The Interview Chair

MY FUN INTERVIEW WITH A.B. FUNKHAUSER

New Funkhauser Shot

He’s baaaaack…..
http://abfunkhauser.com/2015/04/30/riding-high-on-the-sea-and-into-rome-david-k-bryant-returns/

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RIDING HIGH ON THE SEA AND INTO ROME: DAVID K. BRYANT RETURNS

Posted on April 30, 2015 by A. B. Funkhauser, Author

Site favorite David K. Bryant returns with an update on Captain Flint and hints at what’s to come through the Proust Questionnaire. Clue: You must cross the Rubicon to get there! Welcome back, David.

THE BOOK

Tread Carefully on the Sea cover picture

Step up the gangplank to an adventure tale set in the 18th Century, when the world made its money from conquest and slavery, pirates were the muggers of the sea lanes and life was fragile – with violence and disease never far away.

Tread Carefully on the Sea is the first novel by retired journalist David K. Bryant. Packed with historical atmosphere, it will take you on a voyage from Jamaica to the “New World” of the American colonies.

The action comes as rapidly as the horrors in a ghost train, starting with the kidnapping of an aristocratic young woman on the night of her 21st birthday party by Captain Flint’s crew.

Amidst conspiracy, murder, cannonades, bare-knuckle boxing, disease and a devastating storm, there is the chance for all the main characters to reveal the better or worse sides of their natures. This is a swashbuckle, yes, but it’s also a story about the strengths and weaknesses of believable human beings.

“I’ve written an escapist yarn in the tradition of high adventure but in much more user-friendly language than the old classics,” says David K. Bryant.  “It’s exciting, involving, a bit tear-jerking and is pure adventure and romance.”

Buy Link: http://amzn.to/1zs9ebu

THE CHARACTER:

AN INTERVIEW WITH CAPTAIN FLINT

Burying treasure by George Varian

What happened to the six men who helped bury Flint’s treasure?

“Captain Flint appeared only in reminiscences in “Treasure Island”. I’ve given him a story of his own in my book “Tread Carefully on the Sea”. But he’s got more life in him than that. So here’s a couple of add-ons…”

Captain Flint, it’s good of you to give time to a journalist. Do you mind if I ask you some blunt questions?”

“Not if you don’t mind some sharp answers.”

“Okay, I see you have your cutlass there and I wouldn’t want you to answer me with that. Anyway, first question. Could you describe yourself?”

“I have black eyes and I’m told they’re quite intimidating. They’re on you now.”

“Yes, uh, they’re quite charming. Could we change the subject? I hear you’re quite a sportsman.”

“I enjoy archery. I’m a bit tired of conventional targets. In “Tread Carefully on the Sea” I shoot a man in the head.”

“Oh, that must have been in self defense.”

“No, I just wanted to make an example of him.”

“It must be hazardous being a pirate but I expect you get a lot of fan mail.”

“Quite a few ghosts seem to have a sneaking respect for me.”

“Well that is unusual. Who do you most admire?”

“Anyone who’s still alive after I meet them.”

“Um, Captain Flint, you don’t mind me being here, do you? I mean, I’ll leave if I’m taking up too much of your time.”

“Too late. We’ve up-anchored since you arrived.”

“Oh dear, where are we going?”

“Ultimate destination – Hell. But before that we’ll be making a stop at Purgatory.”

What are your thoughts on muses and do you have one?

Everyone has something in their head that no one else could understand. I believe in angels. I think I have some special ones who’ve helped me out at crucial times. That includes getting me to write books, rather than just think about it.
Characters have a great capacity to love, yet they’re starved. Why do you think this happens in fiction and in real life?

I think that we learn to restrain our feelings, for fear of getting hurt. We become too careful of each other. That may be worse for men than women. For example, when I be-friend a female on Facebook or exchange tweets on Twitter, I am cautious, lest she think I have the wrong motives. In all sorts of ways, we hold back. Fiction reflects true life in this. In fact, I don’t believe there’s any such thing as fiction – it’s just life presented in a story.
Without giving spoilers, would you say you’re a “happy ending” writer?

In my books it’s a happy ending for some, not for others. That’s because I start with a concept but I don’t know how the story’s going to end. I construct my characters and, as I go along, I ask how people like them would react to the circumstances. The characters often speak to me and tell me the answer themselves. That determines the next step in the tale and it goes on like that to the end. So their fate entirely depends on what they, or others, do. It’s great for me because it’s like writing the story and reading it at the same time.
What would you like to be remembered for?

Please arrange for my tombstone to be inscribed: “I tried.”
If you could dine with any historical figure living or dead, who would it be and why?

Elvis Presley or Margaret Thatcher. Elvis because he was a great wit and had a fun outlook. I’d persuade him to do a few songs after dinner. Margaret because she was one of the most visionary and resolute people ever. I had the privilege of working for her so my admiration was developed up close.
Past, present or future? Where does your mind dwell?

All over the ……. place. I do believe, however, in the motto: “Start from where you are.”
What informs your writing most?

My love of history. The pirate era of the 18th Century was the premise of my first book, “Tread Carefully on the Sea“. Ancient Rome is the setting for the second, “The Dust of Cannae“. Those two novels took enormous research. My third and fourth take place in the 1960s and 1970s and mostly derive from my own memories. Yes! – I remember the 60s and I was there!
Growing up in the Seventies, school kids were encouraged to think globally and act locally. Have you ever flirted with this philosophy?

If we want a better world, I think we all have to do the best we can every day.
Guilty pleasures: we all have them. What is yours?

I can’t answer the question “What is yours?” because “is” calls for a singular guilty pleasure. I have a lot. And I’m not telling.

(Good one! lol–ed)

Your greatest victory?

Getting my books published. And for anyone who wants to know why – it’s a fight. There’s advice for aspiring authors on my website, www.davidkbryant.com and I’m always ready to answer questions.
Tell us about the one that got away. Person, place or thing.

I would have loved to have been a musician. I tried, but unfortunately I couldn’t find the “pitch perfect” queue when I was preparing for this life.
What are some of the overriding themes in your work? Do you have a favorite?

The caprice of life and “revenge is a dish best served cold”. Favorite = fortunes always change.
Who do you admire and why?

Those historical figures I said I would like to dine with, Elvis and Margaret, plus:

Bill Clinton – what a shame he’s remembered mostly for Lewinsky. I once saw that man deliver a twenty-minute speech without notes or autocue in which he covered every major aspect of world affairs, displaying a deep knowledge.

Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan – effective campaigners as well as top entertainers.

Winston Churchill – the reason is obvious.

Homer – who invented the novel.

David Cameron – the best British prime minister since Thatcher, but we have a General Election on May 7th and who knows what then.

Are writers fully formed works of art or works in progress?

No book or writer cannot be improved upon.

www.davidkbryant.com

Best wishes from the author of the adventure book “Tread Carefully on the Sea” and the upcoming Roman drama “The Dust of Cannae”

And thank you, David, for stopping by. As a fan of the excellent HBO series “Rome” I look forward to The Dust of Cannae. Be sure and let us know when we can expect it. Meantime, I’ll content myself with old Cicero! Cheers!

Thanks all for your kind support. Best! ABF

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TREADING CAREFULLY WITH DAVID K. BRYANTIn “Amazon”

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Get it on AMAZON or Solstice Publishing

 

Here’s another interview – with accomplished writer Elizabeth Grace. You can read about her below.

About the Book:

The Dust of Cannae (to be released in summer 2015 by CFA Publishing) centres around events recorded by the ancient historian Livy. It is a tale of war, love and the influences upon each other of human beings. There is a sprinkling of sorcery – and of humour.

August 2nd, 216BC was the day the future of Rome, and therefore the world, could have been changed. A huge army sent to repel the invader Hannibal was instead thoroughly routed and 50,000 Romans lay dead on the battlefield in eastern Italy.

The Dust of Cannae tells how the battle affected the lives of seven people. They were all uprooted from what was familiar to them; all forced to look inward at themselves and discover new strengths and weaknesses. They all met each other and influenced each other’s destinies. They were all to experience shocks and dangers, misery and joy.

