Interview with David Whale

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
In fact, I'm pretty sure I still HAVE the first story I ever wrote. It was a five or six page story about Luke Skywalker , where each page was a drawing with one line of text.
What is your writing process?
This is a difficult one. I actually wrote an article for my blog called "Writing With a Day Job" that covers this quite well, but the gist of it was that the "process" for me is kind of haphazard, at least in terms of actually sitting down and doing the writing. It's just not feasible for me to sit down every day and write. But in terms of the development process, there's really no set way in how I go about it. Sometimes I'll get an image of something in my head, a striking image that then sparks the imagination to build a story around that image. Sometimes it will be a concept. Sometimes it will be a character.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Telling stories. I've always loved telling stories, whether it was in the form of the comic books I can remember writing and drawing in my friend's garage, or the photo-stories I used to make with my Kenner Star Wars figures and my beat-up old Vivitar camera, to short stories and, finally, a full-blown novel.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Currently, my two biggest hobbies are creating custom action figures -- formerly 1:12 scale, but I'm gravitating back toward 1:6 scale these days -- and playing a tabletop miniatures game called X-Wing. The name is fairly self-explanatory, I think. And, of course, my ongoing efforts to build a full-sized, wearable set of Stormtrooper armour.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Radko's War started many years ago -- I think it may have been 2003 -- as a four-page outline. It had a different title back then, because the main character had a different name, but it was a story that I always liked. I came back to it several times over the years, jotting new notes and point form lists of things to change, and when I decided in 2013 that I was finally going to participate in NaNoWriMo, I decided this would be my project. Radko's War was a certificated NaNo winner for 2013, and I spent the next three years editing and re-writing to get it the way I wanted it.
What are you working on next?
My next project is titled OUT OF THE BLACK and is a direct sequel to Radko's War. I'm just about to start the third draft as I write this. I also have a more fantasy-themed science fiction project in the works, co-written with a good friend. That project is just in its first draft and thus far, remains untitled.
How do you approach cover design?
I have a background in graphic design, so I approach covers in much the same way I approached design for business cards -- less is more and make the text pop. While all the visual elements are important, your title needs to stand out -- it's the name of the book, after all -- and so the rest of the visual elements should be subservient to the title. The worst thing you can do for a cover is to just slap the title on at the end, like it's an afterthought. For a writer, your book cover is, more or less, your business card. Business cards need to be attractive, but they also need to get their point across in the simplest, clearest way.
What do you read for pleasure?
I have a very broad spectrum of pleasure reading. I read a lot of science fiction -- I love the series by James S A Corey called "The Expanse" (also now a TV series, incidentally) and Anne Leckie's "Anciliary" trilogy -- but I have a history degree, so I also tend to gravitate towards non-fiction history books as well.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
This may not be the place to admit this, but... I only own four ebooks. Between my day job, writing, and the occasional freelance design gig, I spend so much of my day in front of a screen that it's the last thing I want to do while reading. On the rare occasion I do read an ebook, I tend to use the Kindle app on my Samsung Galaxy Note 8.
Describe your desk
Covered in action figures. To the left of my computer is a small cluster of a dozen vintage Kenner Star Wars figures; to the right, some Mass Effect and Wonder Woman figures. The display shelf directly above the computer is home to my vintage Star Wars vehicles.
Published 2017-02-09.
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Books by This Author

Radko's War
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 68,430. Language: English. Published: February 20, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Military, Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
Commander Finn Radko and the crew of the HMCS Vimy Ridge, lone survivors of the greatest massacre in human history, begin a perilous journey through the mysterious attacking armada in the desperate hope of preventing another catastrophe. Undermanned and unprepared for battle, Sergeant Freyja Sigurdsson and her garrison scramble to man their defenses as the unthinkable unfolds: an invasion.