Tag Archives: David B. Seaburn

Interview with Author David B. Seaburn

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

I began my career as a Presbyterian minister serving a country church. I went back to school to get a degree in counseling and entered the mental health field. Eventually I got my PhD in psychology. I was an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Family Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center, where I directed the Family Therapy Training Program in Psychiatry and coordinated the Psychosocial Medicine Rotation in a family medicine residency program. Later I directed a free family counselling center in a local public school district. I started writing stories, poetry and personal essays when I was in the ministry. I wrote extensively at the Medical Center (two books, over sixty articles). It wasn’t until 2000 that I started writing long fiction. I had had an idea for ten years and finally took the leap. I published that first novel in 2005. I been writing novels ever since. Broken Pieces of God is my eighth novel. 

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2) What inspired you to write your book?

Eight years ago, I read an online news article about a man whose wife was gravely ill. He prayed to a statue of Jesus that she would be healed, and she was. To repay this blessing, he cleaned the old statue, only to have it fall on him, crushing his legs. I couldn’t let go of the story and finally created a broader narrative to go with it. 

3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

I am always interested in the extraordinary experiences of ordinary people. This novel is no different. It follows several characters coming to grips with tragic events in their lives (life threatening illness, job loss, rape, and more), some of which have been kept secret for many years. And though they may end up with scars, they find ways to emerge with hope and resilience. I think that’s a particularly important perspective in our current time. 

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

As a marriage and family therapist and a minister, I have always been fascinated with the stories that people have to tell, especially stories of hardship and triumph. Broken Pieces of God, like my other novels, is character driven. It delves into the deeply human foibles and strengths that we all have. I hope it speaks to the lives of my readers.

5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

This is a tough question. I think I would like to talk with Gayle Kimes, who is facing a terminal cancer diagnosis. She concocts an over-the-top solution to a problem that she and her unemployed husband face. I would like to ask her where she got the strength to face these problems simultaneously and gracefully. And—What happened next in their lives?

6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

I wish I were better at this. I use Facebook and Twitter mostly. Goodreads, Netgalley, and Reedsy have been useful. Email blasts have worked. I’ve used virtual book tours. A little bit of everything.

7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

Don’t worry if you don’t know exactly where your story is going or how it will end. Keep writing. Let the narrative, the characters, lead you.

8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

Usually, immediately after I’ve sent a manuscript to my publisher, I start a new novel. This time is no different. I am about half way through the next one, which will be entitled, Give Me Shelter.

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About the Author

David B. Seaburn’s first novel, Darkness is as Light, was published in 2005. He followed with Pumpkin Hill (2007), Charlie No Face (2011), a Finalist for the National Indie Excellence Award in General Fiction, Chimney Bluffs (2012), More More Time (2015), and Parrot Talk (2017), which placed second in the TAZ Awards for Fiction (2017) and was short listed for the Somerset Award (2018). Seaburn’s latest novel, Gavin Goode (2019), was an American Book Fest Finalist for “Best Book” in General Fiction (2019) and Semi-Finalist in Literary, Contemporary and Satire Fiction for the Somerset Award (2019).

Seaburn is a retired marriage and family therapist, psychologist and Presbyterian minister who lives in Spencerport, NY with his wife, Bonnie. They have two daughters who are married and four wonderful grandchildren. After serving a rural parish for six years, Seaburn entered the mental health field. He was an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Family Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center for nearly twenty years. There he was Director of the Family Therapy Training Program (Psychiatry) and Coordinator of the Psychosocial Medicine Rotation (Family Medicine). He published over sixty academic papers and co-authored two books. In 2005, Seaburn left the Medical Center to become Director of the Family Support Center in the Spencerport Central School District, a free counseling center for students and their families. Seaburn is currently a writing instructor at Writers and Books in Rochester, NY.

Seaburn’s novels are available through Amazon, and can also be ordered through your favorite bookstore. He is available for readings and can be reached at dseaburn@gmail.com. Visit his website at www.davidbseaburn.com. Read his Psychology Today magazine blog at https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/going-out-not-knowing.

Parrot Talk by David B. Seaburn Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Two siblings discover their estranged mother has passed away, and go on a journey of exploration as their mother’s friends encourage them to come to Pittsburgh and deal with her estate, including her grieving parrot, in the powerful novel “Parrot Talk”.

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The Synopsis

Lucas and Grinder are more than a little surprised and confused to hear that their mother, Millie, who they haven’t heard from in over thirty years, has died. Now her best friend wants them to come to Pittsburgh to take care of their mother’s effects, chief among them being Paul.

A road trip ensues with memorable stops at a Racino, a Pittsburgh landmark greasy spoon, and finally a ride on an incline trolley to meet their mother’s friend, Janice. They are taken aback when she introduces them to Paul, an African grey parrot in the depths of grief, who has things to say that will change their lives. And so a transformative adventure begins.

The Review

This was quite an emotional yet humorous read. Anyone who has ever gone through loss or a tumultuous if the not nonexistent relationship with a family member will be able to identify with this narrative easily. The brother’s chemistry is fun to watch unfold here, as each reacts in their own way to the loss of their mother. Yet it is Paul who steals the show, revealing not only a great deal of humor and wit in the amazingly smart bird but also connecting the brothers to their mother, whom neither had gotten to know, as Paul recites and brings the words of their mother to live on their journey of discovery.

The sometimes dark yet relatable and funny chord and balance the author found within this narrative’s deeper themes was a truly inspiring thing to read. The heartbreaking reality of abandonment and parenthood and its effects on children over time was seen as the brothers struggled with the idea of not knowing their real mother. Paul’s quick wit and the reflection on their mother’s personality in life not only cut the tension in these scenes but brought their mother to life as well, something a lot of readers will be able to identify with.

The Verdict

A remarkable, charming, and emotionally charged narrative, author David B. Seaburn’s “Parrot Talk” is a must-read novel. The engaging way the author weaves this story in such a short amount of time is incredible, while the breathtaking journey of two brothers seeking to find acceptance in the lack of relationship with their mother, and the knowledge that in her own strange way, she did hold love in her heart, will really resonate with readers everywhere. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

David B. Seaburn is the author of seven novels with his eighth, Broken Pieces of God, being released in September 2021.

David’s first publication was a series of poems when he was in seminary at Boston University (1972-75). He continued writing while serving a church for six years, mostly short stories, plays, songs, essays and two manuscripts of inspirational prose.   

He entered the field of marriage and family therapy in 1986 and was Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Family Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center where he did extensive academic writing.  During this period, he co-authored two professional books and wrote over 60 papers and book chapters.

He started writing fiction in 2000, completing his first novel, Darkness is as Light, in 2001. It was published in 2005. 

Since then, David has been busy: Pumpkin Hill (2005), Charlie No Face(2007), Chimney Bluffs (2012), More More Time (2015), Parrot Talk (2017), and Gavin Goode (2019).

He has also written and co-written numerous non-fiction pieces some ofwhich are listed on the Other Publications Page.

www.davidbseaburn.com

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/going-out-not-knowing