Saturday, October 25, 2014

Author interview - David Wake

Apple or PC?
PC.  I made a bad choice an age ago, but I came from a software background, so it was kind of inevitable.

Do you use Scrivener or Word?
Word.  Again, all that expertise in the monster, which I want to keep current.  I can’t quite see the point of Scrivener, but then again I’ve not used it and people do swear by it.

How many words do you write a day?
I currently in a very good place with my writing: 1,000 words in the morning, 1,000 in the afternoon, although that’s dropping off now the novel has reached the ‘hole-filling’ rather than the ‘make stuff up’ stage.

Do you have any pets? Do they influence your writing?
I’ve no pets as I couldn’t cope with the responsibility.  What do you do with them if you want to go away for the weekend?  I think I’m becoming increasingly anti-pet really, although I am seriously considering getting a robot vacuum cleaner.  I think those can be trusted to be left at home and not make a mess.  Indeed, you can leave them at home and they can clear up your mess.

Would you rather see your stories on the big screen or the little screen?
Depends on the story, doesn’t it?  Some stories are more at home on the big screen, others on the little screen, still others for neither.  I guess I, Phone is my unfilmable book.  How do you represent visually the mind of an artificially intelligent mobile phone?  But then there’s always someone who might rise to the challenge.  My Derring-Do Club books as a TV series, I guess, as they have far more cliff-hangers.  Since Doctor Who went single story, I miss the cliff-hanger.

Are you hooked on any of the shows on the sci-fi channel? If so, which one(s)?
I don’t get the Sci-Fi channel.  Virgin Media, my provider, changes our channels occasionally for no discernible reason.  We’ve got classic Who again, which always seems to draw me in, but then I have the DVDs, so it seems foolish to watch them with adverts.  The current box set is the second series of the excellent Utopia and I still have the last few gasps of a Farscape marathon to complete.

Do you own copies of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings DVDs? The extended version? Do you ever watch them?
I do and I’m not sure which version.  I occasionally watch them.  I saw them originally in the cinema as a birthday treat, usually on my birthday, and I took along my wizard’s hat.

Have you seen the first two parts of The Hobbit? Are you planning to see the final instalment?
Yes, again another outing for the wizard hat.  I am planning to see the final instalment.  They were nothing like as good as Lord of the Rings though, despite the presence of Martin Freeman.  The dwarfs don’t look like dwarves.

Are you a Luddite? Or do you prefer to be on the bleeding edge of technology?
Oh now, that’s a question for me.  Both.  I’ve written two near future SF books, I, Phone and #tag, looking at the effects of new technology.  However, I have just spent an age trying to recover an old 32-bit computer because it runs old software and I just can’t get on with the new versions.  I guess I’m an old duffer now: “Bleeding edge technology was so much more cutting edge in my day!”

Are you--or have you ever been--a gamer?
Role-playing and board games.  I used to be big in freeform role-playing.  I’ve tested plots on role-players.  I liked Space Invaders, but Defender was just too complicated.

What kind of foods do you eat? Are you a health-food-nut or is it strictly junk?
I’m on the 5-2 Fasting Diet: less than 600 calories for a man two days a week.  It’s healthy food during the week, mostly vegetarian, but madness and lunacy at the weekend.

Do you cook? What is your best/favourite/most popular recipe?
Very, very occasionally.  My partner is an excellent cook and I can’t compete (except for rice for some reason).  However, I shall be doing the cooking at Christmas.

Have you ever heard of or had a green smoothie? If you’ve ever had one, what did you think about ?
I went to America once, California, and the first place we went into after arriving, somewhat jet-lagged, was a smoothie bar.  Somewhat dazzled by all the choice, I asked what there was.   The assistant rattled off a loooooong list of options, drew breath and then recited the vitamin choices.

“Er...” I said, “I’m English... can I have tea, ordinary tea, done ordinarily, you know, brown, hot, ordinary.”

Do you have a garden? Have you ever grown your own food?
Yes and yes.  We’ve potatoes at the moment, and we’ve herbs, and had onions, garlic and such like.  There are two very productive mini-apple trees.  I mostly do the shed building and the lawn mowing.  The lettuce is a crop for the slithering hordes of slugs.

Have you ever been to Starbucks?
Must have been.  I’m not a regular and not really a coffee shop person.  The pub for me.

Coffee or Tea or Water? Espresso, Drip, Instant, or French Press? Bag or Looseleaf? Bottled, Filtered, Tap or Rainwater?
Tea.  Brickie’s.  Brown.  Hot.  Wet.  Mug.  Milk.  No sugar.
Wine, red or dry.
Beer, real and ale, dark, malty and resembling mud.
Whiskey, large, cheap with ginger or single malt from anywhere but Speyside.

Do you wear socks?
Yes, but I’m English, so never with sandals.

What are you wearing right now?
Sounds like a question that should be reserved for a dodgy phone call.

Do you wear a hat?
Sadly hats don’t suit me.  I have a vast collection: two areas in the house with hats on display and boxes of them in the loft.  I took to wearing a smoking cap at conventions because I discovered, quite by chance, that people spotted me from a distance more and came over to natter.  It doesn’t suit me either.

How often do you wash your hair?
Daily in the bath.

Do you do your own laundry?
Yes and I study the weather forecast obsessively to find out when I can dry things.

Does life fascinate you?
How could anyone be an author and not answer ‘yes’ to that.  Writing, like psychology, is the study of the human condition.

What would your animal totem be?
The crow.  I like the sound of crows, they always relax me.  They used to caw outside my flat when I was at University.  Strangely, they feature heavily in the fantasy novel I’m writing.  The culture has a whole mix of legends, myths and fables about them.

Do you recycle?
Yes.  Save the planet.  And jokes in plays wot I write.

Do you do Yoga? Meditation? or Deep Breathing? Does it help you cope?
Never!  Mad eastern nonsense that only exists to sell hippie books.  And I’m not coping.

On a scale of 1-10, how eccentric are you?
One... or ten.  Which is the thick end of the wedge?

What’s your astrological sign?
I don’t believe in this hippie nonsense, which means I’m a typical Capricorn on the Sagittarian cusp.

Do you consider yourself a slave to the muse?
Not a slave, but a willing acolyte and accomplice.

About David Wake:

     Photo: Simon Bradshaw.

David Wake started writing one-act plays, won a couple of awards, and toured theatre productions in the UK.  His work has been performed at the Edinburgh Fringe, London, Manchester and Birmingham.

Since completing an MA in Writing, he’s published two near-future SF novels, I, Phone and #tag.  There are also two novels out chronicling the steampunk adventures of the Derring-Dolittle sisters: The Derring-Do Club and the Empire of the Dead and The Derring-Do Club and the Year of the Chrononauts.

He was Guest of Honour at the ArmadaCon SF convention in Plymouth and lives within smelling distance of a chocolate factory.

Amazon UK | | Blog | Amazon |

No comments:

Post a Comment