How did you know you wanted to be an author?: I didn't know at all. The idea of being an author never occurred to me. I am a writer. I've been writing ever since I can remember, stories, poems, you name it. The title "author" is something conferred through publication of one's work. I knew I had something to say in words and with my photos and in other creative endeavors I've indulged in, such as songwriting, music, art, etc. So I just keep writing and hoping those who encounter my "words and pictures" will be moved, impacted in some way, and that my work will somehow make a small difference to those I reach and in the world.
What is your advice for aspiring authors?: Keep writing. Do not be deterred, by anything or anyone. If you feel strongly your work is meaningful, keep working at it. Start with little ventures, a piece accepted in a small publication for starters. Let each published work be a stepping stone. Hone your craft, in what ever way you deem appropriate and feasible, and lastly as I hope I have made clear, don't give up.
Do you have any writing rituals or practices?: These are my rules to myself and they apply in general: Write. That's it in a nutshell. Make it a regular thing, not a sometime thing. Read, everything you can get your hands on, and your own work too. Don't overedit. When you think it's done, it's probably done. Perfection is the enemy of done. Submit. If you think it is of merit, give it to the world. Do not write just for yourself, write with intention, write with a purpose. Writing is a form of communication not self gratification, unless that is your sole intention in which case the writing is a form of mental exercise or self-therapy, or it is recreational. That's OK but it is not the same as writing for publication, work meant for others to read.
What message do you want readers to remember?: A recurring theme in my work is that enunciated in the thought of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo (1907 - 1954): "At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can." My interest in this theme in general is sparked by the work of Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (1926 - 2004). She had this to say on the subject: "The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths."
How can fans get in contact with you?: https://howarddebs.com/contact/