Date to be published: Summer 2015

Author Q & A

Why did you decide to become an author?

One of the biggest thrills of my life has been taking up my new pastime of writing books. I was a journalist and public relations executive so I should have realized earlier that my penchant for the pen could be extended to authorship, but that actually took until I was 68 years old.

What genre do you write in and why?

Historical fiction, which seems to have happened by osmosis. There are several aspects of history that I find fascinating: One is the piracy days of the 18th Century (subject of my first book); another is Ancient Rome (subject of Book #2).

What inspired you to write this book?

The Dust of Cannae (to be published by Christine F. Anderson this summer) – was inspired by my love of Roman history and my especial fascination with the histories written by Livy (Titus Livius). My novel records actual historical events and builds around them a story of seven disparate people whose lives are upturned by the war.

Do you have any tips for new writers interested in seeing their work in print?

I’ve dedicated a page of my website to this subject because it’s such a slippery trail, so I invite anyone to see the page “Help for Aspiring or New Authors”. I welcome questions or discussion, either through the website by email to author.davidkbryant@gmail.com

Do you have any tips for new published authors when it comes to marketing and promotions?

My big lesson after going solo with marketing on my first book is to get some professional help. For The Dust of Cannae I looked for publishers who offer marketing support and that’s why I’m with Christine F. Anderson.

Do you have any upcoming books you’d like to mention?

“The Dust of Cannae” is upcoming and  after that there’ll be at least two others. One’s set in the 1960s, the other in the 70s – so I’m still writing historical stuff.

The Dust of Cannae (CFA Publishing) is my second novel. I’ve long been fascinated by the way the city of Rome came to hold hegemony over a huge chunk of the world.
My other published novel is also historical. It’s an adventure/romance/piracy yarn called Tread Carefully on the Seaand is a prequel to the great classic, Treasure Islandby Robert Louis Stevenson.

About the Author: David K. Bryant

The books came about because, when I retired, I wondered how I was going to fill my time. I’d been in journalism and public relations so I’d never heard of “nine till five”. I was privileged to have some high-profile roles. The highlight was working on behalf of Margaret Thatcher when she was British prime minister.

I have two more books in preparation. Writing novels is extremely hard work but people have told me they enjoy my work, so I’ve never found such satisfaction.

I live in Somerset in England, and am blessed with a wonderful family. My wife Stephanie and I have been married for forty years.

Copyright 2015 Elizabeth Becker – All rights reserved

About Elizabeth Grace and her book “Patches”

Originally from Park Rapids, MN, I moved down to Miami for the warm weather and have enjoyed writing in the Sunshine State ever since. I’m the author of a travel book, “24 Hours Miami” and a children’s book “A Hollywood Tail” available through all major retailers. I also am a Miami freelance writer and work for several agencies and companies as a SEO copywriter.

As a Miami freelance writer, I specialize in several areas of writing including Travel, Children’s Books, Script and Freelance writing.

Elizabeth Grace

For more information on Elizabeth Grace please visit www.lizzythewriter.com

Patches was a good cat. She never clawed the carpet or messed up the furniture so when she is abandoned it comes as quite the shock. Having never been outside-or without a kitty litter box-Patches must rely on new friends including Whiskers, Tiger, Leah and a handful of others, as she learns to survive in an unfamiliar terrain. While trying to fit in, Patches inadvertently creates a conflict between the Long Haired Cats and the Short Haired ones! Patches is the story of one cat’s determination to learn the ropes of living outdoors and her realization that cats are cats, no matter their hair length!

This interview is from Clancy Tucker’s blog (I really enjoyed doing it and you would really enjoy everything else on Clancy’s blog.)

Clancy Tucker’s Blog

Storyteller, Author, Publisher, Photographer, Human Rights Activist, Social Justice Campaigner and sometime poet

31 March 2015 – DAVID K. BRYANT – Guest Author

G’day folks,

Welcome to an interview I conducted with a man who spent time in Australia as a child, but now resides in the UK.

Welcome, David …

  1. TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR WRITING JOURNEY.

One of the biggest thrills of my life has been taking up my new pastime of writing books. I would never have guessed it could be so stimulating and satisfying. I was a journalist and public relations executive so I should have realized earlier that my penchant for the pen could be extended to authorship but that actually took until I was 68 years old.

I’ve been married to Stephanie for 40 years. We have a son Matthew and daughter Melanie. Our grandson Henry is two and a half and on January 9th, 2015, I got the delightful news that our second grandson Toby had arrived in the world.

  • WHEN AND HOW DID YOU BECOME A WRITER?

I had my first go at a book some time in the 1970s. It had been in my head since childhood that a prequel was needed to the great classic, Treasure Island. So I wrote one. I wasn’t impressed with it, put it in a drawer and forgot about it. Then years later, my schoolboy son Matthew read Treasure Island and I told him I’d written the prequel. At his request I read it to him. When he was in his 20s he asked to read it again. I was ashamed to give him the old sub-standard job so I started writing it all over again. This time I did all the historical research and gradually put together a bunch of characters and a plot that, I thought, worked. It became my first published book, “Tread Carefully on the Sea”.

http://amzn.to/1zs9ebu

  1. WHAT TYPE OF PREPARATION DO YOU DO FOR A MANUSCRIPT? DO YOU PLAN EVERYTHING FIRST OR JUST SHOOT FROM THE HIP?

I get an idea for the premise, then think about the people who would be involved. From that, I start writing with no idea where the story’s going to go. Half the fun is finding out for myself what’s going to happen. I try to draw believable characters, put them in situations and then I talk to them. I ask them how they would react in those circumstances. They answer me and the action follows from that. It might lead to tragedy or a happy ending. I won’t know until I get there. So it’s rather like writing the book and reading it at the same time.

  1. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BEING A WRITER?

The moment of breakthrough when you know you have a story that is plausible, fits together and can be completed. It seems to come at about halfway through constructing the book.

  1. WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING A WRITER?

The time and effort it takes. When I was a journalist I could knock out a 1000-word story in maybe half an hour. Books are much bigger animals. They need a massive amount of concentration and staying power.

  1. WHAT WERE YOU IN A PAST LIFE, BEFORE YOU BECAME A WRITER?

I had a good career. I was in the team that launched one of the UK’s first computer-prepared daily newspapers. Later I moved from journalism into public relations and had the privilege of working on behalf of Margaret Thatcher. I promoted one of her revolutionary parliamentary Bills and I also handled communications with the world’s media after the bombing in Brighton that so easily could have killed her.

  1. WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST WRITING ACHIEVEMENT?

Getting “Tread Carefully on the Sea” published. It took about a year to do so and I’m grateful to Solstice Publishing for taking it up.

  1. WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?

Three more books (yes all at once). They’re all historical novels but the similarity ends there. The one nearest completion is a story set in ancient Rome. Like “Tread Carefully on the Sea”, it took an enormous amount of research. It’s based around actual events as recorded by the Roman chronicler, Livy. Another of the books is set in the 1960s, a decade rightly known for its social revolution. But there was a darker side: everyone thought the world was about to end and the drama takes place against the background of the UFO hysteria of that time. The third book is a police/crime thriller set in the 1970s.

(Second book, about Hannibal’s war with Rome, to be published summer 2015)

  1. WHAT INSPIRES YOU?

I think writing fiction gives an opportunity to get the world in perspective. You have to understand your characters and through them you can better understand people in the real world.

  1. WHAT GENRE DO YOU WRITE?

Historical fiction.

  1. DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR NEW WRITERS?

Don’t give up. If you have a story in your head, it deserves to be written – and you won’t rest easy until it’s done.

See it as fun – because there will be plenty of times when it seems that the challenges are insurmountable. You have to put the book together, find a publisher, edit the book and then, when it’s finally a product, you have to market it. It all calls for patience and perseverance.

