Local author David Banks spoke to a local book club at the Van Buren Public Library about being an author and the inspiration for his stories.
Banks started his discussion with a poem. He told everyone in attendance that the main reason he writes poetry is so he can make his daughters laugh, cry, or to just annoy them.
Banks' first book is "Fort Whiskey." It started as a story told by his grandmother that he had heard his entire life. Bank’s Grandfather’s Grandfather and his two brothers saw their father hanged. This causes them to seek out revenge on the three men that killed their father.
“I’ve never really thought of this as a western,” Banks said. “I see it more of a period piece.” Everything that happened in the book happened locally in Fort Smith at Fort Whiskey, and although his source for the story is his Grandmother, Banks believes it to be true.
Banks revealed that a sequel to "Fort Whiskey" is in the works. This story is completely fiction as opposed to his previous book and will be titled "Mordecai’s Crossing." 
His newest book is titled "Gum Town Detective Agency." Banks shared that Gum Town was actually the original name of Alma. The story takes place in a fictionalized version of Crawford County and Sebastian County. It follows a character named the Orphan of Gum Town. The character lives in a cave outside of town and loves reading. The character's favorite books are the Pinkerton Detective Crime Novels. A murder takes place in Gum Town and he decides to investigate the murder himself.
“I’ve found that writing was something that I could do and enjoyed doing.” Banks said. He explained that he didn’t think of himself as a writer but more of a storyteller. He wanted to preserve the stories that he was told growing up. “These stories will outlive me,” he said.
Banks wants to reignite the love for the western genre. He looked back on the days when every famous actor appeared in a western and how these days the genre has fallen to the wayside.
A second Gumtown novel is in the works as well, and Banks continues to write and preserve the stories from, not only his childhood but from this area of Arkansas.