Interview with David Graham, author of A Sword for Hire.

sword for hire cover

As some of you will be aware, I did a review of David’s book a few days ago:

I was pleased to be able to do a follow up interview with him, in which insights into how he works and his taste in reading and writing inspirations are revealed.

Q: When did you first start writing?

A: Hi Katrina, and first I must say thank you for the interview. I began writing about fifteen years ago, when I decided it was time I tried my hand at creating my own fantasy series. At the time I was not really sure how it would turn out and I was even less sure about my writing abilities. But as time went by I began to learn the skills required to construct a story and the plot slowly built as I worked to create the characters.

 Q: What attracted you to the fantasy genre?

 A: I have always had a fascination with mythical creatures. This stems back to my youth, when I would read the Greek myths and imagine what the world would be like if such things as chimeras, hydras and Minotaur really existed. Then there was the Hobbit, a book I read whilst still at school. This, of course, brought a new fascination with dragons and so it was inevitable that my imagination should train its-self along these lines.

 Q: Have you ever self-published?

 A: I did think about self-publishing many times, but I was never sure how to go about it, so I usually baulked at the idea at the last minute. However I am a bit of a traditionalist and the idea of having a proper publisher has always seemed much more natural to me.

 Q: Where do you derive your inspiration?

 A: Most of it comes directly from my own imagination. But I am a people-watcher and many of my characters are drawn from people I have come across in real life. Real life experiences also play a big part in the way I treat my characters and as my books are mainly character-led, I rely heavily on emotion and gestures. The plots themselves seem to come naturally, as I simply put my main characters in a situation and somehow they write themselves out of it.

 Q: Do you work in silence, or listen to music. If you listen to music, what’s your favorite?

 A: Mainly I work with the radio running somewhere in the background. But occasionally I will slip on my headphones and listen to some music while I write. Having been a teenager during the late sixties and early seventies it is only natural that I will listen to good rock music… anything from the Stones, to Bon-Jovi. A strange thing to listen to whilst writing about wizards and dragons, but it works for me.

 Q: Do you have a website or blog, where perspective readers can view your work?

 A: At the moment I do not have a web site, but I do run a blog for my books, and the Silent Blade have their own page on Face Book. Here are the links to both.!/TheSilentBladeChronicles

 Q: Who are your favorite authors and why?

 A: Straight away Sir Terry Pratchett comes to mind. Over the years I have read everything he has written and I am a big fan. Then, of course there is the Master of fantasy, JRR Tolkien. Without this great man the fantasy genre would be a very poor place. On top of these two greats I have two other favorites, namely: Anne McCafrey and her dragons of Pern series and Terry Brookes and his Shannara series.

 Q: What advice would you give to new writers?

 A: Well, to begin with I would say “never give up”. There was a time when I was receiving rejection letters from publishers and I was beginning to think my work was just not good enough… and at that point it was almost deleted from my computer! But something made me keep it and after a few years it was finally accepted by Ecanus publishing. Next I would strongly advise upon being tough with yourself. Editing your own work to a high standard is one of the hardest things any author has to go through. It is no use keeping long passages of useless chatter just because it makes your book look longer. Be tough and cut out the unnecessary stuff. And finally, something I learned from my own editor… be sparing with the commas, they are only there to act as a tiny pause in the sentence and only then if there really is a pause in that place.

 Q: How do you create your characters?

 A: Ah, now my characters come from many sources. Some are the result of people I have met over the years (taking certain characteristics and enhancing them). Others are pure creations, especially the animals and creatures. Here I use a lot of imagination to create such creatures as, dragons, wyvern, wolves, eagles… each with their own speech and mannerisms. Oddly I find it much easier to work with the creatures than with the humans.

 Q:   Finally, do you plot out your work, or write by the seat of your pants?

 A: A bit of both I suppose. I am by nature a rather chaotic person and the idea of a rigidly structured work ethic is more than a little alien to my way of thinking.  So you could call me an anarchic author in that respect. I do have a main plot, of course, but even that changes from time to time as the writing evolves. Very often I start out with a particular passage, with every intention of finishing it a certain way. But by the time I am half way through I quickly discover that the thing has once again taken a new route and the ending of that passage becomes entirely different to the original idea. This happens often and has been responsible for the Silent Blade books changing so many times.

Phone pics 001

Thanks to David for a wonderful interview. The Silent Blade series can be bought from Amazon books, both as a Kindle and paperback.


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