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Authors > David Staniforth ... Q & A 24th November

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message 1: by Sean, Moderator (new)

Sean Peters | 9340 comments Mod
David are you ready....

Add your questions here for David and his book Imperfect Strangers.


message 2: by David (new)

David Staniforth (davidstaniforth) | 1242 comments Thanks, Sean, looking forward to it.

So I have just over three weeks to build up my courage. If only I could find the instructions :~)


message 3: by Christine (new)

Christine (clt04) | 5608 comments Hi David, I got my review on Amazon.co.uk FINALLY! Looking forward to the Q&A!!


message 4: by David (new)

David Staniforth (davidstaniforth) | 1242 comments Thank you, Chris, me too.


message 5: by Sean, Moderator (new)

Sean Peters | 9340 comments Mod
David I will add my first question.

What made you change from fantasy books to this very different style of thriller book.

Did you do much research for your characters.


message 6: by Christine (new)

Christine (clt04) | 5608 comments David, can you give us any hints about your next suspense/mystery book and when we might see it?

Also, how did you research Keith's mental illness? I think you did a really good job with his portrayal (coming from the MD part of me).


message 7: by Katy (new)

Katy | 19 comments Is it okay to ask questions about all David's books? Obviously, I understand if you say no as this is a thriller group :)


message 8: by Christine (last edited Nov 15, 2014 09:59AM) (new)

Christine (clt04) | 5608 comments That's a question for the MODs, but personally, I would like to hear about all of David's stuff. I am not a fantasy fan, but maybe David could convert me. Challenge to David!!


message 9: by Janet , Moderator (new)

Janet  | 5714 comments Mod
Yes, of course. The fact that he writes fantasy is still another aspect of David and his writing.


message 10: by Katy (new)

Katy | 19 comments Thanks, Christine Janet :)

Christine, I'm sure you'll be converted! David's fantasy stuff is great :)


message 11: by Christine (new)

Christine (clt04) | 5608 comments Katy wrote: "Thanks, Christine Janet :)

Christine, I'm sure you'll be converted! David's fantasy stuff is great :)"


HAHA, Katy, I hope so. I am trying to stretch my reading horizons. If I succumb to fantasy, I hope it will be a David book.


message 12: by Janet , Moderator (new)

Janet  | 5714 comments Mod
Hehe!! He'll have his work cut out with me!! ;0))


message 13: by Katy (new)

Katy | 19 comments I completely understand that! Hopefully when I bombard him with questions, demand him to make the series longer and beg for short story spin offs, your mind will be changed! :)


message 14: by Christine (new)

Christine (clt04) | 5608 comments Katy wrote: "I completely understand that! Hopefully when I bombard him with questions, demand him to make the series longer and beg for short story spin offs, your mind will be changed! :)"

Katy, you must be a diehard fantasy fan. Well, I am sure that David's fantasy stuff is Grade A!


message 15: by Katy (new)

Katy | 19 comments Give it a go, Christine! :)

I actually read David's Fuel to the Fire series when I was in hospital. I got so lost in them that I got annoyed when the nurse kept coming through to check on me!


message 16: by Sean, Moderator (new)

Sean Peters | 9340 comments Mod
Katy, asked any questions you want.

I am sure David will not mind.


message 17: by Sean, Moderator (new)

Sean Peters | 9340 comments Mod
Sadly he will have his work cut out with me as well.

But I know he is writing another thriller!


message 18: by Christine (new)

Christine (clt04) | 5608 comments Katy wrote: "Give it a go, Christine! :)

I actually read David's Fuel to the Fire series when I was in hospital. I got so lost in them that I got annoyed when the nurse kept coming through to check on me!"


