Read @Leigh Holland Writes!

Today, I’m interviewing D.J. Swykert, author of “The Death of Anyone”. Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed.

Leigh: Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a former 911 operator who likes to cook. I am an animal lover with some contrary ideas about animal intelligence. I live in a historic neighborhood just across the Ohio River from downtown Cincinnati, but also lived on the Keweenaw Peninsula in northern Michigan, and have written a couple of stories with wolves in them that are set on the peninsula. I raised a pair of arctic hybrids myself.

Leigh: What were you like in school?

I am not an academic. To be honest, by the time I finished high school and began college I was tired of school and campus life. I attended college for two years and then dropped out. Most of what I know about anything has come through experience.

Leigh: Does writing energize or exhaust you?

It energizes me. There is an emotional “high” from writing something you feel is really good.

Leigh: What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

On a laptop with MS Word.

Leigh: Are there any particular resources for writers that you’d suggest o new writers, such as magazines, blogs, technical writing books, etc.?

Elmore Leonard’s Ten Rules of Writing. It’s absolutely the best tutorial you’ll ever find on how to write fiction and takes about two minutes to read. I recommend it to all writers before they begin their epic. You can find it on the internet, no charge.

Leigh: What’s the most difficult thing about writing a main character of the opposite gender?

It took me a couple of different beginnings to get comfortable with writing from Bonnie Benham’s perspective, I think I was trying too hard to make her sound female.  I loosely modeled her after a female officer I worked with, and in the end, came to see that her sexual orientation didn’t have anything to do with her ability to carry out her duties. Ultimately, I just had her view the investigation no differently than a male investigator would.  I’ve written two first person novels as a female that are published, Maggie Elizabeth Harrington and Alpha Wolves. Both are about a historical young woman who is trying to save a pack of young wolves from a bounty hunter. Readers have told me the characterization of Maggie sounds authentic.

Leigh: Was there anything you ended up editing out of this book?

No, nothing. I had a few editors who suggested I sanitize Bonnie’s language. But the officers are based on real ones I worked with. t’s been my experience that most officers, between themselves, not out of anger or anything, do use a lot of X-rated expletives. I honestly think it’s kind of a bravado thing, to keep up the machismo it takes to be arresting people who aren’t always nice.

Leigh: What other books have you written?

Children of the Enemy

The Pool Boy’s Beatitude

Sweat Street (novella)

Justice in the Street (novella)

Maggie Elizabeth Harrington

Alpha Wolves

Three-fingered Jack Davis (To release in about a month or two.)

Leigh: How can readers discover more about you and you work?

My personal email is: Or I can contacted through my website page, Twitter or Facebook. I’m pretty gabby so don’t mind Q & A on just about anything.



Twitter: @djswykert

Linked in:

Amazon Author Page:

Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview. I’m definitely going to keep an eye out for the release of “Three Fingered Jack Davis”!

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