Interview with Arthur K Davenport

When did you first start writing?
The first writing that I can remember is a poem I wrote around age twelve. I've probably written thirty or forty poems since then. I like rhyme, and being an amateur piano player, I enjoy the rhythm of poems. Generally, my poems have a story line or at least a point to be made. Most of them are meant to be at least somewhat humorous.

My earliest serious writings were non-fiction of a technical nature, part of my work as an engineer. However, it was as a result of that writing that I became interested in writing in general. My first novel was started around 1994, Fall to Earth. The writing of that first book was unfortunately interrupted by the accidental death of my youngest son at age twenty-four. The second book was started in 2012 and finished in 2013.
What types of novels do you write?
My taste in novels sticks pretty much to mysteries. My novels fall into that category; however, the protagonist is always an engineer. Write what you know about. I've watched a lot of engineers, engineering companies, and technical government agencies in my fifty plus year career. There is plenty of material stored away in my head.

I have started two quite different series. The first novel, Fall to Earth, involves an engineer in his forties, very experienced and sharp. There is little emotion in his story, but more technical puzzles ingrained in criminal acts.

The first novel in the other series involves the emotional life of the protagonist and is more violent and sexual in nature. Much of the emotions center around love, grief, and revenge.

You will notice that there is little to no foul language in any of my books. That is partly because of my upbringing and partly because I don't think it adds value to any prose. Emotions go much deeper than swearing. Swearing may convey hatred, but that's about it. And I don't think it conveys hatred very well.

I use the narrative style because it makes the story more personal. It limits things to what the narrator can know, but there always has to be some mystery in a mystery.

I don't provide much in the way of description of people, things, expressions, or places. There is some, but the rest is left to the reader to imagine. I am not fond of books that fill up with things that digress from the subject at hand. I have read a few where the author can handle that very well, but that is not me. I like to get on with the plot. I don't like books that slow down. Most of them do, even non-fiction books.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I tried to get a book published once. Unless you have some connection to the publishing business or you are a celebrity of some level, no one wants to take a chance on your writing. Print books do not turn a profit most of the time. Why should an agent or a publisher risk their profits with someone who is not well known. As an indie author, I am comfortable allowing the reader to decide.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Engineers enjoy creating things. They enjoy fixing things. Stories are a lot like engineered systems. All the pieces have to fit together, and they all have to work.

I am an aerospace engineer. When I see a finished design for an aircraft, I know that deep within it there are some mistakes. When I see it manufactured, I known that some few parts of it are made or assembled incorrectly. And yet when you stand outside near the runway and feel its power, watch it start to move, and see it finally lift off into flight for the first time, it is simply amazing. Perfect or not, it is nothing less than thrilling.

It's better than writing, but writing can sometimes try to be a close second.
What do your fans mean to you?
It's probably what you would expect. If you make someone happy with something you did, you feel good. It's that simple.
Who are your favorite authors?
Robert Parker
Rex Stout
Robert Van Gulik
Patrick O'Brian
Michael Crichton
James Michner

I am not a follower of Stephan King's novels, but he wrote a non-fiction book called, On Writing. I found that to be much to my liking.
What are you working on next?
I am presently writing the second Doug Whittier book, Atlas Resurrected. It involves old missile sites and what sorts of trouble you can make with them. Hey, it's a mystery. I can't tell you everything. Even I don't know the whole thing yet. Doug, Jess, Harv, Ben, Fletch "the Wretch", and some new characters, including a sniper, are hard at work. Some for good and some not.
What is your writing process?
I think of a problem and then work on finding a solution. That becomes the story. The story is actually a mystery to me at the beginning.

After writing the story, I edit it, looking for errors in logic dealing with either the plot or the timing of events.

It is too easy to miss errors in your own writing, so the final edit is done by my wife, Wendy. She is my best critic and supporter.
Published 2014-08-14.
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Books by This Author

Hidden Failure
Series: D. R. Richards Mysteries, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 60,960. Language: English. Published: October 28, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General, Fiction » Romance » Adult
A new career investigating an airplane crash... was it murder or accident? Can Dale solve a crime with no clues and no witnesses? Anna's car accident starts another series of events that will lead to yet another dead body, but whose? Lives, careers, and romances are lost in a mystery that may never be fully solved.
Fall to Earth
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 63,800. Language: English. Published: May 17, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General, Fiction » Science fiction » General
Could you ever lose your job, your income, your life? Could you put it back together? And if what caused the loss follows you without your knowledge, would you be smart enough to get it before it gets you -- and everyone else? Can you be outsmarted? Are you as clever as you think you are? Ask Doug Whittier! He is about to find out. And he doesn't even know it.
Beyond the Breakers
Series: D. R. Richards Mysteries, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 68,410. Language: English. Published: May 7, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
(4.00 from 1 review)
If your wife and child were murdered. What would you do about it? Would you forgive the murderer or avenge their deaths? And if you were not there to protect your wife and child, who is the most guilty, you or the murderer? Could you answer these questions? Dale Riley Richards is a good man who must answer them in the loneliness of his loss, and this story is all about his answers.