On my blog today is children’s author, and dragon dreamer, David A Wilson. Like me, David lives in Coventry, UK, and is a member of the Coventry Writers’ Group.
What is the title of your recent book? (In a nutshell what is it about?)
Aaron Gray and the Dragon War is a book about an extremely bratty kid called Aaron who says “Crud” a lot. He lives in a children’s care home and has the same dream every night about dragons fighting each other around a castle. One day he gets sucked into the dragons’ world and is sent on a quest with another kid called Julia to try and stop a dragon war. Julia’s generally quite thrilled about the whole thing. Aaron isn’t.
What are the most challenging aspects of being a writer? And the most rewarding?
It turns out that there are rules about when to use commas and exclamation marks. No matter how hard I try I never get it right and have to kill off all punctuation mistakes when editing. Sometimes I let a few stay in out of pity. The most rewarding part is that I have this whole world of characters and fantasy creatures that I get to explore. I’ve especially grown fond of Aaron and can’t wait to send him on more adventures in the future.
Tell us a bit about everything you needed to do to get your book published – and launched. What worked? What you wouldn’t do again?
Well Aaron Gray is self-published, rather than going through a publisher who already knows what they’re doing. The steps are all still the same, but it’s me doing them all rather than clever people in an office somewhere. I had to find my own editors to critique my book and find any errors, then find a printer and distributer, then find someone to design the cover because my art skills are shocking, then format the book for printing and for e-books, then market the book myself and approach booksellers. Oh and before all that I had to write the book too.
My main piece of advice would be to give yourself plenty of time between your final book edit and publication. Getting books printed takes time, and every time you contact someone like Waterstones there’s a 30 working day (6 week) wait before you get a reply. You also need to take time to plan your book launch and contact your local media. I tried to do all of this in about 6 weeks, which as you can imagine posed some problems!
What is your top tip for an aspiring writer?
Decide what you want to write and write it. Don’t stop because it’s rubbish. First drafts are supposed to be rubbish. Don’t even stop and edit what you’ve written before. Just write whatever you need to write until your story’s finished. Then give yourself a week or so, go back to your story and start to craft it into something special.
What are you working on at the moment?
Book two! Aaron Gray and the <cough cough cough> is all plotted out and I’m hoping to have the first draft finished by the end of May.
What do you like to read?
I have a ridiculously strict reading regimen, making sure that I’ve read one book in each of the following four genres before returning to the top of the list.
- A children’s/YA book (because that’s my genre)
- A christian/spritual book (good for the soul)
- A book that is considered a classic (because there are so many amazing books I haven’t read)
- A book recommended by a book club (to see what’s currently popular)
Where can readers find you (Amazon links etc)?
The easiest thing to do is check out my website at www.breveny.co.uk, which has links to all the various bookstores and new content three times each week. You can also find me on facebook at www.facebook.com/breveny .