Authors Hotline - Where authors and their readers connect
CW4K

The Author Hotline

is being developed by CW4K, or Creative Writing 4 Kids. They are the company behind a website that enables children to create and publish their own stories online. In its first year it has signed up over 2000 members and has been enthusiastically received by children, parents and teachers. In fact the response has been so encouraging that they are planning a huge expansion of its services. Embedding The Author Hotline into the site is part of that expansion...
For more information on CW4K CLICK HERE

Stephen George

david gatward

http://www.davidgatward.com
davidjgatward@btinternet.com
To download this profile page, click HERE 


Q: How long have you been a writer?

snap

My first book was published when I was 18. But it's taken almost another 20 years to get to where I am now with my own series (The Dead) with Hodder! That sounds like ages, but it's got surprisingly quickly!

Q: Was there a specific moment in your life when you decide to become a writer?

snap

I told my parents when I was about 11 it was what I wanted to do. And I've always had this insane notion about 'making it'. And that's meant I've never really had any other career aim, so while around me people got sensible jobs with prospects, I bumbled through a few jobs in editing, as well as the occasional crazy job, such as working on a salmon farm! Then, four years ago, I was going to be made redundant (again). I decided on the day I found out that I had a choice: spend my life drifting from dull job to dull job and feel generally disappointed, or get to what I really want - writing. From that point on I became very driven to say the least. And I think it's paying off (fingers crossed...)

Q: Where do you do your writing?

snap

Now I use an office I share with my wife, which is just two minutes from our house. However, I've trained myself to write anywhere. Last year, I wrote a 70,000 word novel on my train journeys to work and back! So I can pretty much write anywhere, though the office is just fab.

Q: Where do you get your greatest ideas from?

snap

My brain! And I mean that. I don't have specific places I go to, or things I do, to get ideas. Generally, I just sit down and think, 'Right, Dave, you need to come up with a decent book...' and then I see what happens. Ideas are sparked by almost anything; sounds, books I've read, things people say, experiences, movies, TV, the news, going to the shops, days out, being caught in the rain, traffic jams, going to the theatre, magazines...

Q: Which of your own characters do you most identify with?

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I think a bit of me is in most of the characters I write about so I can identify with them all to some degree.

Q: What do you do to combat “writers’ block”?

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Panic, scream, run around like an idiot terrified my world is falling apart... Well, not really! I think I just get on with it, really. I can't afford to lose days and weeks worrying that I've got nothing to write. The words will only come if I sit down and try to find them and write them down. some days I'll write only a thousand words or so, and for me, that's rubbish, because I write really quickly. Other days I'll be on a roll and it'll just flow - my record to date is over 9000 in one day! It's a case of taking the rough with the smooth. Some days are good, some days bad, but you just have to get on with it; only you can write the book and it's that simple.

Q: What was your favourite book as a child?

snap

I had loads really. My favourite writer was Alan Garner and his 'Weirdstone of Brisingamen', which I read when I was 11, was I think instrumental in sowing the seed of becoming a writer. I was very in to Willard Price's Adventure books, Asterix, the Dragonlance Chronicles, and I have very magical memories of my dad reading Swallows and Amazons and The Wind in the Willows to us (me and my brothers) when we were on holiday in Kentmere in the Lake District, sitting on an old sofa in front of an open fire...

Q: What book do you wish you had written?

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I don't! I'm simply loving the fact that I'm lucky enough to be writing my own. Each and every day that simple fact astonishes me and I have to stop myself falling to the floor in shock!

Q: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

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Everyone says it: just write! It's the only way to improve. Write, write, write... It's like exercise. If you want to be fit, you have to do something physical on a regular basis. If you want to write well, you have to do it a lot. So stop talking about it and get on with it! Jot down every idea you have. You never know when it may come in useful. Tell yourself you're a writer. And never apologise for it. Getting anything published is an achievement. Why not get something published in a school magazine, the local press? If you can, find someone who knows a lot about writing who can mentor you and give you proper one-to-one support. Writing courses are good, useful, but they don't give you a magic formula because such a thing doesn't exist! So don't depend on everything you may get taught. Different stuff works for different people. PLAN PLAN PLAN! Some people are able to just sit down and let a story magically appear. I think these people are nutters. So plan your story out, then write it. For me, I think it's like doing a painting. An an artist, you sketch out what you're going to do, then you build the picture up from there, adding colour, detail. It's the same approach for writing. I come up with an idea and try and put that down in about 100-200 words. Then I write the story, but without much detail (for a 50,000 word book my synopsis will be about 10-15,000 words!). Once that's done, I split it in to chapters (always end on a cliff-hanger rather than a conclusion!). Then I write the story. After that, I go back, re-read, edit, redraft... It's a long process, but it works for me. I think you have to visualise yourself as a writer, too. I've always said to myself that every single best-selling writer has been where I am now, just sitting at a computer screen wondering if they'll ever make it. I find that absolutely amazing!

Search Other Profiles
My Books
  • The Dead

    The Dead

    ISBN
    0340999705
    Status
    Coming Soon

  • The Dark

    The Dark

    ISBN
    0340999705
    Status
    Coming Soon

  • Demon Defenders: Classroom Demons

    Demon Defenders: Classroom Demons

    ISBN
    0141324589
    Published By
    Puffin
    Status
    In Print

  • Demon Defenders: Zombies in the house

    Demon Defenders: Zombies in the house

    ISBN
    0141324597
    Published By
    Puffin
    Status
    In Print

  • Demon Defenders: Goblin games

    Demon Defenders: Goblin games

    ISBN
    0141324600
    Published By
    Puffin
    Status
    In Print

  • Demon Defenders: Playground plague

    Demon Defenders: Playground plague

    ISBN
    0141324600
    Published By
    Puffin
    Status
    In Print