Author and Artist, Don Ford


Don lives somewhere between the Twilight Zone and the Outer Limits; a storyteller. He shares fiction and non-fiction stories with every age group, while visiting schools, retirement communities and speaking at club events. He is well published with work now that spans 62 countries. He is also known for his digital photography used as covers for his story work. His name pops up everywhere under various titles such as dgford, grassroots08, Greywolf. Don writes in EVERY genre, since he teaches the occasional "Writing For Publication" class to adults. He is also his town's Poet Laureate. He is proud of his Native American Heritage.
 
Tell us something about yourself and how you became a writer.

Sometimes we experience difficult things in life, and we find a way to look the other way. At age of fifteen I began penning poems, at the same time my parents separated.

What are you working on right now? Tell us a little about it.

Did you mean what sort of things are kicking around in my head? I have a very active imagination that works well with my muse. I am finishing up another short story called “The Eight Wonder.” It is a delightful tale that, as is usual with most of my writings, will end well.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I apologize, friends, for taking so long to finally get to this place where you are able to enjoy my stories. I’ve always been a writer, but didn’t apply myself soon enough to get my work published until about four years ago.

What do you think makes a good story?

I used to think it was the characters. In a way it is! But the way the story goes and is able to carry the reader along to the end is even more vital. I wrote a story about a conversation between an ant and a roach. By the time the story was over it brought tears to my own eyes. It still does; go figure.

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

If I understand this question well enough, it would be when I’m told the piece is too short by an editor. Then I want to please that person, by adding the extra story embellishment, and I’m complimented by my story being published. Yahoo!

What do you do when you are not writing?

Well, I’ll be honest and say I usually never leave the house without a piece of paper in my pocket and at least two pens. So, even when I’m not writing, I’m waiting for a new idea to come to mind. If I’m not prepared at all times, I could lose out on my next great piece.

Tell us about your writing classes.

These are adult ed classes usually at a high school or votech school. I was originally asked to teach because I had a number of stories published in magazines. The school approached me; I never went to them. The very first class went well and I even received an email from a magazine while in class, asking me to do a slight revision on my piece. So it became a class project. This is a teacher’s dream come true to have the stars all line up in this way!!!

I understand you use your own artwork as cover art. Could you tell us a little about the process? Do you offer your services as an artist?

It was never my intention to do the artwork in the first place. I was on a writing site and a sister art site offered their artwork to help tell our stories and make our poems and other writings look good. After a while folks started leaving the art site and took the art work with them. Now writers were left with just the words and no picture. This was frustrating so I began doing my own photos and manipulating them to fit my story. Thus, my digital creations began to come to life. :-}

Because I have recently (over the last couple years) done the photo work I had not offered this as a service. Now that other writers have seen my work at art galleries and libraries, my pieces are beginning to sell. Some of it was experimental, but attracted attention, nonetheless.

I would be thrilled to work with anyone on their book, if it needs cover artwork. I'm flexible and quite reasonable.

Where can readers find you?


Thank you Don for stopping by for a few questions!

Comments

  1. This was a great interview Don, Jeanne. I like how Don uses his own photography and art for his covers, which I think is a skill that writers should look into. His writing class sounds interesting as well, and I wish I could be a part of it. Best of luck to both of you!

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  2. Hi Marlena, thanks so much for stopping by for a read and for leaving a comment. I very much appreciate your support. :)

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  3. Hi Jeanne,
    How do you pronounce Jeanne? I wanted to send you a thank you for this interview. Somehow the hidden in us can't stay hidden or buried forever. Thanks for unearthing me.

    Marlena,
    My writing classes were bits and pieces of my personal writing world. Most of my story sales were experiences in my life that I felt others would enjoy hearing about. Obviously, the editors were glad to have those stories gracing the pages of their magazines.

    They say everyone has a story in them. Most have several. The real knee jerk is getting up the courage of exposing your life experience and allowing the world in to see it. This is what editors are looking for - persoanl tales. These are uniquque glimpses into your world and your world alone. It's a one of a kind - because it only happened to you!

    Where eagles fly,
    Don (Greywolf)

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  4. Hi Don, you're very welcome. Thanks for allowing me to be the one to unearth you, the buried treasure! My name is pronounced - Gee-nee. Like a Genie in a bottle, lol.

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  5. You always ask the best interview questions, Jeanne; it's nice to meet you, Don!

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  6. Thank you, Michelle! Thanks for visiting :)

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  7. Nice to meet you Don. Yours is an interesting story filled with promise for the rest of us.

