"A Candle Loses Nothing By Lighting Another Candle" - Father James Keller

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Kiki: What is your favorite genre to read in, and what is it about that genre that attracts you to it? If you like a specific mix of genres, please state that particular combination.

DSM: I’m not strictly a genre reader, though I have a great affection for novel noir, classic mystery fare. First, I read classic literature. Next, I read contemporary literature. And, since a child, I’ve read mysteries, the great mystery writers of the past, the ones of the present. An exceptional novel for me is Dostoyevsky’s “Crime and Punishment” because it is a mystery or crime novel and great literature. It’s what I aspire to.

Kiki: What is your favorite author to read in that genre, and why? Also, please tell me a little about the best book by that author you have read.

DSM: The Belgian writer, Georges Simenon, a great crime writer and a great novelist in general. He wrote over 400 novels. More than half are superb. Pick up any novel of Simenon’s and the chances are you will find a great novel. Four that come immediately to mind are “The Snow Was Black”, “The Man Who Watched the Trains Go By”, “The Brothers Rico”, and “Belle.”

Kiki: Do you have a Favorite Book of All Time? Of course, please tell us what about that book makes it your favorite.

DSM: If I was forced to pick one, that is if someone put a gun to my head and said “confess or else”, I would choose James Joyce’s “Ulysses.” The power of the writing is stunning, ferocious, brilliant. The characters, rhythms, lyricism, are unparalleled.

Kiki: What is the best book you read last month, and would you recommend it to a friend?

DSM: I read a first novel by an ex-student of mine, Meg Mathesen, “Muddied”. A fine, book, in some respects overwhelming. I would recommend it not only to a friend, but even to an enemy.

Kiki: What are your reading habits like? For example, how many books do you read on average in a week, what format do you prefer to read in, what time of day do you read, and what setting is ideal for you to get lost in that book?

DSM: When I was young I read constantly and everything. Now I read very selectively, usually in bed before I sleep. I used to read three books a week. Now, I doubt that I read that much in a month. I prefer to read the old fashioned way, that is a physical book printed on paper and held in my hand.

Kiki: If pressed, could you chose a favorite from the books you have written? Why is it your favorite?

 DSM: “Kabbalah” It was the hardest book to write, the most ambitious, the most serious. It’s a very human book and there is also a theological under pinning, which was challenging and I think finely wrought. At the present, however, my latest book, “Iron City”, holds a dear spot in my heart. It deals with some of the same elements as “Kabbalah”, but in a more conventional form: it is a true mystery. It explores the landscapes of my childhood as “Kabbalah” does and it is rich in place and character. “Kabbalah”, because of its thematic complexity, was very difficult to write. In comparison, “Iron City” was a joy.

Kiki: How do you become inspired to write?

DSM: I’m obsessed with the human condition and when I see and am moved by events and behavior which on the surface are incomprehensible, I am driven to immerse myself in them, to try to figure in some small way that most ancient of questions: Why are we here? Where are we going? What have we done to others and what have they done to us?

Kiki: What part of the story do you think is your strength to write?

DSM: I write character and dialogue well, have a feel for place, and a strong sense of the heart of a story. I am moved by people and the complexity of their lives.

Kiki: Please share with ABA readers something I did not think to ask you about.

DSM: Tennessee Williams once said that his first rule of writing was don’t be boring. I think my career has gone on this long because I have an innate talent not to bore.

Iron City
By David Scott Milton
Publisher: White Whisker Books Date Published: September 1, 2011
Genre: dark mystery 

Frank Kalinyak, disgraced ex-cop, returns to Pittsburgh, Pa., “Iron City”, his hometown, from Tucson where he has been living a desperate existence since the death of his young daughter. He has been summoned home by Bobby Mack, an Assistant D.A., to find out who murdered an old high school friend. Kalinyak is swept into a whirlpool of bizarre killings, religious fanaticism, church duplicity, hustlers, cops, junkies, old friends gone bad. Amid the fractured landscape of Iron City, rusting mills, rotting industry, he struggles to find sense in his life. Ultimately he must ask: who is he and can he survive?

“David Scott Milton can write like an angel… a writer hell bent on fulfilling the legacy of John Steinbeck, carrying on the tradition of James Jones and exploring his own heights.” -- Alabama Journal

Available for the Kindle on Amazon and on BN for the Nook

About the Author:
David Scott Milton (born September 15, 1934) is an American author, playwright, screenwriter, and actor. His plays are known for their theatricality, wild humor, and poetic realism, while his novels and films are darker and more naturalistic. As a novelist, he has been compared to Graham Greene, John Steinbeck, and Nelson Algren. Ben Gazzara’s performance in Milton’s play, Duet, received a Tony nomination. Another play, Skin, won the Neil Simon Playwrights Award. His theater piece, Murderers Are My Life, was nominated as best one-man show by the Valley Theater League of Los Angeles. His second novel, Paradise Road, was given the Mark Twain Journal award “for significant contribution to American literature.
You Tube Video of David reading from Iron City http://youtu.be/U-ERnDTWhaA

Reviews for “Paradise Road:

David Scott Milton can write like an angel… a writer hell bent on fulfilling the legacy of John Steinbeck, carrying on the tradition of James Jones and exploring his own heights.”                           -- Alabama Journal

“It was my misfortune to have missed The Quarterback, and thus be unaware of this fine, unflinching writer. He does not prettify, embroider, ornament of otherwise offend against the utter dignity of his hard, enduring characters; out of their meanness, and misery, he has made a story which I envy, in prose as clean and businesslike as a switchblade. Make sure everybody hears about this book; it’s not about a gambler and a broad and a fighter at all—it’s about the human condition, and it’s beautiful.”  -- George V. Higgins, author of The Friends of Eddie Coyle

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In accordance with the new FTC Guidelines for blogging and endorsements, Kiki Howell of An Author's Musings, would like to advise that in addition to purchasing my own books to review, I also receive books, and/or promotional materials, free of charge in return for an honest review, as do any guest reviewers.