Lucy Turns Pages: Read, Write, Publish, Promote

Lucy Turns Pages: Author Interview: D. M. Wright

Author Interview: D. M. Wright

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1. Please introduce yourself (who are you, what genre/s do you write in, what books do you have out)

Hi, I’m D. M. Wright! I’m an Australian indie author. I write across several genres and occasionally mix them together, including comedy, horror, action-adventure, romance and thrillers. I had published more than 20 books but have pulled them all off the shelf to re-invent them after ten years of lessons learnt. Currently, I have two horror-comedies available now with plenty more to come!

2. What are your favourite books?

Anything by Agatha Christie! Enid Blyton’s adventure books when I was growing up. I genuinely tend to love Penguin Classics more than I ever get excited for modern books; Robert Louis Stevenson, Charles Dickens, Shakespeare, Conan Doyle, even Homer, to name a few.

3.  When did you know you wanted to be an author?

I was so excited about The Famous Five as a kid, that I began writing my own version, similar adventures but with a group of Aussie friends and family. I don’t remember much about those stories but the feeling of exhilaration writing it was never lost to me. The occasional spark returned for English assignments at school, but I didn’t get down and dirty with writing until I was 24. I had an amazing sailing experience on a youth tall ships voyage. As soon as I arrived home, I had the idea for a book, and within two months, I had my first ever outline and a ceaseless desire to do this forever.

4. What is your favourite part of the writing process? What is your least favourite and how do you get through it?

My favourite part of all is doing the outline. I spend a good two months brainstorming every single bit of the story. I have an absolute ball! And I never start properly writing a book until I have a good 100 pages of well-defined notes. So, as soon as I start, I can write out an entire first draft in a month or two, depending on the size of the intended book.

My least favourite part? Oh, God! Anything that has nothing to do with writing the book! Blurbs and covers at the absolute worst! I have no visually artistic talent, and I find it impossible to summarise a 100,000-word book in three short paragraphs which give nothing away, yet enough to temp a potential buyer. How do I get through it? By making it someone else’s problem.

5. What is your writing routine? How do you balance writing (and everything else to do with it) with the rest of your life?

I work for homeless shelters across town, and my hours are sporadic, however they’re generally in the afternoons and evenings. I spend most of the morning doing anything resembling housework and fulfilling ad hoc responsibilities, which leaves a couple of hours from midday until I leave for work to get in a paragraph, page or chapter… or sentence on an off day.

6. What inspires you? How do you beat writers block?

Seeing a finished product is the main thing that inspires me to press on. I keep one of my own books on my writer’s desk to remind me that I can do it, and the faster I work, I can have my new project sitting pretty beside it.

I don’t have writer’s block ever when I’m at the stage of scrawling out a first draft. I’m not amazing. I’ve just spent the months leading up to that point creating 100 pages of notes, detailing every single bit that should go in it.

During the outline process, I regularly have writer’s block trying to fit this piece of the puzzle with the other bit and wondering how to bridge the voids between sections. But this is where it should be, never any other time. This is where jotted notes can be deleted or edited with ease, rather than getting halfway through a detail manuscript and finding an entire plot point is missing or needs to start from a different direction.

7. How do you keep consistent/write a lot?

Outline! Outline! Outline!

Outlines are fun and they keep you excited about the project as you experience the beginning, middle and end scenes at the same time. You spend days dreaming, daydreaming, experimenting with ideas and killing off the same character twenty, a hundred times over in all different ways to find the best one.

Once a hugely detailed outline is done, I race through the first draft in no time! Then it’s onto editing and composing a new outline for the next book.

8. Does anyone read or edit your work before publication? If so, how did you find them?

I have a few beata readers to give me their general opinion of the book, but I do hire professional editors and sensitivity readers before the book ever goes to publication. I found them through Upwork Inc.

9. Can we have a sneaky look at your future plans?

I am currently ploughing through the first draft of my universe sequel to Beth Mac. It’s not quite a sequel since Beth is dead (not a spoiler, she tells you she’s dead on page 1), but the college is dealing with the aftermath of her killing spree. The last one was (obviously) an adaptation of Macbeth. This one will be an adaptation of an old Russian short story called ‘Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District’. She kills half the cast so she can live with her love affair in her husband’s large house. Things get messy. My book gets messier!

10. Finally, what advice would you give to other writers (inspiring, those publishing and those published)?

I cannot stress enough how much detailed outlines are amazing for all the reasons above and more!


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