Pieces Like Pottery, is an exploration of heartbreak and redemption that announces the arrival of a new American author Dan Buri. His writing is uniquely heartfelt and explores the depths of the human struggle and the human search for meaning in life.
Mr. Buri's non-fiction works have been distributed online and in print, including publications in Pundit Press, Tree, Summit Avenue Review, American Discovery, and TC Huddle. The defunct and very well regarded Buris On The Couch, was a He-Says/She-Says blog musing on the ups and downs of marriage with his wife.
Mr. Buri is an active attorney in the Pacific Northwest and has been recognized by Intellectual Asset Magazine as one of the World's Top 300 Intellectual Property Strategists every year since 2010. He lives in Oregon with his wife and two-year-old daughter.
D.O: How are you doing Dan Buri, I hope I got your name correctly? [SMILES]
DB: Yes you did!
D.O: Thank you for joining us today, on Authors' Curtilage Book Dialogue. Not only that thank you for your patience and understanding with me.
DB: I would like to first of all say thank you for hosting me on your site, Lola. No thanks necessary for the patience and understanding. I know how busy you must be. I must say you have a wonderful blog!
D.O: Wow! [SMILES] I'm blushing. Thanks for your comment. So Dan, when did you know you wanted to become a writer?
DB: I can remember writing as far back as middle school. It’s something I have always enjoyed doing. One of the first poems I ever wrote was about my older brother and his basketball playing abilities.
D.O: You mind sharing part of the poems with us?
DB: Sure. I still remember the opening lines and I wrote them nearly 30-years ago as a kid:
I’m Joe the King of Basketball,
I’m the king of the basketball court.
All my shots are always on target,
None of them are ever short.
I didn’t say it was any good! I don’t remember any more than that. To be honest, I’m not sure how I even remember those lines.
The point is writing has been something I have always enjoyed doing and something I have always admired in other people. Story telling is a beautiful gift. I love learning to hone the craft.
D.O: And because storytelling is a beautiful gift, anyone with the writing ability should work at it. I would say your first write up is good. You are spontaneous. I remember when I was much younger my writing ability really bothered me. I hear voices, then see visions inside my mind, and didn't know how to get it out. I didn't realize on time it was a talent. I just found that, father was always gifting me old unused diary. He knew I am gifted, but won't say anything. So what I did, if a person hurt me, slap me, deny me something I'll just put it down, until I could figure me out! [SMILES]
DB: That is a great story, Lola. I appreciate you sharing with me. Thank you.
D.O: Thank you. What are the steps you took to develop your book from a rough draft into a published novel?
DB: I typically have an idea or framework for a story before I begin. I also keep a journal of notes and ideas that strike me throughout the day. We all have what an old teacher of mine liked to call pristine moments of coherence—those moments when an idea strikes us so profoundly and clearly. I don’t want to lose those thoughts when I have them, so I try to write them down. Once I have the framework and I am writing the story, then I will let it develop where it wants to go. As I am writing, I will pull concepts from my journals or other notebooks. In one of the stories in Pieces Like Pottery, the ending I had planned just didn’t work. It felt dishonest to take the reader on the journey and then finish with the original ending. I just knew the reader would feel betrayed, so I had to rework it completely. So sometimes the original plan just doesn’t work and the story unfolds on it’s own.
D.O: Sometimes letting the story develop where it wants to go, reveal better ideas than we can imagine. What did you do differently in your book to make readers feel fear, concern, sadness, love and laughter?
DB: Great question. I am moved and inspired by people’s real life stories of overcoming tragedy. Every person has trials in life. Life always presents obstacles and disappointments. I wanted to examine how individuals overcome these obstacles in a variety of characters. I toyed with the idea of each of these stories being its own novel, and I still may expand a couple of them into full length novels, but I settled in on a collection of linked short stories because it presented the opportunity to have a range of characters and display that, despite how different our life experiences are, we are all connected as human beings. We all suffer and laugh just the same. My hope is that readers recognize that and are inspired or moved to compassion through the book. Utilizing the thematic framework of each of the five sorrowful mysteries was simply a way to communicate that suffering and redemption.
D.O: From all I have gathered about "Pieces Like Pottery" there is no doubt that, readers will be moved to compassion through the book. What is the underlying theme that explored truth or moral in "Pieces Like Pottery"?
