BookView Interview with Author David M Cameron

Welcome to BookView Interview, a conversation series where BookView talks to authors.

Recently, we interviewed David M Cameron, author of several novel, including the recently released Dead Men Don’t Snore, a gripping crime drama, featuring ex-military, ex-mercenary Gordon Bennet (Read the review here.)

I live in Perth, Western Australia, but was originally from Leeds in Yorkshire. I have currently got nine books published and will be releasing two more in the next few weeks. I have written two novels, Wickergate and Soulmare,  for children in the nine to thirteen year range, but they have also proved popular with adults. I have the five book series, The Moondial, which are young adult fantasy books. The first book is the Moonchild. My most recent works have been Cup of Tea Tales, which is a collection of my blogs relating to growing up in Yorkshire, and the thriller, Dead Men Don’t Snore, which is set in Calpe, Southern Spain. At present, I am writing A Trembling of Finches, which is another thriller featuring my protagonist, Gordon Bennet.

How often do you base your characters on real people?

I don’t actually base my characters on an individual real person, but I produce an amalgam of people that I have known that have stood out to me. It is the unusual quirks and traits that are held in my memory and that I draw upon. Sometimes it is visual mannerisms or characteristics, or perhaps personality features that I find fascinating. I try to make my characters real, in the way that they behave in given situations, in relationships and in the flaws that they have. In many cases, the source were people who I had contact with as a child, or through work. My protagonists are not me, but because I create them, I suppose I can’t avoid a part of me coming out in them. They may have attributes I would like to have, rather than have.

Do you find writing therapeutic?

I love writing. I love being creative and that is both in music and in my writing. I wasn’t sure if I was the only one who uses this approach, but I have discovered that I am not alone. I do not meticulously plan my stories. I live my stories. I look forward to finding out what happens next as much as the reader does. That doesn’t mean that I don’t research when I have to, but I find inspiration comes when I least expect it, and it is exciting when this happens. Strangely, threads and links from earlier in the book hint at what is coming and appear to be pre-planned, but they are not. The writing is the joyous part of being an author. It is the editing that is laborious and painful, but very necessary. I would write even if no one read my work, as it is so uplifting, although the subject matter is not always easy.

What’s the most difficult thing about writing a novel?

As I have mentioned, it is the editing process that is time-consuming and demanding, but it is a vital part of the process. There is nothing worse than reading a book that has numerous mistakes. It is vital to ensure that there is accurate continuity in time, place, names and in the same way as it is in movies and television. This is particularly important in a series. I found this to be challenging in The Moondial Series, where people, places and relationships all had to be checked throughout the five novels. This was very demanding of my editor, who discovered errors that needed correcting.

Getting people to read your work is one of the biggest challenges and I do not really like the marketing aspect of being a writer, but as a self-published writer, it can’t be avoided. I do my cover designs and I have learnt a great deal in the process. Using Photoshop and other imaging tools means that with a bit of research into trends in the genre that you are working in, it is possible to produce quality and original covers without the big price tag.

Does a big ego help or hurt writers?

I suppose the answer is yes, a big ego helps a writer. You have to have a belief that the story you tell is worth someone else reading. I don’t believe you become a writer, but that you are a writer. I have been writing for most of my life, but this wasn’t always novels. I write school plays, poetry for my own pleasure, song lyrics, weekly blogs and my novels. I suppose that through the years, you develop your own style. I want to tell stories that are enjoyable, exciting, humorous, and explore the human condition. I believe I write visually, so that the reader experiences the same experience I do. I get great pleasure from someone reading one of my books, or my blogs, and I hope they enjoy them.

When faced with a negative review or lack of readers, it would be easy to give up and stop writing, but the urge to write overcomes such feelings.

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