... and David answers
From the book website Goodreads comes the following Q&A with David, done to mark the publication of Volcano Street …
Q: Where did you get the idea for your most recent book?
A: Volcano Street is set in a small town in the state of South Australia. I grew up in a town like that. For quite a while I’d been trying to deal with that material, but never getting anywhere. Finally I broke through. I did that by taking a girl as my main character, rather than thinking the main character was me. Somehow that liberated me.
Q: How do you get inspired to write?
A: Getting inspired, I find, isn’t the problem. I’ve got all sorts of ideas for books, probably enough to last me all my life. Whether I can actually do them is the issue. It’s easy to be put off from this idea or that idea once you start to work on it. A daily writing schedule helps a lot!
Q: What are you currently working on?
A: Ah … I’m superstitious about answering this kind of question. As you’d expect, I’m working on a new novel, but I’d better not say anything about it, not even the subject matter, until it’s way more advanced than it is now. Top secret.
Q: What’s your advice for aspiring writers?
A: Simple, really: read a lot, write a lot. All writers start out as readers. That makes us want to write. Then we have to write, write, write. Writing isn’t a career, it’s a compulsion. Is it a sensible career choice? No. But anyone who wants to be a writer will do it no matter what anyone else says.
Q: What’s the best thing about being a writer?
A: Well, I suppose it’s not fame and it’s not money, which most of us don’t have. Writing is a compulsion. You do it because you can’t do anything else. Getting something right on the page is fantastic, and when other people like it as well, or even love it, that’s fantastic ten times over.
Q: How do you deal with writer’s block?
A: Some people say writer’s block doesn’t exist, that it’s just an excuse for lazy writers. I don’t buy that entirely. I write to a schedule, I write as much as I can, but sometimes I still can’t do it. In the end you have to force yourself to write, no matter what junk you get. Just write, and the writing will get better in time. After all, you love writing, don’t you?