family day. Work/Life balance is hard, more so when writing is not your full time job. So, I just do what I can when I can. If I don’t get to write for one reason or another, Oh well. I try again the next day. It can be frustrating at times but the fact of the matter is, I am writing and that is what matters.
RL: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
DC: I have enjoyed reading and writing my entire life; however, I didn’t pursue it until I was 34. I was focused on what I thought was the dream career until I realized I didn’t have a passion for working in that field – at all. I took a lot of hard hits getting to the point in my life where I realized I was doing all the wrong things for all the wrong reasons. It was time to make a change. So, after a few very intimate conversations with my wife, a few intimate conversations with myself in a journal, I made that change.
RL: What is your favorite childhood book?
DC: The first book I can remember reading was Escape from Warsaw by Ian Serraillier and Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. Hatchet, however, is my favorite book. Even in my younger days I was obsessed with survival stories. My mom used to read to me the Bernstein Bears and the Spooky Old Tree. She recently gave my daughter that same book for her birthday. I still very much enjoy reading that book.
RL: Did you write stories when you were a kid?
DC: Yes, all the time. I created a story about vampire nuns when I was in fifth grade. I submitted it to the school for a writing project and got an F due to the violent nature of the story. I’m considering revisiting that story and turning it into a standalone novel after I finish my new project
RL: What is something you cannot live without?
DC: My children. Everything else is just stuff. I had a hard childhood and draw from those early years for a lot of the theme in my stories. A Thousand Miles to Nowhere and Michael’s Home both pull from some very traumatic events in my youth. I will dedicate every book I ever write to my children because without them, I have no purpose in this world. We live and we die, our children and the future of human kind revolves around raising our young. I will never put my two babies through the garbage that I was exposed to.
RL: What are your favorite hobbies?
DC: I love to write with my daughter and backpack. I use to mountain bike but I started developing neck and head pains from the constant bashing I took. Backpacking is much calmer and easier for me to escape to. I’ve climbed Mt. Whitney which is the tallest mountain in the lower 48. And, I’ve hiked the French Louie Loop in the Adirondacks. My daughter also hikes with me. I am working on getting her ready to do a multi-day trip with me. I already have the route planned out on the Pacific Crest Trail.
RL: If you were to write a book about yourself, what would you name it?
DC: One day, I would love to sit down and write my autobiography. I’ve had the title picked out for years. I would call it, surviving the Apocalypse. Let that marinate!
David Curfiss is a veteran of the U.S. Navy. He served onboard the USS Kinkaid as a Gunners Mate before transferring to the Naval Special Warfare community as an armorer where he had the privilege to work with the elite Navy Seals and SWCC Operators. After eight years of honorable service, David transitioned to civilian life.
Prior to his naval service, David had a passion for apocalyptic themed stories and adventures. He spent his youth living in fictional worlds, battling zombies, vampire nuns, hostile aliens from far-away planets, and other creatures of death. It was while he was in seventh grade that he wrote his first apocalyptic story. Little did he know then, it was the spark that has led to his novel writing path today.
Visit his website, www.davidcurfiss.com, to learn more about his work and sign up for his newsletter to receive the latest details about new books, cover reveals, and giveaways.