Interview with David William Kirby

When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I have to be INSPIRED to write. I've tried sitting there and forcing it but that does not work with me. I may not write a thing for a month and then a dream, a chance snippet of gossip, anything can get my brain milling over. Then I write my plan, normally in one or two hours, the whole story in little bits and pieces will come out. I will spend a few days thinking about the characters (starting with the main and then working out the others) and then the work begins. Once I have the plan I basically have the whole story and just need to write it in a narrative form. Editing is my most hated chore because I'm not good at it and I will revisit something sometime after I thought it was all as good as it could be and notice a spelling mistake. That pisses me off.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
To be honest I have a good library and think it's important to give them my time, I've read virtually every book in the local one and now go to the main one if I need to read. I read books like food when I was younger and would have three on the go all at once sometimes. Today I write more then I read.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I wrote 'Before Now and After' when I was 15. I was at a Stonehenge Free Festival in 1974 and took some big jotters with me, just in case. There was something happening with the Hell's Angels, the flags and tents, the music and the acid. It all coalesced into a rip roaring yarn which, after another ten years, became then novel. The book is in three parts and I wrote the last first, then the first section and finally the middle section. Then I revisited it over a period of 30 years until it reached its current form. The section I wrote first is as I wrote it; you can still sense the festival from the narrative, set as it is, in a desolate post war future. I'm happy with the narrative now although it took a long time to write and research.
What is your writing process?
As I mentioned, I need to get infected, then plan, then work at the narrative. This is followed by editing.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I love history and I love Dickens. I read Edwin Brood when at school and then knocked the others off over the years. I used to get through a lot of pulp fiction and read the books by the 'No Orchids for Miss Blandish' author, can't remember his name. They were all situated in the same city with the same characters and basically the same story; its amazing he made a living.
How do you approach cover design?
Bad question, lets say, Ad Hoc.
What do you read for pleasure?
Non-fiction, the lives and loves of historical figures, real crimes, profiles of killers or British gangsters from the 40s, 50s, and 1960s. The last fiction I read was probably The Da Vinci Code which was a loads of cods wallop.I was interested in the historical information and gathered quickly that most, if not all, was lifted from Holy Blood Holy Grail. Holy Blood was difficult to read because of the way it was written; it was like the sort of thing Speed freaks write when they're hyper. It made a little more sense but not much...
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Kendle and phone do it when I'm on the move but the laptop is favorite at home.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
As I'm starving and dirt poor I guess non, although I notice a big spike in readers when I mention a book I've written on Google Plus. I mentioned the free edition of 'Killing Moon' and 'Before Now and After':

(available on Scribd: http://www.scribd.com/doc/172424339/Free-Edition-Killing-Moon-and-Before-Now-and-After)

one moment and had 90 hits a moment later. It amazes me how many people want to read and not pay; I guess we have all got used to free content and now asking them to pay for it seems cheeky. As writing is my only income these days I wish people would help by purchasing now and then. If they don't I will still write, perhaps after my death the royalties will flood in keeping my beneficiaries in shoes and handbags.
Describe your desk
Wherever I lay my laptop is my home.
What books have you enjoyed recently
I loved 'England's mistress' by Kate Williams. It's about Lady Hamilton and is very informative, containing lots of good historical detail, ending sadly with the woman's death as a pauper in Paris; phew, what a life. I recently read Nick Cook's 'Hunt for Zero-point' about his quest to get to the bottom of the antigravity debate. That was also interesting from a historical point. I love history and I am currently planning another book about Poland in the 1940s. Killing Moon was about a Jewish woman and her life after a concentration camp. The one I am planning to write will focus on the Warsaw uprising, I've written the first chapter and have got 'the bug'.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I like the research and so I tend to write stuff that needs lots. I have a very inquiring mind, I relish information and so being able to research a topic and write about it turns me on.
What do your fans mean to you?
If I had one I'd be delighted
Who are your favorite authors?
Dickens, and I suppose anyone who has had an interesting life. My sister died recently and in a hundred years she may only have a faded tombstone. I want to have a legacy like Dickens, although he is a far better writer that I could ever be.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Having work previously rejected (by conventional publishing companies) out there for people to read, with the option to purchase, is wonderful. I've had some very good reviews which were unexpected and they add to my, somewhat limited, self-confidence. I was told to soldier on in the face of rejection and develope a skilled art; this advice gave me some motivation to continue, and although I'm still 'unpublished' my reader count tells me that I was right to go on.
I publised on another site two years ago but they refused to say I'm an author and advertise me as a 'user' which is a wind up. This is particularly infuriating as the can meddle with my reader count (unlike those listed as 'Authors') and recently they zero'd my reads from 27.000 saying this was necessary because they've inststalled a different stats monitor. When I pointed out that other authors has not lost their reader count I was told that as 'authors' they were on a different system/ I am glad to say that Smashwords appear to be more clued up and here I am actually acknowledged as a writer; thank you Smashwords.
What are you working on next?
Having a low attention span I get bored easily so I am working on several projects at the moment. The main two are, firstly, a story about the Warsaw uprising in 1945. I found out that the Theosophical Society had a branch in Warsaw in the 1930s so the story is narrated by someone called Thomas who is being trained to astral travel by a Sadhu. The story weaves philosophically between the war torn streets of Poland and the astral plane, shining angelic light on the evil of Nazi occultism. I've used the narration as a vehicle to explain Eastern ideas of Good and Evi.l It's one man's journey through a brutal occupation who is using yoga to keep calm and clear headed while he and others rise up and rebel.
The second project I'm working on is a prequel to 'Boy, Out in Africa' telling the story of how two young girls and I lived in a squat in Dagenham during the early 1970s. We were aged around 13-14 and had run away from home. We ended up squatting in a row of derilict houses for a year meeting other social outcasts and forming a community along the way. It's tragic and funny, sad but true and I hope people will find it interesting. The girls and I had valid reasons to run away and this story tells the reader why we three ended up in this situation. It's a particularly difficult story to tell without creeping into self-indulgence and so I've focused on Kay's story, the stronger of the two girls, as a hook to hang Carol and my own story around. I had a intense love affair with a boy called Kevin (who identified as straight up to that point) at the time and my story focusses on our relationship's ups and downs.
They are two very different stories and currently I'm bouncing from one to the other while doing other things too. Like I said, I have a low attention span.
Published 2014-10-08.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

