Everyone’s journey to publication is different and unique. In Behind The Scenes, I interview writers who tell us how they started and got to where they are today. With the knowledge that comes from experience, they share their words of wisdom with us. If you’re a writer, I’d love to hear about your journey! Please contact me here if you’re interested in being interviewed. New interviews featured every second and last Monday of the month.
1. Tell us a bit about your writing journey. How did you get started, and how did you get to where you are now?
I started writing in high school. I always had a pretty active imagination as a kid so when it wasn’t all that cool to play with toys anymore I started to write. Now it wasn’t very good and I never thought about pursuing it beyond English class so I chose to study psychology and then eventually nursing.
It wasn’t until I was waiting to start my first nursing role that I sat down at my laptop one day and thought ‘why not write a novel’. I had 3 months up my sleeve so I sat and wrote a 70,000 word story that still sits unedited on my computer. From this 70k boredom breaker though I decided to write more and more. I read Stephen King’s ‘On Writing’ and ‘Write, Publish, Repeat’ from the guys at the Self Publishing Podcast and from there decided that writing was something I wanted to pursue.
2. Anything you would’ve done differently if you could do it all over again?
I wouldn’t have spent a year writing short stories, I would have written a novel or two as well. I thought I’d follow Stephen King’s example and focus on short stories which I’ve had a number published but they didn’t really promote me much as a writer. The 70k manuscript I had just seemed far too daunting to even consider editing so I focused on 5k – 7k shorts. It was only when I started to talk more and more to other writers that I realized I needed to write longer works.
3. What advice would you give to new and aspiring writers?
Get a professional cover and make sure to get a professional edit. These are two areas that still plague indie authors.
4. Is there any book you’ve written that is particularly special to you? Which one and why?
I’ve only the one, ‘The Vanishing’ and this taught me so much about writing and myself as a writer. I think it’ll always be special to me as it’s the first.
5. Who would you say is your favorite character(s) from your books, and why? What is it about this character that makes him/her tick?
I loved Joanne Saunders from ‘The Vanishing’. The one word I had in mind when writing her was ‘gumption’. She’s a strong character who doesn’t hold back. She hides her fear and is mature beyond her 15 years. She’s a character I’d love to explore further in my books as she grows into adulthood.
6. Tell us about your latest project. What are you working on at the moment, and what can we expect from it?
Book 2 in the Dean Cornell series. My goal is to release this book by late June, early July and the third by end of year. The characters are starting to become more and more lifelike and I see them saying and doing things I never thought they would. I suppose the more you grow to know your characters the more real they become.
I want to make each book unique in its own way. Each book will take on a different theme and hopefully flesh it out as the book goes on.
7. Are you self-pubbed or traditionally published? What made you go for this model? What advice/tips can you share with writers working towards the same goal?
My short stories were traditionally published with various anthologies and magazines whereas my novel was self published.
The reason I went the self publish route with my novel was to focus on writing and not trying to break through the insurmountable wall that is traditional publishing. I feel if my book is found by someone who wants to publish it then I can look at that but in the mean time I will be writing more novels rather than query letters. I think the chasm between self and traditional publishing will narrow someday but I’m not sure how that will look. I think publishers sitting by and waiting for the next Harry Potter or Twilight to fall into their lap is lazy and they should be more involved in the self publishing world as there is some great stories waiting to be plucked.
Either way, I’m thoroughly happy with how my publishing journey is going and can’t wait to get the next book out.
Author Bio: David J. Delaney is an Irishman hailing from Dublin but now living in Sydney, Australia. He believes that we’ve all got a story to tell whether we write it down or not; and if a story causes you to feel any one of the myriad of emotions we all possess as human beings then he’s done his job as a writer.
Sitting through English class as a teenager was the only period in school where he stayed awake and learned something. There’s not a form of entertainment he doesn’t like. Movies such as Ghostbusters, Beetlejuice, Jurassic Park and Blade Runner kept him up late into the night as a kid. He would discover video games soon after—Resident Evil and Silent Hill on the original iteration of the PlayStation blew him away. Books, however, was the one thing that remained a constant, even as he fell in and out of love with movies and games. The first book he ever read was Ted Hughes’ ‘The Iron Man,’ borrowed from a traveling library that came to his school when he was eight years old. He then moved on to the Famous Five, The Hardy Boys and every Roald Dahl novel he could get his hands on. As he got older he began to love the likes of King, Cornwall, Koontz and Barker. He is inspired by them as well as other great writers such as Neil Gaiman, Kylie Chan, Sean Platt, Johnny B. Truant, David W. Wright, J. Thorn, J. F. Penn and David Gaughran.