Don’t think you’ve finished the book when you write: “The end”. Go over and over it to smarten it up. Take out the lumps and add to the bits that need more clarity. Exterminate repetition. Make sure it’s not disjointed. Get the grammar right and correct the mistakes. Above all, don’t use Grammar Checker – it comes up with nonsense.

Don’t get uppity. Negative behaviour at any stage of the process will rebound on you. No one owes you anything.

Don’t get too proud. Your work can always be improved. Invite constructive criticism from family and friends before submitting for publication. Don’t think your editor is your enemy. Listen to the advice of someone who knows it all better than you do.

  1. DO YOU SUFFER FROM WRITER’S BLOCK?

Everybody who invents a story encounters barriers. You just have to patient and the answers will come. Worse than “Writer’s Block” is “Cul-de-sac Block”. That’s when you’ve written reams and reams and you realize that something about the story isn’t working. There’s only one answer: Backtrack to the point where it stopped working and change it. Ask your characters what would be likely to happen. They will speak to you, honest.

  1. DO YOU HAVE A PREFERRED WRITING SCHEDULE?

No, I just grab the time when I can. (Unless I’m “Writer” or “Cul-de-sac” blocked!)

  1. DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE WRITING PLACE?

I have what I call my eyrie. It’s a bedroom/study on the top floor of my three-storey house. I sit by the window with the laptop (and spend too much time gazing out of the window).

  1. WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST JOY IN WRITING?

Finishing a complete draft. I won’t say “finishing a book” because I don’t think a book can ever be finished. There’s always more that could be done with it. But at some stage, you just have to say: “That’s it. I’ve done my best.”

  1. WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE AUTHOR AND WHY?

The oldest one in the world (I think). He was Homer, author of The Iliad and The Odyssey. I believe those works set the standard for what a book should be and it’s still today’s formula. Scenario, heroes, villains, ups and downs, love, cruelty, tragedy, triumph, conspiracy, tension, what’s gonna happens, fast-flowing prose, all wrapped up in a beginning, middle and end.

  1. WHAT’S THE GREATEST COMPLIMENT YOU EVER RECEIVED FROM A READER?

“Particularly well-written adventure. A seafaring one at that, right up my street.”

  1. WHAT WAS THE WORST COMMENT FROM A READER?

So why did I give it four stars instead of the five it almost deserves? I suspect the problem is a habit from the author’s experience in journalism. His invisible, omniscient narrator occasionally breaks into the story and takes center stage, adding bits of information or, worse yet, hinting about what’s going to happen next… it’s deadly in a novel because it breaks the spell, reminding the reader that he’s not actually part of the action or even an observer, but is only reading about it. It’s distancing, and annoying in the extreme…Foreshadowing is necessary, but it needs to be subtle, not done with a sledgehammer.
I should confess that I speak as one who was formerly guilty of the same offense, who has been duly chastised on numerous occasions and is now reformed. Or tries to be.

(By the way, the lady who wrote this still gave the book four out of five stars!)

  1. WRITERS ARE SOMETIMES INFLUENCED BY THINGS THAT HAPPEN IN THEIR OWN LIVES. ARE YOU?

In a big way. “Tread Carefully on the Sea” came about because I was mesmerized by “Treasure Island” as a child and wanted to write a sequel.

The book most influenced by my experiences, though, is the crime thriller. I spent some years working with the British police (not as an officer) and drew almost entirely on that background for the book.

  1. OTHER THAN WRITING, WHAT ELSE DO YOU LOVE?

Travel mostly. I do as much as I can for leisure and my career took me to quite a few countries. This is a beautiful world.

  1. DID YOU HAVE YOUR BOOK / BOOKS PROFESSIONALLY EDITED BEFORE PUBLICATION?

No, and having learned the hard way, I would say to aspiring authors that this is something well worth considering, especially with a first book. After accepting my debut novel, my publisher appointed an editor and I was surprised by what he came up with. It was a valuable exercise but I could have short-cut it by having had the book looked over by an independent editor before I sent it out to publishers.

  1. DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT DAY.

Get up late.

Breakfast and coffee in dressing gown.

Bathroom stuff around midday.

Go to beach, forest or mountains.

Have lunch (around 4pm) in a pleasant but not expensive restaurant.

Go home and have a nap (maybe 5.30-6.30).

Do two hours marketing.

Dinner at home at 8.30.

Do four hours writing (9pm-midnight).

Read a good book, sitting up in bed.

Go to sleep at 2 or 3am.

  1. IF YOU WERE STUCK ON A DESERT ISLAND WITH ONE PERSON, WHO WOULD IT BE? WHY?

Elvis Presley. Then I’d be with someone who had a positive nature, a great sense of humor, would buy me a car to get around the island (I presume we’re talking about an island with a Cadillac dealership), and could keep me entertained all day with his songs. Elvis and I would, of course, have a roadside diner shipped in.

  1. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IF YOU HAD THE CHANCE TO SPEAK TO WORLD LEADERS?

For God’s sake, listen to the people. I live in the UK and I wish we would just tell Europe: “You’re a lovely place to visit but would you please leave a very old, experienced nation (which is not joined to you geographically) to run its own affairs.”

  1. WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?

I’m retired and my plans don’t extend beyond enjoying the freest years of my life. That’s mostly writing books, spending some time on a desert island with Elvis, and travelling with my dear wife, Stephanie.

  1. WHAT FIVE BOOKS WOULD YOU TAKE TO HEAVEN?

The ones I could read over and over:

The Odyssey by Homer (charming)

The Early History of Rome by Livy (fascinating and the best historical record of the kingdom, republic and empire)

Warriors of the Dragon Gold by Ray Bryant (my brother)

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

(This one’s cheeky) Tread Carefully on the Sea by Me

  1. DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN ANY OF YOUR CHARACTERS?

I see bits of myself in all of them. One of the main things about writing a book is that the characters have to be credible and recognizable. So, when you put them into situations, you have to ask yourself: “How would I respond if that happened to me?” However, like most authors, I model characters on people I’ve known. So the other question is: “How would a person like that respond?”

  1. DOES THE PUBLISHING INDUSTRY FRUSTRATE YOU?

Oh boy! The industry is changing so quickly that there’s a discord between the old and new-fashioned ways of doing things. When I started out on trying to get my first book published, I trod the traditional route – submitting to literary agents. In my naivety, I imagined hardback copies produced by a major publisher and on sale in bookstores. That would be nice, but how does a new author break into a castle with quillions of established big names? I think you’d have to write it a masterpiece and have an agent recognize that amongst the piles of books sent to him/her every day. So, to cut a long story reasonably short, I submitted to more than 300 (honestly) agents. Some didn’t even reply; some took up to a year to reply (honestly) and none gave any feedback. I then discovered the world of indie books and started sending to publishers who took submissions direct. Bingo! There’s one hell of a lot to learn about this business and I’d be glad to give advice to anyone who needs it. They can contact me through my website www.davidkbryant.com

  1. DID YOU EVER THINK OF QUITTING?

Not once.

  1. WHAT WAS YOUR FAVOURITE MANUSCRIPT TO WRITE? WHY?

Hard question. I’ve enjoyed writing all four that I’ve worked on so far. I will tell you my favorite character, if you like. When I wrote my Roman story, The Dust of Cannae (not yet published), I had this nagging feeling that there was something missing. Then I realized that it was not something, but somebody. This woman came into my head and told me she should be in the narrative. So I obliged. She then told me by telepathy what her role would be and she just kept on driving the story. I don’t think I have a psychic receptor but it really was like someone else had taken control to the extent of becoming a co-author. Maybe she was real and had waited more than two thousand years for her story to be told (?)

  1. HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE ‘SUCCESS’ AS A WRITER?

Publication is success, but sales are a bigger one.

  1. WHAT SHOULD READERS WALK AWAY FROM YOUR BOOKS KNOWING? HOW SHOULD THEY FEEL?

I think they should have been taken to a place which they wouldn’t otherwise have experienced. Plot and characters are crucially important, but so is atmosphere. An author needs to make it possible for his/her readers to visualize everything. The words should become pictures.

