David : Thanks for having me. This is one interview I can do naked, so that is a plus.
Niina : LOL! Isn't it always. ;) Let’s break the ice! Can you tell my readers here 4 funny unknown facts about you?
David : 1) I have a phobia of looking inside women’s purses. Even if they ask me to get something for them I won’t do it. This dates back to when I was a teenager and saw one of my buddies get caught going through his girlfriend’s purse. The look in her eyes convinced me to never, ever go inside a purse for any reason whatsoever. 2) When I eat, I have to eat one thing at a time. First the hamburger, for instance, and then the fries. 3) Cleavage hypnotises me. 4) Whenever I go through a door – and this is any door, mind you – I have to compulsively check to see that I have my keys, wallet and phone with me. It might be related to some subconscious fear of being locked out. Or it might just be weirdness.
Niina : Yeah, your eating habits confuse me as I'm a 'mix them together on a fork' eater. ;) But hey it’s been a while since you've been here. I believe it was when your first book Mohamed 2.0 : Distruption Manifesto was released – so what’s new?
David : Dead Romans is new. I’m quite happy with it. Also, it is new that Mohamed 2.0 is now available in America. My American publisher Stairway Press picked up both books.
Niina : Yay, now americans can enjoy 2.0! What is your new novel Dead Romans about? ( I typed Romans as Romance at least three times… it’s all due to me writing Romance about twenty times a day! ;) Muscle memory at its finest. :/ )
David : Dead Romans is about three people in second-century Ephesus. Daphnis the shepherd slave boy has to satisfy a new and cruel master or his family will be broken up and sold off. Panthea, the emperor’s mistress, is abused by her father, hated by the nobility and loses her grip on reality. The aspiring writer Aristides has to decide to either write a high-profile panegyric for someone he hates or else remain a humble baker.
Each story is independent, but they are intertwined. Overshadowing the whole novel is the outbreak of the Antonine Plague. The plague causes havoc, society starts to break down, and there is a rush to flee the city. Panthea has the last ship which will leave Ephesus, and everyone wants on board.
Niina : Tell us something about your book that we wouldn't know just by reading the blurb?
David : I use sex as conflict. Literature has to have conflict between characters, but normally sex isn't used this way. It is instead a by-product or indicator of other conflicts. I would say only one relationship in Dead Romans could remotely be described as healthy.
Niina : Definitely interesting! Which character in your book became your favorite?
David : I can’t choose between the three main characters, but out of the others Chloe is my favourite. She is feisty, intelligent, and is somewhat mysterious. You know there are interesting things going on in her mind and her life, but they are in the background and you can’t quite make them out.
Niina : How did you come to pick your genre … actually how would you define your genre? It’s not just plain historical fiction right?
David : I didn't pick a genre. I picked the story, which happened to fit into a genre. It is character-driven historical fiction, similar to Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, or Madeline Miller’s The Song of Achilles. This seems to be quite a thriving genre currently.
|David J. Cord|
David : No. I created all of the characters. However, there is a lot in the book which is inspired by things I've went through. My Finnish literary director demanded I do this, so I did a lot of research about it. For instance, Daphnis’ love of his ‘sacred place’ in the countryside is basically my love for a place in the country where I grew up. As the population becomes more urban and more of us move to cities, I think this sort of pastoralism will make a comeback in our culture.
Niina : How did your cover come about? ;)
David : I traded sexual favours for it. She did a pretty good job, I think, both in the sexual favours department and on the cover. Luckily the publisher liked her cover and chose it. If they hadn't, I probably would have been in trouble.
Niina : LOL! Okay by now I have to mention we are married and I made the cover! LOL! :D Now to more personal questions! Flirting with the idea of bringing a new mythological/paranormal creature to page, what would be exciting to write about?
David : Cupid, specifically in his relationship with Psyche. This was done most famously by Apuleius in the Golden Ass, but I would love to do a modern interpretation someday. Cupid was supposed to be a hitman of sorts and hurt Psyche, but instead fell in love with her. He was going against his mother Venus’ wishes and had to be careful. He was quirky, like trying to keep his form secret. He had a temper, too. I think he is a fascinating character, and is much more interesting than the modern symbolic ideas of him. This is one of those very basic stories that has captured our imagination for thousands of years.
Niina : Agreed! Which Disney Princess would you pick if you had to choose?
David : Jasmine. She’s hot.
Niina : Is there a natural wonder of the world you would like to visit?
David : Victoria Falls on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Niina : How many jobs did you have before you became a writer? What was your first job?
David : My first job was in the meat department of a grocery store. That was a lot of fun, and I still remember those days fondly. I was in the investment industry for many years before I started writing professionally.
Niina : Body Hair: Wax, Shave or Leave?
David : Shave. It is less painful than waxing, less gross than leaving and carries a hint of danger with that razor.
Niina : LOL! Before we finish, here are some Quick Fire Questions:
Football or Nascar? Football. I love Formula One, so trying to enjoy Nascar is like trying to enjoy a trip in a 1950s airplane after you have flown first class in an Airbus A380. There might be some nostalgia in it, but it all kind of seems outdated.
Boots or Sexy heels? Heels. Oh God yes. Heels.
Shots or Wine? Depends upon the context. Both have their uses.
Movie: Popcorn or Hard candy? Popcorn. I grew up in Indiana, one of the biggest popcorn-producing areas of the world. I have to stay loyal to my roots.
Date: Going on a picnic or Going to a winery? This depends upon the context, but I would probably pick the winery. I like the agricultural aspect, and the food is normally better.
Scarier: Ghosts or Demons? Definitely demons. Ghosts may be here unwillingly and are being acted upon, but demons have an agenda, a thing to do, and it is normally not a warm and cuddly agenda.
Women: Power Suits or Sexy Nerds? Sexy nerds. I love glasses.
Women: Bad girl or Girl Next Door? Both. I know you don’t like me to say ‘both,’ but how can you choose? This is like trying to pick between Thomas Pynchon and Don DeLillo.
Dresses or pant suits? Dresses. I love legs.
Women in the bedroom: Dominating or Gentle? You have to alternate. Perhaps start with dominating, because that is a good way to set the stage.
Knights or Kings? Knights. Kings just sit back and made decisions, but knights make those decisions happen.
Fallen Angels or Sexy Demons? Fallen angels. Sexy demons have an agenda and a job to do, so they are characterized by a plot. But fallen angels have a past. They have made mistakes of some sort to become ‘fallen’ so there is more character development there. It makes them more interesting.
Shifters or Vampires? Vampires. I’m very dismissive of shifters. Shifters are the teletubbies of literature. You stare at them, but can’t seem to figure out the point of it all.
Sexier: Kisses or Licks? Licks. Hell to the yes.
Sexier : Flimsy lingerie or Trench-coat only? Lingerie.
Romance or Erotic Romance? It depends upon what you are looking for because they serve different purposes. Romance is for the characters and plot, and erotic romance is for titillation. They can be combined, though.
Historical Fiction or Literary Fiction? Why can’t they be both? But typically I would go for literary fiction. If you speak strictly of genres, historical fiction is normally just telling a story but literary fiction is deeper. It is like the ocean: you can enjoy the surface, but there is a lot going on beneath the waves.
Niina : Thanks for visiting the For The Love of Reading, David ! Any news would you like to share with your readers, or websites they can check out?
David : Dead Romans is out now, you can purchase it from Stairway Press & Amazon.
You can also visit me at :
( #DeadRomans )