Check out this author spotlight for Dr. Thomas Davison!
You can find all his links furthest down the page, and don’t forget to check out his books!
1. Hi! Welcome to my humble blog of all things bookish! I would like for us to start by getting to know you. Give us a short bio, please!
First- thanks for the opportunity to be on your blog Catrin. A big shout out to your members and followers! Tom
Dr. Davison has been teaching inside two state prisons in Ohio for the past five years. He has been deeply moved by his personal observations and interactions with his incarcerated students. and motivated to create poems and short stories about their day-to-day lives and experiences. Thomas has recently created a not-for-profit Entrepreneur Services for Felons (ESF). He has dedicated 100% of his writing profits to provide free one-on-one support services for felons and ex-felons.
Hi- My name is Thomas Davison and five years ago the only thing I had ever written and published was my doctoral dissertation. After teaching college course inside two state prisons, I have been possessed with the need to write poetry, short stories, and essays about my experiences with my incarcerated students. I have been submitting work for publication since 2019 and have been fortunate to have been published over fifty times. Mostly poetry and short stories. I am relatively new to the craft of writing and since I am 65 years old – I intend to make up for lost time.
2. To get to know you just a little bit better, I’d like to ask you some this or that questions. Answer 5 (or more!) of these and explain why you chose this or that, or maybe an entirely different alternative!
Winter, spring, summer or autumn?
Spring- everything growing and changing quickly- most energized time of the year for me!
Cat or dog?
I have one of each and like it that way
Tea or coffee?
Neither- diet coke habit- first step is admitting you have the problem
Morning or evening?
Early morning hours most productive- before most people get out of bed.
Library or museums?
Hunter or gatherer?
Hunter, there is always the next hill or path to take.
Witches or wizards?
I like my witches by the coven and my wizards individually
Mountains or beaches?
Outdoors in the woods somewhere
Pen and paper or computer/phone?
Laptop and/or tablet- I like to use word voice – and speak out my notes and outline. First I find the story, then I develop the characters that will be in the story. Lastly I plot out the steps for the story.
Standalone or series?
Series where each one is a great standalone
Book or ebook?
I have never stood in line for hours waiting for my favorite author to sign my e-book copy- have you?
Hero or anti-hero? Definitely anti-hero- they are just more interesting, more human. Straight up heroes are boring and less sympathetic. I like rooting for the underdog.
3. When you look for books to read, what trope or type of story will always catch your attention?
I prefer to read and write using the literary tropes of metaphor and irony. My favorite type of fiction is the quest. The protagonist- an unlikely or damaged anti-hero- must complete a quest of some kind (something symbolic). The story is full of developed fun characters that I fall in love with. I crave Worldbuilding that is credible and interesting. I want to read about how this quest has changed them. Whether or not the quest is successful isn’t as important as the development of my favorite characters.
4. What do you write? Tell us about your current projects and the latest happenings!
I wrote my first ever horror story a 5K word short story entitled Enternal Prisoner. It has been accepted for publication by I/O enterprises, alond with a contract to publish 4 more stories in the series. They publish via microsoft vella, they sell each installment separately. If it develops enough fan base, they then publish it as a complete book of all of the series. They should start coming out in December. The are written ala Lovecraft style, and are intended as a salute to the master.
Afterword, from the author…… This story, is a salute to H. P. Lovecraft, the master. Reading H. P. Lovecraft as a young boy was the major influence that formed me into a lifelong fan of all things that are horror. I would be remiss if I did not recognize the current fact that Lovecraft is a figure that stirs much dispute and anger in today’s hotly politicized environment. My intent is not to intentionally, or unintentionally, espouse any of the theories accredited to him. I am simply a mediocre writer who likes to read scary stuff. Lovecraft wrote some very scary stuff.
I have a contract to write a young adult novellette 30K words entitled The Boy With Strange Eyes , it is written, intended to target at risk children. To interfere with and support them from becoming full-fledged incarcerated felons. On the topic of bias, prejudice, and discrimination. Due out – early 2022
I have a contract for a hybrid chapbook entitled Different Prisons. It is a combination of prison-themed poetry, creative non-fiction shorts, and entries from my personal journals taken from inside teaching in the prisons. Really insightful as to the culture inside these state prisons. Due out – mid 2022
Several other smaller writing commitments and future publications. It is an exciting time to be blessed with the second craft of my life- writing. It took me 35 years to become good at my first craft of teaching. I need to accelerate things.
