Tracey has been chatting with some of our authors recently - you may have seen some of the snippets we've shared on our social media platforms. Here is what David Wake, author of The Other Christmas Carol, had to say in response to our 10 Questions:
Tell us about your favourite place to write.
I’m not sure where I normally write can be described as my favourite place.You sometimes have to put aside your surroundings and just get on with it whatever the circumstances.I do write in my front room, which is pleasant, but not ideal.So, I’m decorating a room to make the perfect writing space.It won’t be.The perfect writing space is inside your head.
What inspired you to become a writer?
You have an idea, which niggles at your imagination, pesters, ferments, percolates and demands to be written... therefore you become a writer to get it out.Until the next one, of course.
What do you do when you are not writing?
Feel guilty about not writing.
Do you listen to music while you’re writing? If so, what’s on your playlist at the moment?
Yes and no. Sometimes it’s impossible circumstances again but when I can I have an appropriate soundtrack on in the background.It can’t be anything too recognizable: Star Wars just makes you think of Star Wars.But there are so many films that there’s bound to be something exciting, moving, scary, romantic or whatever to suit a mood.(Aside: there’s a soundtrack playing right now and I’ve no idea what the film is... Z for Zachariah – never even heard of it, but it’s slow, thoughtful piano that seems to suit.)
What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve been given so far, and why was it so significant for you?
Write regularly. Create a sacred space and time, if you can, that’s set aside just for writing.If not, then just struggle through.Practice makes perfect.You get better at anything if you keep going.
And allow yourself to write crap. Odd advice, but when you are writing a first draft, your right brain hemisphere, the creative side, is doing all the work.However, the logical side, the left-side sits upon your shoulder getting bored.It’ll point out a spelling mistake, an ungrammatical sentence, a badly phrased paragraph, a poorly plotted chapter and so on and on and on.And you listen to this voice and give up.But often you need a run up to get to the gold.Sure, you need both hemispheres, but not at the same time, so save the left for the rewrite, because, very, very often, what it says is crap turns out to be perfectly fine once you’ve corrected that spelling, adjusted that grammar, rephrased that paragraph and plugged that plot hole.
Tell us about your current work-in-progress.
I’m writing the third in my Thinkersphere series.(Or rather, I’m writing my answers here to avoid getting on with it.)
Out of all the characters you have created, who is your favourite – and why?
My Deering-Dolittle sisters from my Derring-Do Club series.But actually, Cindy from a theatre play just wrote herself.After spending so much time making sure characters were consistent, it was a joy to write a character who was inconsistent.
“...you only have to take one look at you to know that you always judge a book by its cover.”
Who is your favourite author and what is it about their work which appeals to you?
It ought to be myself. You should always write what you want to read, so I’m the author who writes exactly the stuff I want to read. Except that I know what happens at the end.
Philip K. Dick, J. G. Ballard, Arthur C. Clarke, Iain M. Banks anyone with a middle initial really and Frank Herbert and Andy Conway... I always hope I’ll discover someone new, something the like of which I’ve not read before, the next great thing before anyone else.
Tell us two things about yourself that most people probably won’t know!
I invented the Drabble and I have a full-sized TARDIS, but people probably know that.
If you could choose which century to live in, which would you choose, and why?
The one I lived in, the latter half of the 20th and early 21st. Antibiotics worked. That’s not true of the previous ones and it looks like it won’t be true of the next few either. Oddly, I think it’s also been the Golden Age of Writeability - the infinite number of stories has been getting wider and larger, but now technology is making things too easy to solve. Your phone has an App for whatever plot obstacle needs solving.
Any time since the invention of the word-processor, so I can write.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I think ten questions is enough. Adding another is an affectation. I have more to say, but I’ll put those thoughts into the next novel. I have this idea, you see, niggling away, demanding to be written...
Thanks for sharing, David! (and thanks for adding the last question, too!)