An Interview with a Writer #3
It’s only obvious to begin introducing our next guest for an interview on WriteNow with a congratulations! David McGowan has successfully published ‘The Hunter Inside’ that is now available for the Kindle on Amazon. David posts authentic articles on his blog that couldn’t reflect a truer portrayal of a writers life by sharing his experience, giving tips and simply making you feel like another writer out there feels the same. Click here to visit his blog.
You can lock your windows and your doors, but you cannot lock your mind….
from The Hunter Inside
David, thank you very much for agreeing to this interview. Let’s begin with your latest achievement. How would you describe ‘The Hunter Inside’ in three words?
D: Rollercoaster suspense thriller!
How long did it take you to write this novel? How stressful was it, and what kept you going?
D: The Hunter Inside was a labour of love. I started it as a short story when I was 16 (I’m almost 34 now). I wrote the first draft which was about 66000 words. Then I put it aside and didn’t do anything with it until I was 22 and in between my first and second years of my English degree. At that point I totally rewrote it and it was about 90000 words. Then it was hand edited by both myself and my friend’s Mum and I started the final draft using both hand edited printouts but abandoned it when a couple of agents rejected it and I got disillusioned. The advent of Kindles and other similar devices and being able to self-publish with minimal cash outlay to myself spurred me on to publishing it. Also, Eileen who had edited it for me passed away, as did my grandmother. I was inspired to do it for them and also myself. Now I just want to reach as many people as I can with it and make my friends and family proud and my readers happy!
Writing a full-length novel is definitely a stressful experience. It takes a lot of hard work and commitment. You must do it for yourself. If you think you are doing it for the millions of people that will make it the all-time bestseller then you will never get it finished. My characters kept me going. I felt real empathy with them, especially Sandy Myers. I laughed with them and cried with them. They became real people to me during the writing process.
Okay, time to cough up a secret. What is your favourite guilty pleasure cliché?
D: Hmm, I don’t know if I have one really. I do have a very bad habit of using the word ‘that’ in practically every other sentence though, which drives me insane when I’m editing my work!
What fictional character would you like to be friends with and why?
D: Jessica Rabbit would be a good one! For obvious reasons. Although that’s a fictional character from a movie! Again, it’s something that I find hard to narrow down, but one of the characters that has stood out to me a lot would have to be Odd Thomas from the Odd Thomas series by Dean Koontz. Especially the first book in the series, which has just been made into a movie. A truly stunning achievement by Dean Koontz and a book that will amaze you!
To become a good writer, what three qualities do you think one must possess?
D: First and foremost – commitment. The absolute minimum is a couple of hours a day researching or writing or editing your work. But to be a good writer you must also read a lot and vary your reading across genres – so time is very short, especially for a writer who must work and raise a family. Secondly, imagination. Without imagination you can not begin to write and draw people into a world that you create without being able to take yourself to that world to pave the way for your reader. Thirdly, attention to detail. Writing a book is great, but it won’t get you anywhere if it’s full of typos and spelling mistakes. You must spend more time editing and redrafting than you do writing in the first place. I’m going to be naughty and list a 4th quality. Determination – without it you will not get an audience for your work. You must push and push and explore and exploit all avenues to connect with your readership. Hopefully they will thank you for it one day.
What are your three must read books?
D: Wow, there are so many to choose from. I suppose if I had to take three books to a desert island they would be Catch 22 by Joseph Heller, The Stand by Stephen King and The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. Three very different novels, but all classics in my opinion!
To be a writer, do you agree it helps to be a little insane?
D: That’s an amusing and interesting question! It certainly helps to be imaginative, and some of the most famous writers have certainly had some insane moments. To be a self-published author takes a certain amount of insanity. To do it once is madness, but to do it over and over is definitely insane, as the amount of work that is required to be your own editor, publisher, agent etc. is astronomical. It’s hard to find time to write!
Again, thank you very much for such brilliant answers and we wish you every success and hope to see you continue to publish great books 🙂