Nobody Eats Parsley. Sit down, grab a beer and let me tell you some stories about my family. They’re so ridiculous you may think they’re fiction. Like the time I went to a drive-in X-rated movie without realizing my parents were in the next car. Or how I let my kid throw a rock through the living room window. There’s the time I bought a camouflage thong in a bait shop, and the time I ruined a kid’s birthday party. And the other time I ruined a kid’s birthday party. There’s no way I could have just made these stories up. I can’t guarantee that they will make you laugh, but I can guarantee that I didn’t make them up.
DAVID OAKLEY has been telling brand stories at BooneOakley for years. He has won many prestigious honors, including the Kaopectate Award in the eighth grade for having diarrhea of the mouth. His first book, Why Is Your Name Upside Down?, is full of stories from his life in advertising. Despite this, he was recently inducted into the North Carolina Advertising Hall of Fame. He lives with his wife Claire and their dog Walter in Charlotte, where they raised Sydney and Lucas. He loves his family very much and hopes they still love him after reading Nobody Eats Parsley.
Hi David! Let’s dive right in, huh? What do you love most about Writing?
I’ve got an ego, and sure, I enjoy the attention that authors get. (Like being asked to be on Morgan’s blog! I’m very excited about this, by the way.) But when it comes down to it, I write because of the way it makes me feel. And because of the way it makes you feel when you read it. I like surprising people and making them chuckle. It thrills me, it excites me, it invigorates me. Writing, and making people laugh, gives me meaning and purpose in life.
How did you get your start writing?
Storytelling is such a big deal in the South. I grew up listening to my grandma tell stories of growing up as a tobacco sharecropper during the Great Depression. I was fascinated at how much humor there was during such hard times. She always made me laugh and I really like laughing. So, I decided that that was what I wanted to do. The only difference is that I write my stories down. And her stories were better. LOL
Is there an Author you consider your inspiration?
I read my first David Sedaris book in 2007, and he instantly became my favorite author. His story “Big Boy” about an unfortunate incident in a bathroom at a dinner party made me howl with laughter. Not only because it was so absurdly ridiculous, but because it was so relatable to me. I thought to myself, stuff like that happens to me a lot.
What Inspired you to write your book?
Laughter inspires me. When something happens in everyday life that makes me really laugh or someone around me laugh, I write about what made them laugh. At lot of funny things, (at least they’re funny to me) have happened in my life. I found myself telling these stories and laughing about them with my friends over dinner or beers, and one day I decided that I’d better write them down before I forgot them.
That’s probably every authors nightmare – having a great idea and then forgetting to write it down! Do you have a preferred POV that you write from and why?
My stories are about stuff that happens to me and my family, so I write from my POV. I see things through the eyes of a father, a husband and a son, who probably has smoked one too many joints in his life.
Do your characters dictate what or how your write in any way?
I’ve written two books now, and the characters in them are real life people that I hang out with every day. The first book is about my life in advertising, my work family. And my new book is about life with my real family. So, they do dictate how I write. Because they say funny things. Like my daughter Sydney, who told a friend that my new book, “might not be the best book my dad has ever written, but it’s definitely in the Top 2.”
Although it’s often hard to select just one, do you have a favourite or least favourite character?
My Aunt Hallie, without a doubt, is my favorite character in Nobody Eats Parsley. She’s an 83-year-old church going, sweet tea drinking Southerner who can strike up a conversation with a signpost. She’s sweet, humble, kind and the best natural born trash-talker in the history of North Carolina. Imagine if Aunt Bea from The Andy Griffith Show and Eddie Haskell from Leave it to Beaver had a love child. That would be my Aunt Hallie.
What’s your number one tip for an aspiring Author?
The first thing for an aspiring writer is to keep writing. Just keep writing. Then after you have written for about 10 years, suddenly you’re not an aspiring writer anymore. You’re a writer.
Is there a book you consider a must-read- why?
No, I don’t consider Nobody Eats Parsley a must-read. That’s because I just recorded an audiobook. So, I consider it a must-listen. LOL (Even though I can’t stand the sound of my own voice.)
Do you have a Mantra- a Quote you try to live by?
“To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” This is a quote from Steve Prefontaine, a runner from the 1970’s.
<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/468177255″>Nobody Eats Parsley</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user11098752″>Kara McCoy</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>
I want to thank David for taking time out of his busy schedule to stop by and talk about his book. Please look for David on his social media network:
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