Friday, November 20, 2015

Dan Buri

Today I am honored to introduce you to Debut Author, Dan Buri.

CE : To begin with why don’t you tell us a little about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled? etc.

DB : I grew up in the Midwest in the States with four brothers and one sister. I moved out to the beautiful Pacific Northwest a little over ten years ago. I am a patent attorney with an engineering background, which is what I spend my days doing when I am not writing. I have a beautiful wife and amazing two-year-old daughter who cracks me up daily.

I have never been to South Africa, but I have a close family friend from there and he is delightful. I have never met a person from South Africa that isn’t a wonderful story teller and fun to be around. My book—Pieces Like Pottery—has been vey well received in South Africa so far, which I never expected. It is great! If this great reception continues, I may just have to make the trip over to visit everyone!

CE : What inspired you to start writing?

DB : I can remember writing as far back as middle school. It’s something I have always enjoyed doing. One of the first poems I ever wrote was about my older brother and his basketball playing abilities. I still remember the opening lines and I wrote them as a kid nearly 30-years ago:

I’m Joe the King of Basketball,
I’m the king of the basketball court.
All my shots are always on target,
None of them are ever short.

I didn’t say it was any good! I don’t remember any more than that. To be honest, I’m not sure how I even remember those lines. The point is, writing has been something I have always enjoyed doing myself and admired in other people. Story telling is a beautiful gift. I love learning to hone the craft.
CE : Do you have a favorite Quote or passage you would be happy to share with us? It doesn’t need to be deep but something that meant a great deal to you.

DB : "Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." - John Wooden

CE : They say that a part of the writer leaks into their story. Which character can you relate to and why?

DB : Great question. I think every character an author creates is based on a real person or an amalgamation of real people. I also think an author will drop a little piece of himself or herself into every character they create. It is just too difficult to not let experiences and biases seep into one’s writing. There is certainly a piece of me in each character throughout Pieces Like Pottery. This made it particularly difficult to finish the book at times. I had to tap into both a sorrowful and a hopeful part of myself for these stories, which took an emotional toll at times. That being said, I didn’t create any of the characters in Pieces Like Pottery to represent me or to be a caricature of myself. I really enjoy Mr. Smith, though, the teacher from Expect Dragons, one of the stories in my book. He also pops up in a few other stories throughout the book, but those are little hidden clues for the reader to find.
I think many of us have had inspirational teachers and mentors in our lives. It is so important to have these people during key moments in our development as young people. Mr. Smith is an inspirational character and I enjoy hearing his thoughts on life.
CE : What other Hobbies do you have if you’re not busy writing?

DB : Enjoy the outdoors. Take in a sporting event. Work. Spend time with my family. Pray and Mediate. Enjoy a glass of whiskey or a nice glass of wine.
CE : Who are your biggest heroes and Why?

DB : My father. Why? How long do you have? I could talk about him for days. He came out of a very troubled home as a young boy and faced a lot of sorrow and hardship. He came out of that childhood and vowed to make a better home for his family. Him and my amazing mother raised six children. He is a published author and psychology professor that is oft-cited in marriage and family research. More than anything else, he taught me how to persevere, love, and have faith.

CE : What do you hope people take away with them after they have read your work?

DB : Inspiration. Hope. Love. I hope people realize that we are all connected. We all suffer and laugh just the same. My hope is that readers recognize this and are inspired or moved to compassion through the book.
CE : What advice would you give your younger self as an aspiring writer?

DB : Over the years I have been lucky enough to be offered abundant feedback and to hear excellent commentary from a few creative people that I admire greatly. There are three comments/ideas that have stuck with me throughout all my writing endeavors. (Each of these is summarized in my own words.) I would have loved to learn these lessons at a young age.
  1. When asked about the fears and doubts that she had with her writing, Elizabeth Gilbert (best selling author of Eat, Pray, Love) said she finally had an epiphany that her “writing muse” was telling her that this isn’t her story. If she doesn’t tell it, she said, then the muse would move on to someone else who will. Ms. Gilbert discussed how freeing this was for her. She was no longer declaring to the reader: “Listen to me. I have something to say.” It was almost as if she had no other choice but to write. This opened her up to write every day without fear of the result.

  1. Ira Glass is an American public radio personality and the host and producer of the radio and television show This American Life. He has a great quote for young creatives. In short, he encourages that your work is not going to be good when you’re first starting out. We may have an excitement for our craft and a killer taste for what’s good, but our execution is poor. The only way to improve your work, the only way to close the gap so that your work is as good as your ambitions, is to do a lot of work. Write. Every day. Every week put yourself on a deadline to write something new. It’s going to take awhile, but that’s normal. Good writing doesn’t come the first time you sit down.

  1. Louis C.K. is one of the most thoughtful and innovative comics alive right now. I heard him once speak about his HBO show, Lucky Louie, which was cancelled after one season in 2006. He was asked if he was disappointed with that and if he looked back at it as a failure. His answer was unequivocally: “No.” For him it was just another experience that taught him how to hone his craft, which was invaluable.

So those would be my three pieces of (long-winded) advice. One, don’t worry about whether you have anything important to say. If you are inspired, say it. Two, write constantly. You won’t become a good writer unless you’re writing all the time. Three, take every writing experience and use it to hone your craft. Something is not a failure simply because the public doesn’t receive it the way you would like.
CE : First of all congratulation on your book! Tell us a little more about it and what your Fans can expect.
DB : Thank you so much, Chenique! I appreciate the kind words and I am grateful to be joining you on your blog. I hope at least some of your readers will get my book. I really think they will enjoy it and I would love to hear more thoughts from your readers.
Pieces Like Pottery is literary fiction or contemporary fiction. It’s a collection of short stories that explores the sorrows of life, but exposes the strength of character and the kindness we all need to find redemption. Each linked story touches on very real and very human emotions and experiences.

I am moved and inspired by people’s real life stories of overcoming tragedy. Every person has trials in life. Life always presents obstacles and disappointments. I wanted to examine how individuals overcome these obstacles in a variety of characters. I toyed with the idea of each of these stories being its own novel, and I still may expand a couple of them into full length novels, but I settled in on a collection of linked short stories because it presented the opportunity to have a range of characters and display that despite how different each character’s life experience is, we are all connected as human beings.  

Author Bio
Dan Buri's first collection of short fiction, Pieces Like Pottery, is an exploration of heartbreak and redemption that announces the arrival of a new American author. His writing is uniquely heartfelt and explores the depths of the human struggle and the human search for meaning in life.

Mr. Buri's non-fiction works have been distributed online and in print, including publications in Pundit Press, Tree, Summit Avenue Review, American Discovery, and TC Huddle. The defunct and very well regarded Buris On The Couch, was a He-Says/She-Says blog musing on the ups and downs of marriage with his wife.

Mr. Buri is an active attorney in the Pacific Northwest and has been recognized by Intellectual Asset Magazine as one of the World's Top 300 Intellectual Property Strategists every year since 2010. He lives in Oregon with his wife and two-year-old daughter.

Pieces Like Pottery Links
Currently at promotional pricing!