Oy Vey! What an Interview!

Oneill's profile picToday, I’m introducing you to David O’Neill: geek, YouTube addict, and he enjoys brewing his own beer and wine. What’s not to like! While reading his interview, you’ll find yourself smiling, because … well, you can tell David loves life and everything he does. I adore people like that. Plus, he has Italy on his bucket list, and I love Italy. So let’s proceed with this interview. Beam me up, Scotty!

1. Describe yourself in 150 words or less.

I’m a geek, and proud! I love technology and SciFi, which figures, but I read anything if the story grabs my imagination. Over the years, I have learned to smile more than frown, laugh more than moan. I have two teenage kids, three step-kids, and 5 step-grandkids, with an extra one being baked as I type this. They are my life. I’m a keen musician, playing bass, guitar, mandolin, sitar and bodhran, but all badly. I love cooking and regularly make my own bread, pasta and brew my own beer and wine. Italian is my favourite food, with Indian and Chinese a close follow-up. I really enjoy good company and a good discussion with the occasional glass of wine to add lubrication. Life is for living, so live it. Be good, be kind, nice – and I promise you will get it back in every little grandchild’s hug.

2. Tell us about your published works.

The Oui Trip is my first published novel, and came about after a discussion with my best friend and his wife. I was just about to finish off a Fantasy novel and had the sequel planned and ready, so I put the idea of The Oui Trip on a back burner. But, as time moved on, the characters started to take root in my head and, before I knew it, they were demanding to be noticed. What can you do when that happens, eh? So I stopped everything I was doing and wrote about Bob and Joan Younghusband’s exploits. Their adventure in France was slightly based on experience as I love the country, having visited it Dave's Book Cover (1)on many occasions. Their situation, though, just exploded into my mind and I will be honest, I laughed at their misadventure as much as my readers have. People may think a writer plans every last bit of the text, but that isn’t always the truth. Sometimes the story writes itself in the interactions between the characters and the author is the one privileged to capture the moment. That was what it was like with Bob and Joan, and the same when Ballard and Stephan decided to join the fray. Their story wrote itself and I was unable to do anything else while it was developing. Have I told their full story? No, not yet, and more is to come later. While it is still a full story on its own, there are a couple of unanswered questions that need dealing with and the sequel is being written as I type this.

3. Do you belong to any critique groups?

Yes I do. They are without a doubt the best way to develop your skills and if you aren’t part of a writer’s circle then I exhort you to join one. I belong to a couple and each offers a different viewpoint, which has helped me get the best out of my writing. They have also helped me hone my words so that by the time you read them you can rest assured others have winced at my mistakes first and smoothed out the worst of errors.

4. Is there anything in particular that you love to write about, such as sex or mannequins?

Ooh, what a good question. The trite answer an author can give is, yes, everything. But reading into the subtext of the question, can I say I like writing anything that is a bit avant-garde? Take sex, for example, a taboo subject to most, understandably, which makes it hard to write about, but is a subject that nearly every adult will indulge in at some point in their life (okay, nuns and priests excepted!). I like to take it apart and look at it as it is conducted by real people, not those glistening bronzed bodies you see in porn films. We have more curves, more handles to be gripped than we are shown, and there are more ‘sounds’ issued during the act than one can admit to without blushing. Let’s face it, if it wasn’t taboo it would be quite funny. For me, I like to write about people and how they interact.

5. Name one thing on your bucket list.

Go to Italy and eat real Italian food.

6. If you were in a band, what would be the name and what kind of music would you play?

Opus would be the name. And the style of music? I love Prog Rock, such as Pink Floyd, Spock’s Beard, Hawkwind and so on, so it would have to be playing bass in a proper Prog Rock band. Yep, that would be good.

7. What character from your fictional works best resembles you and why?

It has to be Bob from The Oui Trip. He is a caring person who wants everything to be good, but sometimes life throws curveballs in his direction that he has to dodge.

8. In regards to writing, what are you working on now?

I am just finishing off a Fantasy book, The Gates of Hell, which I wrote before The Oui Trip, and I am also working on the sequel to The Oui Trip, which has already started to dominate my waking life, so I may be publishing that sooner than appreciated.

