Complementing my interviews, today’s Author Spotlight, the three hundred and eighty-first, is of thriller / suspense novelist and interviewee David McGowan. If you would like to take part in an author spotlight, take a look at author-spotlights.
He is a prolific reader, with Stephen King and Dean Koontz being two of his favourite authors. He lists Desperation as his favourite King novel, calling it the inspiration behind The Hunter Inside. His favourite Koontz novel is False Memory. His all-time favourite novel is Catch 22 by Joseph Heller.
He began his debut novel during a bout of insomnia, declaring at the head of the manuscript,
“This is my attempt at writing a short story. God knows how far I will get.”
Fast forward a couple of years, and that short story became The Hunter Inside, a 100,000 word psychological suspense thriller that occupied the number 1 spot in the Amazon suspense charts, and has been downloaded onto more than 21,000 Kindles.
David’s current project is a science fiction trilogy called From The Sky. The titles of the individual 80,000 word novels are ‘ARRIVAL’, ‘JOURNEY’ and ‘NEVADA’. It is the story of a small town in northern California called Camberway, what happens to the people who live there when giant UFOs suddenly appear in the skies above, and how the survivors band together to journey towards a final revelation that will shock his fans around the world.
David writes fiction with a twist – page-turners that keep readers up past their bedtime and have the power to chill, inspire, frighten and amaze in equal measure.
In the works is David’s fifth novel. It is a ghostly full-length offering with the working title of Addersley Hall. It is scheduled for release in early 2016.
A self-published author, David handles every aspect of his work, from writing to cover design to publishing and marketing. He is the author of many articles that aim to help other authors and bloggers reach their potential and find their niche.
When asked what he thought was more important – money or fame – he answered,
“Neither. What’s important is following your dreams and being happy. If you do those two things then you don’t need money or fame, and if you are true to yourself and give one hundred percent to everything you do, then you will be able to measure your success in satisfaction and happiness.”
David loves to connect directly with his fans and friends around the world, and responds directly to messages and questions on his Facebook author page and on Twitter.
“Writing is a pretty solitary enterprise at times, but as a self-published author I get to meet my readers and interact with them much more than traditional authors who have all of their publicity handled by their publishers. I’m often surprised by reader’s opinions of some of my characters, but I sometimes secretly love the villains and get annoyed by the good guys too! Hearing what people think of the worlds and characters that are constructed inside the narrow confines of my mind is uplifting for me as an author and as a person, because all I ever truly want to do is reach people with my work, and introduce them to these characters that to me are all too real. I want people who read my stories to remember the people in them long after they have finished and stepped out of the world of fiction.”
David lives alone with his books, his often blank manuscript files and his vices. He has promised himself that someday he will get a cat, as someone once told him that no home is complete without books and cats.
Until that day comes, he is relying on you to step into his world and meet the people he knows so well.
“Perhaps they can be your imaginary friends like they are mine,” he says with a wry smile. “That’s when I’m not killing them, of course.”
And now from the author himself:
Everyone knows how the invention of the Kindle has changed the game and levelled the playing field in the publishing industry. We’ve all heard how some self-published authors have found fame and fortune. I’m a self-published author, and there are definitely pluses and minuses to the self-publishing game.
Sometimes I feel like I’m shouting into a hurricane force wind. No-one can hear me, because of all the other noise.
Would I change it? Would I hell!
While it’s tough to find the time to write when you do everything yourself, and I mean everything – cover design, website building, book trailer production, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest…the list is endless – being a self-published author is fantastic.
We get to connect with our readers in a way traditionally published authors don’t, and for all the hard work, the rewards are immense. I don’t need to earn millions or be world famous. Sure, it would be nice, but I’m more about connecting with my readers. I’ve given away more copies of my new novel (ARRIVAL – Part 1 of the From The Sky trilogy) to people who loved The Hunter Inside than I’ve sold. I don’t mind one bit, because it’s great to be part of people’s lives and get feedback directly.
I don’t need to feel pigeonholed either – my debut novel had a tinge of sci-fi, but it was more a supernatural suspense psychological horror of a novel. Quite different to an alien invasion trilogy! My next novel, Addersley Hall, is going to be a ghost story but with a very special slant. I can’t wait to write it and further develop my skills in the full glare of my readers.
Being a self-published author also has certain other benefits. My deadlines are flexible, because it’s me who’s setting them. I get higher royalties, and I get that freedom to experiment that some traditionally published authors probably don’t.
I also get to choose where I make little guest appearances like this one. Morgen is fantastic, a real champion of authors like me. Her blog is a godsend for authors and readers alike, finding just the right balance. Yes, I know this is supposed to be about me right now, but I just wanted to give some love to Morgen.
I guess I should talk a little bit about my work while I have the chance. I was asked on Goodreads where I got the inspiration for my latest piece of work. As you already know, it is an alien invasion science fiction trilogy called From The Sky. The inspiration came to me in a flash. It was an image of a group of people walking through a tall pine forest and meeting someone who they were not sure was a human or an alien making itself look like a human. It had to be set in California, because it’s so beautiful and vast and serves to reflect how tiny and insignificant the characters running from the giant UFOs feel, but also for another very special reason that will become apparent to my readers in good time!
I carried this idea around in my head for a long time, until I finally took the plunge and did the research. While The Hunter Inside was very much a plot-driven novel, From The Sky is very much character-driven. I’ve striven to make these characters real people. You have Sheriff Jim Hoolihan – a lawman who thinks he’s Johnny Cash’s biggest fan (!) and will stop at nothing to protect the people in his care. There’s Barrett Holroyd – a Gulf War veteran struggling to come to terms with PTSD and his grandson, Tucker Turner (and his black Labrador, Samuel). There’s Mirlo Thoms – a fiery 23-year-old redhead who thinks she’s got the world worked out, despite the fact she works a dead-end job and hasn’t spoken to her parents for six years. Then there’s the Bonalos, and Deputy Peter Barnes (Jim’s son in law). In fact, there’s a whole town of characters in Part 1 of From The Sky. But be warned, not all of them will get out alive! I’m so excited to be finally introducing these characters to readers, because I truly feel they are memorable characters. I did another interview where I was asked who I would like to play the characters in the movie, and boy was that fun? I came up with a few names – Joel Gretsch, Dean Norris, Stacey Keach – but I couldn’t come up with anyone to play Mirlo, because she kept screaming at me inside my head whenever I thought of anyone, “Are you f&%*ing kidding me? She sucks!”. So I guess I’ll have to leave it up to you to see who you think should play her when Steven Spielberg finally hears about From The Sky!
Thanks so much for reading, and please check out my links (and especially my trailer!).
You can find more about David and his writing via…
- The Hunter Inside – http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Hunter-Inside-ebook/dp/B0082KLJO6/
- ARRIVAL – Part 1 of From The Sky – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sky-Arrival-David-McGowan-ebook/dp/B00NLDK7YC/
And as David says… “I’m really keen for people to see my trailers too, as they took a whole lot of work!”
- From The Sky: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqHCMDKIE08&list=UUTwuSZXfR7DzC7-gh6tiGUQ
- The Hunter Inside: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ChYptA5ccA&list=UUTwuSZXfR7DzC7-gh6tiGUQ
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