5. What is your most recent release? Give us a short presentation, cover, and a link for where to buy it!
The last thing I had ‘published’ was 9/29/2021 it was a podcast of a CNF short, done by a wonderful westcoast podcaster named Aljendro Cruz. He has done several of my poems as well. Here is the Youtube link.
I won’t have any books to sell until 2022. However, I love reading and writing, sci-fi, fantasy, and horror genres. I don’t believe that there is one path to success for a writer. I believe we have to each find or own paths. I would be happy to answer any questions from your blog followers about my methods and my path that might prove useful for them.
6. What real-life inspiration do you draw from, and what are your primary fictional sources of inspiration (books, authors, films, music, etc.)? Name a few!
I have found plenty of inspiration in my own life. I am former US Army vet, former criminal investigator, certified former forensic auditor, toastmaster, certified government (international) auditing professional, several other state, national, and international certifications such as certified public manager (national). Raised as a military brat, former Army, travelled the world. Visited 35 countries plus. A full busy life- with much remaining to do.
My favorite fictional straight hero was from To Kill a Mocking Bird, Atticus Finch. Anti-hero would be The Ranger Strider from Tolkein. A good King should be ‘reluctant’ to assume all of that power. Once he became Aragorn, he was less interesting to me. As I stated earlier I love a good Quest book- or series of books.
7. What is your writing routine? If you have one, give us the run-down!
I am completely and totally chaotic and disorganized when it comes to writing. I believe I like to procrastinate to create false self-imposed crisis deadlines which then motivates me to work until I finish it in time. When I am on- I usually write full mode until finished. Most is completed in a marathon- an outpouring. Followed by a series of rewrites.
8. If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice as you started out on the path to becoming an author, what would it be?
Be fearless, patient, work hard, don’t overreact to rejection. I held back on submitting anything for publication for all of 2018. Lost an entire year because I was afraid my work wasn’t good enough.
9. Last but not least: where can we find you? Drop those links!
I suspended my writer’s website on wordpresss – too time consuming
Thomas Davison, D.M. – WRITER – WEBSITE
I’ve decided to pay someone to build me one- professionally. Should be back up soon. But- I would like to talk a little more of your time and talk about the best thing I have written to date….
The Boy with Strange Eyes, is a YA novella that was originally created as a unique tool specifically for teachers, counselors, and mentors of at-risk minor youths. It also happens to be a good read. So- encouraged by my editor, and feedback from the at-risk youths I work with, I have HAVThis story is intended to be utilized to aid in the introduction of discussions and counseling on the topics of bias, prejudice, and discrimination, and how to handle the subsequent results, for young people who are at a crossroads. Minority youths who are at risk of becoming incarcerated adults are the primary target for this intensive counseling and intervention. The outcome is to provide youths with the necessary tools to overcome these obstacles as they are confronted with them in their daily lives.
I have spent the past five years attempting to reduce recidivism for my incarcerated students and had some small success. My students pursuing further education and learning how to become self-sufficient entrepreneurs by starting their own landscaping, hot-dog carts, food trucks, trash removal, and other small businesses are at a 48 % lesser rate to recidivate than the general prison population.
It occurred to me that this is not enough. The best method to reduce the prison population is to intervene when youths are at risk. In other words, stop them from ever becoming incarcerated at all, and recidivism becomes a moot issue. Interviews with my current students and at-risk youth I work with, indicate that for the minority youths the issues of bias, prejudice, and discrimination are primary drivers of conflict. How youths deal with these issues, and the anger and reactions that they cause, must be controlled.
In the past, I have used a short 1200-word version of this tool with extremely positive results and feedback from both the at-risk users and the teacher/mentor/counselors attempting to work with these youths. I strongly believe that a longer version of this product, the novella project, The Boy With Strange Eyes has the potential to become an even more effective tool, not to mention it might sell some copies.
I feel very blessed to have spent 35 years teaching college students throughout Ohio. And now doubly fortunate to begin a writing career. But- despite the hardships that my incarcerated students must endure, I have learned more about the potential for greatness from them in one day- then the previous thirty years of teaching ‘traditional’ students.
I have started two Writing Clubs inside the prisons where I work inside. These prisoners are by beta readers, they and their bunkies must approve everything I send for publication- to ensure I am their voice and to keep me ‘real’.
A taste for you and your members- first sentence from this novella I am almost finished with draft 1. …. There had been no fish again today, and the boy was exceedingly thin… not the variety of thin, which is normal in any active twelve-year-old boy, rather it was the type of thin which comes when a child hasn’t eaten properly for many months.
Partial List of Publications, Lit. Mags., Journals, Newsletters, Anthologies, Podcasts, etc., include: