Duane Simolke wrote The Acorn Stories, a collection of tales set in a fictional West Texas town. He also edited and co-wrote the fundraiser The Acorn Gathering: Writers Uniting Against Cancer. His writing appeared in nightFire, Mesquite, Caprock Sun, Beyond: Science Fiction & Fantasy, and many other publications. He lives in Lubbock, Texas.
My writing spans genres, but my most popular books are Degranon: A Science Fiction Adventure and the West Texas fiction collection The Acorn Stories. I live in Lubbock, Texas.
Duane Simolke (pronounced “Dwain Smoky”). Education: Belmont University (B.A., ‘89, Nashville, TN), Hardin-Simmons University (M.A., ‘91, Abilene, TX), and Texas Tech University (Ph.D., ‘96, Lubbock, TX), all with a major in English.
Writing published in nightFire, Mesquite, Caprock Sun, Midwest Poetry Review, International Journal on World Peace, and many other publications.
Readers can order my books at local or online bookstores; libraries or bookstores can order them at Ingram Books or Baker and Taylor.
All of my books focus on gays, people of color, and strong women.
I'm a total scifi geek: books, movies, TV shows.
Duane identifies as Gay and prefers the pronouns Him/He.
We wrangled Duane into sitting down for an interview with us!
1. Besides LGBT+ OwnVoices, anything else in your books OwnVoice (mental illness, physical disability, etc.)
Deaf, gay character in The Acorn Stories and The Acorn Gathering. Disabled characters in some of my other works. Most of the people in Degranon and Sons of Taldra are people of color.
2. What is the best money you've spent as an author?
Haven't dared to figure that up. Too much. Getting reviews and participating in social media seem to help more than most investments in social media campaigns or advertisements.
3. Do you view writing as a "spiritual" practice?
Yes. It brings meaning to my life and makes me feel connected to others in a special way. It's hard to describe but fulfilling.
4. Have you ever googled yourself? Anything interesting?
I can't stop.
Yes. I sometimes find that I live in or go to school in places I never even visited. And sometimes I'm pleasantly surprised by some of the people or organizations who mention my writing.
5. What part of life do you write most about? (Child, Teenager, Adult, etc.)
Mostly adult, but a lot about teen years as well. Some about even younger years.
6. You've been transported to the world of Harry Potter! What House do you want to be in? Who do you try to date (if anyone)? Is Harry your BFF or the antagonist?
I can't remember the names of the houses right now, but I would make Harry my BFF and ask Dumbledore for advice.
7. You meet your favourite author! They tell you they've read your book and LOVED it! What is your reaction?
Get flustered, say thank you, and then embarrass myself somehow.
8. You're at the club (I know we're both probably introverts but like, play along) Your favourite song comes on! What is it?
Under Pressure by Queen and David Bowie, but it needs to be a dance mix. (This answer changes constantly, as I love music and can't really pick a favorite.)
9. You're transported to your WIP! What is your relation to the MC?
I stop by to give hugs and pep talks, for no particular reason. I'm likely to edit myself out as a nonessential character, even though I think I'm clever.
10. Anything else the readers of this world should know about you?
I hate snobbery, bigotry, and all the other ways we exclude or alienate each other.
I ask that you be kind to others, and I'm trying to be worthy of making such a request.
If Duane seems like your kind of author, you can follow him on Twitter @DuaneSimolke
He also has a personal website: http://DuaneSimolke.Com
Where Can We Find Your Books?
Most of the online bookstores.
I write diverse characters because I see the diversity in life and want it represented in my writing.
We thank Duane for stopping by today!
Tune in tomorrow for our next author, Arden!