David Broughton, author of books such as The House of the Hidden Blade, talks about his approach to writing and his plans for the future.
Why do you write? Is it something you’ve always done, or always wanted to do? Or is it something that you started fairly recently?
I started writing about six years ago as an outlet for my research – I’ve been looking at the codes of Da Vinci, Dante Aligheri, and Nostradamus and wanted people to understand what message they were conveying, the rest they say is history.
Tell me a little about your books.
Most of (if not nearly all of them) include clandestine organizations of some description, the one that I seem to enjoy writing about the most are assassins. The last book I wrote, The House Of The Hidden Blade, I wanted the main character, Jacob Hamilton, to have a face, some feelings, I wanted him to somehow feel human instead of the shadowy figures most assassins are portrayed as. This one was unique for me too as it was a multi-ending novel. I had three different endings all of which were viable, in the end
I couldn’t choose so I left all three in (kind of like the bonus features on a DVD !!!).
Are there any authors who inspire you?
Any one who truly writes with passion I have total respect for. Those who inspire me? Perhaps those authors, such as Stephen Ambrose, who have an infinity for what they write about, I tend to lean towards, but real inspiration for me tends to come within, I don’t need other books to feel inspired (sad as that may be).
How do you write? Do you make yourself write a certain number of words per day?
Because most of my novels are heavily researched I tend to go through my notes and chase shadows for hours before writing, I want my novels to as historically accurate as I can make them. On a good day I can write about 5000 words, on a bad day, slightly less, depends on how the research has struck a chord with me.
Did you try to get a conventional publisher or agent interested before you opted for self-publishing?
Which writer hasn’t tried that??? The rejection letter and myself had a love/hate relationship with one another, in the end, I guess because the type of novel I write isn’t classed as mainstream then I get my fair share just as everyone else does.
What goals have you set yourself? Do you want to sell a certain number of books in 2012? Is there some way you measure success, on your own terms?
The book I’m writing now, Chariot of Justice, I’m hoping to get finished and in print for September, which will be my fourth book in total. It would be nice to sell a few copies, but I’ve already realized a dream of mine, and that was to have a book published, let alone three more on top of that, so I’m already happy with that!!!
How have you marketed your books?
That’s always the hardest part of penmanship, marketing the book, after all that’s marketing yourself also, which most writers struggle with as they never truly see the complete package. I did have one good review on Night Owl Reviews which called it “A sweeping novel in an easy to read length, tis novel delivers it all and then some. Fantastic!”, and I couldn’t help but think “Finally — someone understood it!!!”
As a result of that I picked up several more followers on facebook and twitter, but I know you should never rest on your laurels, so I’m still working on that part!!!!!
What’s next? Are you working on anything at the moment? Do you have anything new coming out in 2012?
I’ve just released a techno thriller called Tears of Misery and I’m currently working on the follow up to House Of The Hidden Blade called Chariot of Justice – It mostly centers on two characters, John Waverling (from Tears of Misery), and an assassin Jonesy Jones. I make it a trait of mine to incorporate (where possible) other characters from other books, so writing for John Waverling again was like putting on a comfortable pair of slippers. The storyline is much more complex than I originally planned as it twists and turns all over the place, but ends up with them revealing a murderous conspiracy plot to the rest of the world.
My wife, Laura, suggested adding a bibliography of the names of the characters involved, and how I devised them, so as a bonus feature that’s what we plan to do.