Fireside Chats With New Writers
Derek: Thanks Liv, good to be here. I started writing when I was about fourteen. I had just read The Stand by Stephen King and thought the ending was lame. It made me want to write a book of my own, so I started writing. I have Aspergers which I found particularly difficult to cope with during my teens. I learned to channel this into my writing and now see it as an asset. I always have plenty of things to write about.
Liv: That’s amazing Derek. So did you go straight into writing a novel or did you try other things like poetry and short stories first?
Derek: I wrote one and a half novels when I was fourteen. Looking back at the writing it makes my eyes bleed: bad grammar, bad plot, bad characterisation. It was worse than 50 Shades of Grey! [laughs]
Liv: [laughing] I think we’ve all got those first attempts lying in a drawer somewhere. So where did you come up with your idea for your debut novel, The Badlands Saga?
Derek: I screwed up with a good friend of mine. She had this smile that turned anything to gold. One time she shaved her head and it made her look like a Neo-Nazi. I was devastated beyond belief. “Why would you shave your head?” I thought to myself. Yet her perky attitude and positive outlook made me look past her shaved head, beyond her outward appearance to something deeper. So much so that one day I kissed her on the cheek! She is the inspiration for my leading character in Badlands.
Liv: Sounds like an amazing girl and a strong character for your book. So can you tell us more about it?
Derek: It’s about a princess trying to save her kingdom from a cancerous virus. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know the character better as I’ve written it.
Liv: Sounds fascinating. Which publishing route did you go down?
Derek: I self-published on Amazon. It would have a been a difficult process for me to go down finding a traditional publisher. The important thing for me was to show people that anyone can publish a novel. If I can, others can certainly do it.
Liv: That’s fantastic. What an achievement! Do you have anything new in the pipeline?
Derek: I do. I’m working on a story about a wizard who is trying to solve a murder but ends up revealing a conspiracy. It’s about the detoxification of body, mind and soul.
Liv: I can’t wait to read it! You’ll have to come back and visit us when it’s published. That’s about all we’ve got time for today. Derek, thank you for taking the time to visit us.
Derek: Thank you Liv. It’s been a real pleasure.
The Badlands Saga is available on both Kindle and paperback through Amazon today.