LOL, Katy, that's a good one!


message 19: by Christine (new)

Christine (clt04) | 5608 comments David, what inspired you to be a fantasy writer? What inspired you to be a suspense writer?


message 20: by Perri (new)

Perri Hi David, here's something I've always wondered-how do authors choose names for their characters? Why Keith and Sally, for example?


message 21: by Christine (new)

Christine (clt04) | 5608 comments Katy wrote: "Give it a go, Christine! :)

I actually read David's Fuel to the Fire series when I was in hospital. I got so lost in them that I got annoyed when the nurse kept coming through to check on me!"


Katy, David sent me a copy of Alloria. I have never ever read a fantasy book (well, except for Peter Pan if that counts, lol), but I am going to give it a try!


message 22: by Katy (new)

Katy | 19 comments Christine wrote: "Katy wrote: "Give it a go, Christine! :)

I actually read David's Fuel to the Fire series when I was in hospital. I got so lost in them that I got annoyed when the nurse kept coming through to chec..."


Alloria is great! I LOVE Bainberry :) Hope you like it!


message 23: by Cristal (new)

Cristal Punnett | 87 comments Are any of your characters based on people you know in real life?


message 24: by Christine (new)

Christine (clt04) | 5608 comments David, being British (you, not me), have you noticed a difference in readership of your books between The UK and the US? If so, any thoughts on the reasons for that?


message 25: by Dionne (new)

Dionne (dee24) David i read imperfect strangers first, which lead me to read your fuel to the fire trilogy! I really enjoyed your thriller but the fantasy series were something else all together, i loved them and cant rate them high enough! For a genre i would not normally entertain i was extremely (pleasantly) surprised! Where do you get the inspiration from for your books and what genre do you prefer writing? Out of all of your books which is your favourite?


message 26: by Aymen (new)

Aymen Ben cheikh Hi David, i read few pages from your book, i have to say you did a great job with the psychology of Keith, he is very interesting and i can t wait to see what s going to happen next. I wanted to know how did you come with such a character, did some books or movies inspire you?


message 27: by Katy (new)

Katy | 19 comments I have a lecture 4-6 tomorrow, so I'm going to post my questions now and hopefully pop in tomorrow to catch the end :)

1) Which is your favourite character that you've created?
2) How is the second Alloria book coming along?
3) Did you feel most satisfied completing Alloria, Fuel to the Fire or Imperfect Strangers?
4) Have your wife or children read your books?

and you must be expecting this question, but...

Do you have any plans for the future to write any short story spin offs from the Fuel to the Fire trilogy? :)


message 28: by Robin (new)

Robin | 172 comments Yo David, what do you find harder to do starting a novel or finishing one?As I've heard from some friends who are also authors that they keep editing or adding stuff to their books even though it might all ready be a finished product.


message 29: by David (last edited Nov 23, 2014 11:22PM) (new)

David Staniforth (davidstaniforth) | 1242 comments It’s pleasing to see some questions have already been lined up, and great to see some discussion going on in there. Before I dive in and start answering questions I’d like to say a big thank you for this opportunity and extend that thanks to the members who nominated me. I know you’ve had some big names on here and I feel really honoured.

I took the liberty of writing some answers on Sunday, which I’m going to post now, but then I’m off to work from 9am until 3:30pm, UK time (yes, unfortunately, I have to work as well as write). I’ll be back online around 4pm. This is such a great group and I’m here to stay. So, if it’s all right with the moderators, if this thread sticks around, I’ll look in from time to time and if any questions appear, I’ll answer them too.

For anyone who isn't aware of the books I’ve written (quite a good number I’d imagine), here are some links to them:

Imperfect Strangers http://authl.it/B00JXOVKE4

Fuel to the Fire: http://authl.it/B00AGJR4VI
Ruler’s Desire: http://authl.it/B00AU50S66
Elemental Cascade: http://authl.it/B00IW62CFK

Alloria: http://authl.it/180

Alloria (Labyrinth of labyrinths, #1) by David Staniforth Fuel to the Fire (Fuel to the Fire, #1) by David Staniforth Ruler's Desire (Fuel to the Fire, #2) by David Staniforth Elemental Cascade (Fuel to the Fire #3) by David Staniforth Imperfect Strangers by David Staniforth

Ok, here we go, and please feel free to come back on any of my answers :~)


message 30: by David (last edited Nov 23, 2014 11:49PM) (new)

David Staniforth (davidstaniforth) | 1242 comments Sean wrote: "David I will add my first question.