DB: Good question. After a writer completes his work, it becomes the reader’s, so I do want to each reader to understand the book in their own way. I will say that in Pieces Like Pottery most everything in the book is intentional. The names are not randomly chosen. The numbers used are intentional. Quotes, songs, artists, etc. Most everything referenced in the book has a purpose, sometimes within the context of that one story and often times within the context of the entire framework of the book. It is no accident that there are five Sorrowful Mysteries in the book and that there are four intermediate stories and poems that break up the five main stories—that all has meaning. There are a lot of Easter eggs in the book, so readers should look closely. Hopefully in addition to enjoying the stories on their own merits, your readers will enjoy searching for clues, almost like a mystery novel that challenges the reader to pick up the individual pieces of the story and piece them together into a grander whole. As far as over-arching truths explored, the goal of the book is to explore sorrow, purity, courage, patience, and forgiveness.
D.O: Hmm.... That's a good one. How do you think "Pieces Like Pottery" will influence readers growth positively?
DB: I have been lucky enough to have some very positive reviews. It seems to have been well received so far, for which I am grateful. There was one lovely woman in particular, though, that had some feedback that really touched me. In her review itself she had wonderful things to say, commenting how she wanted to give the book 10 stars instead of 5 and how people will want to read my book again and again; but she contacted me directly as well and shared a wonderful story. She told me that her husband was an Air Force helicopter pilot who died in 2012 in a mid-air collision. She had spoken to him one last time less than 2 hours before he passed away. His last words to her, she says, were nearly identical to the last words in my book. She was so moved and just cried. She told me that she could never thank me enough for bringing her that experience in my writing. I don’t know if I’ll ever have a more beautiful review than that. It was a gift to hear that.
D.O: I think I'm close to tears myself. Please, Give me a moment to pull myself together...
DB: It's okay Lola. It's understandable.
D.O: Thank you. Any hint about your next book?
I am constantly writing and tinkering with ideas, so I have a few projects in the works.
(1) Expanding Expect Dragons into a full length novel. (Expect Dragons is the Third Sorrowful Mystery from Pieces Like Pottery.)
(2) Writing the second installment of this short story series—The Joyful Mysteries. Pieces Like Pottery was the first.
(3) I have a very unique group of childhood friends and we are still friends to this day. We are a band of misfits and often heard we wouldn’t amount to anything if we didn’t straighten up. 20-some years later, we are married with kids. We are lawyers, actuaries, Air Force pilots, and artists, and I don’t think we’ve changed one bit at all. We’re still just as rambunctious and unable to follow rules as we were when we were kids. I am slowly working on a memoir-type account with one chapter dedicated to each friend and the main characteristic they posses that propelled them into the man they are today and the success they’ve seen.
D.O: I'm inspired! I guess those with the conventional character like us always get the PHRASE "you won't amount to anything if you go on like this" LOL! What better effort do you suggest writers, input into their writing to have great sales in the ever-changing economics of the entertainment industry?
DB: Be kind and don’t push. I am not a master marketer by any stretch of the imagination, but I do know that no one has ever bought a book because the author pushed it onto them. Be creative. Join online groups that are related to your book, and participate, don’t just join to say, “Buy my book!” I know an author in Texas who writes mysteries in the flappers and swingers era. She had a hard time getting large bookstores to promote her book, so she visits local gift shops and hotels throughout Texas and gets them to carry her books and have them on display. My father is an indie author and marriage and family psychologist. He sells the large majority of his books giving marriage talks to groups large and small.
The point is, be creative and be involved. Find where you books are most relevant and participate in those communities.
D.O: Thank you once again for joining us on Authors Curtilage Book Dialogue. May your days in the field be filled with fame, fortune, honor, story ideas, character development, and more, and all that is good and life!
DB: Thank you so much, Lola! I have appreciated this opportunity to spend some time with you and your readers. If you or your readers have questions or comments, please contact me. I would love to hear from you. You can reach me via email at danburi777 [at] gmail [dot] com, at my website Nothing Any Good or on twitter @DanBuri777. Thanks!
D.O: You are always welcome Dan. Thanks for all the sweet comments. Hey wonderful readers, thanks for your time.Do grab your copy of Dan's book.
Pieces Like Poetry is currently on sale at the following links: