ABOUT THE BOOKPieces Like Pottery is an examination of the sorrows of life, the strength of character, the steadfast of courage, and the resiliency of love requisite to find redemption. Offering graceful insight into the human condition, each linked story presents a tale of loss and love. Charged with characters mercifully experiencing trials in life, the book reminds us of the sorrows we all encounter and the kindness we receive, oftentimes from the unlikeliest of places.
What reviewers are saying"Pieces like Pottery is molded like clay into some incredible pieces of stories which force the reader to ponder on their meanings. The book is something to be cherished and re-lived." - Devi Nair, The Verdict's Out
"The stories feel like seeing real life in print. They will entice you to come back to them again, and again, and again. I wish I could give this collection 10 stars instead of 5." -Rajalakshmi Prithviraj, One Stop Destination
"A great collections of short stories. This was a beautiful book." - Alysia Minnot, Support Indie Authors
INTERVIEW WITH DAN BURI
Dan, welcome to A Blue Million Books!I would like to first of all say thank you, Amy, for hosting me on your site. You have a wonderful site! This is a great place for us all to indulge in our shared love of reading and writing. Thank you for your excellent content and book suggestions. I am grateful to be here.
Thank you so much. That's very kind of you. How did you get started writing?
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 and something I have always admired in other people. Story telling is a beautiful gift. I love learning to hone the craft.
Do you have a writing routine?
Once upon a time I thought I needed to write in a particular time and place. I would typically write at night and need to be in the perfect mood to do so. However, with a very demanding job, a wonderful wife, and two-year-old daughter, I quickly found that I was not finding much time to write at all. I had to begin writing anytime I could find a free 30 minutes. I was lucky I did too.
I think young writers always wait for the moment of inspiration to strike. These moments are amazing, but they are a great luxury. The truth, in my opinion, is that writing is as much about editing and revising as it is about the writing itself. I have so many pages of Pieces Like Pottery on the cutting room floor, so to speak. Maybe editing is a beautiful and inspiring process for some people, but for most writers I know, it is painstaking. There’s nothing inspirational about it for me. Having very little time to write each day helped me to begin taking my writing to the next level, to learn to hone it as a craft, rather than writing simply being an inspirational hobby. I had to find time to write whenever I could, regardless of whether the circumstances were perfect.
That being said, I still love to write at night over a glass of wine or a fine whiskey. Nothing beats that.
What’s more important – characters or plot?
I love characters. The most page-turning stories have a great plot, but the best stories have great characters. I really enjoy when a character has depth and complexity. I think good writers have a unique gift of empathy that allows them to tap into the “realness” of their characters. Good writers work hard to understand another person’s pains, hopes, dreams and fears, which allows them to create very compelling characters.
How often do you read?
There isn’t a day that I don’t read a portion of a book or a long-form magazine article. I love reading. I read everyday.
What do you know now that you wish you knew then?
Do what you do to the best of your ability. Be authentic and vulnerable. Don’t try to be what anyone else wants you to be.
Do you have any secret talents?
I used to perform at local venues, bars, and coffee shops playing guitar and singing, some covers and some original songs. But when it comes to secret talents, emphasis on talents, I can touch not only my nose with my tongue, but I can touch my chin with my tongue. Please everyone take a moment to be amazed.
Wow. I am amazed. What is the worst job you’ve ever had? What did it teach you?
I have had more odd jobs than I can count. I worked maintenance at a high school one summer. One of the tasks was to empty out the 15-year-old water from a boiler in the basement of the school. The only way to empty it was to syphon the water out through a narrow tube, but I had to suck the water up through the tube until it reached the syphon valve that would then automatically start pumping the water out. My co-worker was supposed to tell me when the dirty boiler water reached the valve, but he got distracted. I swallowed a mouthful of 15-year-old boiler water. Let me tell you, it still makes me queasy to this day. I was heaving and retching for quite awhile after that. I’m not quite sure what I learned from that, though, except that it’s a fairly funny story (for everyone but me).
We all have to work tough jobs so we can continue to do what we love — write. I’ve worked a lot of writing jobs too — blogger, ghostwriter, research assistant, editor, teacher’s aid, researcher . . . I didn’t enjoy all of those, but they have all helped me hone my craft.
What five things would you never want to live without?
Oh, good question. This is tough. Hmmm. My iPhone. My books. My guitar. Access to music. (If this were ten years ago, I would have said my CDs, but who even knows what a CD is anymore?) And . . . ummm . . . my wine or whiskey. I love a good glass of wine or whiskey.
What’s one thing you never leave the house without (besides your phone).
A memento I carry in my pocket that is a tribute to my father and reminds me of where I come from. When I reach into my pocket to grab my phone or my keys, I am reminded of my father, where I’m from, and who I am.
That's lovely. What’s your favorite thing to do/favorite place to go on date night?
I have an amazing wife. She makes me think, she makes me laugh, and she makes me a kinder person. I love spending time with her anywhere. I would say that I love going to a show or movie more than anything else, though. There’s just something about the shared experience of enjoying a concert or a play or a movie together that I absolutely love.
What’s your favorite beverage – I'm guessing wine or whiskey?
You’re starting to make me sound like I indulge too frequently here, Amy. I think we’ve established that I have an affinity for a good wine or whiskey.
Okay, no more beverage questions. What’s one thing that very few people know about you?
When I was younger, I used to play Star Wars with my three older brothers. My oldest brother would be Luke Skywalker. My second oldest brother would be Han Solo. My brother just older than me would be Chewbacca. They would make me be Princess Leia. I have no idea why I couldn’t have been C-3PO or R2-D2 or Lando Calrissian even. They always made me be Princess Leia. (shaking my head)
How do you like your pizza?
In my mouth. I love pizza. It doesn’t matter how it is prepared as long as it eventually ends up in my mouth. I can eat pizza hot, cold, thin crust, deep dish. I could eat it here or there. I could eat it anywhere. I could eat it in a house. I could eat it with a mouse. I could eat it in a box. I could eat it with a fox.
Sorry, what just happened? I blacked out for a moment. Did I mention I like pizza?
I'm starting to think you like pizza. Do you give your characters any of your bad traits (Let's pretend you have some.)
Yes, without 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, good or bad, 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.
What is the most daring thing you've done?
Write a book (he says with a question mark)?
What is the stupidest thing you've ever done?
Write a book (he says with a question mark)?
It's amazing how often those answers go hand in hand. Can you share one of your favorite quotes?
"Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." - John Wooden
Very true. For what would you like to be remembered?
Kindness. The great thinker Aristotle has a quote: “My best friend is the man who in wishing me well wishes it for my sake.” I hope people will say, “Dan always wanted the best for me. He was a kind man.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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.
Connect with Dan:
Twitter | Goodreads