What made you change from fantasy books to this very different style of thriller book.

Did you do much research for your characters."


Thanks for your question Sean. It pleases me that you think my thriller has a very different style. I’d like to think that is my authorial voice coming through; it may also have something to do with the fact that I have previously written fantasy. Therein, maybe it isn’t that much of a change. In both genres the characters and their development is my primary concern. I read and enjoy most genres too.

When a story enters my head it niggles away, growing in my thoughts, demanding to be told. When the idea has festered enough, when it’s ready to tell, the only thing to then decide is the best way to tell the tale; which platform will suit it best, will it be first person or third, past or present tense. Fantasy, to my mind, based on the books I’ve read and enjoyed, tends to cover grand overarching themes. It generally focuses on a broken world order or society, and the effect that has on individuals. My “Fuel to the Fire’ trilogy, for example explores the issue of good and evil and asks the question, can we have a world without evil? The thrillers I’ve read, on the other hand, tend to focus on broken individuals and the effect they have on other individuals or society.

It felt natural then, when I invented the story of Keith and Sally, to write it as a thriller. It focuses on those two individuals and explores their thought processes as much as it does their actions. A fantasy setting would have swamped the very thing I was aiming for. My fantasy stories have similar elements that are to be found in a thriller – suspense; mystery; wrongdoing; twists and turns – but there is always a larger picture that is bigger than the individual characters.

So, yep, that’s the reason; a thriller platform better suited the story I wanted to tell.

I’ve taken a glance at the next question, from Christine. Your second question and hers kind of overlap, so I’m going to answer those together.


message 31: by David (new)

David Staniforth (davidstaniforth) | 1242 comments Christine wrote: "David, can you give us any hints about your next suspense/mystery book and when we might see it?

Also, how did you research Keith's mental illness? I think you did a really good job with his portrayal (coming from the MD part of me).


Hi Christine. Am I prepared to give hints about my next suspense/mystery book? Go on then. There will be one. It’s pretty much mapped out, and I have a skeleton of the main plot in note form. There will be a large element of mystery, some suspense, some sadness and heartache, some medical issues and a big cathartic reveal/twist near the end. I haven’t yet decided if it will be in first or third person, or if it will be present or past tense. As with “Imperfect Strangers” there will be two main characters, but it is an altogether different story. Sorry not much actual detail there, but all experts on writing agree that a story shouldn’t be told until it is written, as it can weaken the impetus to actually write it.

As for when you might see it. I’m currently writing a follow up to one of my fantasy titles. I hope to have finished writing it by the end of this year or early next year. While that is resting and being beta read, I’ll dive straight into the new book. If all goes well, the next suspense book should be done by the end of 2015. I wish it could be sooner.


OK then, your second question. Firstly, thank you for the compliment. It’s gratifying to know you think I did a good job of portraying Keith’s mental illness, especially coming from the MD part of you (incidentally, is that the right or the left?). My initial reaction to the question of how I researched it was to say I didn’t. Then I thought about it and questioned how I’d managed to write him as I did, and the answer to that relates to Sean’s question on how much research I did for my characters.

This might seem a tangent, but bear with me. I’ve always drawn and painted; it came natural to me. From a young age, I could never understand why everyone couldn’t do it. Most people can hold a pencil or paintbrush and should be able to draw. Over the years I’ve theorised that it is an inability to see things as they really are. If you don’t see accurately, you can’t transfer the image to paper or canvas. When drawing I look at whatever it may be and take in all the detail, absorbing it like a sponge. I feel my writing method is the same, accurate observation transferred into words instead of pictures.

