David Gonthier is a college educator and interdisciplinary artist (filmmaker, theatre artist, songwriter, fiction writer) living in New Hampshire. He has been married for 25 years and has a 16-year-old transgender daughter who is his greatest mentor. Little Town Blues is his first novel.
Tell us the story of your book’s title. Was it easy to find, or did it take forever?
The title came before I thought of this as a novel. When I was a kid, I loved creating stories from titles alone. I lived in a small Massachusetts town and came across “little town blues” in the lyrics for the Ebb/Kander song New York New York. I thought it might make a good title for a screenplay. Then I applied some childhood experiences, fictionalized it a bit, and applied the title to come up with what became the novel.
How did it feel when you first saw your book cover? Or when you first held your book in your hands?
The cover is stunning. It was nice that I was able to apply my vison into a reality.
Who/what made you want to write? Was there a particular person, or particular writers/works/art forms that influenced you?
In second grade, we were encouraged to write as many stories as possible, and after each completed story, we would be awarded a paper UFO that got taped to the wall. I ended up with the most UFOs and came to love this creative process.
What other professions have you worked in? What’s something about you that your readers wouldn’t know?
I am a full-time online academic coach at Southern New Hampshire University and I teach first-year writing and film courses at Keene State College in NH. Over the past 25 years, I have taught many courses in many different humanities-based disciplines.
What was the most rewarding/meaningful part of publishing your book?
I was enamored by the three five-star reviews that I was able to get. I also really enjoyed working with Kyle McCord as my primary editor who helped me revise the book successfully.
If your book had a soundtrack, what are some songs that would be on it?
New York, New York – Liza Minnelli
Crystal Ship & Waiting for the Sun – The Doors
My own original songs, which are named in the book via two characters.
What is one thing you hope readers take away from reading your book? How do you envision your perfect reader?
I am hoping readers take away the big themes like nostalgia (this is a postmodern novel with lots of pop culture easter eggs), the curse of creativity, small-town neuroses and psychoses, the illusion of fame and diversity, and undiagnosed mental illnesses, all while enjoying a genre-bending narrative.
What new writing projects are you currently working on? Or, other projects that are not writing?
I am currently producing, writing, and directing a series of short films—all with different styles (chamber piece, silent movie, etc.) with a common theme of loss and letting go.
How was working with Atmosphere Press? What would you tell other writers who want to publish?
I enjoyed the process, especially my early work with Kyle McCord.
I would educate other authors on what the hybrid experience is like and let them know Atmosphere Press is a good one to approach.