Posts tagged David Gatward The Dead The Dark The Damned Doom Rider www.davidgatward.com

The Dark

And then came book 2… And what a blast it was! Having set up Lazarus with a pretty nasty beginning, this was where I could let things get really out of hand. so I did. This is the blurb: “Lazarus Stone has been killed, resurrected, and attacked by demons. He’s all that stands between our world and the Dead. But things are getting complicated: he’s alone in the land of the Dead, his best mate Craig is missing, and he’s no idea who – or what – tricked his dad into trying to bring back his long-dead mum. Oh, and he’s wearing a corpse’s clothes. Life, he might think, couldn’t get much worse. But it will…” Writing The Dark was a steep learning curve, as most books seem to be. Here though I was seeing just how far and dark I could go, but also wondering all the way if I could sustain Lazarus’s story not just for book 2, but on into book 3.

When I do my school visits I often explain that the best way to think about a story is this: in the first part, get your character into a tree, thus presenting them with a problem – how to get down again. Then, to make the story interesting, it’s my job as a writer to do everything I can to make their journey back to the ground as difficult as possible. So throw stones at them, spears, rockets, try to chop the tree down, burn it, kidnap their family, train a flock of flesh-eating crows to take up residence in the tree…

Essentially, what I’m saying is that to make a story interesting, I have to make sure it’s nigh on impossible for a character to achieve a purpose. So that’s what I do in The Dark: I throw everything I’ve got, and a little bit more, at Lazarus. And through it all he gets stronger, more determined, and we can’t help but want to keep turning the page to find out what happens next…

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The Dead

Right, so, the next three blogs I’m going to do will just cover my Dead Trilogy (mwahahahahaha!) First up, book 1, The Dead. Which goes something like this: “Lazarus Stone is about to turn sixteen when, one night, his normal life is ripped to shreds by a skinless figure drenched in blood. He has a message: The Dead are coming. Now Lazarus is all that stands in their way. To fulfil his destiny, he must confront not only the dark past of his family, but horrors more gruesome than even Hell could invent. And it all begins with the reek of rotting flesh …”

Sounds fun, doesn’t it? And it is! The first book is the shortest and, from the outset, I wanted it, and the rest of Lazarus’s tale, to be a breathless one, something that would have you exhausted by the end of it, packed with cliff hangers and hideous monsters. And all of it drawing on not just my love of horror, but a little bit of biblical stuff, and also (if you know your horror movies and such like) have a fair few nods to some of the classics. I loved writing it, and being able to take the story through 200,000 words was fab. But book 1 is very special. It was the first one for me that got me started on this writing road, and Lazarus, Craig, Arielle and the rest will, I think, stay with me forever. Which is quite amazing, really, considering they’re imaginary! So grab a copy and have a read and don’t turn out out the light…

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Where do YOU write?

I’ve been writing, writing, writing, for years and years and years. And in all that time, I’ve written in all kinds of places. I once wrote a whole novel (70,000 words!) on the train to and from work over a period of about five weeks. I was surrounded by commuters, squashed into a little seat, yet somehow I managed (and got lots of very odd looks!) I’ve written in airport lounges, cafes, front rooms, dining rooms, libraries, under trees, in churches…

The thing I’m wondering is, does where you write affect what you write? I think it’s a bit of both. As writers, and as people, we’re affected utterly by our surroundings. After all, much of where I get my ideas from lies in all that I see/do/hear/smell/read/watch/experience (etc). When I look back at all those different places I’ve scribbled in, each one has only really been possible because I’ve managed to shut myself away, often with music and headphones.

I’m currently looking at getting myself a writing shed. This is very exciting, even though it doesn’t sound it! Imagine though, a place all to yourself to just go and sit and think and write and invent crazy new worlds and ideas and monsters and heroes and heroines and adventures. How ace is that?

So where do you go to get creative or to read or think or write or just “be”? And if you haven’t got anywhere, is there some way that you can change that?

I’ll keep you posted on the shed…

Dave

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