Today I welcome author David Mark Hebden to my blog.
Welcome, David. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
First, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to share a little about myself with you.
My name is David Mark Hebden, but I have used several aliases. I’m a fiction writer, author, and eBook self-publisher. I currently have 7 books published with Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.
Where were you born and where do you call home?
I was born in a small Pennsylvania town, lived in Ohio on the shores of Lake Erie for awhile but moved with my family to Southern California when I was 9 years old and that’s where I grew up and attended school. I come from a middle class, blue collar, Catholic family, but I wouldn’t consider myself a religious person.
Including the United States, I’ve lived and worked on four continents. I’m presently living in Bangkok, Thailand. So I guess you could say Southeast Asia is where I call home at the moment.
When did you begin writing?
I got the writing bug as a child living in Ohio. My best friend and I wrote and printed a weekly newsletter on a printing press his parents had in their attic. I explained more about that experience and the reason for it in my latest book titled, A Life in Disguise.
Can you tell us a little more about your most recent release?
Here is the book blurb.
In this autobiographical novel, the author uses character Michael Orly to explore his own past from a young recruit slipping deeper and deeper into the ranks of the highly trained in the tortuous jungles of Panama to his current hoped-for retirement in Thailand.
His life has been under wraps and chained to government agencies throughout his life. He recalls his days in South Vietnam during the TET Offensive; as the youngest Special Forces team sergeant leading a small group of professional soldiers in an isolated camp at Ben Soi, including several hundred Cambodian and Vietnamese soldiers; in undercover assignments ensconced as a police officer to root out U.S. drug lords; infiltrating outlaw biker gangs; and in covert operations during the Yom Kipper War gathering intelligence on Russian military in Syria.
The author explores his life in retrospect, cloaked in disguises, fractured by PTSD, preserved by equal parts loyalty and deceit and, just maybe, protected by talisman’s found along the way. But such a life never ends on a beach, lounging in the sun … when the agency calls, his Life in Disguise begins yet again.
Obviously you put a lot of yourself into this book. Are the rest of the characters based on real people?
I believe most writers put at least part of themselves into what they write and I’m no different. I base many of the characters in my books on real people I have worked alongside or met through my travels.
Do you outline your books or just start writing?
Normally, I will complete an outline that includes characters names and descriptions prior to writing a book which I would suggest doing. Most likely the storyline will change as you write it and you can always add new characters as the story unfolds.
How do you conceive your plot ideas?
Prior to writing my first book, I had difficulty trying to figure out a storyline. My sister’s husband, an Ivy League educated man, suggested I do a major “Mind Dump.” Naturally I asked, “What exactly is a Mind Dump and how do I accomplish it?” A Mind Dump is putting everything you have in your brain down on paper or completely clearing out your mind. To make a long story short, I successfully did it. It took me quite awhile to complete the Mind Dump process and I actually did it like writing a book with chapters and headings like; The Crocodile Diary, Broken Puzzle, A Life So Far, Falling Through Cracks, Carnival of Errors, From Patriotism to Prevarication, etc., etc. Once I finished cleaning house, I suddenly started having amazing new ideas for storylines and eventually completed 8 new books that I’ve been successful in publishing 7 of them so far. So, if you come up against that brick wall, try a Mind Dump.
How much of yourself, your personality or your experiences, is in your books?
I have lived and worked within the military, intelligence, and law enforcement communities. I can remember college writing professors telling me to write about things I know best including life experiences. I’ve always tried to do that, but discovered the real challenge is delving into areas I have absolutely no knowledge of and then successfully include them in my books.
Would you want to jump into one of your books and want to live in that world? If so, which one?
Hell yes I would! Especially my book, Plausible Deniability. It’s about a young Viral Immunologist living in Paris who gets mixed up with former Nazi’s and members of the secret Vril Society. I have a love affair with Paris and remember feeling quite at home when visiting the city and wandering the streets. I hope to someday call Paris my home.
Do you have any suggestions for aspiring writers?
Locate a really good editor and copy-editor who you not only work well with but trust with your writing projects. Create a catchy title and book cover image. Writing and selling books is extremely competitive, so explore every avenue to get your project in front of the reading public. If nothing else, remember that a well written, professional looking book always reflects well on the author because you never know who might be reading it.
Thank you so much for being here, David.
Thank you for your time, I understand how precious it can be.