Hi everyone, today I am really excited to be able to welcome to the blog David Busboom and his novel Nightbird. David has kindly agreed to do answer more than a few interview questions and tell everyone a bit about his book Nightbird. This sounds like it’s a really interesting read and I really like the simplicity of the cover!
Sixteen-year-old Isaac just wanted to see a midnight movie. He didn’t expect to meet the woman of his dreams: more beautiful, mature, and intelligent than any of Isaac’s high-school crushes, and (best of all) willing to fulfill his fantasies! So what if she didn’t have a computer, a phone, a car, or a job? So what if she shares an isolated farmhouse with a half-dozen insatiable, love-crazed people, all aching for her attention? She was ready and willing.
Where is your favorite place to write?
Anywhere I can, really. I like writing at home, but with a rambunctious puppy and a far-too-cluttered office, I don’t always get as much done there as I once did. I enjoy writing in cafes, because there are generally fewer distractions and it’s nice to have some bubble tea or a hot sandwich while I work. My current go-to is a place called Caffe Bene. I’m part of a writing group that meets there once a week. My partner and I also enjoy the occasional writing date at the library.
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
My first book-length piece of writing was a “novelization” of Dragonheart that I did in a giant spiral notebook when I was about nine years old. I had a tiny little TV/VCR combo in my bedroom, and I’d watch for a minute and then pause the tape to write everything down, and then watch another minute and pause it again. I transcribed the dialogue word-for-word and wrote what I thought at the time were beautiful descriptions of the action and scenery, and I think I even illustrated it with these crappy nine-year-old doodles. The first actual novel-length manuscript I wrote was an “epic” science fiction story called Aropheus, which I worked on all throughout high school and finished on the family desktop computer the weekend before graduation. I never submitted that anywhere and I’m sure I never will, but I have tried to rewrite it a couple of times since. My first real, published book is Nightbird, which I started in late 2015 and finished in late 2017, about two weeks before my 26th birthday.
What is your preferred method to have readers get in touch with or follow you (i.e., website, personal blog, Facebook page, here on Goodreads, etc.) and link(s)?
Could you tell us a bit about your most recent book and why it is a must-read?
My most recent book is called Nightbird, and it’s currently my only book. Here’s the elevator pitch: an unassuming teenage boy loses his virginity to a literal demon goddess, and things just get worse from there. I’d recommend it to anyone who likes atmospheric coming-of-age horror with healthy doses of sex and sadness. Also, it’s a novella, so if you’ve got a couple of hours to kill you can probably finish it in one sitting. Technically, I do have another book that came out a little more recently, but it’s a limited-edition chapbook that’s unavailable online. You can only get that one if you meet me in person or contact me directly, and I think I’ve only got a dozen or so left. It’s called Nods to the Master and it collects three of my early Lovecraftian stories from the early-to-mid 2010s.
What is the most difficult part about writing for you?
Building the connective tissue between the “big” moments in a story is something I’ve struggled with. But for me the most difficult part of writing is just juggling it with a full-time day job and life’s other responsibilities. It’s easy to feel guilty if I haven’t written for a few days, or if I’ve neglected something at home because I decided to squeeze out a thousand words one evening.
Do you put yourself in your books/characters at all?
All the time. Every writer does at least a little, whether they acknowledge it or not, but I definitely do. Nightbird could almost be called semi-autobiographical, because the protagonist, Isaac, is basically a fictionalized version of myself. Of course, I didn’t lose my virginity to a demon (that I know of), but there are many elements of Isaac’s background and character that are taken right out of my memories. And the same is true for characters in several of my short stories.
Can you recommend any new or upcoming authors to us?
William Tea and Sara Tantlinger leap instantly to mind. William and I shared a table of contents in an anthology called Walk Hand in Hand into Extinction (CLASH Books, 2016), and since then he’s published half a dozen more stories in great places likeWeirdbook (issues 36 and 40) and Test Patterns (Planet X Publications, 2017). His most recent story, “Husks,” just came out in an anthology called Mannequin: Tales of Wood Made Flesh (Silent Motorist Media, 2019). Sara is absolutely killing it with poetry and prose. We shared a ToC in an antho called Haunted are These Houses (Unnerving, 2018), and she just won the Bram Stoker Award in May for her poetry collection The Devil’s Dreamland: Poetry Inspired by H. H. Holmes (StrangeHouse Books, 2018). She’s also got a novella, To Be Devoured, coming out from Unnerving this summer, and she’s edited an anthology of horror stories by women called Not All Monsters that’ll be out in 2020.
What is your most unusual writing quirk?
This is a hard question to answer. I really can’t think of any unusual quirks as far as my writing routine goes. I often jot down story and character ideas on notepads while at work, or sometimes when I’m on-the-go I’ll email myself with a sentence I like or some quick thoughts about a story-in-progress, but I think most writers do stuff like that. As for the writing itself, I do tend to favor the first-person POV, and in early drafts I tend to overuse ellipses.
What was the hardest part of writing your author bio?
Deciding how much is too much/too little, and picking a tone. Do I list my most recent credits, my most prestigious credits, or a mixture of the two? How much of my personal life do I reveal? Do I come off too stiff and cold or too goofy and unprofessional? These are the questions that vex me every time I update my bio.
What is your work schedule like when you are writing?
It’s all over the place, but mostly evenings and weekends. I try to write every day, but with the aforementioned job and puppy that’s a goal I’m not always able to meet. On average I probably have 2-3 solid writing days a week, where I’m able to sit down for a couple of hours and do nothing but focus on the current work. Otherwise I just sneak it into my schedule as often as I can, whether it’s just a few minutes here or half an hour there.
David Busboom’s fiction has appeared in such venues as Shock Totem, Heroic Fantasy Short Stories, The Norwegian American, and most recently The Saturday Evening Post. His debut novella, Nightbird, was published by Unnerving in 2018. He lives in Illinois with his partner and a zany Labrador.
Five Star Reviews
Took me a while to get into this one, but a variety of outside factors may have been the cause, because the writing is excellent. Once I did get into it, I read Nightbird in one sitting. The atmosphere and imagery in this book are vivid and haunting. Probably my favorite part of the entire story was the way I was drawn into the scenes and the characters subtly, but thoroughly. (SPOILER: I may have cried a little over Baby, but let’s not tell anyone.) While not scary, this sad tale of desperation, lust and love is definitely unsettling and, in a strange way, beautiful. Highly recommend this debut from an obviously talented author. I look forward to more from Busboom.
Nightbird is a compelling short story with vivid, sensual imagery. I was captivated from start to finish. Busboom’s writing style truly brings this haunting story to life. It portrays a darker side of a magnetic and obsessive compulsion that love (or lust) can create.
This story is unpredictably dark and frightening, disturbing and demonic, supernatural and sexy. I couldn’t read it past dusk.
Highly recommend!! Looking forward to more from David Busboom. Five Stars.
A delight as always, Busboom’s writing once again brings us a visit from the spirit world, this time wrapped in teenage indiscretion. A breakup letter to childhood innocence, Nightbird takes the reader on a journey through time and discovery of self, with a nightmareish dream ballet that begs us to burn it all and rise anew.