Therein, I’d say I’ve been researching Keith and his illness all my life. I have come across people who behave as he does, people who are intelligent but find society hard to cope with. I recall children from school who were more than likely being abused. Then there are friends of friends who for years have been thought of as quiet and unassuming gentle folk who one day explode, and reveal some kind of monster. I’ve even known people who hide the truth of their past from themselves, inventing a false path which they then come to believe. I think they are the most dangerous, psychological pressure cookers.

The story was inspired by actual incidents (three separate ones) and Keith and Sally are in some ways amalgams of the men and women involved in those incidents. I was aware of autism and asperger’s syndrome and likely had half a mind on those conditions, but I did not set out to portray Keith as having either of those conditions. However, I did take some influence from reading Mark Haddon’s excellent “The Curious Incident of the Dog in The Night Time”, the principle character of which does have asperger’s. I wanted the question left open of whether Keith is damaged genetically or sociologically, or whether it is a combination of both. If I did end up accurately portraying an actual condition, I can only put that down to studious observation of the people I’ve seen in society.


message 32: by David (last edited Nov 23, 2014 11:51PM) (new)

David Staniforth (davidstaniforth) | 1242 comments Christine wrote: "David, what inspired you to be a fantasy writer? What inspired you to be a suspense writer?"

What inspired me to be a fantasy write, Christine? Certainly not financial gain. If I sold a fantasy book for every eye roll “What, like dragon’s and stuff?”, I’d have sold a lot of books.

As a youngster I visited my library regularly and read loads, but other than Astrix the Gaul books it was almost all non-fiction (how stuff works, mainly). At the age of around twelve I gave up reading altogether, apart from books I had to read for school, and they were read half-heartedly. If think I was about 24 when somebody loaned me the first book of Piers Anthony’s “Incarnations of Immortality” series. I loved it, couldn’t put it down. It was pure escapism. I suppose it was because that had been such an enjoyable read that I went on to other fantasy books, but the turning point for me deciding to write fantasy was after reading Terry Goodkind’s “Sword of Truth” series. I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to read more like it, but I could find nothing that was exactly what I wanted to read; so, I wrote my own. The early attempts were rubbish, but I think I finally managed to hone my craft into something worthy.

That’s the inspiration for fantasy, and in many ways it is also the inspiration for writing suspense. I don’t know if all authors are the same, but for me the very act of writing inspires other ideas, and when the idea for “Imperfect Strangers” crept into my mind I knew it needed a staging of realism to be effective. Other than Lee Child’s books, I’ve only recently started reading thrillers, so I had nothing to base it on. In some ways I felt I was writing a literary novel that was exploring the depths of the human condition. It just turned out to be a psychological thriller, I think (I’ve not read enough of them to be a true judge). So like the first attempts at fantasy I think I was just writing the kind of story I would like to read myself, with no eye on a potential market at all.

Not sure if I actually answered your question there, Christine.


message 33: by David (new)

David Staniforth (davidstaniforth) | 1242 comments Perri wrote: "Hi David, here's something I've always wondered-how do authors choose names for their characters? Why Keith and Sally, for example?"

That’s a good question Perri; I’ve often wondered the same.

I suppose every author has their own reason when it comes to choosing character names. In some ways considerations come into play which are similar to choosing a name for an actual child: A name might appeal because you once liked someone of that name, or be rejected for the opposite reason. With a character I want to hate I might well chose the name of someone I disliked.

I chose Sally because to my ear it conjures images of the friendly girl next-door type that I wanted her character to be. To other people though the name will likely conjure something entirely different. I chose Keith as the character name as I felt it wouldn’t have been a popular name at the time he was born. In a world full of Johns, Peters and Pauls, he would have already stood out as being different, even though that would have been a reflection on his parents rather than him. Choices like this, to my mind, are more for the benefit of the author. They effect how the character sits in your mind.

