LITERARY GURU DON DURANT

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When I was young, I had little to say. In my middle years, I was too busy with job and family. Once I reached retirement, I found that I had much to say, and my inner desire to write was intensified.

Photo: Author, Don Durant

Don Durant is a former long-term Advertising Executive for several major publications, such as The New York Times, Newsweek, Family Circle, Essence and Black Enterprise magazines.   His growth and success in this competitive arena allowed him to write plays from his experience during the 80's & 90's, and most recently in 2001.  It was during this time that the seed was planted to write a book centered around life in the advertising sales jungle. 

His writing credits include articles published in community Newspapers, such as the Point Of View, Stand Up Ministry, Hempstead Community Journal, Caribbean Life, and  Rockaway Wave Newspapers pertaining to terrorism and  politics.  Mr. Durant has written seven plays, two of which; Stratagem, and   The Day in the Life of a King, offer subjects interestingly related to terrorism. 
 
He received his A.A. in Business Administration from Elizabeth Seton College, in Yonkers, New York.   As an entrepreneur, he has established, and owned businesses since 1979 in the Nassau County New York area.  This is Mr. Durant’s debut Novel.   Don Durant has owned his own printing company for the past seventeen years.  Since 1984 he has garnered regional media attention for original plays he wrote and produced off Broadway.   His plays thematically run the gamut from comedy to musical, to drama. 
 
BSN: Don I had the opportunity to read your bio.  You have produced many plays over the past 25 years.  Has being a producer of plays helped you to navigate your transition to an author?
 
Don: I was fortunate enough to have written the greatest percentage of what I produced.  Writing for sript is far different than writing a novel.  I never knew what a difficult challenge it would turn out to be, but I learned and the exercise has made me a better playwright as well.
 
BSN: Could you share with our readers a little bit of information regarding your background?
 
Don:  I am a long term former employee of the New York Times, Newsweek Magazine, Family Circle, Essence, and Black Enterprise Magazines.  A graduate of Elizabeth Seton College in Yonkers, N.Y,  nd a business Entrepreneur.  Running my own business in Long Island for nineteen years helped me to know that much of a person’s success is predicated on their personal motivation.  My late wife was an integral part of any success I could claim.  She was supportive during those times; we had to eat Salad in order to survive. I miss her and a great deal of my drive is lost without her.
 
BSN: Don When did you first get an idea to write, and publish your first book, and can you share some valuable tips you learned along the way?
 
Don: I wrote my first book at the age of 21, in long hand on a yellow pad.  It turned into 65 pages and when I finished showing it to friends, and family, I misplaced it, and never found it again until 22 years later.  At that time while reading it, I laughed a lot at the immature and amateur approach to story telling.  God knows best, and he prepared me for this time.  When I was young, I had little to say.  In my middle years, I was too busy with job and family. Once I reached retirement, I found that I had much to say, and my inner desire to write was intensified.  I learned that everywhere you look there is a story to be told.  Most magazines in the country, including national magazines, use Free Lance writers quite heavily.  Many writers make a lucrative living simply off writing free lance.
 
BSN: Don, What was the title of your first Book?
 
Don:  To Protect and Serve, was the title of my first book.  A book focused on terrorism, and many shortcomings in community policing.
 
BSN: What genre are you focusing your literary endeavors upon?
 
Don: I find that no matter what genre I start out with, my finished product turns out to be a thriller or detective story.  I am currently working on a mystery novel, and since I have written the ending already, I find myself rushing to get to that conclusion.  I am struggling to maintain it as a mystery genre.  If I give too much away, it will become another thriller or even a love story.  I am not married to a genre, I have an eclectic approach to writing and I let the story lead me.
 
BSN: Don, you have published three novels now.  Have you seen a progression of your writing style and ability?
 
Don:  My first book was sent into the publisher, and I simply wiped my two hands together waiting for it to hit the stand.  The manuscript came back to me within days, with a question, “Are you sure you are finished with this?"  I re-read the manuscript, and found glaring deficiencies.  I studied, of course, I read, and I rewrote.  I re-examined, and I slowly rebuilt my courage, to resubmit.  This all took at least eighteen months. My second book, was nurtured a lot, and cradled even.  The third book was much faster, I incorporated the points I had learned, and I took care on small things, and I was careful to respect my reader.  I have grown.  All three books are good reads, and well worth buying, but the third book showed far more growth in the preparation.
 
BSN: Can you give us the title of all three books you have published?
 
Don: To Protect and Serve, a book on Terrorism in New York, No Place Like Home, a Book on the Criminal Justice System, and miscarriage of justice, The Crossroads Mystique - My Sister, My Friend, and novel on women relationships, murder and wild living.
 