    Jeanne, I am a fellow Campaigner and now following your blog.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  8. Michelle and Arlee, Thanks for stopping by with your comments,

    Where eagles fly,
    Don

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  9. Very interesting interview. Don, your life sounds exciting. Have you ever thought about doing on-line writing classes?

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  10. I have taught on-ground classes; The Writer's Life dealing with the How - To or Writing For Publication and Poetry Forums. In one of my classes I was emailed about a story I sent out that this publisher wanted. We got to rework the piece together in class and send it for publication. This is a writing Teacher's dream come true. Cheers!

    I would love to get folks together on-line and do some teaching once more. I taught 25 years of Landscaping - Adult Ed. and enjoyed every minute of it.

    Where eagles fly,
    Don (Greywolf) Ford
    Native American Storyteller
    Author of "Royal Ferdinand", a PDF story for kids and my Newest book just out - "Death & Taxes" both at Amazon and as of two days ago it is International at Amazon-Europe

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  11. Donald Ford • I got excited about my book I just had published. Others was just as thrilled to hear about it, and asked me where they could find it. I got a bit more excited - actually a lot more excited - that they seemed to want to look into buying the book. Hooray, sale number one!

    Now it's on to the next person, and I joined them in a discussion about my great book. They didn't realize they were talking to a new mother or father, having their first child. In essence, I was going hither and yon, telling it on the mountain, that my baby was just born, and I wanted to share the joy with whomever I come in contact with, whether it be friend or relative.

    Then I got on line to announce to the world, "My child, my first book, is now ready for viewing." The world clapped loudly with me for the first month. I was texting, googling, here and there to tell everyone who seemed pleased to hear, that my kid had arrived; my very first one.

    So happy and so proud I was, with a great big smile on my face that stretch from ear to ear. My baby was beautiful, and I could hear the excited voices in the background, and almost see them smiling with me. On line - they congratulated me profusely; " Way to go. You did it, my friend."

    The first month flew by and not one book was purchased, not so much as the PDF version. I started to wonder if the folks who sell the books for me were keeping all of the proceeds. The throngs of cheering well-wishers were as excited as I was at the birth. But were they really there with me, and the family, were they with me too, or just spouting of?

    Two months passed, and I have now turned over every possible rock on the planet looking for the one person who would be kind enough to invest in this book, that was in my stomach for so long, and that the labor to create it was so intense that doctors thought it might not make it - but it did!

    Even the countless short stories, I have complied over the years, have found homes in various places (paid venues) across the globe. Some received awards and high praise and I immediately thought, 'I'm ready to birth my first book'. And I was ready, but my readers weren't. It seems they just provided lip service; maybe to get me off their backs. Maybe I was the only one who viewed my child as beautiful. Healthy and strong, but no one really wanted anything to do with my first child; not really.

    This piece I'm penning is based on a true story. This is the history of my first book thus far. If there is more to this story, that will remain to be seen in the future. This special first work of mine is still my first baby and I love it so. I was sure others would too. Some one said, 'you can't make folks love you, our your children'. They either choose to embrace them along with you, or you have just spent the last year hoping for the best for your kid. What parent doesn't feel this way?

    Is it the newborn's fault? Heaven forbid. Did the book not fulfill its mission? Absolutely false, it is everything I had hoped it would be; I couldn't be anymore proud of - this my FIRST. Who dropped the ball? I don't think it is about the ball at all. My first child is here, and I will always love the babe, even if no one on Earth pays any mind to what is happening in my life.

    My firstborn will always bring a great feeling of pride to my heart, even if not one of the readers out there seems moved at all to invest in its future. You can't toss away the baby; you love this child that is special to you and is your first statement to the world around you that the next generation has now arrived. Maybe my special child will be the one who will usher in an even greater world climate for everyone on this planet, before it runs it's life course.

    Money is stretched to a great measure, and most have lost hope that it will ever get better. I stand with my cup out that is half full. It's a reminder that things were better at one time and that they will get better. Cheers, Don

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  12. This morning (October 3rd, 2012) I was informed that my Publisher was going to take my book on. I was thrilled to the rafters. "Funny Business" should be read by everyone on this planet. We all need a boost somedays and these short stories (Some are previously published and paid pieces) are just what the doctor ordered for overcast days in our lives.

    I aim to please and turn a few smiles right side up in my storytelling endeavors. As soon as it hits the market as a full color PDF, I will let everyone know. It is 75 pages or more of nonstop humor, I hope you will agree. Anyone wanting a sneak peek, just drop me a line! Cheers, Don

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