Tuesday, April 2, 2013

TBR welcomes Pete Densmore

TBR: Welcome to TBR, Pete. Will you share a little bit about yourself?
Pete: I’m a husband, a father of 2 (3 yr old boy and 14 month old daughter) and live in the suburbs of Chicago. I love the extreme seasons that Chicago offers and am currently loving the six inches of snow outside. I earned a B.A. in English at the University of Iowa, but my career is in pharmaceutical advertising—go figure. My first book was published in August of 2012, called DADspirations: The 1st 100 Days of Fatherhood. I don’t consider myself an expert in parenthood by any means. I make the same number of mistakes as every other parent and don’t have any fancy combination of letters after his name. I do believe that anyone can be an inspired dad as long as he wants to put the time, effort and heart into becoming one.

TBR: Tell us about DADspirations: The 1st 100 Days of Fatherhood and where it's available.
Pete: In DADspirations: The 1st 100 Days of Fatherhood, I compiled the ultimate set of inspirations for the expecting and new father. This fast-reading, humorous book includes an actionable checklist of essential ideas to help dads to become the best father they can be.

My ideas, illustrated with photographs, showcase 35 tips to help make new dad’s first 100 days as impactful as possible. These ideas, identified as DADspirations, include:
  • Send your loving wife to the spa, which secures for you an afternoon of introducing Bob Ross or Kung Fu to your baby.
  • Develop a baby birth time capsule, which captures all of the precious moments from a day you're likely to forget.  
  • Build a toy box, which gives you the perfect excuse to spend an entire day alone in the
    garage with power tools and beer.  
  • Organize a girls' night out for your wife, which allows her to bond with her “besties”, while you get to enjoy a Star Wars movie marathon.
DADspirations are the cornerstone of inspired parenting and meant to motivate and encourage soon-to-be and new fathers in a practical, creative and fun way.

Available at Amazon in print and Kindle, in fact, my book is FREE for Kindle on April 2, 2013. http://www.amazon.com/dp/061566363X

TBR: Please tantalize us with a story blurb or excerpt.
Pete: Dedicate a song to your newborn “…pick out a song that can be played at some of her special lifetime moments, such as her baptism, a road trip to Grandma’s, and her wedding day. Unless you want to permanently damage her psyche, that rules out some classics, such as “Welcome to the Jungle” and “Thunderstruck,” but it leaves the door open for some lighter favorites from U2 or Jason Mraz. Whatever the song, have fun with it. When she’s old enough to appreciate it, give her a handmade frame containing the songs lyrics as a gift. Or, when she’s old enough to know that it’s not cool to DADSPIRATIONS 67 hang with you, but still young enough to want to, spend a Friday night with her, eating popcorn, drinking milkshakes and conducting a song-a-thon, seeing how many times you can play it over and over until one of you turns it off. No matter what you do to further the bond, plan on playing it often enough for her to give you a wink later on in life when it randomly plays overhead while you two are getting a coffee at Starbucks (or whatever replaces coffee as the “it” thing to drink in 2032).”

TBR: What inspired you to write about the theme?
Pete: While raising my son, I discovered inspiration and creativity, which I never knew I had.  Upon learning my wife was expecting baby number two, a flood of exciting ideas filled my head, including writing a book. The writing started as a way of keeping track of these cool ideas I wanted to do for my daughter, building on a lot of the fun things I did for her older brother. As I put my thoughts to paper, the words began to come to life and form more of a narrative than just a checklist of awesome things I was planning for my baby girl.  Besides, being a dad is one of the greatest things you can do in your life and soon enough, I realized I had this kickass strategy on how to inspire dads in their first 100 days of fatherhood. This is the only parenting book of its kind which focuses on the importance of the first few months of fatherhood providing practical and creative ideas that are illustrated with pictures. This book urges Dads to bond with their newborn from the get go and can also help them achieve "Rockstar Dad" status. I sent my wife to a day spa two months after our daughter was born and she still romantically reminds of how much she loved it, wink wink.

