Interview with David Rory O'Neill

How do you approach cover design?
I work closely with my designer Samantha to find an image that suits the story then leave it to her to find fonts and colors that suit. We may start on the cover before the book is complete. It's important and deserves as much time as it needs to get it right. We believe that people do judge a book by its cover, much as I, as writer, might wish it were otherwise.
What do you read for pleasure?
Since I became a full time novelist I find I don't read anything like as much as I once did. Research for the next novel tends to dominate my reading. I do go back to John Steinbeck, my great hero for inspiration often. I've just finished re-reading The Pastures of Heaven and The Long Valley. I'm working on short form novellas and these two are supreme examples of short form literature at its best.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I use a Google Chrome Book and Kindle for Mac on my Powerbook.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Reader recommendation or word of mouth. Book readings and my blog are first contact. I use all the social media but remain uncertain of how effective they are. It's a slow process and needs patience.
Describe your desk
A large table with three Apple Macs, a printer, two phones, an iPod, good speakers to play Beethoven, Beatles and Bizet as inspiration. An Oxford Concise Dictionary and the Collins Thesaurus. A note pad and mug of pencils. A few pretties and ceramic nick-knacks, a model of an Apé three wheeler and a portrait of my beloved Brigitte. A large mug of forgotten cold tea and a steaming fresh one. A view out the window of Paradise Hill in the Galtee mountains, Ireland.
When did you first start writing?
I have always written. It started as school essays and continued after as a personal journal. I did some freelance work and submitted to specialist magazines. My first attempts at novel writing began around twelve years ago. It needed a year or two of constant work to find my voice but once I'd found it I was released and have been fairly prolific since.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
My work kept getting good responses from agents but with the remark: “Not mainstream enough.”
I wanted to put my own voice before readers. Since going Indi I have been pleased to find readers who enjoy and appreciate the origional literary fiction I offer .
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Above all Smashwords has enbale me to offer my work in all formats thus giving me maximum exposure.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I enjoy creating characters that move people and take them on a journey to places and situations that are exotic and yet real. My work is entertainment with bite that leaves the reader feeling fulfilled and happy they took the journey with me and eager for more.
What do your fans mean to you?
Reading a review that shows a reader has seen all the layers I intended and has been moved and touched by the characters and situations. Knowing the creative effort has been appreciated is intensely satisfying and rewarding.
What are you working on next?
Two novels; one an historic fiction set in 650 about the monks who set up a monastery on a rocky island off the coast of county Kerry, Ireland. The other is Bonny: The Butterfly Effect and is the first of a trilogy that feature the prime characters, Bonny, Lauren and Daniel from my Daniel series but asks: 'what if?' What if they had taken a different path. I mark each of a series of small changes, as ripples of the butterfly effect that deflect the charaters taking each on a new journey. Each of the trilogy features one of these characters.
Who are your favorite authors?
This would be a huge list but at the top would be John Steinbeck. Others that have influenced me include, Conrad, Hemingway, Miller, Joyce, Becket and Laurence.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I love my wife and my life. Every day is a journey I'm keen to take. Oh and our fat cat Bobby who always demands to be fed.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Cooking, reading, travel and being with my soul-mate and life partner B.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Mostly recomendations from friends on line in forums and social media groups.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes. I was sixteen and I still have it in an old journal. It's ernest and full of longing and youthful desire but achingly contrived and flowery. It remains a lesson to me in how easy it is to get carried away with verbose and clever wordage. I've learned to kill my babies now.
What is your writing process?
I start with an idea or a character and I take them on an imaginative journey, inhabiting each character imaginitvely and taking them on the journey of the plot. The process becomes organic, ever growing, changing and expanding. I don't pre-plan the plot except in the vaguest way. It becomes a creative exploration that usually leads to a convincing and involving hyper-reality for the reader.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the suburbs of Belfast, Northern Ireland. My reaction to the troubles that engulfed that place was to reject the tribalism and sectarian attitudes I was surrounded by. My writing shows the independence of thought and attitude that resulted from that rejection. Many of my characters display the same rugged non-conformity and resistance to bullying that got me through my early life there. I left the place as soon as I could, as many of my contemporaries did. I always felt myself to be a cultural orphan, being neither fully British nor Irish, but a mix of both. This indivdulaism is reflected in some of my characters.
Published 2013-12-30.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Chepi The Butterfly Effect
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 78,070. Language: British English. Published: May 25, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary, Fiction » Visionary & metaphysical
Chepi was born into the void between male and female – the void between First Nation Cree and European Canadian – the void between native mysticism and science. Chepi must forge a new path using her unique abilities that may be a burden or a priceless gift. Chepi will touch the lives of many and change their life-paths, but Chepi will always be separate and alone.
Rachel's War
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 47,810. Language: British English. Published: November 27, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Spies & espionage
We met Rachel in the novella ‘Rachel’s Walk.’ We followed the awkward and innocent country girl from school to joining the Royal Navy. There she met the woman who would change her life forever. Lauren Greer introduced Rachel to serious weights and the bodybuilding that liberated the pudgy young woman and created an amazon of huge power and beauty. She was drawn into a dangerous world.
Lauren The Butterfly Effect
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 132,980. Language: English. Published: October 20, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Commander Lauren J Greer-Bouchet RN DSC is a highly decorated officer of the Royal Navy. She earned these decorations not at sea in conventional warfare but in the murky world of anti-terrorist undercover work. Lauren is a woman of power and beauty who pays a heavy price for her unwillingness to conform to stereotypes and sexual roles. This is her path – her path to ultimate freedom.