BSN: Don, your last book THE CROSSROADS MYSTIQUE...My Sister, My Friend title intrigues me.  How did you decide to write this book and could you share a peek inside the book so readers can know what to expect when they purchase this book?
 
Don: Zedia, Evelyn, are two cousins, and Monique, a young woman they meet.  Zedia new to the city meets Monique on the bus on the way from Charlotte.  They strike up a friendship, not know how truly different they both from one another. Cousin Evelyn can see the difference right away being streetwise.  Monique lives with a man named Blast, who leads her into a wild swinging lifestyle, until he is caught playing behind her back, and is found killed by hit men.  Monique, suspected of the murder is on the lam, heading back to Charlotte.  The relationships between every person in the novel is focused on them reaching a Crossroads, for  better or the worse.  This crossroads is the turning point in which the characters in this story grew or diminished.  And then Monique started to....
 
BSN: Do you have a website? Your background is very interesting and our readers want to know a little more about you?
 
Don: www.myspace.com/originalwriter
 
BSN: Don, How can our readers purchase a copy of your book?
 
Don: Email: dondurant2@aol.com , amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com,  
and  myspace.com/originalwriter
 
BSN: Don, can you repeat the titles of your literary works?
 
Don: To Protect and Serve, No Place Like Home, The Crossroads Mystique - My Sister My Friend
 
BSN: You have been producing plays for well over 25 years, can you tell us a little about some of the plays you have produced over the years?
 
Don:  Caught Up a Gospel Play about the Rapture, Like A Grain of Mustard Seed. a play about overcoming Homelessness, The Prodigal, a modern day musical version of the Prodigal Son, A Day In The Life of A King, a drama about the last day in the life of Dr. Martin Luther King,  Jr.  from released FBI Files   Another One Gone, a comedy about an insurance scheme falling apart, Stratagem, a drama about CIA involvement in third World countries.
 
BSN: Don could you share with us some of the places you have traveled to share your literary masterpieces?
 
Don:  I would love to say far and wide, but really, most of my plays were presented OFF Broadway.  The Westside Arts Theater, The Quaigue Theater, in the Diplomat Hotel on 43rd Street, The Carter Theater in the Carter Hotel on 43rd St, The Westside Arts Theater, on 43rd Street, the Lambs Theater, on 44th St, and out of Manhattan,  The Black Spectrum Theater, and  hundreds of schools and churches across  Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island.
 
 
BSN: Don, What is your short term and long term goals as an author?
 
Don:  My immediate goal, since I am undertaking this awesome responsibility at a late stage in my life, is to write, write, and write.  I am more interested in doing what I had always preached to my son, "Leave something here, so that it will always be known that you were here."  I believe I have best seller in me, I am proud of my output quantitatively, and qualitatively.
 
BSN: What impact do you want your literary work to have on the readers who purchase your work?
 
Don: I believe that in each of my novels there is a thread, a common thread that the protagonist is in a helping mode.  I hope my readers will walk away knowing that I believe that all of us are here to help another.
 
BSN: How can a reader purchase one of your books today?
 
Don: My E-mail is the fastest. Dondurant2@aol.com , Best Seller Book Store on Main Street in Hempstead, Amazon.com, and barnesandnoble.com
 
BSN: Don, give us an overview of your three books again.
 
Don: The Crossroads Mystique - My Sister, My Friend, A story about relationships between women, with an emphasis on trust, sharing, and caring.  A zone where men are unaware and uninvolved, No Place Like Home, A novel about the injustice in the criminal justice system, where our young people and the unwary are absorbed unknowingly into the system with no real way out. A sixteen year old boy is caught up in a criminal act with a group of young boys.  Only one is tried as an adult while the others were tried as juveniles for the same offense, and sentenced to less than a year. The sixteen year old boy is sentenced to twenty years. In an adjacent character, a young business woman, Monaa is caught up in a conspiracy with her girlfriends. She leaves herself vulnerable to charges of conspiracy when she and four girlfriends try to get even with an ex boyfriend who had wronged each of them.  To Protect and Serve, A building on Northern Boulevard, in Long Island City, is taken over by terrorist, stocked with enough explosives to bring the building down, as well as the underground subway, and the northeast region MTA transportation command center, a block away, controlling LIRR, AMTRAK and many Freight trains.  The explosion timed to go off with the opening of the World Trade Center Memorial while the President is in town.
 
BSN: Don, please share your website info, contact and E-mail for readers who may have missed it, with contact information to order your books.
 
Don: myspace.com/originalwriter   dondurant2@aol.com     (516) 481-3368

Phil Andrews is a Business Columnist for Black Star News and host of The Power Networking Series located at www.powernetworkingseries.com. The Power Networking Series is a referral-based business network online and offline which offers membership and presents monthly Power Networking Series Business Card Exchanges in the NYC metropolitan area.

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