Author Interview

Author Spotlight- David Dunham

I have been extremely blessed so far in 2017. Most authors have graciously put up with my ridiculous requests to being interviewed via e-mails. I immensely enjoy getting to know each new author through e-mails, through their writing, through my critique while I pick everything apart, and then through my interview questions. Most of the time there is just one burning, I gotta know the answer to this, type of question. As soon as I finished “The Silent Land” by David Dunham, I knew EXACTLY what that one question was- but I was so nervous that it was a {stupid} question. Just know, in life, there are no such things as stupid questions.

Just know, there is a future option for readers at the request of Dunham himself! I will leave all contact info at the bottom if anyone is interested. In the meantime, please enjoy David Dunham’s author spotlight, I hope you enjoy his answers as much as I did!

 

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What inspired you to write “The Silent Land”?

 

15971991

The original book was called The Catesby Committee and was set in 1939 England around the relationship between two young men, James and Sebastian, and how one became compromised in his patriotism. I began to write the novel, but after a chapter or two I suddenly became more interested in their mother and what her story was so I took the story back many years to when she was a young woman. The chronology of her life couldn’t ignore the First World War, hence my involvement of a relatively unknown battle in the narrative; a battle I had once researched as a reporter.
The story ends in 1919, leaving James and Sebastian awaiting their turn (in my head) for their tale to be told.

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Does your book contain personal experiences?

15971991

It contains universal experiences, many of which I have had in my life. Grief, love, uncertain, joy, and a dash of (mild) hysteria of the mind. It’s fair to say, however, I’m glad I haven’t experienced what the heroine did (I’ll avoid going into depth here for fear of revealing the narrative).

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Out of all the characters in the book, who can you relate to the most?

15971991

I’m a supporter of Rebecca’s quiet intensity, and Edward’s boldness, though it is Rupert I would align myself with in a perfect world. That said, I enjoyed writing scenes with Aunt Emily the most. There was great freedom in her personality in regards to writing dialogue.

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My most BURNING question: How are you able to write women so well?!

15971991

There were moments early on when it occurred to me that a male living in New Zealand writing his debut novel using third person limited point of view, from the perspective of a young, middle-class woman living in early 20th Century England, and one who speaks in an ever so slightly diluted form of Edwardian English, was being a little ambitious. But then that doubt soon passed and I, and this may sound strange, talked to Rebecca as much as I could in my head. Whenever I felt I was losing her, I would go for a walk and ask her what she would do or say, or how she would act. And then I wrote the second sentence and so on. Hopefully Rebecca won’t mind I’ve moved on.

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Could you tell readers about any upcoming projects?
***opportunity alert***

15971991

I’m currently engaged in two projects. The first is a second novel. It is as distant in narrative and genre to The Silent Land as I think I am capable of writing presently. The book is called The Legend of Caradoc and is a fantasy tale for young teenagers and adults who like to take an adventure once in a while. It is based in Cornwall, England in present day and follows a 16-year-old boy called Jack Caradoc and two friends on a path to defeating a foe. It is super fun to write and I am hoping it will be completed in early 2018. I’m always on the search for volunteer readers (zero benefits, I’m afraid, just words to read), to give me feedback as I progress so please get in touch via Goodreads or Twitter (@ddunhamauthor) if you would like to be considered as a helper.

The second project is creating a website where I’ll be publishing short essays from writers as well as myself. I’ve got the ball rolling on my website: daviddunham.co.uk/essays and aim to get the project off the ground late this year.

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Which author(s) have been most influential to you? And why?

15971991

As a child, it was Roald Dahl. And then as an adult it is a tie between D.H Lawrence, George Orwell, with plenty of time for Colm Toibin, Philip Roth and many others.

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What is your best advice for budding authors?

15971991

Don’t begin unless you know you can finish. Writing a book is a very long road and you need to be content with being alone for long periods of time. You should also seek people who are not afraid to give you blunt feedback and accept that your work will not be everyone’s cup of tea.

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What are your top book recommendations?

15971991

Any of Orwell’s work, and a little dash of Philip Roth if something more present day is required. This may sound peculiar, but I don’t have a list of books that I cherish above all others. There are books I’ve enjoyed reading, but none I’ve read half a dozen times or more.

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What is/are your most anticipated read of 2017?

15971991

It is finishing a book by a New Zealand author. His name is Tim Wilson and his latest book is called The Straight Banana. It is exceptional writing, but regrettably I am struggling to find the time to finish it.

There you have it folks! And, in case you missed it, there is that opportunity ahead to help out David Dunham, just make sure to get in contact with him via Goodreads or Twitter (@ddunhamauthor). David, you know you can always count me in on any (and all) of your latest projects. I can’t say enough what an absolute pleasure it was reading “The Silent Land“. I do believe it is a book that will stick with me for a very long time.

 

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