  1. HOW MUCH THOUGHT GOES INTO DESIGNING A BOOK COVER?

I can’t speak first-hand because I’m not a designer. I do know that the cover is the only illustration of a novel. It should capture the key ingredients and tell the potential customer whether or not it’s a book for them.

  1. WHAT’S YOUR ULTIMATE DREAM?

To win pots of money.

  1. WRITING IS ONE THING. WHAT ABOUT MARKETING YOU, YOUR BOOKS AND YOUR BRAND? ANY THOUGHTS?

This is the crunch point for an author. They are introverts who, when it comes to marketing, have to try to turn themselves into extroverts.

There are many means of marketing and I cringe when I see my author friends recoil from them with the words: “I don’t know anything about marketing,” or “I’m not a natural marketer.” Rubbish. Writing a book is pointless if people don’t read it – and it has to find its niche amongst the million or so books published every year. Get on it, folks. Allocate two hours a day to marketing and if you don’t know how, ask someone who does. You can ask me if you like –

www.davidkbryant.com

Brand – well I don’t think people should de-humanize themselves. Authors, like anyone else in the public eye, should be approachable, responsive souls.

  1. ARE YOUR BOOKS SELF-PUBLISHED?

No. My only book currently on the market was produced by Solstice Publishing, based in Missouri, USA.

  1. DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN FIVE WORDS.

Lazy, opinionated, bossy, greedy, moody.

  1. WHAT PISSES YOU OFF MOST?

People who are lazy, opinionated, bossy, greedy and moody.

  1. WHAT IS THE TITLE OF THE LAST BOOK YOU READ? GOOD ONE?

Polarity in Motion by Brenda Vicars. Here’s the blurb for it:

Fifteen-year-old Polarity Weeks just wants to lead a normal life, but with a mother diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, that’s rarely easy.Her life gets more disastrous when her sixth-period history classmates start ogling a nude picture of her on the Internet. Polarity would never have struck such a shameless pose, but she’s at a complete loss to explain its existence.

  1. WHAT WOULD BE THE VERY LAST SENTENCE YOU’D WRITE?

The End (that’s a joke). Last sentences are really important. They should convey to the reader: “I hope you’ve had a good time here.”

  1. WHAT WOULD MAKE YOU HAPPIER THAN YOU ARE NOW? CARE TO SHARE?

Being rich. And before anybody says it – being a one-time author is not lucrative.

  1. ANYTHING YOU’D LIKE TO ADD?

Phew!

Best of everything, readers.
Website: www.davidkbryant.com
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1zs9ebu

Clancy’s comment:  Go, David. Loved what pisses you off most! Keep going.

Posted by Clancy Tucker at 3:13 AM

CLANCY TUCKER’S BOOKSHOP

A DROVER’S BLANKET

Sequel to ‘Gunnedah Hero’

PA JOE’S PLACE

GUNNEDAH HERO

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

TREAD CAREFULLY ON THE SEA

FIRST BOOK BY DAVID K. BRYANT

www.davidkbryant.com

Available: http://amzn.to/1zs9ebu

AN INTERVIEW WITH ME BY MY FRIEND ROCKY ROCHFORD

  1. Tell us about your Latest Book.

Captain Flint, king of the 18th Century pirates, makes the mistake of his career when his men kidnap the Governor of Jamaica’s adopted daughter.

  1. What other books/short stories have you written?

I have three other books on the go.

The nearest to completion is a novel set in ancient Rome and based on historical events – but with my own characters. Like “Tread Carefully on the Sea” it took a lot of research but I’m pleased with it.

For my third and fourth books, I have turned to an era that I well remember – the 1960s and 70s.

Number 3 is partially sci-fi, but more about political intrigue during the UFO panics of the 60s.

Number 4 is a police mystery/thriller.

If there’s to be a Number 5, it hasn’t entered my head yet.

  1. Are they available in e-book, print, or both?

Only “Tread Carefully on the Sea” – so far. That’s ebook and print.

  1. Where can readers find your books?

From Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Tread-Carefully-Sea-Dav…/…/ref=sr_1_1…

  1. What do you think are the biggest challenges for the type of writing that you do?

Time travel! As you will have seen, my books are different from each other. The one thing they have in common is that they’re set in the past. To tackle that, I think the author has to imagine him/herself in that era. Hard to do when we live in an age that’s seen so many advances in communications. Just one example: In “Tread Carefully on the Sea” there are long periods when some of the characters are separated from each other. I had to imagine a married couple failing to hear from each other for a year because the letters took so long to cross the world or didn’t arrive at all. As the book developed, I exploited the idea and had one of the protagonists arrive home to find he had a daughter. At the time he’d left, his wife hadn’t yet realized she was pregnant.

  1. How did you get started in writing?

I was a journalist so I was always writing. I didn’t start properly on books, however, until after I retired. I’d had one go at a book during my working life and read it to my son Matthew when he was quite young. Then one day when he was in his twenties, he asked if he could read the story again. I was ashamed to offer an adult something I knew was an inadequate, lumpy yarn so I wrote it again. It became “Tread Carefully on the Sea”. I’ve dedicated it to Matthew because of that.

  1. Where and How can readers get in touch with you?

They are most welcome to:

Visit my website and leave a comment = www.davidkbryant.com

email me at davidkbryant.author@yahoo.com

Find me on Facebook. My author page ishttps://www.facebook.com/DavidKBryant.author

Follow me (I follow back unless it’s an attempt to sell me something) = @DavidKBryant

I WILL ALWAYS REPLY

  1. So with your latest work released/or being released, what comes next? What can we expect from you in the future?

I will finish the three books I have in hand and seek publishers for them. After that, I just don’t know. I’ll write another book if the muse whops me but I won’t write if I don’t have a good idea.

  1. How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?

Personality: There’s some. I try to get inside my character’s heads and work out how they would react to whatever is happening in the plot. To do that, I’ve got to imagine how I would feel in their situation so, inevitably, there’s “me” in that.

Life experiences: Oh yes. Every author says that their characters are based on people they’ve known. Well I challenge all my past acquaintances to spot themselves in my protagonists. I’d love to see who gets it right.

  1. Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow?

I grab every minute I can whenever I can. That may be 9am, 3pm, midnight or 4am.

  1. What is your routine once you start writing a book?

I have a general idea of what the story is going to be. I identify a starting point then set to the keyboard. An event happens, one of the characters whispers into my brain what will result from that event and then they take me through the story. I don’t know how it’s going to end – the protagonists lead me there. When I’ve finally written “The End” I find I’ve got about 40,000 words (half a book). I then go back through and expand. For example, if “this” happened in Chapter 30, then we needed “that” as a build-up to it back in Chapter 17. So I then fill in that gap.

  1. What about you in general? What is it that makes you tick? Makes you you? Things you like to do and what prompted you into writing?

I have a brain that’s never still. (I actually applied that to one of my characters – so there’s an instance of my personality getting into the stories.) I cannot be doing nothing. I find it difficult even to watch television, even if I’m interested in the show. So, I suppose I have to go along with that brain. Writing is a way of doing so.

  1. Among your own books, have you a favourite book? Favourite Hero or Heroine?

Yes. My favourite book is The Dust of Cannae. That’s the one set in Rome. It was a huge challenge because it incorporates a number of actual historical events and people. So the research was a massive job. There was also the need to get the atmosphere right. The gods were everywhere in Roman life and nothing was considered or decided without interpretations of divine will. Then there was the army detail, the type of clothing, the buildings, the geography…just loads of stuff to study. In the end, I think (hope) I have produced a compelling story with disparate and interesting people.

My favourite character is in that book. She’s a woman called Constantia. I admire her because I had no conception of including her until, in the middle of the night, she suggested herself to me. She kept on telling me through telepathy what her role and experiences were going to be. You could say she co-authored. I’m not a great one for the supernatural but it was all so real that it felt like a ghost was taking me through my own story. I think she ended up being the strongest character. Bravo, Constantia.