What's My Name
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You set the price! Words: 14,170. Language: English. Published: October 28, 2014. Category: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Short Stories
A mysterious man is discovered wanderiing through the streets dirty and confused. He finds himself in police custody and begins a journey through a legal system which confounds and abuses him. Any one of us could be remanded for 'Medical reports' and shut away behind bars without support or advice. This short story exposes a system which can suck you in and NEVER spit you out again.
A Devil Among Us
By
You set the price! Words: 20,400. Language: English. Published: September 13, 2014. Category: Plays » European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
A man is released from prison having been wrongly convicted and tries to make sense of the past. Only one woman, a probation officer, actually believes he may be innocent.
DRIVER
By
Price: Free! Words: 19,640. Language: English. Published: August 25, 2014. Category: Plays » Gay & Lesbian
A Play The story of a late night London taxi driver, Zero 7, and his life among the clip joints, prostitutes and killers of Soho.
The Rose Garden
By
Price: Free! Words: 23,730. Language: English. Published: July 17, 2014. Category: Screenplays » Drama
The story of a man who changes his life only to find his choices are questoned.
Uther and the Secret of the Dragon
By
You set the price! Words: 41,150. Language: English. Published: June 25, 2014. Category: Screenplays » History
A screen-play set in the neolithic period following a boy and his guardian's magical education and enlightenment.
A Sense of Freedom
By
You set the price! Words: 47,460. Language: English. Published: May 22, 2014. Category: Nonfiction » Social Science » Criminology
The true story of a single mother's descent into criminality.
Before Now and After
By
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 64,770. Language: English. Published: April 8, 2014. Category: Fiction » Historical » Classical Greece & Rome
This author's first book written when he was just 15 years, It follows the history of the mythical 'Tetragramatton' (The supposed true name of GOD translated as Yehova in the King James Bible). Set in three distinct sections the narrative begins in a mythical island, onto Imperial Rome and then through to modern times. A masterpiece of esoteric knowledge.
The Gift
By
Price: Free! Words: 11,590. Language: English. Published: April 8, 2014. Category: Plays » European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
A horror story for modern times
Free edition of Boy Out in Africa and Lady Mandrax
By
Price: Free! Words: 91,700. Language: English. Published: April 8, 2014. Category: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » General
Two free books as an introduction to the author. The first the true story of a gay teenager growing up in 1970s South Africa, the second a dark love story set in a 1960s brothel. Adult themes and sexual references.
Dana
By
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 64,770. Language: English. Published: April 8, 2014. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
Brenda Sullivan is a woman with a history she's not proud of. As she approaches her forties, lonely and childless, she thinks her life will never amount to much. She has an amazing story to tell but no-one to tell it too and thinks no-one would believe her anyway. Then a chance meeting on a train changes her life forever.
The Killing Moon
By
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 85,250. Language: English. Published: April 8, 2014. Category: Fiction » Historical » General
A woman's life, from her teens in a Nazi death camp to her later work as a killer for Mossad. Focusing on her romance with another inmate who she meets unexpectedly later in life this story reveals how fate seems to have a path set for us all.