Saturday, May 19, 2012

Author Spotlight: Mick Davidson

Mick Davidson

Life Cycle V3

Book Review (Coming Soon)



1. Please tell the readers a bit more about you.
I was born in '58 in a small town in an England that was still scarred by WWII. Both parents were in the RAF, so we traveled a lot. I move house once every two years on average. I'm 53 now. Your formal education suffers when you move so much, but you learn to adapt, learn to take the world in your stride. Most of my education came through my own learning and experiences. Everything that happened to me as a child feeds and fuels my imagination. I've always had a strong sense of self, which can get you in trouble. Adults don't like it when an eight year old argues back. The downside is never feeling like you fit in; life could be fairly solitary at times - which is all good practice if you want to be a writer. Nothing is wasted.

2. What types of books do you write?
I'm not a genre writer. My first novel, The Darkness Beneath, is a vampire/horror novel. I chose that because I saw the first novel as an apprenticeship, so I made it as easy as possible to write. It didn't need much research because most of it is entirely made up. As a journalist, I'd never written more than 1200 words for one story before: writing a whole novel was a scary experience. It got better after I'd written the first 20k words. My second novel is a bike-based romance about an English couple whose marriage is smashed to bits. They go on a cycling holiday in the Netherlands (where I currently live) where all sorts of adventures happen. So that's an entirely different genre. To me what's important is the story and how it's told. The use of language, the words and phrases and the emotions and imagery these conjure up is where the magic happens for me.

3. Who's your main audience?
Anyone who can read and wants to read something a little different.

4. When it comes to writing- what are your strong points? What are your weaknesses?
Strengths, use of words and language, imagery, that sort of thing. People often say my stories are like films (are you listening Hollywood?).
Weaknesses, that's much harder to say. I shun going into too much detail about what my characters look like and the clothes they wear. I can't be bothered to spend ages describing objects and places unless there's a real need. You have to leave something for the reader to create for themselves.

5. What do you think of this term- Writer's Block? How do you overcome it?
I think that writer's block is an indulgence. Try working on a newspaper and telling your editor you can't write! When you live by the sort of deadlines newspapers and magazines have, you don't have the luxury of giving up. I do go for spells without writing though, although I'm always scratching away at something. The best thing is to write anything as long as you write something. Remember, the first things we write are not going to be perfect, they have to be revised. Someone else said that writing isn't about writing, it's about re-writing, so we can write any old rubbish to start with, then refine it into something worthwhile. I've had a problem with my romance novel, the last chapter has been a real challenge as I didn't think I could write the dialogue. I tried and tried and I was getting nowhere, it was overwhelming. Eventually I wrote everything I wanted to say as a series of headings. From these I started filling in the details and when I got stuck, I moved onto another heading and wrote some of that. Doing it this way has meant focusing on small, manageable chunks rather than wrestling with the big picture. Another good idea is to go over the last page or so that you wrote and edit it. This should get you back into the story and if you're lucky, you'll be sparking ideas that you have to get down asap. If all else fails, go and read someone who inspires you, read until the fire is re-lit and has burnt away all your fear.

6. How many books have you written?
I've finished one and am about 80% through the second. At the same time I've written several short stories and approximately 50 poems.

7. How many are published?
One, The Darkness Beneath.

8. Are you self published or traditionally published?
Self-published as an eBook (and only $1.99 on Amazon).

9. What's the hardest part of the writing process for you?
Often it's just finding the time among all the other commitments. There's often some kind of battle going on before writing commences. I don't know what that is, but it seems the hardest thing is just sitting down to write. You'd think you were going to put your hand in a mousetrap, not use a keyboard. The internet doesn't help: I always write on a computer and I'm always logged on to Twitter and Facebook.

10. What type of books do you enjoy reading?
Pretty much anything and everything. I love history and biographies or books that bring elements of these to the story. But I also want to be entertained by off the wall ideas and inventiveness in language. I have a 12 page rule: if I can't get into it after 12 pages, I stop. There's far too many books that need to be read to waste time on ones you have to fight.

11. Who's your favorite Author?
Either Cormac McCarthy or Jorge Louis Borges, or Laurie Lee.

12. What's your all time favorite book?
Ouch! You can't expect me to answer that, far too hard! At this moment, it's probably the Border Trilogy by Cormac McCarthy. It's poetry on horseback, beautiful, wonderfully evocative and the way he uses language is inspirational.

13. How long does it take you to write a book?
At least a year, but if I could do it full time, a year maybe.

14. Out of all of your characters, which is your favorite? Why?
My main protagonist from The Darkness Beneath. Although strictly speaking, she's the baddy, she allowed me to grow as a writer, and to write a whole book that is now out there in the world.

15. What is one of the most surprising things you've learned as a writer?
It gets easier the more you do. Also, you can write things into a work of fiction that allows you to exercise a few demons.

16. What does your family think of your writing?
It varies from indifference to being very supportive. Friends tend to be more supportive and interested. Friends who are also creative are great when you're having a bad time, as they've all been there and know exactly what it's like.

17. What does your writing schedule look like?
During the day I'm writing 9-5 in my day job as a technical author. After that I try to have a  few hours away from the computer, but then it's back to work. Sometimes I'll be busy with fiction, but nowadays there's a lot of marketing and related research to be done. The weekends should involve as much fiction writing as possible but life, and shopping, often get in the way. I write two blogs on Sundays, which normally means not having any time and/or desire to write anything else.

18. Do you manage to write every day?
No, but it's certainly my ambition, my goal.

19. What's the latest news you'd like to share?
Um, my first novel, The Darkness Beneath, is now available as an eBook on Amazon?

20. Do you have any advice for new writers?
Yes, don't be afraid of expressing yourself in the way and language you choose, after all, it's your soul you're committing to paper. Also, never arrive at the point of writing without having something to write. You should have an idea rattling around in your head before you sit down. And that there's no point in writing being ordinary: make your work sparkle and sing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Honest, enlightening and inspiring - a great read!


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