Interview with David L Dawson

Hello Everyone!

We are delighted to have author David L Dawson amongst us today at Musikdiv India Online Magazine at our Special ‘Authors Festival’ interview series to tell us about his new book The Book of Fire (Cressida Widdershins)!
Please read on …

On a world where 99.9 per cent of the population have magic Cressida Widdershins often feels left out because she’s about as magical as a turnip. But when a school trip presents her with a magic book she feels her time has come. Unfortunately dark forces are also after the book; shadow beings with vast powers and their assassin, a man who can turn people to stone. The phrase “be careful what you wish for” springs to mind…
This is the first volume in the Cressida Widdershins series.
I’d recommend it for children aged 10 and up..

So David, we’ll start your Interview with the very first question

1. Please introduce and tell the readers something about yourself.

Hello everyone. My name is David L Dawson. I live in Sheffield, England. I’m 32 and I love cats and theatre and chocolate. Hmm…that sounds like the intro for a dating site, doesn’t it? Never mind.

2. What brought you to writing?

I’m not sure. It just seems to be something I’ve always done for as long as I can remember. The arts is in my blood, though all the rest of my family are artists. As for writing now I find it a perfect way to cope with depression, which I’ve suffered with for decades. You can’t be miserable if you’re writing about fantastic things.

3. How many books have you written?

I’ve written three books so far, and I’ve got a couple more that are half finished and languishing in limbo. Someday I WILL finish them. I HAVE to finish them, otherwise I’ll be forever wondering how the characters in the books ended up.

4. How long have you been writing?

Like I said in question two I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, though for some reason now I do seem to recall being fascinated by Greek myths when I was seven and writing stories about them. I think it was the Greek myths that started me on my writing, and looking at my work now there seems to clearly be an influence from those myths in it.

5. Which was your first literary project?Tell us something about it.

It was a book inspired by the video to Kylie Minogue’s “Cant get You Out Of My Head” and it was set in the future and a sort of Douglas Adams scifi comedy with bits set on Mars and genetically engineered talking dragons and such. The main character was called Kyllie and she was a stewardess on a shuttle that went to and from Mars. I liked it a lot but it sort of floundered about half way through. I still think there’s potential in it and one day I will return to it as it’s sort of my baby, the thing that taught me what to do and what not to do when writing a novel.

6. Is this your new/latest project?What inspired you to write your (latest) book?

I have two projects on the go at the moment. There’s the Cressida Widdershins series, about a girl in a world of magic who has no magic (the first is called “The Book of Fire”); and “The Gods Slayers” trilogy, set in a world ravaged by two warring gods (the first is called “The Fall”). They’re both tonally very different; Cressida is for Harry Potter fans and The Gods Slayers trilogy is quite dark, for older children, and features a main character who is gay.
Cressida Widdershins came about because I’d just read the last Harry Potter book and I wanted to write something that would appeal to me and fans of that series. It was also huge fun to write as well. The Gods Slayers trilogy came from my love of apocalyptic fiction and my own want to provide a story set in that particular genre; plus I wanted a main hero that was gay. I felt that was important.

7. Traditional books or e-books? How do you prefer to see your works published? Have you tried ever publishing the traditional way?

Before I got an Ipad at Christmas I would’ve said that traditional books were the most important. I like the feel of them. But now I really like ebooks too. They are the way of the future and they can reach a whole new audience. I’d like to see my books published on paper as well in the future (I haven’t tried as of yet) but for now ebooks suit me just fine

8. Can you give a chapter sample preview of your book here for our readers to know more about it.

Not sure how to do that, though you can download a sample from Amazon.

9. Do you have any funny / interesting incidents on how you came up with plots or characters?

I take bits and pieces from people I know but everything I write is based solely on fiction. Some of the antics my cats get up to do end up in my stories, though, which is why a lot of my work has cats in it.

10. What are your hobbies?Things that you enjoy doing besides books of course.

I love going to the theatre, especially musicals. The Sheffield Lyceum puts on some pretty good stuff.

11. Who is your favourite author?

Terry Pratchett is the King. He can’t put a foot wrong as far as I’m concerned. His books are pure genius.

12. Is your writing style at all influenced by those of your favorite authors?

My short stories are quite heavilly influenced by Terry Pratchett; I like to write comic fantasy fiction. When it comes to writing full length books I tend to go down a more serious route, though I’d like to write a more comic novel one day.

13. What is your favourite genre to read and also to write?

My favourite genre at the moment is epic fantasy. I’m currently going through a phase of reading multi-volume epics. I tend to go through phases; I’ll probably be onto children’s sci-fi in a few months. I tend to write mainly children’s fiction. I find I can let my imagination soar a lot more.

