Interview with David L Atkinson

When did you first start writing?
I began writing many years ago and I started with poetry, don't ask me why, it just seemed to be appropriate at the time. However, I have always wanted to write a book and actually started in with planning fifteen years ago. It didn't go anywhere and I think that was because I'd been influenced by reading something about needing to plan thoroughly! It's not me. I gave up on that book, time passed and the urge was still with me so four years ago I began. It's rather like eating the elephant, one mouthful at a time!
What's the story behind your latest book?
My most recent publication, Cessation, is a departure from the genre I have been writing within up to now. It comes under the heading of SF/dystopian style although I find 'dystopian' to be a rather depressing categorisation. It is also a response to my own political persuasion which I must hasten to add cannot be described as conservative or socialist, not capitalist or communist, more Christian humanist. I find abhorrent the greed that runs all of the countries of the world and Cessation is a possible outcome of that selfish greed. Having said that it was also my aim to delve deeper into human interactions and this I believe has been achieved.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Like many 'wannabees' I bought a copy of 'The Writer's Handbook' as soon as I'd finished my first novel, 'I Have To Get It Right', and as suggested sent a synopsis, the first three chapters and a personal bio to a succession of agents. After around half a dozen rejections, I'm not renowned for my patience, I read an article in Publisher's Weekly extoling the virtues of an online publishing house in London called and decided to give them a try. They've been great supports and quite efficient in getting my books out so six novels later I'm still with them. I have read blogs since by other indie authors and love the interaction and fellowship so have never tried the traditional option since my first attempts.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
In answer to the question about greatest joy, I must refer to something that some writers, and most non-writers, may not fully understand. I know I had never considered it as an aspect of writing. I have always known about the need for strong well formed characters, but what wasn't aware of the fact that they can be come so well embedded they actually take over the story. Their personality and abilities drive the story where they want it to go. Stemming from that is the minor character you introduce to serve a purpose with the intention of not using them again and they refuse to leave! Believe me it is a great feeling when that happens.
What do your fans mean to you?
The fans are really precious. I respect their opinions and their dedication and often wonder why they are interested in my work. Choosing to read a book can have so many triggers, I recently saw an interview on TV by a writer called Ben Aaronovitch and was so interested by his past experiences in writing I decided to try the first of his Peter Grant stories and have read two more since. If someone buys into what I'm offering I am truly grateful but at the same time writing is me and so if no one bought my books it would be a small disappointment but I would still write. People are immensely kind and supportive and I feel the love when they buy my books. Thank you.
What are you working on next?
The first five books I wrote were based on a character called Patrick A Steele who has a strong sense of injustice and does everything he can to correct situations that harm the ordinary people in the world. He is not as pure as the driven snow and so is on the edge of the law, sometimes stepping over that edge. I got the urge to write Cessation but I have returned to Steele for the next project and at the time of writing this have completed the first chapter.
Who are your favorite authors?
My taste in authors, in fact in all of the arts, seems to be rather eclectic. I have read classics and love Charles Dickens 'A Christmas Carol' and two or three of his books but wouldn't say that I like everything he has written. In my formative years I read a lot of Alistair MacLean and also have enjoyed, Dick Francis, Patricia Cornwell, Bernard Cornwell, Colin Dexter, Ian Rankin and many more. There is an unrealistic expectation that great authors will always write great books which, when you consider that it is an art form at which you become more skilful the more you work, is almost impossible.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
When I'm not writing I am involved in church and have quite a busy time singing for two different choirs. The big choir that I sing with is the Huddersfield Choral Society (have a look at their website) and that has given me the opportunity to sing in countries from Japan, eastern Europe and France as well as all over the UK including the Royal Albert Hall. I used to sing with two or three amateur societies when I was younger and have taken solo roles such as Herod, in Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat; Ali Hakim in Oklahoma; and, Guiseppe in Gilbert and Sullivan's The Gondoliers. Being involved in music is very time consuming as is writing but I will be sad if I have to give up singing.
What is your writing process?
My writing process is intensely personal and is similar to Ian Rankin's, he is the guy who writes the Rebus novels about a Scottish police detective operating in and around Edinburgh. He writes from scratch, just sits down and does it. I'm not that good I usually get an idea, and it can come from anywhere, rough out the first five chapters, no more than a couple of sentences per chapter, list my characters, location and skills or equipment then I start. Quite often where I'm going is decided by the characters and their personalities. I think that is why I've not suffered the dreaded writer's block. No matter where you are in your writing if things seem to be slowing or taking a different direction don't be afraid to deviate from your plan. Sticking slavishly to a plan is where blocks can be generated if the plan has weaknesses!