  1. What kind of research do you when writing one of your works?

Thank God for the internet. Thank Him also for libraries. But I must admit that a lot comes from memory, either of what I’ve read or from personal experience. That’s especially so in the books set in the 1960s and 70s. They involve British politics and the police and I worked in both those fields in that era.

  1. Do you ever ask friends/family for advice or ideas to go into your works?

I think they’re one of a writer’s greatest resources. My wife Stephanie has helped enormously, especially over women’s stuff. I’ve also had critiques from my son and daughter. But being cautious by nature, I wouldn’t let anyone else see a draft. Plots are too valuable to risk them being stolen.

  1. Have you ever experienced Writer’s Block? If so how did you work through it?

Lots of times. I’ve sat at the computer not having a clue how to move forward. But the answers come when you least expect it. Most frustrating is if you’re driving, think “Eureka” but get scared stiff you’ll forget the thought before you can stop and write it down. Rule Number One – always carry a notebook and pen.

  1. Who are some of your favourite authors to read?

Classical. My absolute favourite author is Livy, the historian who wrote a chronicle of Rome from its mythical foundation in 753 BC up to 14 AD. It’s bogged down with laborious detail but also gives a real insight into ancient Rome. My top book is The Odyssey, written in the mists of time by Homer. That’s an absolute romp, full of charm.

  1. Anything else you’d like to tell our readers?

Thanks for reading all this.

  1. Lastly do you have any words of encouragement for unpublished writers?

It’s a great way to spend your time, but be careful not to be selfish. You can get your fingers glued to the keys and forget everyone who’s valuable to you.

You’ll have to be a really resilient person because it’s tough in all sorts of ways – especially the getting published bit. But never give up. Don’t let your story go untold.

Post on Helen Alexander’s Blog

Interview with David K. Bryant2/7/20150 CommentsTread Carefully on the Sea by David K. BryantSolstice Publishing1. Greetings, can you tell us a little bit about your history and how your work has evolved up to this point?

One of the biggest thrills of my life has been taking up my new pastime of writing books. I would never have guessed it could be so stimulating and satisfying. I was a journalist and public relations executive so I should have realized earlier in life that my penchant for the pen could be extended to authorship but that actually took until I was 68 years old.

2. What genre, or genres, do you write?

Historical fiction.

3.  What is your latest book called and what is it about?

My only published book is Tread Carefully on the Sea. It’s set in the pirate-infested Caribbean of the 1700s. The Royal Navy is just beginning to get the upper hand when the worst of the buccaneers, Captain Flint, commits his worst crime – and makes his biggest mistake – by kidnapping the Governor of Jamaica’s niece. That leads to all sorts of drama includingconspiracy, murder, cannonades, bare-knuckles boxing, disease and a devastating storm.

BTW – Anybody who recognizes the name Captain Flint will have guessed that Tread Carefully on the Sea is a prequel to the great classic Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.

4. What was the inspiration for your book? When did you first get the idea for Tread Carefully on the Sea?

I had my first go at a book some time in the 1970s. It had been in my head since childhood that a prequel was needed toTreasure Island. So I wrote one. I wasn’t impressed with it, put it in a drawer and forgot about it. Then years later, my schoolboy son Matthew read Treasure Island and I told him I’d written the prequel. At his request I read it to him. When he was in his 20s he asked to read it again. I was ashamed to give him the old sub-standard job so I started re-writing. This time I did all the historical research and gradually put together a bunch of characters and a plot that, I thought, worked. It became my first published book, Tread Carefully on the Sea.

5. How long did it take you to write it? What is your writing process like?

I think the writing took three years. It did flow reasonably well but a lot of that time was spent on research. There was so much to get right: places; 18th Century events and customs; clothes; ships; weapons; currency; food; medicine. The list goes on.

6. What can we expect from you in the future?

Three more books. (Yes I’m working on them all at once.) They’re all historical novels but the similarity ends there. The one nearest completion is a story set in ancient Rome. Like Tread Carefully on the Sea, it took an enormous amount of research. It’s based around actual events as recorded by the Roman chronicler, Livy. Another of the books is set in the 1960s, a decade rightly known for its social revolution. But there was a darker side: everyone thought the world was about to end and the drama takes place against the background of the UFO hysteria of that time. The third book is a police/crime thriller set in the 1970s.

7. Among your own books, have you a favorite book?  Favorite hero or heroine?

Hard question. I’ve enjoyed writing all four books that I’ve worked on so far. I will tell you my favorite character. When I wrote my Roman story, “The Dust of Cannae” (not yet published), I had this nagging feeling that there was something missing. Then I realized that it was not something, but somebody. This woman came into my head and told me she should be in the narrative. So I obliged. She then told me by telepathy what her role would be and she just kept on driving the story. I don’t think I have a psychic receptor but it really was like someone else had taken control to the extent of becoming a co-author. Maybe she was real and had waited more than two thousand years for her story to be told (?)

8. Do you plot ahead of time, or do you let the plot emerge as you write?

I get an idea for the premise, then think about the people who would be involved. From that, I start writing – with no idea where the story’s going to go. Half the fun is finding out for myself what’s going to happen. I try to draw believable characters, put them in situations, and then I talk to them. I ask them how they would react in those circumstances. They answer me and the action follows from that. It might lead to tragedy or a happy ending. I won’t know until I get there. So it’s rather like writing the book and reading it at the same time.

9. Who are some of your favorite authors to read? Favorite books?

My favorite author is the oldest one in the world (I think). He was Homer, writer of The Iliad and The Odyssey. I believe those works set the standard for what a book should be and it’s still today’s formula. Scenario, heroes, villains, ups and downs, love, cruelty, tragedy, triumph, conspiracy, tension, what’s gonna happens, fast-flowing prose, all wrapped up in a beginning, middle and end.

·       The Early History of Rome by Livy (fascinating and the best historical record of the kingdom, republic and empire)

·       Warriors of the Dragon Gold by Ray Bryant (my brother)

·       Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

10. Where can we buy your books?

http://amzn.to/1zs9ebu

http://solsticepublishing.com/tread-carefully-on-the-sea/

Any links you’d like to include:

website/blog: www.davidkbryant.com

Facebook: facebook.com/DavidKBryant.author

Twitter: @DavidKBryant

Character InterviewCharacter name: Captain Flint
Book name: Tread Carefully on the Sea“Captain Flint, it’s good of you to give time to a journalist. Do you mind if I ask you some blunt questions?”“Not if you don’t mind some sharp answers.”“Okay, I see you have your cutlass there and I wouldn’t want you to answer me with that. Anyway, first question. Could you describe yourself?”“I have black eyes and I’m told they’re quite intimidating. They’re on you now.”“Yes, uh, they’re quite charming. Could we change the subject? I hear you’re quite a sportsman.”“I enjoy archery. I’m a bit tired of conventional targets. In “Tread Carefully on the Sea” I shoot a man in the head.”“Oh, that must have been in self defense.”“No, I just wanted to make an example of him.”“It must be hazardous being a pirate but I expect you get a lot of fan mail.”“Quite a few ghosts seem to have a sneaking respect for me.”“Well that is unusual. Who do you most admire?”“Anyone who’s still alive after I meet them.”“Um, Captain Flint, you don’t mind me being here, do you? I mean, I’ll leave if I’m taking up too much of your time.”“Too late. We’ve up-anchored since you arrived.”

“Oh dear, where are we going?”

“Ultimate destination – Hell. But before that we’ll be making a stop at Purgatory.”

 

Biography

Tell me a little about yourself.I had a good career. I was in the team that launched one of the UK’s first computer-prepared daily newspapers. Later I moved from journalism into public relations and had the privilege of working on behalf of Margaret Thatcher. I promoted one of her revolutionary parliamentary Bills and I also handled communications with the world’s media after the bombing in Brighton that so easily could have killed her.Where do you live?A small town called Frome in Somerset, England. It’s a traditional market town with quaint streets and a lot going on. One of England’s best cities, Bath, is 30 minutes’ drive away and I’m quite near the famous Glastonbury. It’s a lovely spot.