14. Do you have a role model that you get inspiration from?

Any author who’s been told they’re rubbish and gone on to inspire people and sell millions is a role model for me. I would say JK Rowling, as I love the Harry Potter books but I think I’ll say Stephen King. His book “The Stand” is one of my all time favourites and my love of apocalyptic fiction stems from that.

15. Where do get your ideas from?Do you take your story ideas from real life situations?

I’ll take my ideas from anywhere I can get them. The whole plot of “The God Slayers Trilogy” actually came from this terrible nightmare I had. The same can be said as the plot for the third Cressida book, which also came from a nightmare.

16. Do you have a pseudonym?

You can have a guess as to what the L stands for if you like.

17.Whats your experience been like in the publishing industry?Postive or negative?Please share your experience with our readers.

I sent a few manuscripts off to a few publishers, got rejected, and sat in abject misery, thinking I was worthless and my writing was crap. I should’ve gone to more publishers but I didnt. I do give up quite easily.

18. Where do you see yourself 10years from now?

Hopefully in ten years time I’ll be doing exactly what I’m doing now; writing books and hoping people will but them and hoping even more that they like them.

19. What motivates you to write?

Writing is something I HAVE to do. It keeps me sane; it sieves my brain of all the ideas that are just waiting to get out; and overall it’s just something I really enjoy doing.

20. How important is good cover art for your books?

I haven’t got any covers for my books yet but I’m hoping to soon, as I love a good cover. The Terry Pratchett Discworld series is a good example. The covers enhance the enjoyment of reading them.

21. Do you have a price strategy for your books?

Not really. I came up with a figure that I thought was reasonable and put that down.

22. How does it make you feel when you read a bestselling book that you don’t feel is as good as yours?

It makes me angry, actually. I’ve read some pretty rotten books in the past few years that if I were a publisher I wouldn’t print in a million years and yet they sell a bucketload because they’ve got sparkly vampires in it.

23.Why do you think readers should buy your book?What can you offer them through your book?

If you like to read well written fiction with interesting characters, exciting and unpredictable plots, then read my books. You won’t be disappointed.

24.Where is your book available?Any Buy Link for our readers?

The Fall –

The Book of Fire –

25.Do you have a website or a blog that you’d like to share here.

At the moment I don’t have a website or a blog but stay tuned; I’m working on it.

26. What advice would you give to other writers?

Write and write and write and never give up. If you do give up wait a while, eat a bit of chocolate, and try again.

27.Anything else you’d like to share with our readers

Be creative.

  • Thank you David L Dawson for gracing us with your presence.It was a sheer pleasure.Good luck with your book.We conclude the interview here

    Thanks again from Team MusikDIV

    Book Exerpts – Sample Chapter

    The Book of Fire (Cressida Widdershins) By David L Dawson

    Standing by the dragalodon bones, held together by a spell, was the museum’s owner, Mr Blueoak. He was wearing a silk black cloak now and he stood in a circle of burning candles. In his hands was a huge leather bound book which he was reading from, chanting in a strange language that she recognised as ancient Elvish. On his face were Elvish symbols painted on with what looked like blood. A small knife covered in the same substance, discarded on the floor, proved her suspicion. She felt quite sick and had to turn away.
    “What’s he doing?” she whispered.
    “Whatever it is it’s not good,” said Joe.
    “I’d say it was some sort of sacrifice but I don’t see an…well, a victim.”
    Cressida had seen through this man the very instant she had met him. There had been something about him that just screamed out “I’m a villain!” Though seeing him in the middle of some arcane act was something she had not prepared for. They had to run and tell Miss Weber immediately.
    “Come on, we have to go,” she whispered.
    Joe couldn’t keep his eyes off the witch light that emanated from the candles. It was eerie, fascinating. He had never seen anything like it. It reminded him of the fireworks on New Year’s Day and the strange energies emitted during a magic storm. It was wonderful. If only he could just reach out and touch it then maybe he could absorb those energies, keep them for himself, play with them, augment his own pathetic magical abilities, then…
    Cressida slapped him. “The magic is hypnotising you. Move it.”
    Joe shook his head. “What happened?”
    “You gave me an excuse you slap you,” she said. “We have to…”
    There was a flash of light, a clap of thunder. Cressida and Joe were temporarily blinded. When their vision came back, only a few seconds later, they both wished it hadn’t. The dragalodon bones were glowing a bright sizzling orange, the colour of the sun itself, like the bones were internally on fire. Cressida gasped as flesh started to knit and form around the remains of the ancient creature. As it slowly started to take shape before them Mr Blueoak cackled evilly.

    Buy The Book of Fire (Cressida Widdershins) by David L Dawson On Amazon Kindle >>

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