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first story I had read to me was 'Alice Through the Looking Glass' by Lewis Carroll and I didn't like it at all. I have no idea why perhaps the fact that it was being read by the head teacher at my infant school and we were severely constrained. Having said that it probably encouraged me to look for stories to read for myself so in a negative way it had a positive effect. A story that I'd chosen for myself was Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book and this was before the film came out, but I loved that book.
Published 2013-12-10.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

7 Hours After
Series: Steele. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 63,070. Language: English. Published: November 9, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
After discovering numerous ‘theories’ concerning 9/11 and who was behind it, Steele identifies possible links between large corporations with financial interests and political parties. In a presidential election year he is concerned that those vying for that prodigious post may have links with the disaster. Has Steele discovered underhand dealing by the US security services?
Flight into Secrecy (What happened to Flight 370?)
Series: Steele, Book 9. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 59,760. Language: English. Published: December 1, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Travel, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
Steele is given a task to complete that finds him on the ill-fated Flight MH370 in Kuala Lumpur. Hours later he awakens in a cell in a place and country of which he has no knowledge. Can Steele extricate himself from this seemingly hopeless situation? This story is a speculative journey based upon the data and misinformation surrounding the loss of Malaysian Flight 370 in March 2014.
Grace and Favour
Series: Steele, Book 8. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 66,210. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: June 8, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
Steele has had to accept changes in life style and yet he is required once again to tackle a situation of injustice, but has concerns that he is being commissioned to act by the authorities. Patrick is working alone trying to recover a youngster kidnapped from parents with a high profile role in the UK establishment. Will he recover the kidnapped child or fail and become subject of retribution.
Earth plc
Series: Steele, Book 7. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 63,640. Language: English. Published: December 9, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
A man is found dead in the massive Kielder Forest in Northumberland and the initial reports suggest suicide. A member of Patrick A Steele’s team feels that is not the whole story and an investigation ensues that leads the team into conflict with some of the most powerful people in the UK. Steele can mete out his own brand of justice initially but Steele needs to tread carefully.
Series: Steele, Book 6. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 63,790. Language: English. Published: June 3, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Spies & espionage
Patrick Steele is placed in a position unfamiliar to him when his own personal space is burgled. The consequences are extensive at a personal level and to his property. The ghost of a previous operation drives Steele to take measures to retrieve the artefacts stolen from him and to avenge the death of a member of his team. He is handed a possible solution but there arises a threat to his identity.
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 73,640. Language: British English. Published: December 3, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias
The story is a speculative journey into a possible future that may lie ahead of us all. Our modern day lives are permeated through with the need for electricity and its production. The story begins in 2023 a couple of years after the lights go out for the last time. Our group of survivors are thrown together on a farm called Serendipity but as time passes the size of the group waxes and wanes!
Series: Steele, Book 5. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 65,350. Language: English. Published: August 20, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
In this the 5th Steele novel Patrick tackles the person who has been surreptitiously dogging his footsteps over a number of his adventures.
A Changed Reality
Series: Steele, Book 4. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 72,740. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: April 22, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense, Fiction » Adventure » Action
Patrick A Steele has discovered an injustice which involves organised crime and kidnapping for the sex trade and he applies his unique skillset to disrupt the evil group behind these heinous atrocities. He travels across europe and the usa but does emotional entanglement influence his effectiveness?
The Biter Bit
Series: Steele, Book 3. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 67,710. Language: English. Published: February 16, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
Patrick A Steele, accountant turned Robin Hood, is crusading again. Steele has developed a relationship with the Gurentai, a sub-group of Japanese Yakuza who have given him a Swiss bank account and retainer allowing him to build an empire.Everything seems fine until he is drawn into solving the problem of lawless youths targeting tourists in York. All goes pear-shaped when a friend is shot.
The 51st State
Series: Steele, Book 2. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 70,170. Language: English. Published: January 16, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
The nemesis of what is wrong in the world is applying his skills to drive a wedge between the USA & the UK - why? Patrick Steele is an accountant with training in a variety of physical abilities. He has made himself a self-styled Robin Hood who isn't afraid to take action and support the lost cause. He feels the need to apply his skills to maintain UK sovereignty! What is the US up to?