9. Where in the virtual world can people find you and/or meet for a chat?

I am visible in Goodreads.com so feel free to drop in and have a chat. In fact, my Fantasy novel, The Gates of Hell, is being put up a chapter at a time on Goodreads.com, and any comments are gratefully received.

10. Right now, what’s your favorite Youtube video?

My favorite YouTube video? That’s a hard one to answer as I will look up various bands and play their music online. I don’t have a specific fav, I’m afraid, as I use YouTube all the time.

The below picture is a favorite travel picture of David’s.

Dave OeillsHere’s what he has to say about it. My favourite travel location is the Vendee, down on the west coast of France. I won’t profess to being a photographer and hope that you can see, in this picture, the intense blue of the Atlantic Ocean, washing against sand that is warmed by a sun that drips like molten gold from a sapphire sky. The beaches are long, wide and clean, and for the most part are pretty devoid of people. The food is wonderful and the wine is delightful. I take my kids there and we stay in a campsite just up the road from this location, surrounded by tall pine trees that dapple the shade. I have been going there for many years now, and our memories are rich with horse riding, picnics and laughter. Even as I write this I cannot help but wear a wistful smile and wish once more for the feel of the warm sand beneath my feet. Ah, well, there’s always next year.

I’d like to thank David for sharing a little bit of his life with us, and hope to see and hear more of him.

What are your favorite YouTube videos?

Writers and Interviews
Baer Necessity

Brain Farts or Intelligence Gone Awry

I’m back! Did you miss me? Over the past two weeks, my dad, his friend, my husband, and I had a great time, which included many laughs, foods, and travels. On Sunday, we said good-bye to them in Brussels.Hattingen

My husband did so much to make my dad’s visit wonderful, and I can’t thank him enough for his time, cooking, and many hours of driving. He’s not only the BEST man I’ve ever known, but he’s also damn funny. Yesterday was his birthday, so I made a nice meal for him and cooked him an Éclair cake. Today, I’d like to share one of my husband’s hilarious experiences he told us, which left my dad red from laughter.

Before settling in Germany, our original plan was to live in the U.S. We both sent out numerous resumes, along with filling out countless applications. We lived and breathed job searches. Resume and cover letter sites were the only forms of reading we did for months.

During this time, my husband received a response from a school in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, looking for a German teacher. The interview renewed our faith in the job market. Nervous as always, my husband dressed appropriately and drove to the interview. Because there are many dialects in America, and we tend to talk fast, sometimes my husband doesn’t always understand what someone is saying. His English is great, it’s just he doesn’t know some American practices, slang, phrases, or innuendos. This contributed to his nerves when it came to interviews.

But he was a trooper, preparing for all kinds of questions they may ask. While he waited in the lobby area for his interview, a man approached, introduced himself as Head of World Languages, and said he was looking forward to talking with him. A few minutes later, a woman approached, introduced herself as Head of the World Languages, and said she was looking forward to the interview. This left my husband confused. He wondered if it was normal practice to have two Heads of a Language Department.

When called into the room, the woman and man, who both introduced themselves as Head of the World Language Department, sat smiling at him. They started out by telling my husband how impressed they were regarding his written application. It was the first time they ever received an interview questionnaire completely in German. Again, my husband was confused because a) he couldn’t remember if he sent the questionnaire in German, b) he couldn’t believe he’d actually do that in the States, and c) he still didn’t know what languages the interviewers taught. His curiosity got the best of him, so he asked if he could see a copy of his application. They slid it across to him and the below is similar to what he saw, minus some black markings and such.

Garbled text and symbols my husband could only assume happened due to a printer problem. This got the best of his professionalism. He began to laugh, which they didn’t appreciate. When they asked him what was so funny, he explained to them that the gibberish text wasn’t German, but a printer issue. They looked at each other, no longer smiling, and then back at my husband. At this time, if offered, he decided it was best to pass on the position. If they couldn’t figure out German from a printer issue’s scrambled text, he didn’t want to know who or how their department ran.

Has anything funny ever happened to you during a job interview?

Interviews and German,
Baer Necessities