Andrew Davie received an MFA in creative writing from Adelphi University. He taught English in Macau on a Fulbright Grant. In June of 2018, he survived a ruptured brain aneurysm and subarachnoid hemorrhage. His novella Pavement was released by All Due Respect Books. The follow-up book to Pavement entitled Ouroboros is scheduled to be released by All Due Respect Books in December 2020. As our Author of the Day, Davie tells us all about Pavement.
Please give us a short introduction to what Pavement is about.
Pavement is about a pair of detectives, based out of a diner, who provide services for people who wouldn’t feel comfortable going to the police. For example, if someone is the victim of a robbery, they can go to McGill and Gropper who will retrieve the stolen goods and mete out some form of justice and retribution.
Tell us more about McGill and Gropper. What makes them tick?
McGill is an ex-cop who has decided to indulge himself in his greatest pleasures, which luckily for him, are all found in a diner. These include pancakes, bacon, and coffee. He is the face of the operation and handles the business end. He also never leaves the diner. Gropper tries to remain out of the spotlight. Although his background is murky, he is a capable and lethal person. They have a similar working relationship as Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin from the series by Rex Stout.
You survived a brain aneurysm and subarachnoid hemorrhage. How did this influence the way you look at life?
It has changed my priorities in terms of my values, and it has changed my perspective on the way I view the world. Aspects of life which had seemed more important before, don’t seem as important now.
Why did you title this book Pavement?
Some of the characters in the book are prostitutes who operate out of a truck stop. In doing research, I discovered they were referred to as Pavement Princesses. I also thought pavement had dangerous and unforgiving connotations which seemed to suit the story.
What inspired you to write this story?
I had been inspired by the documentary film Cocaine Cowboys, about the drug wars in South Florida in the 1980s and the book You Were Never Really Here, about a former marine/FBI agent who rescues girls who’ve been kidnapped into prostitution.
Besides writing, what secret skills do you have?
I can recite the last fifty years of Best Picture Oscar winners, and their directors, off the top of my head. Whether or not this is a skill remains to be seen, although, it is helpful during trivia and completing crossword puzzles.
Readers say they found Pavement hard to put down. How did you manage to keep it fast-paced throughout the story?
Elmore Leonard once said he tried to leave out parts people skip. I wish that were true for me. I just found it was difficult to write anything superfluous to the action.
When did you decide to become a writer?
I first started writing when I was in high school, but it wasn’t until years later that I made more of a concerted effort.
If you could have lunch with any author, who would it be and what would you eat?
I would want to have lunch with Jonathan Ames, the author of You Were Never Really Here since it was a major source of inspiration. I’d probably have a steak.
What is the best writing advice you’ve received?
Unfortunately, I don’t remember who said it, but someone once suggested the writing process was similar to ironing a shirt. For some reason, that analogy stayed with me and has been helpful to remember if I’ve felt stuck.
Is there an underlying message you wish to relay about basic human nature through your characters?
A quotation which has always stuck with me is “Endurance is more important than truth,” said by Henry Chinaski in the film Barfly. I have often thought about this quotation as a source of inspiration if there are obstacles preventing me from attaining a goal.
Do you have any interesting writing habits? What is an average writing day like for you?
I’ve read about some authors who have very rigid schedules and incorporate certain rituals. I have found the process to be similar to exercising. The goal is to be able to perform in any circumstance; and the more you do it, the easier it becomes. When I had been teaching full time, I would write in the mornings on Saturdays; usually from around 8-12. After that, it would depend on how motivated I was to continue. I still write primarily in the mornings, but it’s spread throughout the week, and most days go into the afternoon. However, I take breaks in between, and I allow myself to get distracted.
What are you working on right now?
I’m working on a memoir which includes, among other things, my experiences with online dating and recovering from the ruptured brain aneurysm. The sequel to Pavement entitled Ouroboros is scheduled to be released by All Due Respect Books in December 2020.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
FEATURED AUTHOR - Erin Royce graduated from Carleton University in Ottawa, majoring in Law and English. In order to both see the world and pay school loans, she worked as a fitness instructor on cruise ships, managing the fitness programs. Erin walked off her last cruise ship in New York City and literally flew into the next chapter of her life – to her new home where she continues to reside, among the Rocky Mountains just outside of Calgary, Alberta. Though drawing and writing has been apart of her early life,… Read more