Who is the most important person in your life?
My wife, Stephanie.What was your childhood like?My parents were the best of people. I felt secure, although we moved around a lot. I spent some of my early years in England, some in Australia. I was good at English but dumb with numbers. I use a calculator for anything beyond 1+1. My two brothers were much older than me and frequent moves meant that I didn’t establish many friendships, so I think I became quite self-sufficient and a bit of a loner.Here’s an anecdote which I think captures our family atmosphere:I was once sent to bed without my night-time drink for some misdemeanor at an early age. My parents independently took pity on me and met each other on the stairs, both having decided to sneak that night-time drink to my bedroom.

Of all the people you’ve met, who would you LEAST like to be stuck in an elevator with?
I won’t name names. The answer is any except three of my former bosses.What is the most important thing in your life? What do you value most?I am blessed with a wonderful family. My wife Stephanie and I have been married for forty years. We are proud of our two children Matthew and Melanie, grandsons Henry and Toby, son-in-law Jamie and daughter-in-law Fleur.I have a big brother Dennis and I cherish the memory of my other brother, Ray. He was also an author, his biggest accomplishment being a story based on the Bayeux Tapestry called Warriors of the Dragon Gold. It’s still available and is a damn good read.His daughter, Jenny, is one of my favorite people.What is your biggest fear?Being stuck in an elevator with any except three of my former bosses. I’d probably murder the others.

What is the most important thing that ever happened to you? Why?

Going into journalism. That led not only to a satisfying career but also to meeting Stephanie, who became my wife. That led in turn to the births of our children and of our grandchildren. That career choice sparked a lot of good things.

Do you have any special talents or abilities?

I’ve dabbled in all sorts of stuff – guitar playing, horse riding, cycling. Never been any good at any of them.

How do you see your future?

Writing (and re-writing, what a chore) and traveling as much as I’m able.

If you could spend the day with someone you admire (living or dead or imaginary), who would you pick?

Elvis Presley. Then I’d be with someone who had a positive nature, a great sense of humor, would buy me a car, and keep me entertained all day with his songs.

If you had a free day with no responsibilities, how would you spend it?

·       Get up late.

·       Breakfast and coffee in dressing gown.

·       Bathroom stuff around midday.

·       Go to beach, forest or mountains.

·       Have lunch (around 4pm) in a pleasant but not expensive restaurant.

·       Go home and have a nap (maybe 5.30-6.30).

·       Do two hours marketing.

·       Dinner at home at 8.30.

·       Do three hours writing (9pm-midnight).

·       Read a good book, sitting up in bed.

·       Go to sleep at 2 or 3 a.m.

Where can we find out more about you?

www.davidkbryant.com All the aspects of me are there, including the crazy side. (See the page “Nonsense I Have Written”.)

 

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Read about “Tread Carefully on the Sea in Frome Life magazine (page 50) at http://flickread.com/edit…/PensordFreeLibrary/5493e55721cd1/

 

Post on Linda Lee Kane’s Blog

 

David K. Bryant, Authorby Linda Lee Kane

 

Interview with Kelly D. Abell

Posted on December 6, 2014 by Kelly Abell

Today I’m joined on the porch by an author who’s traveled all the way from England! That’s a long way to go for a glass of sweet tea, but I’m so glad he came. David K. Bryant is a peach of a guy, and I just couldn’t stop talking to him. His book, Tread Carefully On the Sea has a unique story behind it. We got so into our conversation that it turned into an interview.  I’m no Katie Curic, but it was a fun visit. Let’s listen…

Can you tell me how you came to be an author? Has it been an easy or difficult journey?

It’s a journey I didn’t know I was going to make. I spent my career in journalism and public relations, writing reams of stuff for other people. During that time I made one attempt at a book, a pirate story. Many years later I read it to my young son. Then in about 2010 when he was in his twenties he asked to read it again. I was ashamed to give him the sub-standard original so I set about re-writing it. It became Tread Carefully on the Sea, which has now been published by Solstice. It’s my first published book – at the age of 68.

What motivates you as an author?

This should be a simple question to answer, but it’s got me stumped. Hoping not to sound trite, I think I want to produce something that people will enjoy. I want it to be good in terms of making sense, being exciting, having some originality and a believable set of characters. I think it’s important to create characters who readers can associate with, feel their emotions, understand their faults – and like.

How do you deal with rejection and setbacks as an author?

I think I can boast that I deal with them well. I approached 370 literary agents with Tread Carefully on the Sea. But I wasn’t going to give up until there was nobody left to try. Then I started sending to indie publishers who took direct submissions and Solstice took me on. God bless Mel Massey-Maroni (my editor-in-chief).

How do you deal with writer’s block?

While it’s very frustrating, I think you have to wait. All of a sudden when your mind is totally elsewhere, you’ll get an idea of how to continue your story. I think it’s worth always carrying a notepad around and writing down thoughts whenever they occur to you. And if you can’t write at that particular moment because you’re driving or something, then keep repeating the idea inside your head so you don’t forget it.

Do you have any motivational books or websites which you find useful from time to time?

I am so glad there is a thing called Wikipedia because it answers so many questions. Motivational books – The Odyssey, one of the oldest bits of literature around. It’s about a guy who spends ten years encountering all the dangers of reality and fantasy yet he never gives up.

Who has been the biggest influence upon your writing?

My dear brother Ray. He helped me get into journalism and he was an author himself. His main work was published in the 1980s and is still available from Amazon. It’s called Warriors of the Dragon Gold and is based on the Bayeux Tapestry. Ray died far too early.

Tell us about a typical day for you. Do you have any special routines which you strictly keep to?

I’m retired so my time is my own and a lot of it is spend hitting the keys I’m hitting now. I make a conscious effort not to leave my wife an ‘author widow’. But she’s very understanding and helpful with the books.

How have family and friends reacted to you as an author? Are they supportive?

Yes, they are supportive. They make constructive suggestions and have stopped me falling into a few traps.

Do you have a muse? If so, please could you tell us a little about him/her?

No, I don’t think so.

Going forwards as an author, what do you realistically hope to accomplish?

Recognition for being good. I’m not being conceited and saying I am good, but I would love the world to judge me so – and enjoy my work.

David, tell us about quickly about your book, since it is such a unique story….

I was seven years old or thereabouts and I walked round the garden reading Treasure Island. When I got to the bit about the musket and cutlass battle I was so engrossed I walked into a tree. I was proud of my bleeding nose – I imagined I got it in a fight with a pirate.

Picture courtesy of Rocky Rochford

What intrigued me most about that classic book by Robert Louis Stevenson were all the references to Captain Flint, a pirate king who was brutal, intimidating and quite likely an alcoholic – yet obviously very clever.

Without Flint there would have been no Treasure Island for he was the man who had buried the Treasure on the Island. Yet in that book we hear about Flint only in reminiscences from some of the protagonists because Flint is dead by the time the story begins.

Stevenson’s narrative tells us Flint took six men ashore with him to stash the loot. But, having apparently murdered the others, only Flint came back to the ship, giving him the security of being the only man who knew where the cache was.

There had to be a story around that. For me, Flint deserved a biography of his own. What’s more, it should answer all those other questions posed by Treasure Island. If, as Stevenson tells us, Long John Silver had lost his leg in the same broadside as Old Pew lost his ‘deadlights’, what were the circumstances of that broadside? And how come that Billy Bones, the first mate, came into possession of Flint’s map where X marked the spot of the buried loot?

It’s taken me a long time but now I have supplied my own answers. I hope you enjoy them and I hope you identify with the experiences of the other characters I’ve created when you read Tread Carefully on the Sea.

Wow! Can’t wait to read that one. Thanks for coming all the way across the pond to join me on the porch today. It’s been a lot of fun. 

Interview with Bernard Young

Young: Hi David, thanks for dropping by my blog. How are you? You look swell on horseback. :)

David K Bryant (D.K.B.): Thanks for having me.

