Creative Corner – Dave Goodlove
Leap Year has made my February “Month of Romance” extra special, because we get not 4, but 5, great interviews with some of the best authors Romance has to offer!! And, as the saying goes, I’ve saved one of the best for last…and I’d say that even if we weren’t good friends.
Meet: Dave Goodlove
Combining a passion for travel, foreign languages, and cross-cultural relationships, Dave Goodlove writes contemporary romance stories that touch the heart and whisk the reader off to fantastic adventures where hope is alive and romantic dreams come true.
As a university English lecturer, he encourages second language writers to follow their passion. He makes his home in Taiwan a cozy one with his darling wife and two beautiful children.
- Welcome, Dave. Thanks for joining me here on Creative Corner. What should my readers know about you?
First of all, thank you for inviting me, Clara. You’re awesome, you know. Your readers may already know that you are one of the friendliest writers on social media, and your writing is fabulous, so it’s sincerely an honor for me to hang out with you on Creative Corner. Great corner, by the way. (Ed. Note: Thanks, Dave!)
What should your readers know about me? I’m an English lecturer and a family man who also has a passion for writing romantic adventure stories. I’m American, but I make my home in Taiwan with my darling wife and two lovely young children.
- What are the 3 words that best describe you?
Grateful, Loved, Romantic – These are three words that best describe the way I want to be best described.
- Tell us about your work.
I write contemporary romance novels, whisking my readers off to exotic locations, where they can experience the adventure of travel, fall in love with someone from another culture, and believe in the power of love, driven by destiny, to overcome all obstacles. My stories are basically modern-day dream-like fairy tales placed in a contemporary setting, and as in fairy tales, there is symbolism and moral lessons woven within the fabric of every story.
I’ve just published my first novel, Unbound Romance, about romance author Alena Romanova who runs away from her failed engagement in New York only to discover a deeper meaning of love in the French Polynesian paradise known as Tahiti. This story actually started as a story blog with one tiny paragraph back in 2013. Two years later, it has been published as a novel. I also blogged another novel, set here in Taiwan, which was completed last summer, and I hope to publish that at the end of this year. I am currently writing my third romance novel set in Bavaria that is based on my own experiences as a teenager and a 20-year-old college student in Germany.
- Which piece of work are you most proud of?
I love James Michener’s answer when asked the same question. He said, “The one I’m working on next.” Here’s a guy who won the Pulitzer Prize and wrote bestsellers by the dozen, saying that he was more proud of the work that was to come than what had been. And I completely concur with that attitude. I always want to keep improving my craft, branching out creatively, and making better stories than the last one so that in twenty years, I can look back at my early work and say, “Wow, look how far I’ve come.”
- What other creative endeavors do you enjoy?
As a teacher, I enjoy creating lessons and materials to teach college students in a fun, dynamic, interactive, and inspiring way. When I’m not writing or thinking about writing, practically all of my creative energy centers on teaching, but I do channel some creativity into telling stories to my children with passion and humor. I love doing that.
- What would people be most surprised to see on your Kindle or bookshelf?
It depends how well they know me. I have a mix of all of my interests: action/adventure; romance; of course the entire Desire Never Dies series by Clara Grace Walker; and many other books that inspire me. If they don’t know that I’m a Christian, for example, they would be surprised that I have several inspirational books on there. Or if they don’t know I speak German, they’d be surprised to find one of my favorite mystery novels in German.
- How about your playlist?
Same answer, sort of. I have a mix of my interests and all of these songs touch me or inspire me in some way and reveal a part of my personality. If the people peaking at my playlist know me well, they wouldn’t be surprised by any of it.
- In the story of your life, who would you like to play you?
Maybe it would depend on my age in the story. One actor couldn’t possibly play me from childhood to now, right? Let’s go with George Clooney playing me as a retired professor and novelist in the future. I think his personality is a bit similar to mine, and he would keep me appearing handsome in my later years.
The Glamorous, Dangerous Romance Section:
- Which celebrity would you most like to end up with in a highly-publicized romance?
Haha, funny question. Maybe Li Bingbing, the Chinese mega-star actress whom I used as a model for my heroine Joy in my second novel. And since I am married, it wouldn’t be a romance. It would be meeting her in Shanghai and her kissing me on the cheek and saying over and over again how grateful she was that I used her as a model for my heroine Joy, and a paparazzi would capture that shot of her kissing my cheek and it would end up on all the top Chinese news websites, the ones monitored by the government, and on TV news stations in China and Taiwan with headlines saying, “Li Bingbing kisses completely unknown American author in Shanghai: grateful for him using her as a model in his story.” Something along those lines.
