Lair of the Geek

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Interview with David Stonehouse

Here at geeklore we have been lucky to get an interview with David Stonehouse, author of such books as Five stones and the Dark Ride. Here is what he had to say.

Geeklore: What made you turn your hand to writing?

David: I’m not sure really. I’ve always done it ever since I was a child. I used to read all the time and then try to write stories of my own. Quite often they were based on my favourite characters from other books or on TV. My mum had an old typewriter and I used to sit there tapping it out really slowly with one finger.

Geeklore: How do you come up with your ideas for writing your story?

David: That’s strange thing really. Ideas come from all over the place. My first novel, The Dark Ride, was based on a play I wrote for a director’s project at university. I had an idea about a character who was conflicted because she was at once a victim and a person guilty of a terrible act. When they play finished I couldn’t get her out of my head and needed to explore her story more deeply. The character of Araminta Brown grew out of a chat I had with my daughters. They were moaning that too many stories were about boys and they wanted to read about a girl who did exciting stuff instead of just sitting in the background.

Geeklore: What do you do in your spare time when you’re not writing?

David: Actually writing is what I do in my spare time! In the real world I work as a teacher which is fun most of the time. I’m also an actor and director so I spend quite a lot of my time in the theatre. On top of that I’m a dad to two little girls so they keep me pretty well occupied.

Geeklore: How long does it take you to write a book?

David: It depends. Thrashing out the concept takes a while. Araminta Brown stayed at the planning stage for a long time because I couldn’t get the structure right. It took a conversation with another writer friend of mine to identify the problem and then it all fell into place. I wrote the first two Araminta Brown books as one big project which lasted about nine months. The Dark Ride took a lot longer and went through a lot more stages, but then it was a far more challenging task creatively.

Geeklore: Who is your favourite author and is you writing style similar to theirs?

David: I’ve got loads of favourite writers. I’m a big fan of Martin Amis, Iain Banks and Terry Pratchett. I read pretty much constantly and am always looking for something new and inspirational. I’m not sure whether my style is that similar to anyone else. Perhaps that’s something readers would spot.

Geeklore: Are there any new books in the pipeline?

David: Yes. I’m writing the third Araminta Brown book The Sorceress at the moment. I’ve been a bit distracted by some big theatre projects in recent months but I’m free to go back to writing now. I’ve got some other interesting ideas to explore after that.

Geeklore: Did you ever think you’d ever become an author?

David: I always hoped I would. I’ve always written and told stories, whether as plays, comedy sketches, poems or novels. I’m unpublished at the moment and hunting for an agent and a deal. A few years ago that was a pretty demoralising situation to be in because writing is a lonely place and you need readers responding to what you do. If I direct a play or perform a part I get an instant response from an audience that tells me how I did, but until recently writing didn’t give you that kind of feedback unless you were published. That’s the great thing about the internet. While I’m trying to get an agent my work is already out there gaining a following, generating responses and, most importantly, being read. Obviously I want to see my books in print one day, but it is fantastic that people are already reading my work, commenting on it, sharing it and getting excited about it.

Geeklore: Could you see any of your book as movies or tv shows?

David: Definitely. I think The Five Stones and The Perfect Gentleman are very much the sort of fantasy adventures that would translate really well to the screen. The Dark Ride started life as a two-hander stage play so those characters were always meant to be seen on stage. Who knows? Watching Minty Brown kicking off on screen would be very cool indeed.

Geeklore: What made you pick the genre you did?

David: I never made a conscious decision to write fantasy, that’s just the way the ideas came to me. Basically I write the kind of stories I love to read and I’ve always been a big fan of sci-fi and fantasy. I suppose it was inevitable that’s where my inagination would take me.

Well once again thank you very much for taking the time out to answer a few questions.

Yep! Great stuff. Thanks for asking me.

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