– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –
Today I’m on the ‘Girl A’ blogtour, organized by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.
About the Author :
Dan grew up in Hertfordshire before moving to London in his early twenties. After more than ten years living there, he decided enough was enough, and packed his bags for Scotland in search of a more peaceful life.
Dan works as a graphic designer, but dreams of the day he can give it up and write full time.
Besides writing, he enjoys painting, watching a good scary film, travelling the world (at least, he used to!), good food, a gin and tonic or two, long walks on the beach with his dogs, and of course, reading a great book.
Dan’s debut novel ‘Damaged’ was released in January 2020, published by Bloodhound books.
Someone thinks they know who she is… and what she did.
But she insists it’s a mistake.
All Beth has ever wanted is a quiet life for her and her family. And that is what she has, until one evening a note is pushed through the door, with two words scrawled in menacing black ink; Found you.
As Beth’s neatly crafted life begins to unravel, an unseen menace torments her and those she loves. But who’s behind the threats?
Somebody is out to get Beth, but do they have the right woman?
Beth faces losing everything, and there is far more at stake than just her marriage…
First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂
Thanks for having me. It’s an absolute pleasure!
Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I always wanted to write but managed to come up with a million excuses not to. I moved from London to Scotland about eight years ago and have found that a quieter lifestyle has freed up time for me to do other things outside of my working (9-5 job) day. I’d had the idea for my first novel playing about in my head for a while, and eventually decided to start putting words onto a page. I was so scared that people would hate it, I honestly put off submitting it to a publisher for a long time. But a couple of people close to me read it and told me I should definitely submit it. When readers started contacting me to tell me how much they had enjoyed it, it gave me the confidence to carry on, and so here I am, having just finished writing my third novel!
Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
As a young child, I loved reading Roald Dahl, probably because they had a dark edge to them. As I got older I began to read darker fiction. I read a lot of horror when I was in my teens. Loads of Steven King. These days I mostly read psychological thrillers, the darker and more disturbing, the better. But now and then I like to read something lighter that makes me laugh.
Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
I have had a lot of advice from Caro Ramsay, which has been invaluable to me. I’ve also connected with a lot of authors through social media, and I chat most days to some of them. So in reality, I’m getting great advice all the time from some wonderful authors. In a fantasy world, I’d love to have a chat with Harlan Coben, just to see how he keeps coming up with his plots. I always worry that I’m going to run out of ideas and draw a blank for the next one…
If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
Hannibal Lecter could be fun… as long as I wasn’t on the menu! He was a very complex character… intriguing, and strangely likeable, even though he was a monster.
Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I don’t! I don’t have a set time that I write, or a specific writing space. I write when I feel inspired, and wherever I feel comfortable. I like to have total silence when I’m working, but in this busy life, it’s sometimes too much to ask for!
Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
There’s some inspiration from real life… not my life, but in the news etc. I think there is a lot of darkness in reality. When I’ve been researching my books I’ve stumbled across some truly shocking cases, which are far more horrific than any fiction you could read. When I’m trying to write a really scary scene, I think about times when I’ve felt afraid, and what has caused me to feel that way. I try to channel that emotion, and the elements that contributed to those feelings. In terms of people in my life, it’s only those who really piss me off who need to worry… they will probably end up dead in one of my stories. 😉
Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
My first novel wasn’t plotted much at all. I had the ending, and from that I knew how I wanted it to begin… but everything in between I just sat and wrote with very little in terms of notes about specific things that were to happen. I knew in my head, points that had to be reached along the way, but none of it was written down anywhere. My second and third books have been much more heavily plotted in a notebook, so as my writing develops, I’m realising I’m probably more of a plotter.
Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
The best advice I ever read, was don’t talk about it, do it. I spent so long thinking, ‘I should write a book’ but never did anything about it. I really wish I’d done it sooner. So I’d say to anyone who wants to write, or is thinking about it… just do it. Words on a page are better than words in your head. In terms of do’s and don’ts, I’ve never really been one for following rules. I’ve read a lot of stuff that says ‘a real writer doesn’t do this, or does do that, or, you should never…’ etc, and I think it’s nonsense. If you’re a writer, it’s up to you. Make your own rules! That’s the beauty of doing this job.
What are your futureplans as an author?
I’d love to be to be able to give up my 9-5, and write full time… but in reality that’s a very scary prospect. We never know what the future holds, but that would be the dream for me.
Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Two little words.
That was all it took. Eight letters scribbled on a scrap of paper, and one family’s world was about to come crashing down around them. When you imagine things that might alter the course of your life, you think of major catastrophic events.
A car crash. An illness. Hard-hitting, a punch in the face.
In reality, sometimes it’s not like that at all. As Charlie Carter sat watching the television with his wife Beth on a Friday evening, neither of them had any idea that everything they knew was about to change.
A quiet existence was all they wanted. And so they made one for themselves. Two great kids. A nice secluded farmhouse with no neighbours. The Carters kept themselves to themselves and they were happy that way.
As Charlie watched Beth struggling to stay awake, two fictional detectives on the telly argued about who the killer may or may not be. The security light at the front of the house flicked on suddenly, streaming through the bay window. This was not so unusual in their remote location; often triggered by a cat or a fox, sometimes maybe even a bat.
But tonight the loud and unmistakable chime of the doorbell closely followed, echoing through their home.
The dog barked excitedly. Charlie and Beth glanced up from the television and their eyes met across the living room. Charlie frowned, the unspoken question between them, who could that be?
Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Dan Scottow.
The Magic of Wor(l)ds
P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!