I chose my fantasy names for similar reasons. One of the characters in my “Fuel to the Fire” trilogy is named Skappstekker. Unlike most fantasy names I didn’t invent this, but stumbled across it. It’s actually a South African snake that is venomous but rarely dangerous. The name suits the character, and I think has the right kind of sound. Likewise, I choose the name Alloria for another character because, because for me, the sound of it brought to mind certain traits that aligned with the character I was writing. There’s a character simply called Sam, to give the impression of him being very down to earth and of this world, and then there’s a character called Ymarid to give quite the opposite impression. One thing I can’t stand in fantasy books though, is names that are impossible to pronounce, in any language.

I suppose the choosing of pet names is similar to the choosing of fantasy names; the man who chooses Trixabell for his muscular rottweiler is certainly trying to give a different impression to the man who calls his Tyson.

Go on then Perri, or anyone else. Give me one name, either existing or made up, for a fictional good guy and one for a baddie.


message 34: by David (new)

David Staniforth (davidstaniforth) | 1242 comments Cristal wrote: "Are any of your characters based on people you know in real life?"

Thanks Cristal, good question. Most characters I’ve written are partially influenced by people I have known or encountered over the years. The young females in my stories are certainly influenced by my experience of my own two daughters. There is no character, however, that is 100% someone I know or have known; I think that would make them too difficult to write. I tend to take a certain personality trait or idiosyncrasy that will suit the character I’m writing. The closest I’ve come to using genuine people as a whole was with Keith in “Imperfect Strangers”. I used someone who I went to primary school with to influence his look and personality. As an adult, Keith is based on a combination of three different people who I have come across.


message 35: by David (new)

David Staniforth (davidstaniforth) | 1242 comments Christine wrote: "David, being British (you, not me), have you noticed a difference in readership of your books between The UK and the US? If so, any thoughts on the reasons for that?"

On the whole, Christine, I don’t think I have noticed a marked difference. Most readers, based on my own sales, choose not to review so it is hard to get a true impression. Reviews from both US and UK readers vary quite a bit, there are those that absolutely love my writing to those who hate it. Fortunately, the percentage that range from really like to love is quite high. I have to say, however, that I don’t even mind the ones that dislike my writing, as long as the review is fair and balanced.

It does seem to be hard to get a foothold in the US market. My sales in the UK outweigh the US by 3:1, which when you consider the size of the US market is quite an imbalance. This may be down to exposure, or it may be that US readers actively avoid British authors, as implied by at least one US review.

Perhaps US readers looking in might be able to answer that one. What do you have to say, US readers, do you like British authors, or is the nationality of an author not important?


message 36: by David (new)

David Staniforth (davidstaniforth) | 1242 comments Dionne wrote: "David i read imperfect strangers first, which lead me to read your fuel to the fire trilogy! I really enjoyed your thriller but the fantasy series were something else all together, i loved them and cant rate them high enough! For a genre i would not normally entertain i was extremely (pleasantly) surprised! Where do you get the inspiration from for your books and what genre do you prefer writing? Out of all of your books which is your favourite? "

Hi Dionne, thanks for your questions, and I have to say it’s great to meet readers that have read books from both genres.

Philip Pullman once said “I have stolen ideas from every book I have ever read”. I’m no different and nor is any other author (even if they won’t admit to it); to not do so is impossible. I’d extend the admission though, to films, music and life experience.

I can’t really say I have a preference for writing fantasy or thrillers, as both have their pleasures and difficulties. Writing fantasy is pure escapism and I love that aspect of the genre, but it is more difficult to write. I think there is a misconception that this would not be the case, as it is understood that a fantasy author just makes stuff up; no research needs to be done etc. A good fantasy writer, however, will make rules for the world order that they have created, and stick to it unfalteringly.

