Digger Cartwright

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Why I Write: Interview with Author Digger Cartwright

Getting to know Digger, Author of Conversations on the Bench  
I have always enjoyed talking, but I didn’t discover my love of writing until much later in life.  Whether I ignored this secret passion because of my short attention span or because I was not an avid reader, I was in my mid-twenties before I started writing regularly – and then I was hooked.   
Writing can serve many different purposes.  For me, writing is an extension of my passions.  I write about what I love, what I hate, and what I constantly think about.  For someone who thinks about a million things a day such as myself, being able to capture some of it on paper or through a computer document is a valuable practice.   
Everyone has a different reason behind the things they do and why they do it.  To get another perspective on why they choose to write, I turned to Digger Cartwright to get his opinion and thoughts.   
Digger Cartwright is an author, industrialist, and philanthropist.  He is known mostly for his mystery stories which include The Versailles Conspiracy and Murder at the Ocean Forest.  He has recently released a new book based upon actual events titled Conversations on the Bench.  I interviewed Digger about his how he got started as a writer, what his favorite project has been, and why he loves to write.   
Michael Luchies: How did you get your start as a writer? 
 Digger Cartwright: I think my first writing experience was writing a different ending to a book.  I didn’t like the ending.  I thought it should end a different way, so I sat down and wrote the last two chapters the way I figured they should be.  I guess I realized at that point that I enjoyed creative writing.  I started out by writing some short stories and screenplays.  I wrote an early version of The Versailles Conspiracy that was my first attempt at a full length novel.  It came out more like a movie, so I locked it away.  My writing progressed from there, and I wrote Murder at the Ocean Forest as my first full length novel.  I was in the back of a limo on a long trip and I wrote the outline for the novel and made a lot of notes 
about the characters.  When I got home, I started working on it and never really stopped writing.  I went from that back to The Versailles Conspiracy then to The House of Dark Shadows then The Maynwarings and now Conversations on the Bench. 
ML: What has been your favorite project as an author?   
DC: I don’t know that I could pick out a favorite project of the books that I’ve written.  They’re all labors of love, and they’re all like my children.  I’ve dedicated a great deal of time and energy to bringing these books to fruition, and they’re all so distinctly different that it’s tough to say I have a favorite.  Having said that, my new book, Conversations on the Bench, was particularly rewarding for different reasons.  I got to step out of my mystery writing frame of mind where you create everything from scratch and step into the role of being a storyteller of the lives of actual people.  I got to meet and get to know a couple of very interesting people and tell their story.  In doing this, I found myself very inspired by the protagonist of the book.  His story was very uplifting and motivational, and it was very emotional.  It was a chance to share with others some wit and wisdom that everyone can relate to in some way.   It’s sort of like stating the obvious, but the lessons are coming from this very fascinating individual and are explained in a way that only he could explain them.  So, I would say that Conversations on the Bench was a very interesting and rewarding experience, but all my books have been very enjoyable projects for me.      
ML: why do you choose to write? 
DC: I guess I’ve always had an interest in or passion for writing.  I’ve written numerous articles about various subjects—business, politics, entertainment, society.  I think writing novels is rather therapeutic for me.  I have the chance to decompress from the stress of the real world and get lost in a world that I’m creating.  And I’m a pretty analytical person, so I like writing mysteries that require a good deal of planning and analysis.  In the business world, I have to solve problems from time to time, so I guess mystery novels are an extension of problem solving.  I present a problem in the book, collect the evidence, then solve the problem or have some resolution to the problem.  Writing is a somewhat natural extension of my business side, and I find it very relaxing to sit and create books for other people to read and enjoy.  And on top of all that, it’s really a rewarding experience to write a novel, and I’m not talking in the fame or financial sense.  When you finished that book and have the printed book in your hand, it gives you this overwhelming sense of accomplishment.  It’s refreshing.  It’s rewarding.  It’s relaxing, and I think it’s a great escape from the realities of life.    
Writing is a very rewarding activity that can be therapeutic for some while challenging and even stressful for others.  Whether you love writing just to write or you only like writing about what you are passionate about, there are countless benefits and reasons why you should continue your efforts.   
As people we tend to succeed at the things we love and enjoy doing.  Digger Cartwright is a clear example of someone who loves what he does and due to that love and his talent, excels at it.   

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