Young: Before further ado, let’s jump in and tell us about you.

D.K.B.:  I have a brain that’s never still. (I actually applied that to one of my characters – so there’s an instance of my personality getting into the stories.) I cannot be doing nothing. I find it difficult even to watch television, even if I’m interested in the show. So, I suppose I have to go along with that brain. Writing is a way of doing so.

Young: Fantastic! Like you, I have a brain that’s never still. LOL! Joking aside, tell my readers about your latest book.

D.K.B.: The book title is Tread Carefully on the Sea – Captain Flint, king of the 18th Century pirates, makes the mistake of his career when his men kidnap the Governor of Jamaica’s adopted daughter.

Young: Have you written other books or short stories other than“Tread Carefully on the Sea” ?

D.K.B.: I have three other books on the go. The nearest to completion is a novel set in ancient Rome and based on historical events – but with my own characters. Like “Tread Carefully on the Sea” it took a lot of research but I’m pleased with it.

For my third and fourth books, I have turned to an era that I well remember – the 1960s and 70s.

Number 3 is partially sci-fi, but more about political intrigue during the UFO panics of the 60s.

Number 4 is a police mystery/thriller.

If there’s to be a Number 5, it hasn’t entered my head yet.

Young: Where can readers find your book?

D.K.B.: They can find it on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Tread-Carefully-Sea-David-Bryant-ebook/dp/B00OJD7QGU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1414595915&sr=8-1&keywords=tread+carefully+on+the+sea

Young: How did you get started in writing?

D.K.B.: I was a journalist so I was always writing. I didn’t start properly on books, however, until after I retired. I’d had one go at a book during my working life and read it to my son Matthew when he was quite young. Then one day when he was in his twenties, he asked if he could read the story again. I was ashamed to offer an adult something I knew was an inadequate, lumpy yarn so I wrote it again. It became “Tread Carefully on the Sea”. I’ve dedicated it to Matthew because of that.

Young: What do you think are the biggest challenges for the type of writing that you do?

D.K.B: Time travel! As you will have seen, my books are different from each other. The one thing they have in common is that they’re set in the past. To tackle that, I think the author has to imagine him/herself in that era. Hard to do when we live in an age that’s seen so many advances in communications. Just one example: In “Tread Carefully on the Sea” there are long periods when some of the characters are separated from each other. I had to imagine a married couple failing to hear from each other for a year because the letters took so long to cross the world or didn’t arrive at all. As the book developed, I exploited the idea and had one of the protagonists arrive home to find he had a daughter. At the time he’d left, his wife hadn’t yet realized she was pregnant.

Young: How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?

D.K.B.: Personality: – There’s some. I try to get inside my character’s heads and work out how they would react to whatever is happening in the plot. To do that, I’ve got to imagine how I would feel in their situation so, inevitably, there’s “me” in that.

Life experiences: Oh yes. Every author says that their characters are based on people they’ve known. Well I challenge all my past acquaintances to spot themselves in my protagonists. I’d love to see who gets it right.

Young: Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow?

D.K.B.: I grab every minute I can whenever I can. That may be 9am, 3pm, midnight or 4am.

Young: What is your routine once you start writing a book?

D.K.B.: I have a general idea of what the story is going to be. I identify a starting point then set to the keyboard. An event happens, one of the characters whispers into my brain what will result from that event and then they take me through the story. I don’t know how it’s going to end – the protagonists lead me there. When I’ve finally written “The End” I find I’ve got about 40,000 words (half a book). I then go back through and expand. For example, if “this” happened in Chapter 30, then we needed “that” as a build-up to it back in Chapter 17. So I then fill in that gap.

Young: What kind of research do you when writing one of your works?

D.K.B.: Thank God for the internet. Thank Him also for libraries. But I must admit that a lot comes from memory, either of what I’ve read or from personal experience. That’s especially so in the books set in the 1960s and 70s. They involve British politics and the police and I worked in both those fields in that era.

Young: Do you ever ask friends/family for advice or ideas to go into your works?

D.K.B.: I think they’re one of a writer’s greatest resources. My wife Stephanie has helped enormously, especially over women’s stuff. I’ve also had critiques from my son and daughter. But being cautious by nature, I wouldn’t let anyone else see a draft. Plots are too valuable to risk them being stolen.

Young: Have you ever experienced Writer’s Block?  If so how did you work through it?

D.K.B.: Lots of times. I’ve sat at the computer not having a clue how to move forward. But the answers come when you least expect it. Most frustrating is if you’re driving, think “Eureka” but get scared stiff you’ll forget the thought before you can stop and write it down. Rule Number One – always carry a notebook and pen.

Young: Who are some of your favourite authors to read?

D.K.B.: Classical. My absolute favourite author is Livy, the historian who wrote a chronicle of Rome from its mythical foundation in 753 BC up to 14 AD. It’s bogged down with laborious detail but also gives a real insight into ancient Rome. My top book is The Odyssey, written in the mists of time by Homer. That’s an absolute romp, full of charm.

Young: Among your own books, have you a favourite book? Favourite Hero or Heroine?

D.K.B.: Yes. My favourite book is The Dust of Cannae. That’s the one set in Rome. It was a huge challenge because it incorporates a number of actual historical events and people. So the research was a massive job. There was also the need to get the atmosphere right. The gods were everywhere in Roman life and nothing was considered or decided without interpretations of divine will. Then there was the army detail, the type of clothing, the buildings, the geography…just loads of stuff to study. In the end, I think (hope) I have produced a compelling story with disparate and interesting people.

My favourite character is in that book. She’s a woman called Constantia. I admire her because I had no conception of including her until, in the middle of the night, she suggested herself to me. She kept on telling me through telepathy what her role and experiences were going to be. You could say she co-authored. I’m not a great one for the supernatural but it was all so real that it felt like a ghost was taking me through my own story. I think she ended up being the strongest character. Bravo, Constantia.

Young: Anything else you’d like to tell our readers?

D.K.B.: Thanks for reading all this.

Young: Where and How can readers get in touch with you?

D.K.B.: They are most welcome to:

Visit my website and leave a comment = www.davidkbryant.com

Email me at davidkbryant.author@yahoo.com

Find me on Facebook. My author page ishttps://www.facebook.com/DavidKBryant.author

Follow me (I follow back unless it’s an attempt to sell me something) = @DavidKBryant

I WILL ALWAYS REPLY

Young: Lastly do you have any words of encouragement for unpublished writers?

D.K.B.: It’s a great way to spend your time, but be careful not to be selfish. You can get your fingers glued to the keys and forget everyone who’s valuable to you.

You’ll have to be a really resilient person because it’s tough in all sorts of ways – especially the getting published bit. But never give up. Don’t let your story go untold.

Any budding writer who has any specific questions is most welcome to contact me. I’ve given my links above.

Young: Thank you for all these information you have given our readers. I wish you every success and good luck to your up-coming projects and future endevours.

D.K.B.: Thank You, Young for having me on your blog. Best Wishes to you too on A Harem Boy’s Saga; a memoir by Young – 5 books series.

FIRST BOOK BY DAVID K. BRYANT

SOLSTICE PUBLISHING

www.davidkbryant.com

http://amzn.to/1zs9ebu

http://solsticepublishing.com

Thanks to my friend Deborah Melanie for hosting an interview with me on her blog. It’s reproduced below.

Deborah is at     http://londoncatreviewsanddesign.blogspot.co.uk/

Deborah Melanie is the wife of a retired, semi professional footballer. She is a mother, cat lover,designer, reviewer and published author. Her latest venture is The London Cat, a community where authors can be reviewed, interviewed and browse through beautiful book covers. Readers have the opportunity to check out new reads and meet fresh and exciting authors.

Deborah writes stories describing life in England, with a backdrop of rolling hills and beautiful landscapes. She loves to write about small market towns and close knit communities . Her stories are contemporary; often combining her interests in the paranormal, comedy and food.

Author Interview with David K. Bryant

Thank you for joining us today David. I hope we haven’t interrupted your busy schedule too much.

