Interview with David John

What do you read for pleasure?
I'm a huge fan of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings and have been since my teens. I think Tolkein set the precedent for this genre which has been hard to better or even match. I find it so easy to get lost in his writing and I find each time I read them I get drawn towards a different character.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Unfortunately I don't own an e-reader. I still like the feel of a good book between my fingers knowing that you can just glance at the pages to see how far in you are and how much more you can squeeze in before other things beckon, I.e., dinner, bedtime, going out.
Describe your desk
I call it a desk, my wife calls it the dining room table! I'm working on converting the spare room to a study, or should I say, I'm working on converting the wife to let me have it as a study!
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born in London but my parents moved to Harlow in Essex when I was about three. I wouldn't say it influenced my writing but my familiarity with the town allowed me to stage one of the scenarios there knowing that the information would be correct.
When did you first start writing?
I started back in 1991 after completing the Pennine Way. In those days you had to submit your script to a publisher. I didn't realise that I was only supposed to send a synopsis up for consideration so I ended up sending the whole book. Consequently it was rejected and sat in the back of my draw until 2012 where it was resurrected and self-published. This was after my success with my Kalami book in the same year.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Spurred on by my wife to try my hand at fiction I spent the next six months racking my brain for inspiration. I thought I could only write about things I'd done e.g., massage, martial arts etc, but nothing felt right. Then one day while I was listening to England beat Australia in the Ashes series of the summer of 2012 I had a Eureka! moment and the idea of somebody killing people who lose at sports came to me. The book was never going to be based around sports themselves but the every day-to-day amateur who plays for fun. The killer chooses a sport and victim at random and watches. If they lose he kills them, end of story. But, by his own twisted moral code, if they win he walks away and lets them live. Fortunately he's a good judge of character so seldom loses.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Seeing the story unfold and change. There's always an underlying plot when the book starts but then as the characters develop the story changes along with them.
What are you working on next?
I finished Sports Day as a one off but quite a few people said I should have left it open. Well I've managed to devise a way in which it follows on so the next book, Nameless, carries on the story. It's more gruesome than the first with another nice red herring plot.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Being paid! Unfortunately, until the book takes off big time, I'm still having to work for a living.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Gardening, socialising, DIY and massaging. I still have a regular client base like to keep that going.
Published 2014-03-31.
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