Picking a favourite out of my own books is a difficult one; it’s like being asked to pick your favourite child. Just like my children, I love all my books for different reasons. “Fuel to the Fire” was my first, and will always be special for that reason, but it is the most complex plot and writing it scrambled my brain. “Imperfect Strangers” was great as I used real locations that I knew well, and being able to visualise it easily made it easier to concentrate on character development. If I were really pushed, I think it would have to be “Alloria”, though, for the love of the characters I created for that story as much as anything.


message 37: by David (last edited Nov 24, 2014 09:44AM) (new)

David Staniforth (davidstaniforth) | 1242 comments Aymen wrote: "Hi David, i read few pages from your book, i have to say you did a great job with the psychology of Keith, he is very interesting and i can t wait to see what s going to happen next. I wanted to k..."

Thanks for your question, Aymen; it’s pleasing to know that you’re finding it interesting only a few pages in. As a reader I want to be intrigued by the first sentence or paragraph, and captivated after a few chapters, and try to achieve the same in my writing. Whether I succeed is not for me to say, but I think part of captivating a reader is in the portrayal of a character. As for how I came up with the character of Keith, I partly answered this earlier in that he was influenced by real events and the people involved. He is however a construct beyond that, which will have been influenced by books and movies, as illustrated by the Philip Pullman quote.

I think, however, that I take more inspiration from real life encounters. Who we are, how we think, how much empathy we have for others, is a direct result of everything we have ever done, experienced or witnessed. Therein, Keith is a construct of how I view a person with his personality traits in a given situation. I believe, though, that each reader creates a different character from the template that is my writing, and that variables occur because of the life experience baggage that each and every reader brings to the story. Some readers sympathise with Kieth, some with Sally, and some are torn right down the middle.

I’d like to throw that question back, therefore, not just to Aymen, and ask, how much do you think your life experience affects your reading of a character?


message 38: by David (last edited Nov 24, 2014 01:43PM) (new)

David Staniforth (davidstaniforth) | 1242 comments Katy wrote: "I have a lecture 4-6 tomorrow, so I'm going to post my questions now and hopefully pop in tomorrow to catch the end :)

1) Which is your favourite character that you've created?
2) How is the second Alloria book coming along?
3) Did you feel most satisfied completing Alloria, Fuel to the Fire or Imperfect Strangers?
4) Have your wife or children read your books?

and you must be expecting this question, but...

Do you have any plans for the future to write any short story spin offs from the Fuel to the Fire trilogy? :)
"


Thanks for your questions, Katy. I hope the lecture proves interesting.

1) My favourite character would have to be Bainberry from “Alloria”, although I have great fun with grotesque characters like Glebester (also from Alloria) and Grizzle from “Fuel to the Fire”.

2) The second Alloria book is about half written at just under 50,000 words. I’m going back to the beginning, though, to thread a newly developed sub-plot into the story.

3) I felt equally satisfied with “Imperfect Strangers” and “Fuel to the Fire”, but for different reasons.

“Imperfect Strangers” is told in first-person present tense, from the perspective of two people (Keith and Sally). However, I originally wrote it in third-person past tense. I felt that the story lacked immediacy so went for present tense, and used first person to allow a better connection to the characters. Changing the narrative proved difficult, and some scenes that didn’t originally have Keith or Sally in them had to be re-written. I also wanted it to be clear for the reader whose headspace they were in from the first few sentences. I think I pulled it off, and that was very satisfying.

“Fuel to the Fire” is a trilogy, the plot of which gets quite complicated as it enters the third book. In any book containing magic it would be too easy to have someone wave a magic wand and have the conflict resolved, so difficulties have to put in the way. It’s rather like tying a huge complex knot, which you then have to unravel. Inventing ways to unravel that knot was very satisfying, and I was most pleased to type the last sentence of that trilogy. (I think that makes sense?”

4) My wife has read “Alloria” and the first two books of the “Fuel to the Fire” trilogy. Both my daughters are halfway through “Imperfect Strangers” (apparently they only like real books, which seems to be an excuse for “I don’t really want to read dad’s book”).

