We had the good fortune of connecting with Andrew Duvall and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Andrew, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Anything worth doing will have risks attached to it. People think that things should be given to them just because they want it, but that’s not how life works. You have to earn those things that you so seek and to earn them, risk is involved. I decided long ago that I would chase my dreams regardless of the outcome. Being an author isn’t about being rich and it’s not about being famous; if you get into something to gain those two things, you will be sadly disappointed. I’m an author because that is what I love doing. I love telling stories and I love books. There’s something pure and wonderful about books, the way they can transport you to a world that you never thought possible. I feel honored that I can contribute my own stories to the world and hope that one day my books can inspire someone to take up writing. Risk… It’s just a part of the game. Anything worth doing will have risk. Nothing is free and nothing is given; risk equals something earned.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
For a large portion of my early life, I was afraid to write. Afraid I wasn’t good enough and afraid no one would like what I had to say. I wanted to prove to myself not only that I was good enough, but that I could handle any situation by not backing down. So, I started doing stand up comedy at the age of 15. Stand up is like nothing else in the world. You write, but the crux of comedy is getting on stage and doing your time. If you have 10 minutes, well by God, you’re doing 10minutes. Stand up taught me to persevere and not give up. For a while, the plan was to try and be a comedian full time, but in the back of my head, there were my books that I wanted to write. My stories haunt me if I don’t write them. They are always with me, begging to be written out and shared. So, through stand up comedy, I got the courage I needed to sit and write my stories. It’s hard and it can be very frustrating, especially during the editing phase, but it is always satisfying. I am an author. That is what I was born to be and I just had to take a winding, curvy road to get here, but here I am and I shall never leave. Don’t be afraid of what you want. Go out and take it. Don’t worry about if you’ll make money from it or not. If you love something enough, money is but a bonus.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Well… What I want to do and what others would like to do are two different things. I find going to a book store and spending hours wandering around is pure bliss to me. The Last Book store in Los Angeles is one of my favorite places to be. But, if I had to show someone a good time, one of the things I would want to do is take and edible with a good friend and then go watch a show. Watching magic is fantastic, and I wish I had the talent to be a magician. Going to watch Iron Maiden live isn’t just a concert; it’s more like watching a live show. Some of my favorite memories are watching Maiden live with my friends.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are a few things throughout my life that I owe credit to. To begin with, my parents. They have always stood by me and gave me the courage to strive for the things I’ve wanted. They let me experience life and gave me the freedom to either mess it up or make something out of myself. The books: The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco (the way the narrator is able to tell that story had me glued to the book for hours on end.) 1984 by George Orwell (no other book changed the way I look at the world and a governing body like 1984. It scared me, amazed me.) Authors: Robert Heinlein Agatha Christie Michael Crichton Alistair MacLean Edgar Rice Burroughs Last, but certainly not least: Iron Maiden! There is no greater band than the metal lords themselves; Iron Maiden. Maiden takes heavy metal music and adds history, books, movies, the occult, nightmares and everything in between to give what isn’t just music but what is more of a show than anything I have ever heard or seen. Their music has inspired me to take chances and not be afraid of my own voice. Don’t copy others and don’t follow; lead. If you’re alone, then so be it, but don’t ever worry what others think, for there is an audience out there for you. Go and find it! Up the Irons!
Facebook: Andrew Duvall