We interviewed author David Carter about his writing, his books, and what he does when he’s not writing! Get to know him better through our interview!
What are your three favourite books that inspire your writing?
I am not sure that I have three favourite books that inspire my writing, but there are many writers and writing styles that have done exactly that.
Firstly, I like the way that John Grisham includes subtle little pieces of humour in all his stories, and also the way his books are always so readable, a characteristic that every writer aspires to, I guess.
As for books that can help a writer, and I have read many of those, then Stephen King’s “On Writing” is a worthwhile read. His journey from being an unknown writer to worldwide superstar is one that anyone can take inspiration from, and maybe even dream a little about too.
As a writer, for sure you spend a lot of time sitting down, writing. But what do you do when you’re NOT writing?
I have always been a huge sports nut, but being English it isn’t basketball, baseball, and American football, but cricket, rugby union, and football, soccer if you prefer, though that is a word that is rarely used here. Nowadays, of course, it is more about watching than playing, weep weep, but that turn of events does sadly creep up on us all.
I confess that I watch far too much television, as many of us do, and enjoy travel and taking more holidays. Someone once said that travel broadens the mind, and that is certainly true. To my mind, writers can never have their minds broadened enough!
With that in mind, I’d like to visit and live in Shanghai for a wee while, where I’d like to write stories about a private detective based there. It would be interesting to see how he, or she, went about their business in that society, and even to find out if such activities were tolerated and accepted.
What’s the hardest thing about writing, for you?
I have written more than 25 books now, fiction and non-fiction, and there is no doubt that the more one writes the better a writer one becomes. Several of my earlier efforts sit unloved in boxes under my bed and will never see the light of day, but I am OK with that.
I see them as serving my apprenticeship, so to speak, or learning my craft, if that is not too pompous a way of putting it. There is a simple maxim: the more you write the better you get. Practice, practice, practice, just like anything else. One doesn’t become an expert overnight, and I am certainly not there yet, but I am half way down the road.
Thankfully, I never suffer from writer’s block; just the opposite is true. There are always ten books written in my head, tales that simply need to be written down. Finding the time is the hard part.
The most precious commodity any writer has aside from good health, is that very thing, time, and all of us only have a certain amount of that, so use it wisely…. and watch less TV!
And one last word on that topic – the hardest thing for writers.
It certainly used to be the printing out and parcelling up and posting off manuscripts to already inundated publishers who didn’t really want to hear from you.
Like thousands of others, I have sufficient “Thanks, but no thanks” letters from the aforementioned publishers, in my case, adorning my bedroom walls. One well-known publisher even wrote back to say that they loved my work and would publish it straight away, just as soon as I sent in what they euphemistically called “a contribution to the marketing and printing costs”.
They went on to say: “Please forward your cheque for £30,000 to cover the costs,” I kid you not, but that is another story altogether!
The ability to indie publish where one has total control of the manuscript, cover design, layout and publicity, and release date is such a boon, and one that has given complete freedom to millions of writers to get on with the job in hand and write and publish, and become better writers through doing so, not to mention the improved indie publishing royalty rate which has gone up from around 15% to 70%. What’s not to like?
It is quite true; there has never been a better time to be a writer.
So what are you excited about right now?
I’m excited about having completed and released four full-length Inspector Walter Darriteau murder mysteries, and it’s gratifying to see they are selling steadily, and I have just finished what was supposed to be an Inspector Darriteau novella, which I aim to put on perma-free with a view to introducing new readers to the character, though when the book was finally formatted yesterday it ran to 234 pages, so perhaps it has passed the ‘novella’ stage. The book is called “The Death Broker” and it should be available in about a month.
I am already planning a fifth full-length Walter Darriteau case and that is always fun, and that will be out next year. And here’s a thought, the only place where you can legally think long and hard about murdering people is by being a writer!
And finally, my tragi-romantic comedy novel “The Life and Loves of Gringo Greene” has just had had a nice new cover done, and I am spending some time on publicising and advertising that, and that excites me too.
Which book would you recommend a reader to start with?
All the Inspector Walter Darriteau books are quite separate stories so you don’t have to start with the first one, but if you enjoy murder mysteries and particularly English murder mysteries laced with a good dash of humour, then maybe “The Sound of Sirens” would be a good place to start.
Thank you for reading my thoughts, if not my mind, and thanks to this super site for publishing my interview.
Have a good one,
Get David’s book, The Sound of Sirens, on Amazon!