5) In all likeliness I will one day write short story spin-offs from “Fuel to the Fire” At the moment I have many story ideas on the back-burner, ones that I’m excited to write, which consequently prevents me from thinking of good spin-off ideas. When an idea does strike, though, if it excites me, you can be assured that I will write and publish it.


message 39: by David (new)

David Staniforth (davidstaniforth) | 1242 comments Robin wrote: "Yo David, what do you find harder to do starting a novel or finishing one?As I've heard from some friends who are also authors that they keep editing or adding stuff to their books even though it might all ready be a finished product."

I generally know where one of my stories is going to end before I begin writing, so I’d say the start is probably the harder of the two. I put a lot of work into making the opening sentence and paragraph as good as I think it can be, so knowing I’ll likely change it numerous times before I’m happy, I come up with something that will do for now and dive into the writing. That takes the pressure off the starting. I will go back after the book is finished though and write and re-write that opening page again and again. When I finished “Alloria” I went back to the beginning and ditched the first five chapters, because I thought it a better start for the book. Finishing has similar complications. Obviously the aim is for the end to be satisfying and to have tied up all the major loose ends. I also like to end on a bit of a high. I want the closing sentence to be as memorable as the first. So, not much in it really. That twisty twirly bit in the middle though, that can get tough.


message 40: by David (new)

David Staniforth (davidstaniforth) | 1242 comments That's all for now, and I'm off to work in the library for a few hours. Great questions so far, thanks; keep 'em coming :~)


message 41: by M.T. (last edited Nov 24, 2014 03:24AM) (new)

M.T. McGuire (mtmcguire) | 4 comments I also love the Asterix books, espcially the names (you'd never guess). So I have a question.

It completely amazes me that you write two different genres. Every now and again I try to write a book that isn't sci-fi or fantasy but you can bet your bottom dollar that by the end of the first couple of chapters, a seven eyed space lobster will have walked in out of nowhere and taken over. That said I do have the same love of reflecting real life, I just find that if I write about fantasy real life I can be a lot ruder about the real world than if I set my stuff there.

So... Is it hard to stick to the real world when you're writing thrillers, or conversely not to stick to the real world when you're writing fantasy stuff?

When it comes to making a point about life or whatever, does it come more more naturally and seamlessly to you in one genre than another?

Lastly, the Asterix books are a huge influence on my stuff. Is there any writer(s) who particularly influenced your stuff and if so who and why?

Sorry these are rather writerish questions.

Cheers

MTM

PS I think Imperfect Strangers may be a marmite book. I, loved the writing, I was drawn in and I couldn't put it down but I really didn't enjoy reading it - I suppose I was hoping someone would realise Keith had some form of schizophrenia at some point and get him some help. That they didn't was realistic but grim.


message 42: by Katy (new)

Katy | 19 comments I don't want to give anything away, but was it difficult to write the bit with Keith's mum? Did you draw on anything in particular for help?


message 43: by Christine (new)

Christine (clt04) | 5608 comments David, thank you for the great answers to my previous questions. I would also like to ask you what your writing process is like. Do you write everyday or do you wait till the mood grabs you? Do you have one room where you always write? Do you play music? Do you drink coffee (or some other beverage) while you write? Does the family know to totally leave you alone during this time? Do you ever get stuck--writer's block? I find it real work to write so am in awe of all you fabulous authors we have here in our midst!


message 44: by Christine (new)

Christine (clt04) | 5608 comments David wrote: "Perri wrote: "Hi David, here's something I've always wondered-how do authors choose names for their characters? Why Keith and Sally, for example?"

That’s a good question Perri; I’ve often wondered..."


Good name: Jack; Bad name: Heath


message 45: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen Gear (wmichaelgear) | 9 comments So, David, how do you keep your publisher from messing up your titles?


message 46: by Christine (new)

Christine (clt04) | 5608 comments David wrote: "Christine wrote: "David, being British (you, not me), have you noticed a difference in readership of your books between The UK and the US? If so, any thoughts on the reasons for that?"

