Friends and neighbors, if you enjoy local history, ghost stories, or just good old-fashioned eats, you’ll love getting to know local author David Domine.
For years I wrote a monthly food column for Kentucky Monthly magazine, so people might know me from that. Or else, they might have taken cooking classes from me or attended one of the cooking demos I’ve done for Los Monitos, a local language school. I also teach foreign languages at Bellarmine University and Indiana University Southeast, so I have had a good number of students over the years. In addition, I’m very active in the Old Louisville community, so many people know me there, especially those on committees with me. Of course, I’m frequently in the neighborhood leading tours as well, so people are used to seeing me on the streets.
I have heard of the Old Louisville Ghost Tour before. Are you the tour guide, then, as well? Do people often call on you for help “ghostbusting”?
I started working with the newly opened Vistors Center in Historic Old Louisville in 2005 to use my tours to promote the neighborhood and it’s really taken off since then. In addition to a variety of ghost tours, we also offer history and architecture tours, so any given week there are usually 20 or so tours on offer. I used to do most of the tours myself, but I’ve really cut back in the last year to make more time for my writing and now there are several tour guides who help out.
Yes, people often contact me for “ghostbusting help” but I usually refer them on to someone else because I don’t consider myself a ghost hunter. If anything, I’m a “ghost story hunter”, since I don’t even really believe in ghosts. The unexplained, yes; chain-rattling ghosts, not so sure. I’m more interested in documenting the tales and legends that add to the local fabric and make the area unique rather than trying to prove the paranormal. So, if people get in touch with me, I’m happy to listen to their stories and share any historical information I might have if they’re calling about a house in particular, and if the story is really interesting I might actually do some research and see what we can find out about the property in question. That’s how I’ve gotten some of my most interesting stories for my ghost books.
When can we get your books in ereader format?
Some of them, like the Insiders’ Guide to Louisville I did for Globe-Pequot Press are available as ereaders already; I’ll have to check with McClanahan and see why they don’t do that with my ghost books.
So far you’ve tackled local ghosts and our fabulous Kentucky culinary offerings. Ever consider writing fiction?
Funny you should mention that, because fiction is what I first started writing and it’s my true passion. As a matter of fact, I’m currently working on my MFA in fiction at Spalding University, and one of these days, I’ll get one of my fiction books published. I’ve been working on a coming-of-age novel, The Wonders of Absinthe, for years now, but the one I’m really concentrating on right now is a murder mystery with a drag queen sleuth that is set in Louisville. It’s called The Gospel of Glitter according to Poo Poo Chiffon and the Disciples and deals with hypocrisy and intolerance.
Those sound like a dream & a scream! Hope they join your other works out here in the land of the shelves, soon. I know how much harder it is to let go of fiction, though! Totally understand why it takes longer to pen than the non-fiction stuff.
Who are your favorite writers from the local area?
We’re really lucky that there are so many good writers in Kentucky. Of today’s writers, some of my favorites are Silas House, Joey Goebel and Kim Edwards. Closer to home here in Louisville, there’s Sena Jeter Naslund, Kirby Gann, and Kelly Creagh.
Tell us about your favorite bookstores/coffee shops/writing haunts. What makes them special?
I get most of my writing done at home, usually in the library, but there are a number of coffee shops where I hang out and write as well. I like Sunergos Coffee on Preston because it’s your typical low-key hangout with beat-up old furniture and a laid-back vibe. Quill’s on Bardstown Road is a favorite as well; I like sitting there, getting ideas, as the busy street traffic goes by.
What’s next on the writing slate, for you?
I’ve always got several irons in the fire, so I’m not sure which manuscript I’ll be sending off to the publisher’s next, but it will probably be a memoir I’ve been working on called Voodoo Days at La Casa Fabulosa. It’s about the house I lived in on Third Street in Old Louisville, the one where I had the strange experiences that prompted me to write my first book Ghosts of Old Louisville. In addition, I’ve just begun work on a true-crime story that I’m callingThe House in Old Louisville. Most people around here have heard of the case. It’s about a rather horrific murder that took place in a house on Fourth Street in June 2010 and it has all the makings of a bestseller: drugs, sex, counterfeit money, and cross dressing. (By the way, go to my facebook page “The House in Old Louisville” and like it!) I’ll be doing a lot of the necessary research this summer, and I need to follow the trial through to the end, so it will be a year or two before the book is finished.
David, thanks so much for stopping by today! Can’t wait to read your fiction, as well as your memoir! All your books sound ultra-fabulous, and I know your local area neighbors will just *eat them up.*
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