51UCCn0xDfL._SX312_BO1,204,203,200_Before I review, let me say that Pat Conroy is one of my favorite writers.  His writing is greatly influencing the novel I am writing right now: The Belly of the Church.  I’ve read many of his books.


While it is true that “South of Broad” is a love letter to the city of Charleston, it is also a love letter to the English language. Never have I read an author with such a comprehensive mastery of English. Whereas many writers may attempt to connect with their readers by using a common denominator of sorts in their use of vernacular, Mr. Conroy boldly and poetically embraces his vast vocabulary to create the richest possible world that words can create. However, his language alone could not make this novel as powerful as I believe it to be. He uses his substantial powers of imagery and literary precision to tell a story that borders on epic. His writing is honest to the degree of astonishing beauty, profound human wisdom, and harsh brutality. “South of Broad” is as strong a novel as Pat Conroy has written and perhaps the culmination of his writing prowess.

Whiff was a DELIGHT! An easy read, yet so poignant. A simple story that draws you into “Jim’s world”, where scent is EVERYTHING. Enjoyed every minute of this book. What a great break from reality. Can’t wait for David Hill Burns next novel.

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What a great story. Our main character is a puzzle, obsessed with scent to a somewhat alarming extent. The story has some twists that caught me by surprise and left me hopeful for this misunderstood misfit.
The references to his (my) hometown will make any Normanite proud. Ah, Sooner Dairy Lunch french fries…
I look forward to David’s next book!

Future Projects

Posted: February 27, 2017 in writing
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Now that Whiff is off the ground, I’m turning my focus to other projects.  I have choices to make.  I have 50k words on a novel called Fly By Night which I set aside a number of years ago.

Daniel is a 30-something computer programmer whose life has so far been a series of fortunate events. His friends and family consider him to be lucky. To them, he just seems to sail through life. In fact, his nickname is “Lucky”. Well, Daniel’s luck is beginning to run out. His marriage is falling apart. His career is stalling. He can’t deal with his two children. He feels alone and depressed. Daniel is losing his way…that is, until he encounters a guide. This guide isn’t a therapist, a pastor, or a guru. In fact, Daniel’s not even sure if it is human. And now, Daniel has a night job and a new direction.

I have 12k of a novel written called Bay City Runaway

Brian is a lonely drunk living in San Fransisco escaping a painful past.  He gets entangled with a teenage runaway named Amy.  The two runaways make it through with each other’s help

And I have an outline for a journalist mystery set in the south.

A reporter discovers the truth about his southern home town when he uncovers its dark secret

Fly By Night has problems to be solved before I can continue.  The other two are in good shape for excellent novels.  I’ll be choosing one soon for my next project.  Wish me luck!


Some have asked if Jim is an autobiographical character.  He is so specific that I think he seems real to people.  He is not, but the idea for him comes from my life.  When I was four, my family moved from Austin, Texas to Lonoke, Arkansas for my father’s first preaching job.  Before we left, my mother took my twin brother and me to the post office.  There at the counter I saw a little girl and became instantly smitten.  Later, in Arkansas, we went to the post office and it smelled exactly the same.  I got a rush of butterflies for the girl.

From then on, I became more aware of smells and how they affect me.  I wanted to visit that post office because of the smell.  It made me feel good.  It’s an odd thing that a post office should give a little kid butterflies, but perhaps I was an odd kid.

So I thought, what if a man’s good feelings were so strongly associated with the smells of the past that he could no longer experience positive experiences in the present.  What if the only way he could feel good was to re-experience the smells?  It’s a sad sort of person, but also interesting.

Check out Whiff on Amazon


Review by Ay Shing

Posted: February 23, 2017 in writing
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I love this story! Very satisfying to read, to grow and develop with the main character Jim. It was an alternate reality to feel/smell the world through Jim’s nose. I enjoyed it so much I shared the story with my family after reading it. I felt like he was a friend, real and lively. It was easy to laugh and cry with him. Hm. I wonder what he smell like. haha. It helps to see and sense the world from a different perspective and be more empathetic. – Ay Shing

Early Reviews for Whiff

Posted: February 22, 2017 in writing
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I inhaled it! Pun intended. Seriously, I could not put this down. Clever, poignant, evocative, and sweet love story. Laden with nostalgia without slapping you in the face with it. Lots going on under the surface. Very satisfying. ~ Paul Burns

Quirky and entertaining, this novella is a fast and fun ride. Author David Hill Burns kept me wondering about the fate of the socially awkward and smell-obsessed narrator. A faint “Bates Motel” tang in the air gave me just the right amount of goosebumps.  ~ Sylvia Ryan