New Fiction Monday – David Workman

Image shamelessly (again) “borrowed” from Amazon.com.

Image shamelessly (again) “borrowed” from Amazon.com.

Hi, all!

I know that I just posted an author interview on Friday, but when I had the opportunity to finish my interview with David Workman, I absolutely had to do another one on an actual Monday!

So here is a little bit of background:

One of my best friends is an accomplished author, and we generally have the same taste in books, so when she recommends one (even in a genre I’m not particularly fond of or familiar with), I tend to pick up a copy and read it.  David Workman’s Absolute Authority is one of those. 🙂 Kind of a spy-thriller, I picked it up on Amazon, anyway, because she had been absolutely raving about it. With good reason, I soon learned.

I opened it up on my Kindle app in at the beginning of a staff meeting (tablets are really good tools in that you can appear to initially be taking notes, and then…well…not) one Friday morning, and found, almost immediately, that I was going to have a really hard time putting it down. I can’t tell you how many times I found myself with my nose buried in this story when I probably should have been cleaning house, working on my own fiction, blogging, etc.! I really enjoyed meeting Gordon McAllister, and canNOT wait to see what he gets himself into next!

I hope that you will enjoy the following interview, and then run (don’t walk) to your browser, go to Amazon, and pick up a copy for yourself!

So, David? These are my readers. Readers? I’d like you to meet David Workman:

Q:  How long have you been writing fiction? (Yes, the obvious question to all writers, right?)

A:  The short answer is ten years, but that’s not the entire story, made up or otherwise. My main character, Gordon McAllister, set up shop in my head over a decade ago, but I didn’t any place to put him, so he just sat there, poking idly at the campfire. Then about five years ago, I started to formulate a storyline that might fit him. (You can see how little I focused on my writing at first.) Tragically, I was laid off from a corporate marketing job about four years ago and suddenly had way too much free time on my hands. So I finally got serious about the book and plunged in headfirst. Looking back, getting laid off was one of the best things that ever happened to me. Not only did I have more time to write Absolute Authority, but I also now work for a much better company and do a lot more writing that I did before.

Q:  Did it take you a long time to research various tidbits of the story? To the layman, it sounds like all of the details of “Absolute Authority” are absolutely viable.

A:  I’ve always been a techno-geek, especially when it comes to military and spy hardware, and since it’s my favorite genre to read, a lot of what I wrote about was already in my head. However, the idea of the Skat stealth drone popped up thanks to a Google search for Russian unmanned aerial vehicles. I had heard rumors that the Russians had such a thing — after all, we already had one, and the Soviets had spent the entire Cold War simply stealing our secrets and backwards engineering their own versions — so I was not at all surprised when the Skat popped up (not on the radar — sorry, techie joke) first thing in the results. I thought, what if someone smuggled one into the US? What could they do with it and for how long until we discovered it? What sort of havoc could they wreak on us? And who would do it? Could we stop them?

I also got plenty of help from friends in the covert ops and special missions arena. A former high school classmate (somehow she managed to have not aged like I did) is a former FBI special agent. She helped me immensely with the FBI lab details and procedures. A nurse friend helped me with the details of how to kill a senator. So it was all fun and games, and somebody did get hurt. Several characters got whacked, so many I lost track of the body count.

Q:  You have a background in criminal justice/criminology. Did that help you write Absolute Authority? I know as writers, we are told to write what we know, so I had to ask.

A:  Oddly, it wasn’t my criminology background that made the difference as much as my love of all things military and espionage. I have a library full of Clancy, Thor, Flynn, and others, all of whom write immensely detailed thrillers that are so full of realistic settings and situations that I couldn’t help but learn from them.

Q:  How long did it take you to complete the first draft of Absolute Authority?

A:  Can I cop out here and refer you to answer #1?  (Blogger’s note: Absolutely, David!  It’s your interview!  😉  )

Q:  What was your inspiration?

A:  In addition to techno-military stuff, I’m very political, as anyone who knows me well or reads my posts on Facebook can attest. I have no use for our current president and don’t mind saying so. However, to avoid turning Absolute Authority into a political statement, I created a president anyone can like and didn’t get too deep into the fictional administrations politics, only because not everyone wants to read a book about that when they sit down to read a thriller. So I backed off. There is politics involved, especially near the end, but I don’t beat anyone over the head with it. Now, how does this answer your question? Well, read the book and it will make more sense.

Q:  On average, how many hours per week do you work on fiction? Does the actual writing come to you in a steady flow or does it hit you in fits and spurts? (I have to ask, because I go for days writing like a fiend and then all thoughts and ideas are still there, but I can’t make the transition from brain to keyboard.)

A:  My writing time really varies now that I’m back in the working world. I write web copy for a major athletic shoe company full time and have a wife and two (soon to be three) kids, so squeezing in book writing time can be a challenge. Fortunately, the kids are young enough that they go to bed early, so I can often get a few pages written in the evenings, but not always. Plus, I don’t always feel like it, or maybe I’m drawing a blank on what comes next, so I may go for days without writing a word. And then I’ll sit down and hammer out 10,000 words in one session. It varies immensely. I wrote Absolute Authority without an outline, a mistake I’ll never make again. I hit the 70,000-word mark and had no idea how to end the darn thing. So I went home (I was writing in a friend’s coffee shop) and didn’t think about it the rest of the day. The next morning, I grabbed a coffee and muffin, sat back down, and hammered out 30,000 words in one sitting, all the way to The End. It was glorious! I don’t plan on doing that again.

Q:  I know that you are working on the sequel to “Absolute.” Do you foresee more adventures ahead for Gordon McAllister?

A:  Yes, many. At first I was afraid Absolute Authority would be a one-hit wonder, but when it ended I knew I had more things for him to do. And for other characters, too. You will see many of the characters from the first book make return appearances in the second. Relationships have grown, life has moved along, and new adventures await. I will also be setting the sequel in St. Louis again, spending even more time taking readers through the most exciting guided tour they’ll ever get of my home town. Oh, and the fun won’t end after book two. I have at least one more planned already, maybe more. Stay tuned.

Q:  What advice do you have for writers wanting to break into the business?

A:  Whatever you do, don’t quit. I can’t tell you the number of times I came this close (see my fingers squeezing together?) to giving up and hitting the delete key. Oh, it was tempting! Writing books is hard work! If you’re looking for an easy way to make your millions, this ain’t it. Most novelists — not just new ones — have a day job to pay the bills. But so long as that story stays cramped up inside your head, you’ll never feel like you’ve lived your life, like there’s always something left to do. Write the story. Get it out there on paper. Don’t just type it into the computer. Print it. Make a real manuscript out of it. And now that you can self-publish, get at least one copy printed in paperback form, with a cover and everything. Approach the writing process as if your book will get published. The entire process will be so fulfilling you’ll wonder why you hadn’t done it years ago. Don’t quit. Tell your story. Somebody will want to read it.

And there you have it, my friends…I hope that you enjoy getting to know David Workman.

Now get thee over to Amazon and check him out. 🙂

Until Next Time….

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