- What would be your “couple nickname?”
- Would the romance be more likely to be chronicled in Vanity Fair, People, or The National Enquirer? Why?
All of them. They’d eat it up. But in the US, they’d change the headline to “Transformers 4 actress kisses completely unknown American author in China: not sure why.”
- Being part of a celebrity couple puts your life in danger. What is the danger?
Oh my gosh, I wouldn’t be able to go anywhere in public here in Taiwan without wearing shades.
- How do you neutralize the threat?
Wait it out. There’s always a new scandal or media frenzy here in Taiwan. A famous person barely gets five minutes of fame before the next big thing overshadows the past one.
- Which would you rather own: an Aston Martin, a Corvette Stingray or a Bentley?
Do I have to own it? I love the feeling of not owning a car. After living in LA where I was dependent on cars, and having them break down or get into accidents, I feel a tremendous sense of freedom without one. But if I could rent one of these, I’d take an Aston Martin, just to say that I drove one, because I used to be a huge James Bond fan.
- Do you have a chauffeur or drive it yourself?
Oh yeah, I’d drive it myself. Then return it, broken and battered, after pulling all those Bond stunts with it. No, I doubt it. I’d probably just take it through an In-N-Out Drive-Thru just to see the look on the cashier’s face, and then drive off with a very satisfied smile before suddenly realizing that I had just ordered something and left.
- Which celebrity would you most like to spend the night having drinks with?
That’s a hard question because the celebrities that I love inspire me in different ways so I’d love to hang out with any of them. Maybe I’d wanna spend time with one of my favorite writers, getting to know him or her and learning what makes him or her tick. I guess I’d have to choose a favorite writer that is still living today, so I’d go with Nicholas Sparks since he qualifies as a celebrity writer.
- Where do you hang out, and what do you talk about?
On the back porch of some bed and breakfast overlooking a North Carolina beach, of course. I’d ask him about his books, writing advice, and if he wouldn’t mind endorsing my novel since my style is similar to his, and if it’s not too much trouble, producing the film version of it.
- We have front row tickets to Fashion Week in NYC. Who are we sitting with?
Someone with impeccable fashion sense who can explain what I’m seeing.
- Whose collection are you most looking forward to seeing?
All of them. I enjoy viewing fashion with a writer’s eye. I love the creativity in every outfit and I always think to myself, which of my characters would be wearing that and how could I describe it?
- You’re given the chance to star in either Star Wars or Lord of the Rings. Which movie do you choose?
Oh, Star Wars, hands down. I’d love to call one of my best friends in my hometown, who is a hugely fanatical Star Wars fan, and tell him, “Dude, check it out, I’ve been cast as the lead in the next Star Wars movie!” Wait, did I say the lead?
- Which role do you play?
Not the lead. I’d be so honored to be in the film that I’d just be content to play doorkeeper number six who has one line that says, “Good evening, Mr. Skywalker, I’ll take that cloak for you,” which will of course be cut in the final film edit but may appear on DVD and Blue-ray bonus features.
- Who is starring in the movie with you?
Li Bingbing. She will be the lead.
- Everyone’s running for President these days, so why not you? Tell me your campaign slogan.
It would be, “I mean, seriously, America, have you seen the alternatives?” (Ed. Note: Good point, Dave)
- You’re the lucky winner of the Publisher’s Clearinghouse Sweepstakes. What’s the first thing you do after receiving your prize?
I’d get a lawyer and a Doberman.
- Your house has been sucked into a tornado and transported to Oz. What’s the first thing you do when you land?
Burst out the door in song. “The … hills are alive with the sound of muuuusic!!” I don’t care if all the munchkins are looking at me like, “Wrong movie, bozo!” I can make that song fit practically any context.
The Personal Touch:
- What has been the most romantic moment of your life so far?
My honeymoon in Hawaii. Every moment of it.
- What is your favorite Valentine’s Day gift to give?
Whatever I think my wife will love.
- What is your favorite Valentine’s Day gift to receive?
Honestly? Wow… you’re going to make me blush.
- What appeals to you most about writing cross-cultural romance?