Not at all. Thanks for the opportunity.

Can you tell us how to came to be an author? Has it been an easy or difficult journey?

It’s a journey I didn’t know I was going to make. I spent my career in journalism and public relations, writing reams of stuff for other people. During that time I made one attempt at a book, a pirate story. Many years later I read it to my young son. Then in about 2010 when he was in his twenties he asked to read it again. I was ashamed to give him the sub-standard original so I set about re-writing it. It became Tread Carefully on the Sea, which has now been published by Solstice. It’s my first published book – at the age of 68.

What motivates you as an author?

This should be a simple question to answer but it’s got me stumped. Hoping not to sound trite, I think I want to produce something that people will enjoy. I want it to be good in terms of making sense, being exciting, having some originality and a believable set of characters. I think it’s important to create characters who readers can associate with, feel their emotions, understand their faults – and like.

How do you deal with rejection and setbacks as an author?

I think I can boast that I deal with them well. I approached 370 literary agents with Tread Carefully on the Sea. But I wasn’t going to give up until there was nobody left to try. Then I started sending to indie publishers who took direct submissions and Solstice took me on. God bless Mel Massey-Maroni (my editor-in-chief).

How do you deal with writer’s block?

While it’s very frustrating, I think you have to wait. All of a sudden when your mind is totally elsewhere, you’ll get an idea of how to continue your story. I think it’s worth always carrying a notepad around and writing down thoughts whenever they occur to you. And if you can’t write at that particular moment because you’re driving or something, then keep repeating the idea inside your head so you don’t forget it.

Do you have any motivational books or websites which you find useful from time to time?

I am so glad there is a thing called Wikipedia because it answers so many questions. Motivational books – The Odyssey, one of the oldest bits of literature around. It’s about a guy who spends ten years encountering all the dangers of reality and fantasy yet he never gives up.

Who has been the biggest influence upon your writing?

My dear brother Ray. He helped me get into journalism and he was an author himself. His main work was published in the 1980s and is still available from Amazon. It’s called Warriors of the Dragon Gold and is based on the Bayeux Tapestry. Ray died far too early.

Tell us about a typical day for you. Do you have any special routines which you strictly keep to?

I’m retired so my time is my own and a lot of it is spend hitting the keys I’m hitting now. I make a conscious effort not to leave my wife an ‘author widow’. But she’s very understanding and helpful with the books.

How have family and friends reacted to you as an author? Are they supportive?

Yes, they are supportive. They make constructive suggestions and have stopped me falling into a few traps.

Do you have a muse? If so, please could you tell us a little about him/her?

No, I don’t think so.

Going forwards as an author, what do you realistically hope to accomplish?

Recognition for being good. I’m not being conceited and saying I am good, but I would love the world to judge me so – and enjoy my work.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Hi everyone. My friend Sheila Lamb has been kind enough to do this interview with me.

First, a bit about Sheila

Sheila Lamb received an MFA in Creative Writing  from Queens University of Charlotte and an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from George Mason University. Her stories have earned Pushcart and storySouth Million Writers Award nominations and can be found, along with a few photographs, here. She’s also the journal editor for Santa Fe Writers Project.

Her first novel, Once A Goddess, has been published by Solstice Shadows, an imprint of Solstice Publishing. Fiery Arrow, the second book in the Brigid trilogy, is also forthcoming from Solstice. Read an excerpt from Once A Goddess HERE.

Sheila has traveled  throughout Ireland and participated in the Achill Archaeology Field School. She loves Irish history, family genealogy, and is easily distracted by primary source documents. She lives, teaches, and writes in the mountains of Virginia.

Sheila’s website is www.sheilarlamb.com

DAVID BRYANT, AUTHOR OF TREAD CAREFULLY ON THE SEA

  1. Your novel, Tread Carefully on the Sea, published with Solstice. How did you discover Solstice Publishing?

When I thought my first book was ready, I started approaching literary agents. I googled agents and tried so many I was eventually down to the bottom layer, i.e. those that didn’t even have their own websites. I was determined that if I never placed the book it would not be because I had not exhausted the possibilities. I have kept a count of the queries I sent out – it totaled 370 between July 2013 and April 2014. Somewhere along the way I realized that there were indie publishers who took submissions direct and I started approaching them. Bingo! Solstice gave me a contract. God bless Mel Massey-Maroni.

  1. Where did your inspiration come from for this book? Was there a character that just had to be heard? Was there an event that inspired you to start writing?

I did a first draft many years ago and read it to my son Matthew when he was a child. About the year 2010 he asked if he could read it again. I was ashamed to give him what I knew was an inadequate story so I set about writing it properly. That’s why I have dedicated the book to him – he inspired the completion of the project.

  1. Does your background (in terms of job, family, geographic location, etc.) play into your writing? What kind of research went into your story?

I’m retired but my career was in journalism and public relations so I’ve always been a writer. I never dreamed of becoming an author until retirement gave me the time.

Geographic location? – to some extent. Tread Carefully on the Sea is set in the Caribbean and Savannah, Georgia, and my second book, The Dust of Cannae, in ancient Rome. For the next two books, however, I have turned to geography and time frames I know well, i.e. England in the 1960s and 1970s.

Research? Well Tread Carefully took an awful lot. It’s set in the 18th Century and is all about pirates, ships, the weaponry and fashion of the period. I spent hours on the internet and in libraries. So much so that while I’m pleased with the results, I wouldn’t want to have to do that depth of research again.

  1. Describe the genres in which you write (paranormal, contemporary, westerns, etc.) If write in more than one genre or area (poetry, non-fiction), do you have a different process when you’re writing different kinds of fiction or non-fiction?

First two books = historical fiction

Third = has an SF base but is really about political chicanery

Fourth = police-based mystery thriller

I don’t think I have a different process. What I am aware of is the need to make each book different, e.g. the characters in one should not be echoes of those in another.

  1. What is your mind set or process as you sit down to write? Do you have a playlist going? Do you need complete silence? Are you a 6 am writer or an 11 pm writer?

I tend to get an idea and then starting writing, not knowing how the story will end. Obviously this leads sometimes to ending up stuck in a pit not knowing the way forward but happily I’ve overcome that each time. Once I’ve written through to the finale I find I’ve got about 40000 words (half a novel) then I go back and think of more chapters that would help the plot or character-building and I fill in the gaps. I try to avoid waffling and try to make every word play a part. Tread Carefully ended up at 100,000 words, the others between 80,000 and 90,000. I do need silence and I do feel guilty that my wife goes for hours without seeing me – but she does seem to like my books and helps with a good deal of the detail, especially about women’s stuff. I can be 6am or 11pm – often it’s been 2 or 3am.

  1. How do you balance writing with work and/or personal life?

I’m lucky in that I’m retired and do tend to be a bit stay-at-home. I make a great effort, however, not to become a total recluse.

  1. Do you have any other projects you’re working on?

Those other books that I’ve mentioned before. Two of them need polishing. The fourth needs a lot more thought and writing.

  1. Any words of advice for aspiring writers?

Don’t just write.

  • Keep one document in which you have salient notes, such as character descriptions.
  • Keep another where you work out your times and dates (very easy to be halfway through a story and announce a date that doesn’t tie up with something you wrote earlier on)
  • Keep notes of things that you want to say somewhere but you haven’t reached the right point yet.
  • Keep a notebook with you at all times. You’ll get ideas when shopping, watching tv, even when you’re in the toilet. Write them down as soon as you can get your hands free because you’ll kick yourself to hell if you forget those ideas. If you really can’t note them down quickly, keep going over them in your head to commit them to memory.
  • Most of all don’t panic. The answers will come.
  1. Social media: Tell us where readers can find you (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, website)

Twitter @DavidKBryant

https://www.facebook.com/DavidKBryant.author

Email (open to anyone friendly or constructive) = davidkbryant.author@yahoo.com

AND OF COURSE, THIS WEBSITE, WHERE I WELCOME COMMENTS

 

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Author of fiction