Jeff Davis has worked with some of the finest high technology teams in the business, and has delivered to some of the world’s most recognizable companies the high quality graphics, multimedia and print materials they demand, all over the world. IBM, Cable & Wireless, Target, Carrier and many more companies have experienced the benefits of Jeff’s artistic vision and solid work ethic.
He majored in art and design throughout his education years, and continues to regard himself as a student of the history and reinvention of popular culture.
As an author, Jeff hopes to bring his unique ideas to life in this medium.
A visitor to his studio office will be treated to the sounds of Led Zeppelin, Sheryl Crow, Kate Bush and traditional Celtic music. Jeff resides an hour north of Manhattan, N.Y. with his wife and two children.
What inspires you to write?
The stories that build in my head usually come from the world around me. A falling leaf, the sound of rain… anything can be the catalyst for a story. Just like anyone else, I have hundreds of good ideas a day. If I find one that stays with me, keeps popping up in my head and making itself known, I know that it needs to be written.
Tell us about your writing process
The process is the best part! My process is part outline, part seat of the pants writing. I start with a “bones” document. I’ll list all the major characters, and the major changes and challenges they’ll face. I usually do this is a table in Word, with the characters in cells across the top of the table, and their important points listed beneath them in chronological order. This gives me a comparative view of what’s going on across the story. From there, I just go, trying to keep in mind the connections and important points to hit as I go. Sometimes it works, sometimes I go back and change the bones doc, and retool the story arc.
I love to create character art. If I’m having trouble defining a character, I go straight to the sketchbook. What emerges then becomes the reference, and often changes the character for the better. I’ll do main characters, but sometimes it’s the minor players that they bump up against that need fleshing out. A good sketch goes a long way in that case.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I love to write dialog, and I had every conversation in “The Seeds” out loud, by myself. I play all the parts, and try to really listen to the way a character would want to be heard. It’s not easy, and the other members of my household may think me a bit crazy, but it’s the only way to really get a feel for the sound of your words.
Additionally, after my second draft of “The Seeds”, I read the entire thing out loud to my kids over the course of about three weeks, making notes and noting questions they had along the way. It was the best part of the whole thing.
Being a writer can be a solitary thing by necessity. Reading the book aloud helped pull me out of my head and into the world of the reader.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
For me, Smashwords was the way to go. I wanted complete control over everything. Smashwords gives you that control, and allows you to find your own path through the forest of options available to writers today. In the future, I may go different routes, but Smashwords was perfect for me for “The Seeds”.
Different genres may lead to different publishers, but the reality is this: a good story connects with the reader, no matter which pigeonhole it fits in. Publishers these days won’t do much more in the way of putting your book in front of people than you can do yourself, so focus on writing a good book. Traditional publishers have other advantages over self- or indie- publishing, like editors and production experts on your team, but the promotion is up to you. focus on writing a good book, don’t expect to get rich, and get better at writing with each line. The rest will come.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I don’t think we’ll see bound, paper books go away in our lifetime, but the e-reader is here to stay. The traditional publishers will have to get with it on a much larger scale and faster pace than they have been up to now. And I think they will.
While it is a standard kind of fantasy to see your book in print in a place where you didn’t expect it, (a supermarket aisle or airport stand, for example), I envision a day where you buy a card in those places. Open it up, enter the enclosed code into your favorite book sellers website, and download the book. That will be the standard, and books will be relegated to book shops.
This will make printed books more valuable to those that love them, while making the written word more accessible to more people in a faster-paced world.
What do you use?
Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write:: Young adult fantasy
What formats are your books in: eBook