Welcome once again to our Author’s Interview series. Today we are getting a chance to meet David Kelly. I met Mr. Kelly on Goodreads, and have had several fun exchanges on those boards, along with a few on Facebook. He’s got a wonderful witty way about him, and I hope you enjoy getting to know more about him.
Mr. Kelly, we’ll start with the simple stuff. Where you are from, name, date, serial number.
- I was born in Yorkshire, England, but now live in Ontario, Canada
- I’m a post-graduate software engineer and most of my work has been in the computing field, but I’ve also done a bit of everything from digging ditches to working on production lines. Mostly I’ve worked in project management. I’m married to an insane, but supportive wife.
What made you decide to start writing?
- I started reading prolifically very early and writing not long after to make up for the fact that the library limited the number of books I could have at one time. I’ve always wanted to write but was positively discouraged at school. So the idea lay dormant until a few years ago when I had a very long daily train commute. I wanted to do something to fill my time and thought I’d try my old love of writing. I was quickly hooked and have been writing ever since.
- Extremely long boring train commutes on filthy British Rail trains! Who wouldn’t want to escape that?
Do you have any big influences for your writing or in your life?
- The Bible! Yahhh right. I love how Robert Heinlein’s books make you think and question your own beliefs. That and Isaac Asimov’s effortless style are my biggest influences, but I’ve been influenced by everything I’ve ever read, seen, or heard.
- My 1991 Corvette ZR-1 “The Dragon”. Whenever I feel down or stressed, I take a drive and it all goes away. Sadly this only works in summer…
Do you write from your own experiences, or do you draw from the lives you see around you?
- Parts of my writing are inspired by events I’ve heard of or witnessed and people I know, but not in ways that anyone would recognize. All writers draw inspiration from things around them and I’m no different. Of course, if you’re talking about possible lawsuits then: Any resemblance to actual events, to persons living or dead, is a breach of causality probably due to weird quantum entanglement and proves that time-travel is indeed possible…
- All of it! Hmmmm okay, some of it. Well, definitely a bit of it… oh dammit – I just made it all up…
Have you always considered yourself a writer, or is did this develop over time?
- When I had my first story published in Neo-Opsis magazine Until then it was never very real or serious. Since then I’ve been working hard to improve and do more.
Are you a full time career writer?
- That would be a dream come true.
Do you have a specific type of voice or writing style you use to make your work unique?
- Not consciously. I like clear, simple language and stories that pull you in and hook you effortlessly and that’s what I aim for. It’s not easy to achieve though.
Can you tell us anything about your current work?
- I’m putting the final touches on a collection of Science Fiction short-stories that will be released in July. It’s the first book that I’ll be making available in both ebook and print formats. I’m also editing my first novel, due to be released later this year.
- Good job I’d already worked on a blurb/summary!
An ex-space engineer accused of murder is dragged into a torrid world of murdered scientists and a prototype starship that holds a secret that could destroy an alien universe.
Do you have a particular method you use to come up with your titles?
- My collection is named after the lead story in it and had a tongue-in-cheek aspect to it that I couldn’t resist.
Do you leave messages in your writing for your readers to find?
- There was no deliberate message in the first book I wrote – I was far too naïve to attempt anything that clever. My new novel does have a theme though – that responsibility has limits as well as obligations.
- Just simply, I hope you enjoy reading my work!
Speaking of messages, do you have any words of wisdom for other writers?
- Don’t get too concerned over details and other people’s advice. Do what you feel is right and trust your own judgment.
What challenges did you face and overcome in your writing so far?
- I’m impatient with editing, but I’m getting better at it. I also have to beat my characters regularly to keep them in line.
- Keeping the characters in control and dealing with self-doubt crises mid-way through.
- Write faster!
I can fully sympathize with that last one. With everything else on your plate, do you design your own covers, or have someone else do it?
- I design my own covers using a combination of 3D renderings, Photoshop work and sometimes stock images.
Branching off a little from the writing, as I know writers are readers. Do you have any favorite authors who you felt were mentors, even if you haven’t had a chance to meet them in person?
- It would be a close tie between Heinlein and Asimov. If I had to pick one only, Heinlein would probably win.
- Robert Heinlein & Isaac Asimov’s secret love-child…
Do you have any current authors who have captured your attention?
- I’m looking forward to trying out ‘The Martian’ when I have time as it’s been such a big success story for someone who originally self-published.
Sounds like you’ve got a pretty active to be read pile. Which book (or books) have the current place of honor on top right now?
- I’m currently struggling with “Ancillary Justice” by Ann Leckie and not struggling with “Don’t Leave Me” by James Scott Bell
Definitely a busy man. Back to yourself here. Do you have any current projects you are working on?
- Dead Reckoning And Other Stories (a science fiction short-story collection), my novel codenamed “MOE,” and its sequel.
If you were able to start again, and could change anything you wanted, would there be anything you would change about your writing?
- Only the time it’s taken to write it.
Is there someplace where interested readers can go to connect with you?