Hi again. Another week, another interview. This week I’ve had the pleasure of speaking to David Six. He’s not your usual man. He’s like Aragorn, or Randall Flagg, with many names from many places.
Hi David, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
1. When did you first realize that you wanted to become a writer?
Since I was a five and wrote a story about getting “red” of a mouse in our house. I later learned from my parents that there was a homonym that made my story make better sense!
2. What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I enjoy telling stories, and people are kind enough to read them. Writing about what goes on inside of people—the light, and the shadow—fascinates me, and writing mystery/suspense is a natural progression for me.
3. Which writers inspire you?
Stephen King, Tami Hoag, Patricia Cornwell, Elmore Leonard, Kathy Reichs are some of my current favourites.
4. So, what have you written?
I’ve been published under two other pen names in different genres. The two constant and entwined elements in everything I write—no matter the genre—is character and suspense.
5. What are you working on at the minute?
I have a couple of obligations in the other genres to complete, and while that’s happening, I’m plotting a mystery/suspense novel involving serial killers and religion, which I hope to release in early 2017.
6. Why do you write?
It gives my fingers something to do.
7. Where do your ideas come from?
Usually they just pop into my head when I am thinking of two seemingly unrelated things. When that happens, those two things suddenly join hands, and the idea germinates into a story.
8. Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
I’m a “pantser”, mostly (as in, writing by the seat of). I use OneNote to jot story ideas and character stats, and use it to keep track of everything happening in the story. I always have the broad strokes in my head, but follow the characters around to see where they lead me for their individual moments.
9. How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
I’ve become more seasoned. With age comes a certain comfort in one’s own skin, and not caring overmuch what others may think. This is freeing especially in writing, as what comes into my head goes onto the screen. Some readers may love what you write, while others are offended to the point that they rend their garments. That’s okay; there’s lots of other authors out there for them to hunt up.
Sitting down and stringing words together is always hard work, but it’s a gift that I get to play with every day.
10. What are the hardest and easiest things about writing?
I guess that depends on the day. Some days it may be not clearly hearing what the characters are trying to say—that makes it hard. Other days, they may chatter nonstop, and that does make it easier, though my fingers sometimes have a difficult time keeping up with them!
11. Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?
My favorites are largely the same as the ones in #3. And yes, I read every day. Other writers are teachers, and the ones I mentioned essentially present “master classes” on writing well, in every one of their books.
12. What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?
Trad pubbing gives an author a security blanket that they are being taken care of, though from what I’m hearing lately, only upper-list authors are still getting that special treatment. Mids and lower have to do some—or a lot— of their own editing, marketing, social media, etc. Traditional publishing gives an author a certain cachet with readers, but I think—with the rise of Kindle—that is no longer as powerful a scent as it used to be. And authors that begin as indies—Hugh Howey comes to mind—can be picked up by the trads.
Self-pubbing takes a lot of one’s time, no doubt about that—it’s pretty much a 24/7/365 kind of job. The upside is being in control of your own destiny: you pub your books when you want, and you don’t have to wait for a company in New York to get to you. You get the cover design you like. You make your own edits, or find your own editor to help you. You get greater royalties.
The downside is the same as the upside: that you are in control of your destiny. If you fail, it’s all on you; you can’t blame an agent, or an editor, or a publisher.
13. Do you have any advice for other budding authors?
I’ve been asked this many times. And I have to give the reply that I’ve seen other authors give: sit down and write. No magic formula exists. Someone may hit it big on the first book, while others toil in obscurity for years. Everyone has heard the story of J.K. Rowling’s first Potter book being rejected something like a dozen times. You have to power through that. If you really are committed to writing, you’ll write. Stephen King has a quote I quite like: “Amateurs wait for inspiration. The rest of us get to work.”
14. How do you relax?
I read. I do yoga. I watch Netflix or Hulu—their original shows, where the sanitizing censorship of the broadcast networks hasn’t reached. I’ve been told I write with a “cinematic” sense, and I do tend to visual scenes in an action-oriented way, as I might see them on the large or small screen. Seeing how other writers do that is always inspiring.
And of course I take Liz out for fun times when we are both able to get away from our computers!
15. What is your favourite book and why?
That changes over the passing of time. Most recently, my favorite would be “Mr. Mercedes”, by Stephen King. King gives very little physical description of his characters, and yet they seem to come right off the page, fully-fleshed and breathing. His skill at characterization is extraordinary.
Thanks so much for giving me the opportunity to chat with you. I hope your readers enjoy it!
Thank you David for an insight into your worlds. Please check out his links below: