I have been writing for as long as I can remember. As a teen, in particular, I wrote awful poetry and tried to emulate Bob Dylan. I started writing seriously in seminary at Boston University in 1972. There I was published for the first time—a series of poems in an alumni journal—work lost long ago. During my six year tenure as a parish minister, I became a disciplined writer, having to produce a sermon each week, both a literary and theological task. During this period I wrote many short stories, song lyrics, poems, and two nonfiction manuscripts. One manuscript, "Dancing on the Edge" was accepted for publication, but the offer was later withdrawn. Unfortunately, I was so disheartened that I did not write for several years.

I left the ministry and entered the field of psychotherapy, working in community mental health where I published a few papers on my experience as a clinician, including one on a patient's suicide.

In 1986 I started working at the University of Rochester Medical Center, where the focus on academics accelerated my development as a writer. Over the next twenty years, I co-authored two professional books and over fifty-five papers and book chapters. The rigor of mentored writing and excellent editing taught me a great deal about the craft.

During my academic career I remained interested in fiction, but did little more than collect ideas and make notes.

My first novel, DARKNESS IS AS LIGHT (2005), was based on a personal vignette told by a former patient. The story stayed with me for ten years, was reworked it in several creative nonfiction workshops, and finally transforming into the backbone of a novel about a middle-aged man sorting out the truth about his mother's death. I wrote Darkness in exactly one year.  

In 1990, I did extensive work on a story idea and then stored it all away in a folder. I returned to those ideas years later, making them the basis for my second novel, PUMPKIN HILL (2007).

My third novel, CHARLIE NO FACE (2010), was my first with Savant. It is a first person coming of age story told by an eleven year old boy named Jackie. The novel is set in my hometown and explores the issue of how we treat the “other” in society. CHARLIE NO FACE was a Finalist for the Indie Excellence Book Awards in 2011.

While working on CHARLEY NO FACE, I read a story from Great Britain about the death of a child that became the springboard for my current novel, CHIMNEY BLUFFS (Savant 2012). It is the story of parents who, after the death of their four-year-old son plan to commit suicide by jumping from the cliffs at Chimney Bluffs. I think this is the most powerful story I have written to date. In it I focus on the survival of one parent, Kate, who is helped in her healing by the two men, Clancy and Bobby, who find her at the base of the cliff. Their lives become intertwined as each person’s story of loss and regret unfold. In the end, it is the power of their complex and transformative relationships that provides hope and a path forward to a new day.

Common to all of my work is an abiding interest in the common struggles that make us human—loss, fear, hope, uncertainty, connection, separation, meaning, seeking, questioning, love, guilt, wonder, joy, and storytelling. I think we are all storytellers. That is how we make sense of our lives and the world around us. When I write, I feel that more than anything else, I am trying to make sense of life, trying to explore its meaning. And, of course, I am trying to tell a good story in the process.

David B. Seaburn
Author of CHIMNEY BLUFFS (Savant 2012) and CHARLIE NO FACE (Savant 2010)