First of all, tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a history-obsessed neurotic geek, I suppose. I like traveling and discovering fun foods and drinks while trying to pretend I’m not a hipster.
What inspired you to become an author?
Reading, first of all. I read and experienced stories and wanted to add to them, create experiences of my own. And I was fortunate that I got just enough encouragement when I wrote some silly stories a few friends read and enjoyed.
What was the main inspiration for your most recent book?
I was reading a book about Babylon and there was a specific line that said Babylonians treated magic as an everyday part of life. That amazed me. A real life place where magic existed, or at least was practiced. It wasn’t fireballs or transformations, mainly spells for good fortune or to appease spirits, but it made me think of what the world would look like if that was more than true, that the Babylonians perfected real magic.
Who influenced you the most in life?
Probably my father. Just witnessing his life told me how to live, how to be. I didn’t follow in his footsteps but he is the truest example of a good man I’ve ever known.
What is the kindest thing someone has ever said and or done for you?
I was at a café in Istanbul and I had run out of money. I wanted a hookah but could only afford tea. This Turkish couple heard that I didn’t have the money and paid for both my tea and hookah. I’ve probably had more impactful acts of generosity but this one stands out in my mind. They were strangers. I was a white American Christian. And they showed me unflinching generosity. It was very touching.
Do you have a favourite author? (Or name a few)
Far and away it’s C. S. Lewis. I can’t get over how the man crafts a sentence. It’s been my life’s goal to tell stories like him. Not just the imagination or story, the words he uses. No one can make a sentence like Lewis.
What is the best writing advice you have ever received?
1,500 words a day. I read Stephen King say that in his book On Writing and I made it a mantra. It may not be 1500 good words, but I pledged to write at least that much a day. I’ve been doing it for about ten years now, and I’m still learning but it’s that kind of batting practice that makes a writer push themselves and get better.
Did you always want to be a writer and if not what did was the first thing you wanted to be or do?
A four year old me just wanted to build Legos for a living, but for the longest time I wanted a career in the military. I experimented with it several times, but never went all the way. I actually wanted to have a career in the Air Force before I chose to become a writer and a military career stopped making sense. I have immense respect for those who choose this path and humbly wish I had the strength of will they do.
Do you like to listen to music while you write? If so, who are your favourite artists?
I listen to movie scores while writing, for the most part. I tune Pandora to Hans Zimmer or John Williams or Howard Shore and let those emotional rides keep my energy up.
What helps you write when you're stuck and or have writer's block?
Man, I wish I had an answer for that. Sometimes just lying down and thinking about it while not thinking about it for an extended amount of time makes an idea come to life out of nowhere. Just dedicating time works best. Not forcing it. Setting aside an hour or two just to wonder. Sometimes I go to a bar too but that can often derail brainstorming too.
After a long day of writing etc, do you have a favourite tv show you like to watch?
I’m a big fan of AMC and Netflix original shows. I just got into Better Call Saul and my wife and I are loving Hell on Wheels and can’t wait for more House of Cards. I guess I’m all over the place. We’ll watch Supernatural, World War Two documentaries, and My Little Pony depending on the day. I like variety.
What are you working on currently?
I’m not sure how it’ll sell, but it’s my attempt to do a Narnia for YA. It’s in a contemporary setting not another world so it’s not quite a match. I’m trying to work on teleportation with nonviolence and rewritten history. It’s a lot to balance but it’s fun too.
When you're not writing, or working, what do you like to do?
I’m going to have to admit to being a hipster here, and like all things hipster (though I liked them before they were cool). I like good food, drink, brew my own beer, watch Netflix, and play video games. My wife and I love to travel too, though we wish we could do it more.
What are some of your most favourite books of all time?
Of course the Narnia series and A Canticle for Leibowitz really touched me. I also love non-fiction books that tell a real story in a narrative way.
Which of your characters do you love the most and why?
Zen is one of my favorite characters I’ve ever made. He’s sarcastic and fun and utterly brilliant at what he does. My favorite aspect of him is he thrives in chaos. The worse things go, the more in the zone he gets. He is unflappable and I admire that about him
Which of your books are you most proud of?
The Code of Magic is probably the most proud I’ve been of any book that’s thus far been published. I suppose there’s a couple books still in contact with agents I’m more proud of, but it’s relative. I write MG, YA, adult, SFF and all sorts of things. They’re so different it’s hard to compare. I just finished a cyberpunk I’m particularly proud of but I’m not sure I’m more proud of it than code of magic. It’s a different sort of pride, I guess.
What is the title of the last book you read/was it good or bad?
I chose to not read Harry Potter until after I finished The Code of Magic. I know, heresy, but I had issues with the setting that kept me from diving into it. I just finished Prisoner of Azkabar and enjoyed it. The story is brilliant but my wife often suffers through my critiques of what I call historical errors in the magical world.
Is there anything specific you'd like to try writing about in the future?
I’m working on a sort of science fiction focused on a TV show that reviews spaceships. Super general I know, but it’s a work in progress that makes me giggle.
What is an interesting or hidden talent you have?
I know how to smuggle ice cream into China.
If you could have one super power, what would it be and why would you choose it?
Metamorphosis. Becoming an eagle or a wolf or whatever you want. That would be loads of fun.
Is there anything else you'd like my readers to know?
The waters of Loch Ness are really cold.
Where can we find you on social media?
Don't forget to check out David's book, The Code of Magic!