Jon David Cunningham
Norfolk, Virginia USA
Good morning, David, and welcome to Vision and Verse, the Place for Art and Authors. We are thrilled to have you with us this morning! Tell us,what have you written?
In grade school I did several comic books. The artwork was better than the writing. In middle school I attempted writing a play. It was in my thirties, that I finally did write it, a two-act play. However it was in my late forties I told myself I could write a novel. I knew it was never going to be the great American novel, but I wrote it anyway. I have no plans to ever let it see the light of day. It was in my twentieth year of working as a hairstylist, I realized our story needed to be told. I wanted to tell it with a tongue in cheek attitude. To tell all the crazy thing we go through with our clients. Shortly after my fiftieth birthday I watched as Delilah Mancini came to life. She had something else in mind, so I ended up telling more about her life than about her days in a salon.
What is your favorite genre to write?
When it comes down to reading, it would have to be horror. I don’t believe I have gained the skill necessary to do it justice. If I had to pick just one, at this point I would say ‘Family Sagas’.
Tea or coffee?
As a Southerner, I must say tea, and served very sweat with ice. Yet I would never turn my nose up at a good cup of Joe.
Pizza or ice cream?
Why can I not have both? Okay if I must, it would be ice cream.
Where would you like to visit?
The UK, all of it, but London first and foremost.
Favorite musical artist.
To know me is to understand my musical taste cannot be tied down to just one artist. There again, if I had to, it would be Julie Andrews.
Do you listen to music when you write? Yes!
While writing it is ‘The Piano Guys’.
What makes you laugh?
Thanks to my father, I have a wicked since of humor. I can find almost anything funny. I enjoy watching those who take themselves far to seriously.
Favorite work of art or sculpture.
How old were you when you started writing?
I’ve known since I was a child I was a storyteller. I feel I started learning about the art of writing in my late forties.
Describe your perfect evening.
It would be after my dogs have started to settle down. I would have a rum and coke sitting next to me. My headphone would be on my head playing some kind of instrumental music. Then I would start telling a story as fast as my fingers would allow me to type.
Where do you get your inspiration?
Forgive me, but as Stephen King once said, “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” All I ever known was how to work, it’s just something you do. I can’t explain it.
What do you do when you get a writer's block?
Pace! I live in a small Cap Cod, which allows me to walk in a continuous circle. While walking I remind myself where the story is going, and how much the characters need me to tell their story.
Who is your favorite author?
Best book you ever read.
I have read my share of the classics. The one that spoke to me the most at the time was ‘The Art of Racing in the Rain.’
Last book you read.
Don’t tell anyone but I just finished a trashy little novel. But the one I’m get reading to start in the next few day is ‘Outcry Holocaust Memoirs’.
What would you do for a living if you weren’t a writer?
I am a hair stylist and colorist. Working part time at writing. Yet if I had the true talent for singing. I fantasize about being a Broadway actor.
Who is the one person who has influenced your personal life the most and why?
Two years ago I would have denied it. After her passing I would have to say it was my mother. She taught me how to be self sufficient, to stand on my own two feet and not to back down. I can hear her now, ‘Live and let live, but never take no crap off of nobody’.
If you could sit down and have a conversation with ONE person, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why?
Jesus of Nazareth. To ask him just how far off the mark did King James of England get it? What did he really mean, without two thousand years of someone else’s interpretation.
Take as much time as you can to learn the art of writing, not just the techniques. Be true to your voice, yet make sure you have a voice first.
The link for the first book is
For the second one
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