TBR: How do you develop your characters?
Pete: Naturally. I procreated two of them and married the other.

TBR: Any tips or tricks for world building you’d care to share?
Pete: Lots of nookie.

TBR: Did any music inspire your book? Do you have a playlist?
Pete: One of my favorite artists is Jason Mraz. His music inspired a DADspiration called Dedicate a Song to Your Daughter, when I chose Anything You Want for my little girl. In fact, I was actually struggling a little bit during the writing of my book when I started typing out lyrics to Jason’s album (Beautiful Mess) that created the idea, so not only did it help me get back into the flow of writing, but it sparked an idea. Ironically, my wife and I saw Jason in concert when she was four months pregnant with my son. 
I always listen to movie scores when I write. No words or lyrics, just random background sounds and I have a playlist that put on repeat while I wear headphones. I’m pretty good at zoning out, so I can write with friends at a loud coffee shop or on the couch at home next to my wife. My current writing playlist includes:
  • Aggressive Expansion by Hans Zimmer from The Dark Knight
  • My Name is Lincoln by Steve Jablonsky from The Island
  • Bumblee by Steve Jablonsky from Transformers
  • Time by Hans Zimmer from Inception
  • The Gael by Dougie Maclean from Last of Mohicans
  • The Mighty Rio Grande by This Will Destroy You from Moneyball
  • The Reunion by John Williams from War Horse
TBR: Which of your characters would you most/least like to invite to dinner, and why?
Pete: In 20 years, I would like to take my daughter out and ask her what she thought of the book when she first read it (assuming she will, haha) and what, if any, impact it had on her. For better…or for worse +)

TBR: While creating your books, what was one of the most surprising things you learned?
Pete: If you really love it, find the time to write and schedule it. The longer you put it off, the harder it is to keep momentum. Whether you take 10 minutes every other night at 8am or every Tuesday at 7am for six months, establish that time, that place and stay committed to it. Good things will happen as a result.
Don’t worry about trying to write THE book. Just write. I spent my early 20s trying to figure out how to write a movie that would earn me an Oscar nod. It was a waste of energy to spend so much time trying to think of it and a lot of wasted time writing. Had I just started writing, I’m sure the movie would have come to me.

TBR: What's next for you?
Pete: I'm currently working on another super fun and cool book for dads to read to their children. The book uniquely combines two things that I love and cherish: watching movies and reading to my children.  My goal is for dads to stop reading Mother Goose to their toddlers and, instead, begin a new literary generation of reading stories from my upcoming book, DADspirations: Hijacking Hollywood for Fatherhood.

TBR: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Most rewarding?
Pete: Being married and the father of two kids under the age of 3 has left little time for writing, especially since we spend most of our spring, summer and fall weekends on a lake in Wisconsin and during the week, I commute into Chicago from a suburb that is over an hour away. Needless to say, as much as I love to write, it’s challenging to find the time to do so. But, the most rewarding takeaway from this process has been the connection I’ve established with my daughter. We’ve bonded early and often and I’m excited to carry though a lot of the ideas for as long as she’ll let me.

TBR: What’s the most interesting comment you have received about your books?
Pete: A co-worker told me she bought the book just so that her husband would send her to the spa for a day. And, he did. And, she absolutely loved it. It was “the best 14 bucks (she) ever spent.”

TBR: Where can readers find you on the web?
Pete: I try to be everywhere I can be, but I have a day job that takes up a good 12 hours of my day. Leaving me an hour or two with my kids and a couple of hours to do whatever, which includes hanging with wife or trying to promote my book. Below is where you can find me lurking or for more info about me, DADspirations, and the latest prizes and giveaways.

TBR: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Pete: If you could dedicate a song to your son or daughter, what would it be and why?

TBR: Readers, Pete Densmore will give away a signed, paperback copy of DADspirations: The 1st 100 Days of Fatherhood to one lucky commenter. He'll pick a winner on April 5th, 2013 and announce the winner here. Be sure to leave your email address so he can contact you.

Thanks for visiting TBR, Pete. Best of luck to you!

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