Thank you for asking this. I could talk about this topic all day. At a very early age, I learned the value of knowing a foreign language. It’s not to impress someone with what we know. It’s to have an intimate connection with someone from a culture that is completely different from our own. I am a firm believer that the friendships we make cross-culturally are stepping stones to world peace. Add the element of romance and that intimacy quadruples. I want my readers to experience this kind of intimacy first-hand.
- What have you learned since publishing your first book?
I’ve learned so many lessons. One is that finishing the first draft doesn’t mean finishing the novel. That’s just the beginning if you want to take it all the way to publication. There are phases, like in a building project. Last year on the train commute to work, I got to witness a park being built. I watched day after day as that little park took shape, from its very early demolition stage to when it finally looked like a park, and I smiled to myself and thought about how perfect a metaphor that was to writing and publishing a novel.
- How long did it take you to adjust to moving from the US to Taiwan?
I lived here when I was single for three years, and now I’ve been here with my wife and kids for almost five years, and guess what? I’m still adjusting. It’s a process of getting used to the way things are done in another language and culture. And it’s tiring. But that’s part of the adventure.
- What tips would you give someone about to move to another country, to make the transition easier?
First, I’d say count the cost of what you are planning to do. I find that it’s very hard to live overseas based on my experience, but I guess the difficulty would vary according to many different factors. The constant culture shock, the necessity of unending language learning, and frustration of not being able to do the things we take for granted in our home country can get to you after a while. But if that’s what you choose to do, do it. It’s an exciting, daily adventure, but get ready to be humbled. When you get to the country, adopt the attitude of a learner and keep it the entire time you are there. Keep a journal and always ask questions. Why are they doing that this way? If there’s an emergency, how do the locals handle it? This attitude increases the fun and decreases the stress. Finally, never feel bitter. Hanging out with your fellow countrymen or women is okay, but we expats tend to complain a lot and that never really helps anything. Love. Always love the people where you live. Even when it’s not returned to you.
- We share an affinity for Ernest Hemingway, and for A Farewell to Arms in particular. Share with us your favorite passage from the book.
I have to confess that it’s been a while and I left my copy of it back in my hometown, so I can’t pull out a particular passage that I was fond of, but I can tell you that this book was my favorite novel in college. I read it after going through a bad breakup and it strangely gave me comfort. It was the first novel that I read that combined romance and adventure and I wanted to fall in love with Catherine Barkley just as much as Frederic Henry did! I also read the German version, which is translated with the very boring title of “In another country.” I love the title A Farewell to Arms and was initially attracted to that – besides the cover art of a soldier kissing a nurse.
- If you could spend the day with Hemingway, what would you do?
If I could go back in time and spend the day with him, I’d want to go fishing. I’m not big into fishing, but getting him outdoors in his element where we can relax and talk just the two of us would be ideal. We’d chat about his writing, his travel adventures, boxing, and writing advice, and since I already know what he’s going to do in the future, I would do my absolute best to convince him of the value of life, the positive influence of his writing on so many people, including me, and how his family and God love him so much that they would want to see him live as long as he can. He’d probably punch me in the nose, but at least I would have said my piece.
- You’ve just landed in Tahiti with the love of your life. What’s the first thing you do?
As soon as we are outside in the sun, I’d be the one to place a lei over her neck and a crown of flowers over her head – Polynesian symbols of blessing and beauty – and then I’d tell her that she’s more beautiful than the beauty around us and I’d kiss her deeply and slowly and tell her I love her. Then I’d lean over and whisper in her ear, “Paradise awaits, my love.”
Reach Out & Touch Someone:
- Where can my readers get more information on you?
For now, readers can check out my Amazon Author Page that has more information on me and where they can purchase my novel.
- What social media sites do you use? How can my readers follow you?
My main social media of preference is Twitter. Please follow me @DaveGoodlove. I would absolutely love to hear from you.
- Where can my readers purchase your work?
On Amazon. If readers buy the paperback, they can get the e-book for free, or just buy the e-book (or paperback) and enjoy, but don’t forget to write a review when you finish! Thank you!!
- Please provide any other links my readers might find useful.
My official Author Blog. See also my Twitter feed for updates.
Thank you so much for joining me, Dave! Best Wishes on all your future endeavors!!
Thank you for having me on Creative Corner, Clara! It was my pleasure.