It's the last Monday in May, and thanks for spending it with me!
Today I have David Green, a fantasy author from across the pond, dropping in to chat with me.
David lives in Co Galway, Ireland and grew up in Manchester, UK. A lover of the written word since childhood, David always harboured ambitions to write and is finally doing it. He has a passion for all genres and is an avid fan of fantasy, sci-fi and horror in particular. After studying film, David's writing has been described as visual and vivid, with readers able to clearly picture scenes in their minds.
David admires noir, and tries to add that flavour to most of his work, finding the ambiguity it lends to be a thrilling aspect of creating a story. He has published works across a number of genres, and will continue to write until he can physically no longer do it.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve always loved reading from a very early age, and had always harboured ambitions to write which I’d never got around to (no time, no confidence and other excuses!) but when my son was born I decided it was time to try. I wanted to have something to show him when he was a little older, you know? Like if you’ve got a dream you can achieve it, kind of thing. If he ever reads my work and enjoys it then it’s a bonus.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Most of it just exists in my brain already, it darkened corners that exist only to invent the weird and wonderful.
I do pull on real-world influences, though. The Haltveldtian Empire in my Empire Of Ruin books have many pulls from the Roman Empire. I’m a history buff, so it’s fun to do. My urban fantasy series, Hell In Haven, is set in the real world, albeit it in a made-up city in Oregon. I’ve never been there, so I researched on the internet - wikipedia, Google Maps - and spoke to people from there. I’m also a fan of grunge music, and like the history of it, so I’d read about Portland, in particular, quite a lot.
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I finished my first book - yet to be published, but will be in 2023, and isn’t fantasy - at the age of 37. I’m 39 now! So I’m quite new to all of this!
How many books have you written? Which is your favourite?
I’ve written four of my own, with a further one that isn’t published yet, and have written 7 for other people as I ghost write, which is an interesting experience.
My favourite is Path Of War, which is out June 18th 2022, and I’m quite proud of it.
Do you have any suggestions to help someone become a better writer? If so, what are they?
Get involved in the writing community as there are many people who can offer advice, talk to about different situations, and celebrate your success with you.
What is the most unethical practice in the publishing industry?
I think there are many identities or individuals who set themselves up as, for want of a better term, “gurus” or “troubleshooters” who couldn’t be further from that, and prey on new, inexperienced, or struggling authors and offer services for high prices that ultimately do nothing but discourage the writers.
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
I did, and probably should have, as my name is incredibly boring, but my first contract happened so fast I panicked and just used my real name, David Green, and now I’m pretty much stuck with it!
What authors did you dislike at first but grew into?
It wasn’t the author so much, but the character - Thomas Covenant. I came across it as a young teenager after reading the likes of Tolkien, Eddings, Brooks and so on, and Thomas Covenant, being a thoroughly unlikeable protagonist, was too much for me to handle at that time. I went back to it after reading Robin Hobb, the first couple A Song Of Ice And Fire, and was more open to reading about a bad person. The first book is terrific.
What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?
Geomancer by Ian Irvine. It’s fabulous, Australian sci-fi fantasy pulp with hard magic, characters with dubious intent, riproaring action and a terrifying world to live in.
What’s the best way to market your books?
I have absolutely no idea. If anyone has a cast-iron method, please tell me! Try everything; social media, podcasts, roundtables, interviews, newsletters. It’s a many-pronged attack on the reading world! Ultimately, I think the best way is once you’ve delivered a book that hits, is just to keep going and give your readers more.
What do you have coming next?
I have the next in the Empire Of Ruin series - and sequel to In Solitude’s Shadow - Path Of War out on June 18th 2022. In Solitude’s Shadow was the Magic Book Corner’s Best Book of 2021, so I’m excited to see this one out there. It’s bigger, wider in scope, more intense and full of adventure!