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Author Interview Series: Behind The Scenes with David J. Delaney

Behind The Scenes2

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.

Joining me today in Behind The Scenes is David J Delaney. He writes gripping crime thrillers and his debut novel, The Vanishing, is the first book in his Detective Dean Cornell Series.

 

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.

 

David J. DelaneyAuthor 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.

Where to find David:     Website       Blog       Twitter

 

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Author Interview Series: Behind The Scenes with Callum McLaughlin

Behind The Scenes2

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.

Callum McLaughlin writes gripping suspense thrillers and is also a published poet in his own right. His latest offering, Seeking Solace, showcases his talent in a collection of sixty poems.

 

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 first started out professionally a few years ago. I volunteered my time at a local magazine, gaining experience in various forms of research and writing, as well as undertaking a short photo-journalism course. With this training on my CV, I started to work on a freelance basis, allowing me the perfect balance of time to also work on my own creative writing.

 

2. Anything you would’ve done differently if you could do it all over again?

Probably not, to be honest. Things have gone fairly well thus far and I’m happy to keep working away at my craft, hopefully learning and improving as I go.

 

3. What advice would you give to new and aspiring writers?

The most obvious yet crucial piece of advice is simply to write. It’s surprising how many people want to but never actually get around to it, constantly coming up with excuses or reasons why we think it will never happen. As they say, you can edit a load of rubbish but you can’t edit a blank page: Just write, write, and write some more.
Other than that, I’d say it’s just as important to read. The more you surround yourself with literature, the more your own style and voice can develop.

 

4. Is there any book you’ve written that is particularly special to you? Which one and why?

They’re all special to me in their own way and I suppose they always will be. I would say that my most recent release, Seeking Solace, feels particularly precious right now. Being my first poetry collection, it was a real tick on the bucket list and something I’d have scarcely believed possible a few years ago.

 

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?

Like with the books themselves, it’s tough to single out any one character. My two protagonists, Eva and Abi – from The Vessel and False Awakening respectively – are very special to me because they carry their particular stories, and though their circumstances are very different, they are both ordinary people who find themselves in extraordinary situations and simply strive to do the best they can.

 

6. Tell us about your latest project. What are you working on at the moment, and what can we expect from it?

I’ve been enjoying the release of Seeking Solace recently but as for current works in progress, I’m writing poetry as ever and have a new piece of fiction in the planning stages. It’s something totally different from what I’ve done before that I’m getting very excited about delving into.

 

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?

I’m self-published thus far. It’s not to say I don’t see the merits and drawbacks in both routes, it’s just been what I believed was right for me and my books up until this point, which is the approach I will always take. I was attracted to the notion of taking things at my own pace and keeping control of my own work, which felt right particularly when entering the industry for the first time.

To anyone looking to follow a similar path, I’d say set clear goals to keep yourself motivated, as being your own boss can be both a blessing and a curse, but also don’t be afraid to change your mind if need be (that is, after all, the beauty of self-publishing). Aside from that I think the most important thing is to surround yourself with good people. Be they online or offline, feeling part of a like-minded community will pay dividends when it comes to the big release day. It can be all too easy to write away for months without so much as breathing a word of your intentions to publish, but you’ll be thankful for the helping hand and moral support later down the line.

 

Author Bio: Born and raised in the Scottish countryside, Callum McLaughlin works as a freelance content writer and in November 2013, published his first book. He has since followed this with a second novel and outside of fiction, he is also a keen poet and a lover of all things literature, music and nature, taking his biggest inspiration from the world around us.

Where to find Callum:     Blog     Goodreads     Twitter