Writers Tricks of the Trade VOLUME 8, ISSUE 4 - Page 20

S POTLIGHT I NTERVIEW MIKE DENNIS Mike Dennis is one of those people who does lots of things well. From professional musician to professional poker player. From author to audio book narrator. It seems as though there is nothing that is too great of a challenge. Not even the “You Don’t Say” col- umn that Mike and Morgan St. James wrote together for over a year. WTT: Mike, I understand you've had a variety of careers. Why don't you walk us through them? MD: Well, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, in 1973, I became a profession- al musician, fulfilling a dream I'd always had. It was a big jump for me, like taking a fork in the road that led into darkness. I didn't know what lay in store for me, I on- ly knew I loved music and had an oppor- tunity to play it for a living, so I took it. For the next 30 years, I never held anoth- er job. WTT: How do you mean? MD: I went to Nashville in 1979 not knowing a soul in that city. As you know, it's called "Music City USA". It's the center of country music and it's a very unforgiv- ing place. I still remember how intimidat- ed I was the first day I rolled into Nash- ville in my van. I actually slept in my van for WTT: What instrument did you play? MD: I played piano and sang. I did rock & roll, rhythm & blues, and country music. Not all at once, of course. I was heavily into country for the first twelve years or so, the first six of which I lived in Houston and Memphis, and the last five years in Nashville. It was during those five years that I developed a lot of confidence in my abilities. W RITERS ’ T RICKS OF THE T RADE With Fats Domino the first couple of nights until I lined up a place to stay. Then, after going out every night to check out the music scene, I got myself some work after three or four more nights. That led to bigger and much better things. P AGE 15 W INTER 2019