- Guest Author -
Today I feature an interview with a very experienced author from the UK who lives on the Isle of Wight - Dorothy Davies. Welcome, Dorothy ...
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR WRITING JOURNEY.
I’ve been writing for over 30 years, seriously writing that is. I used to write as a teen, sending stories off to fanzines. I began writing ‘seriously’ when fanfic became more story than characters from the series. It all spiralled from there.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BEING A WRITER?
The ability to enter into other people’s heads, to bring characters and places into being, to lose myself in the storyline and forget about today’s rough world.
WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING A WRITER?
Coping with carrying storylines in my head when I can’t get to the computer, like the middle of the night, for example! And other people’s reactions when they discover what I do, everything from ‘I could write a book…’ to ‘are you famous?’ (If I was, they’d know me, surely!)
WHAT WERE YOU IN A PAST LIFE, BEFORE YOU BECAME A WRITER?
Interesting question. As far as I can discover from researching – as best I can – my many past lives, I’ve always been a writer, scribe; wise woman, someone set apart.
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST WRITING ACHIEVEMENT?
I would have said my book on George, duke of Clarence, ‘Death Be Pardoner To Me’ and getting it into print but I recently finished a horror zombie book The Skullface Chronicles, which has exhausted me, it was so intense, so detailed, so demanding. It is with a publisher right now.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?
A ghost/horror Western, a pirate serial (100 words a week, the way the zombie book got started) and the life of Eleanor of Aquitaine. Oh, and a series of articles for a website called Island Eye. Each one is a snapshot of history told from a different viewpoint. So far I have written of Appuldurcombe House through the eyes of a servant girl helping prepare the house for the arrival of Henry VII and a squire who works for Sir John Oglander as they prep[are to go to Carisbrooke Castle for their weekly visit to the imprisoned king, Charles I. There is always a lot of work going on.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Life, people, spirit
WHAT GENRE DO YOU WRITE?
History and horror
DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR NEW WRITERS?
Be sure this is what you want to do and if it is, do not give up. The duke of Clarence’s book was rejected over 50 times before it found a sympathetic publisher. Be committed to your chosen life.
DO YOU SUFFER FROM WRITER’S BLOCK?
No. Sometimes I wish I did!
DO YOU HAVE A PREFERRED WRITING SCHEDULE?
I write every evening, between about 5.30 – 6 PM and 8.30 PM when I close down for the night. I write all weekend, if I can, when I am not working on my quarterly spiritualist magazine.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE WRITING PLACE?
I have a dedicated office. My daughter and I bought a 3 bedroomed Victorian town house; one of the bedrooms was immediately allocated as my office. There I have one dark blue wall and three gold walls, on which are hung my collection of over 300 moons.
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST JOY IN WRITING?
Feeling the story come together.
WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE AUTHOR AND WHY?
I have four favourites, I cannot choose between them. RF Delderfield, Howard Spring, Nevil Shute and Ray Bradbury. The common theme for them all is quite simply they are master storytellers.
WRITERS ARE SOMETIMES INFLUENCED BY THINGS THAT HAPPEN IN THEIR OWN LIVES. ARE YOU?
Not always. Some of my short stories have come out of life, my story “A Little Piece of Home” came from my breadmaking days, but other than that, horror doesn’t tend to come from my life, but from my over vivid imagination.
OTHER THAN WRITING, WHAT ELSE DO YOU LOVE?
Photography, I illustrate my magazine with my own photos, music, it inspires and lifts me, my bonsai, their timelessness never fails to impress me, and the island where I live.
DID YOU HAVE YOUR BOOK / BOOKS PROFESSIONALLY EDITED BEFORE PUBLICATION?
No. I know my work well. I revise extensively too.
IF YOU WERE STUCK ON A DESERT ISLAND WITH ONE PERSON, WHO WOULD IT BE? WHY?
Can’t choose one person. I live and work with very close spirit people, I could not be without any of them, be they guides or companions
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IF YOU HAD THE CHANCE TO SPEAK TO WORLD LEADERS?
Start using commonsense instead of your need for power.
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?
Earn enough money to renovate my home properly; it needs a lot of work. Give my daughter the security she needs and provide some money for the charities I support.
WHAT FIVE BOOKS WOULD YOU TAKE TO HEAVEN?
Heaven doesn’t exist in the way most people think. It is the summerlands, or realms, and once there we all have spirit work to do. So, no books. I could not choose five from my collection anyway.
DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN ANY OF YOUR CHARACTERS?
DOES THE PUBLISHING INDUSTRY FRUSTRATE YOU?
Yes. They aren’t prepared to take chances, they go for same old same old and so we have an overload of misery memoirs, cookbooks no one uses and biographies no one cares about, instead of innovative and interesting books.
HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE ‘SUCCESS’ AS A WRITER.
Being accepted by the public as someone with a story to tell
WHAT SHOULD READERS WALK AWAY FROM YOUR BOOKS KNOWING? HOW SHOULD THEY FEEL?
Historical books, they should walk away knowing the truth, they all come from spirit authors and tell the real truth about their lives, not what we have been told. Horror books, that they had a good read.
WHAT’S YOUR ULTIMATE DREAM?
To be known to the outside world as a class horror writer.
WRITING IS ONE THING. WHAT ABOUT MARKETING YOU, YOUR BOOKS AND YOUR BRAND? ANY THOUGHTS?
No. I refuse point blank to get involved in social networking; the cyber bullying is too extensive and too brutal for me to want to even contemplate going there. So, at the moment I do no marketing.
ARE YOUR BOOKS SELF-PUBLISHED?
Some, are some aren’t.
The duke’s book went through a mainstream publisher, the zombie book is with a mainstream publisher, the many anthologies I have edited are out with Static Movement – I have a further 12 to edit – and the remainder of my books are listed on fiction4all.com as downloads or hard copy, depending on your chosen way of reading.
For me, writing is a way of life I would not swap with anyone for anything. Likewise my work with spirit is a way of life I would not swap with anyone for anything. Famous and not so famous spirits visit, come to talk to me about their lives, hence the series of historical books already done and the many which are to come. Henry VIII, Guy Fawkes, Judas Iskariot, Charles I, George duke of Clarence, all have given me their stories. I have more to come, an endless list, to the point when I will be putting out compilation books, a chapter for each person who has one particular point they want to get across to the public. In between I have to indulge in my favourite genre, horror, and write the horror stories out of my system. My anthology, I Bid You Welcome, is also available from fiction4all.com
Writing demands total commitment. It is not a hobby to dabble in, you either write or you don’t. If you do, it takes over…
Clancy's comment: Thanks for your time, Dorothy. Great book covers.