Monday, January 4, 2010

Interview with Joyce's client David Clarke

1. Tell us a little about you and your family.

I have been married to my beautiful blonde, Sandy, since 1982. We have four kids: Emily, Leeann, Nancy, and William. With four kids, we have no life of our own and no money, but we're good with that. They are all living for the Lord, which is the main thing, and we love spending time with them. They are growing up, so we are adjusting to new relationships with adult kids.

2. What is the main message that you want to get to your readers? Your books have interesting titles – Men are Clams, Women are Crowbars, I Don’t Want a Divorce, Kiss Me Like You Really Mean It. I Don’t Love You Anymore, to mention a few.

I want readers to have hope that their marriages and families can be healthy, no matter what has happened and what mistakes they have made. We are all in this together-I am not living in some ivory tower from which I toss down pearls of wisdom. Sandy and I have learned many lessons about marriage and parenting the hard way. My goal is to pass along these truths in an entertaining, practical, and Biblical way.

3. Where do you get your inspiration?

My inspiration comes from my marriage and family and from my therapy clients. I am still a full-time therapist, so I gain new wisdom every day about what makes life and marriage work. And, I truly believe that God gives me the ability and the guidance to write these books.

4. Is there an area in your writing that you are working on developing more?

What I want to do is come up with brand new material, ideas and insights that I have not covered before. I hate to repeat myself. I find it very stimulating to discover new concepts and communicate them to readers.
5. What is your favorite of the books you’ve written?
I'd have to say it's a tie between I Don't Love You Anymore and Kiss Me Like You Mean It. Both were a lot of fun to write and just flowed out of my pen. That's right, pen. I write the old-fashioned way-pen and paper. I hand my chapters to my dad, who uses the hated computer.

6. Tell us three things that we would never guess about you?

I hate, absolutely hate, computers and cell phones. I'm the only American who does not have a cell phone. I love superficial thriller novels-they are a great escape; the only non-fiction books I read are my own. Finally, my favorite Television show is the old Perry Mason. I watch these old shows at lunch time.

7. Have you had to overcome any obstacles in your writing journey?

Just publishers who don't recognize the amazing quality of my work! It is frustrating to know you have a good product that God has helped you create and to be turned down by a publisher. Actually, it's often multiple publishers. I try to leave it in God's hands; I believe He will get a book published if He wants it published. The second obstacle is editors who want to change what I have written. I know it usually makes the book better, but it drives me nuts!

8. What is the most important thing on your current ‘To Do ‘ list?

To complete my latest book proposal. When I am working on a proposal, I am totally focused. Sandy would say "obsessed" and she is right. Of course, she's always right. I get up 4 or 5 times in the night to jot down notes on what I am working on. Some of these notes are useless, but some are gems! Absolute gems!

9 What are your future projects?

I have a few irons in the fire these days. A project on the destructive force of pleasure in the world with a good friend of mine. And, after a break of several years, I am trying to get a manuscript published that many publishers turned down. It's focused on helping a person whose spouse isn't interested in building a great, intimate marriage. Being married to an intimacy-challenged spouse is no fun. In fact, it is heart-breaking. I give clear steps that can change this kind of dud spouse. Everyone always says:"you can't change your spouse." I say:"baloney." With God's help and the right strategy, you can so change your marriage partner. I've helped hundreds of unhappy spouses change their spouses.

10. Do you have any sage advice you’d like to leave with our readers?

Keep writing. Keep the faith. Never give up trying to get a good idea published. Listen to Joyce-she's a sharp cookie and has gotten me every book deal I have. If you don't have an agent, try to get Joyce.


Jeanette Levellie said...

David: Too funny! I especially love your backwards arrangement with your dad--usually the child is pushing the parent to enter the technology circus...

Blessings on all your gems,

Diana said...

Great interview. I am a huge fan of your books and think your titles alone should sell a million copies. Men are Clams Women are Crowbars- come on - isn't that title a blast?
I really appreciate the stand you take on rescuing marriages that seem destined for the heap. Thanks for making us laugh while God gets His point across through you.
Privledged to work for Joyce,