SEAPS: How did you get into writing?
David Salkin: I was always a reader, even as a little boy. I was lucky enough to grow up with a Mom who read to me every night. She was always reading herself. At some point, my love of stories turned into writing my own.
SEAPS: When did you start writing?
David Salkin: I always thought the answer to this question was “in college”, until a few years ago. I found a box of stuff my Mom had saved. On the old “penmanship paper” – I’m not sure they even use it anymore – I found a story I had written. I was maybe six or seven, learning how to write letters, and there I was, making up stories. So I guess the answer is – as soon as I learned how to write!
SEAPS: What was your first published book and what was it about?
David Salkin: In 2005 I landed my first contract with Penguin Books. I wrote Crescent Fire and the sequel, Necessary Extremes. They are both action-adventure, military-espionage thrillers. These would later lead to THE TEAM series, which have been my most popular books. It was Tom Colgan, at Penguin Books, who gave me my first shot, though. He was also the editor for Tom Clancy and WEB Griffin, so for me, it was a big deal. I’m forever grateful to Tom and Penguin Books.
SEAPS: How many books have you published since you first started writing?
David Salkin: Fourteen, at the moment. My agent is getting ready to send out my next manuscript any day now.
SEAPS: How do you come up with your storylines for your books?
David Salkin: Most stories come from non-fiction articles of interest. International News, Science, medicine, technology – you name it. I’ll be reading something interesting, and that will start the wheels turning. Once I have the idea, I just “watch the movie in my head” for days or weeks before I start writing or outlining. I like to just daydream about it for a while and let it cook!
SEAPS: How do you research your material for your next project?
David Salkin: It’s amazing what you can read on the internet. While doing research for my military-espionage books, I’m always shocked at how much access the public has into information which I would think would be “Classified”. I’m pretty sure the NSA has a file with my name on it. The stuff I Google must make people in Homeland Security nervous! I also love Google Earth. While it’s wonderful to travel and do research, that’s not always practical – or safe. From my chair, I can travel the world, and really get a great look at the places where my stories take place. I do lots of research while writing, and spend a lot of time reading non-fiction while writing fiction.
SEAPS: What genre(s) do you prefer to write?
David Salkin: Military-espionage has been the sweet spot, but I also love writing crime and horror. The truth is, a Thriller is a Thriller, regardless of the genre. As long as I can keep readers up past bedtime, it doesn’t matter which genre I write. I just want them to be entertained and dying to see what happens next.
SEAPS: What are you currently working on?
David Salkin: For the first time in a dozen years, nothing! I’m waiting for my agent to sell what I think is my best thriller – a dark, gritty crime thriller. (Working title, Blood From A Stone) If (when) she sells it, I’ll start the sequel, which is already cooking in my head. It’s okay to take a break, I think. I’ve been pretty prolific over the last ten years.
SEAPS: What is your favorite published book and why?
David Salkin: BATTLE SCARS is a self-pubbed novella that means a lot to me, personally. I’d love to see this on the big screen. It’s a wounded warrior story, and a tribute to our veterans. I’m a thriller writer, and I write to entertain my audience. BATTLE SCARS is different. It’s a book you can read in three hours, but will stay with you for days after you put it down. The feedback from the military community has been extremely humbling and rewarding. The main character is fictional, but he’s the amalgamation of many veterans I’ve had the honor of knowing and assisting through the volunteer organizations I work with.
SEAPS: What book or/and series are you best known for?
David Salkin: THE TEAM series (six books) have been my best-selling books. The original book was based loosely on a real military operation. The rest of the books follow the cast of characters as they travel around the globe, in real-world scenarios. A sort of “ripped from the headlines” type of story-telling, which makes the stories relevant, and I hope, riveting.
SEAPS: What social media platforms do you prefer to promote your books on?
David Salkin: Facebook is my most comfortable social media platform. I also use Twitter a little bit. Folks can come visit me at www.DavidMSalkin.com as well. I have a blog called “What Would Cory DO?” which is food and wine related, and revolves around Cory Walker, the fictional character in the novel my agent is getting ready to sell. (Blood From A Stone.)
SEAPS: Who are your favorite authors/influences?
David Salkin: My favorite authors to read are Lee Child, Robert Crais and Nelson DeMille. Major influences as I was beginning to write are probably Michael Crichton, Kurt Vonnegut and Rudyard Kipling.
SEAPS: What is your favorite book(s)?
David Salkin: Tough question! Only one?!?! I have so many favorites! If I can only pick one, I may have to go with The Source, by James Mitchener. It’s the history of religion, and a great look at the development of religion in the context of history. While fiction, the history is fascinating.
SEAPS: Have you won any awards for your published book(s)?
David Salkin: BATTLE SCARS won a Gold Medal in 2017 from the Military Writers Society of America. Crescent Fire won a Bronze from the same organization several years back when it was first released.
SEAPS: What does the future have in store for you and your books?
David Salkin: Fame, fortune, world-tours… What the hell – I write fiction! Who knows? I’ll keep writing as long as folks keep reading. I LOVE telling stories and getting emails and reviews from fans who really appreciate the work. Writing isn’t work, editing and marketing are work. But the writing – that’s playing for me. I love it. I’ll probably write for the rest of my days. In a perfect world, my books will become movies, and I’ll be sitting eating popcorn with the actors as we watch them work on the Big Screen.