Bonny The Butterfly Effect
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 120,030. Language: English. Published: October 20, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
It is said that history can change—that rivers will rise and mountains will fall—as the eventual result of a single flap of a butterfly’s wing. For Bonny, a life-path rerouted at a tender age will be pitted with perils and disappointments as it winds through a world of secrets, spies, and covert government operations—leading her toward breathtaking self-discoveries and sensual awakenings.
Rachel's Walk
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 50,670. Language: English. Published: August 16, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
The story of an awkward teen who becomes a fearsome amazon warrior. A romantic and sexy thriller.
The West Cork Trilogy Omnibus.
Series: The West Cork Trilogy., Book 4. Price: $6.99 USD. Words: 320,460. Language: English. Published: August 28, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Plays & Screenplays » European, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
A thrilling saga of romantic love, families, dangerous obsessions, revenge and ultimate healing.
Animal.
Series: The Novellas, Book 2. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 22,730. Language: British English. Published: August 21, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
When Ian first saw Eva, the word 'animal' came to him and remained as an unshakeable label each day he saw her prowling up the avenue on her way to and from a solitary lunch break. The name came from her movement, sinuous and dance like; her walk was a tango of aching sensuality. Eventually he’d have to act and risk a mauling by approaching the Animal.
Trial
Series: The Daniel Stories, Book 7. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 130,840. Language: British English. Published: March 28, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Spies & espionage
Daniel’s trial takes many forms. There is the legal trial he must face knowing if he reveals the truth behind the conspiracies he’s been fighting, those conspirators and others unseen will attack his family and friends. There will be the trial of isolation and fighting the demons within that are perhaps the greatest threat.
Pyramid
Series: The Daniel Stories, Book 6. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 106,750. Language: English. Published: March 20, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Spies & espionage
Daniel is struggling with the lack of drama in his work and with the ongoing after effects of his physical trauma. During this working holiday with the family in Rome, extreme drama will come at the Dawes from an entirely unforeseen source.
Judgement
Series: The Daniel Stories, Book 5. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 98,020. Language: British English. Published: December 31, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Spies & espionage
Daniel had stared death down and refused to die. Now he has embarked on some huge and dreadful thing. Compelled to end the fear and tackle the threat head on. He would not run or hide from his fear but would do what he’d always done - he would strip it bare and face it. Let it rip at him and when he’d found its foul heart, he’d kill it, no matter what the risk, no matter
Grip
Series: The Daniel Stories, Book 4. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 95,610. Language: British English. Published: December 30, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller
As Daniel, Lauren and Bonny take a holiday, a plot to silence Daniel is unfolding. He will be tested like never before. When it’s over, his grip on his sanity and his life will hang in the balance.
Passion
Series: The Daniel Stories, Book 3. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 119,900. Language: British English. Published: December 30, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
A gentle bawdy romance with a few thrilling twists. Daniel Dawes has come back from the war in the Falklands with a broken back and a burden of guilt for the stress he has caused Bonny and Lauren. The Dawes’ past returns to haunt them. Old conspiracies, fear of discovery and a need for revenge create danger that they must defeat or run from, forever living in fear.
Challenge
Series: The Daniel Stories, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 88,670. Language: British English. Published: December 30, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Spies & espionage, Fiction » Literature » Literary
(4.00 from 1 review)
Bonny and Lauren face the greatest challenge of their lives as they try to rescue their man Daniel from an impossible predicament. He has crashed behind enemy lines and cannot move. If the Argentine secret police get hold of him he will be tortured and may die. If they do nothing, he will die. They must act alone. They set out on a dangerous mission to bring him home. The challenge is formidable.
Conflict
Series: The Daniel Stories, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 105,230. Language: British English. Published: December 29, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Spies & espionage
(4.00 from 1 review)
Conflict is often a crucible for evil and pain but out of a dirty little war a thing of unique and loving beauty is created. In this urban conflict two beautiful children meet. Later in life conflict thrusts them together again. Into their war comes Bonny, destined to be a victim, but their unexpected love rescues her and sets the three on a hard-fought path to total liberation.
Blue Sky Orphan
Series: The West Cork Trilogy., Book 3. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 110,450. Language: British English. Published: December 23, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Emma Montgomery lives in rural West Cork but travels the world as a Captain-pilot working for a corporate jet charter company. Her early life was marked by abuse but Emma found escape and healing playing in the blue sky.
Beauty's Price
Series: The West Cork Trilogy., Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 82,560. Language: British English. Published: December 23, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Beauty’s Price continues Regan’s story from Surviving Beauty. Love’s power to heal is tested and Regan, Mary and David face the greatest challenge of their young lives. Can they pay beauty’s price?
Surviving Beauty
Series: The West Cork Trilogy., Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 128,210. Language: British English. Published: December 22, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Regan was just seven years old when her mystical beauty became a curse rather than a gift.
The Prairie Companions
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 134,560. Language: English. Published: December 22, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary, Fiction » Historical » General
A stunning evocation of a unique time and place—and a powerfully moving story of courage, commitment, love, loss, and endurance—this unforgettable saga follows two extraordinary young women from their boarding school in Victorian England to the North American wilderness.