|About The Author||
I am a Brit with some US connections (I lived in the US for a year, back in the 80s, but that’s another story – and a novel!). I write long and short fiction, and some comedy material. I also create freelance copy, blog content and ghostwriting.
Basically, I spend a lot of creating situations, people, and perspectives, and then bring them to life on the page.
|Have you always wanted to be a writer? Why?||
At school, writing was a way of playing with ideas and exploring my imagination. As I got older I realised that writing can also be a form of emotional expression, especially the things you can’t always say to other people. Words have the power to change our experience.
|When your writing where do you draw inspiration from?||
If I’m working on a novel the writing flows when I really understand the characters, I don’t have to like them, or agree with their choices, but I need to understand why they behave a certain way.
I’m inspired by other people’s stories, mythology, small details, history, imagination, books, music, movies, and dreams. (I occasionally have dreams where my characters talk to me.)
|What interested you to write the genre you write?|
|My love of thrillers and mysteries comes from several British and American authors. Among them: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Raymond Chandler, Mark Billingham, Harlan Coben, John Buchan, Dashiel Hammett and Agatha Christie. (And what a dinner party that would make!)
My lead character, Thomas Bladen, appeared in my imagination fully-formed and what intrigued me about him was his normality. He’s not James Bond, nor is he Jason Bourne (both brilliant characters by the way!). To quote the blurb, he has an eye for the details other people miss and a talent for finding trouble. Thomas has a past and a relationship of sorts, and I wanted to explore the impact of his job on his private life.
Why thrillers and mysteries? Because everybody loves secrets when they’re other people’s! We all get a kick from hidden information and perhaps the most valuable insights are about what makes people tick and how well we know (or think we know) ourselves. The genre combines problem solving with the human condition. We enjoy finding clues, identifying patterns and working things out.
|What else have you written?|
|I used to say that if someone died in the street I’d probably write on them in the hope that someone would read it! I haven’t gone that far but I have written in quite a wide range of genres.
Standpoint is the first thriller in the series.
Covenant is a mystical fantasy that I self-published. http://www.amazon.com//dp/B009Y60CZO/
Superhero Club is a tale for mid-grade readers that tackles bullying, friendship and self-acceptance.
A human interest piece for a national newspaper.
All covers for books containing some of my writing.
|What is your method for getting around writers block?||
1. Try writing in a different writing pad, or switching from pen and paper to keyboard (or vice versa).
2. Write something else – a poem, journal entry or short story. Anything to keep the communication lines open with your creativity!
|Do you have any advice or words of wisdom for aspiring writers?|
|Definitely words – bot sure abut the wisdom!
1. Keep writing. There is no substitute for putting in the work. Courses can be useful but they do not negate the need to write regularly, courageously and authentically.
2. Read widely and try to extend your comfort zone. A different genre might only serve to teach you how not to write, but that’s still useful.
3. Seek inspiration from the world around you, your own life, all manner of art, nature, history – it’s all out there and you never know what might trigger something for you.
4. Let your characters and your readers FEEL something. Don’t be afraid to go to dark and difficult places if the story calls for it. If writing the piece stirs your emotions there’s a good chance some of it will seep into the pages.
5. Writing isn’t a career choice. It’s a vocation, a passion, and maybe even a madness. Give yourself to the muse and you will discover new things about yourself and be changed by them.
6. First drafts are usually dreadful. Get used to it and go beyond it. Forget perfection, choose development.
7. Respect your writing time. There are a million other things you could be doing, but not one of them will put more words on the page!
|Where do you see yourself in five years?||
I’d like to see the Bladen series established and made into a TV series or movies.
I’d love to see Scars & Stripes (a transatlantic comedy drama) published and have another standalone novel under my belt.
As long as I keep writing, anything is possible!
|How can your readers follow you and find out about your books?|
|1. My blog would be my recommended first port of call. There’s a Pinterest link there to all my book covers and you’ll also find advice and opinion about writing, creativity and freelancing.
2. You can find me on Twitter – @DerekWriteLines
3. My Facebook page is /professionalwriter1
4. Finally, there’s an Amazon author page here: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B0034ORY08
|What is your newest release? Is there anything you would like to say about it to your readers?||
My newest release is Line of Sight, the second in a British thriller series about Thomas Bladen and his work in the UK Government’s Surveillance Support Unit. It follows on from my debut thriller, Standpoint, but also works as a standalone novel.
If you like your Brit thrillers with intrigue, action and distinctly dark British humour, you’re in luck! (Contains profanity – just so you know.)
Author Interview: Derek Thompson