On the who..."


When I started reading after I retired a year ago, I was of the opinion that I would only read American books. I think I was wanting to stick to American settings for whatever reason. This was kind of an unconscious decision. I also didn't want to have to try to figure out new police terms like DCI, etc. that we didn't use in the states. So I was automatically rejecting any foreign authored books. What an idiot, right? Sean then declared Now You See Me by Sharon Bolton as BOTM. I wanted to participate so I read it. And it still stands up there tied for first as my favorite book of the year. After that I read my first (sad, I know) Agatha Christie book, and a book called Skin and Bones by British author Tom Bale. By that time, I was all in, not only with British authors (who I now LOVE), but authors of any nationality. Thanks, Goodreads, for expanding my small-minded horizons. So David, I think there are probably other Americans who are prejudiced against British authors for unfair reasons.


message 47: by [deleted user] (new)

Hi David, I'm sorry if this question has already been asked but I'll ask anyway..

How did you come up with the character of Keith?
How did you find it developing his troubled character? Particularly Keith's relationship with his mum?

Thanks. :)


message 48: by David (last edited Nov 24, 2014 08:00AM) (new)

David Staniforth (davidstaniforth) | 1242 comments I'm home from work, and see there's more questions. I've only just logged on, so give me a moment. This could get messy :~/


message 49: by David (new)

David Staniforth (davidstaniforth) | 1242 comments M.T. wrote: " I also love the Asterix books, espcially the names (you'd never guess). So I have a question.

It completely amazes me that you write two different genres. Every now and again I try to write a book that isn't sci-fi or fantasy but you can bet your bottom dollar that by the end of the first couple of chapters, a seven eyed space lobster will have walked in out of nowhere and taken over. That said I do have the same love of reflecting real life, I just find that if I write about fantasy real life I can be a lot ruder about the real world than if I set my stuff there.

So... Is it hard to stick to the real world when you're writing thrillers, or conversely not to stick to the real world when you're writing fantasy stuff?

When it comes to making a point about life or whatever, does it come more more naturally and seamlessly to you in one genre than another?

Lastly, the Asterix books are a huge influence on my stuff. Is there any writer(s) who particularly influenced your stuff and if so who and why?

Sorry these are rather writerish questions.

Cheers

MTM

PS I think Imperfect Strangers may be a marmite book. I, loved the writing, I was drawn in and I couldn't put it down but I really didn't enjoy reading it - I suppose I was hoping someone would realise Keith had some form of schizophrenia at some point and get him some help. That they didn't was realistic but grim.
"


Thanks for the questions, M T. I guess a seven eyed space lobster would render your thriller of realism unrealistic.

I think my fantasy on the whole is more grounded in realism than a lot of fantasy (apart from magic and dragons of course), so it could be argued that the real world already plays a big part in my fantasy writing. By the same measure, I think my realism leans away from normal, so to my mind I think my writing in both genres is quite close. Likewise, I find both genres to be equal when making a point about life, although, I use fantasy for questioning society as it takes away any political edge.

The stories of Terry Goodkind were a big influence on my writing. I just loved the way he writes, filtering in back story and world building into the narrative, rather than giving huge info dumps. He also puts characters in the foreground, placing them before magic and plot, which is something I prefer.

If you enjoyed my writing in “Imperfect Strangers”, despite finding the story uncomfortable, that’s good enough for me. Thanks.


message 50: by David (new)

David Staniforth (davidstaniforth) | 1242 comments Katy wrote: "I don't want to give anything away, but was it difficult to write the bit with Keith's mum? Did you draw on anything in particular for help?"

I found writing Keith’s mum relatively easy, Katy, and I didn’t draw on anything particular for help. She was a pure construct of my twisted mind. Oh dear, what does that say about me?


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