David Maine: What sparked your interest in writing?
David Maine was born in 1963 and grew up in Farmington, Connecticut. He attended Oberlin College and the University of Arizona and has worked in the mental-health systems of Massachusetts and Arizona. He has taught English in Morocco and Pakistan, and since 1998 has lived in Lahore, Pakistan, with his wife, novelist Uzma Aslam Khan.
Question: What sparked your interest in writing?
David Maine: That is really hard to say. It happened really early; it happened quite young. The first story that I remember writing, well, I was about seven years old, and I was down in the cellar, and there was this big old Underwood manual typewriter. And, I don’t know, I stuck a piece of paper in it and began tapping and I wrote the story, it was a page and a half long about this dragon named Herman who apparently was suffering some existential identity crisis because he didn’t want to be a dragon. The first two sentences, this is all I remember, is “Herman was a dragon, but he didn’t want to be one. He wanted to be a knight” and that is all I got, that is all I remember. But I wrote it and I brought it upstairs and I showed it to my grand mother and she read it out louder and thought it was really funny, she was from the Bronx. She had this really strong accent, and she read it out and she just laughed and laughed. I was like, okay, but it is not supposed to be funny, but she was laughing and laughing. So I guess that was a big encouragement to me, and I went and did that, I am wrote stuff and I showed her and I showed people and my family and everybody said, “ah, this is great, this is great.” Okay. So that's how I got started, but, I mean, where that impulse comes from I don’t really know.
Writing about Herman, a dragon suffering from an existential identity crisis, says Maine.
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