Dave GF Blackwell Interview Published on: 20, May 2020

Where were you born? ​

Dartford in Kent (England)

How did James Herbert, Guy N Smith, and Stephen King inspire you to start writing from a young age?

I started reading their books at the age of 7/8. After reading Misery, I got the writing bug. It was also a way for me to express.

How do you educate yourself to take better pictures? ​

Every time I pick up a camera and shoot.

What are the challenges of being an indie author?

Finding readers and marketing.

What inspired you to publish your first novel in December 2017?

I suffer from depression and went through a bad time in 2016 and decided to go back into writing after a long break. I also put together 26 other book projects at the same time and they are currently waiting completion.

Who inspired the character of Simon in "Dear Diary"? Have you ever kept a diary? ​

It is based on a dream I had after a bad day at work. The character is based on how I pretend to be just to make people laugh.

How did you come with the title of your book, Stratagem? ​

I went months without a title, the original title was PODS, after a very bad few days of sickness and lack of sleep, I woke after a midday nap when someone in a dream yelled out Stratagem.

What works best for you: Typewriters, fountain pen, dictate, computer or longhand?

My writing is shocking, so I use my mobile for notes and my computer for writing.

How difficult it was to write a true story based on your struggle with your mental healthcare and childhood? ​

It opened up a lot of memories, very painful but rewarding at the same time. I have a second part planned.

How has your writing changed over time? What has been a major influence on you as a writer? ​

I read more, strive to improve myself and just read and write as much as I can. At the moment I am reading Bird Box.

How did you choose your career with the NHS, a Medical Engineering Specialist that specializes in ITU Ventilators and Monitoring?​

I started in the NHS as a volunteer after losing my job and struggling to find another. I worked in procurement and one day spoke to my boss as I was bored silly, she suggested helping out the Engineers. I joined them in 2006 as a trainee. I am now a supervisor.

Currently, working on your 9th novel, how much do you think the publishing world has changed since 2017? ​

Now working on my 10th! I don't see any changes within self publishing, however my understanding and knowledge has improved a fair bit in terms of preparing books, formatting, etc and publishing.

When you go to one of your travels, what will you take with you - a camera or a book? Why? ​

Camera, for recording as much as possible. (I always have a notebook too!)

Is there anything you are currently working on that may intrigue the interest of your readers?​

My current project is a story of a young woman who starts to experience flashbacks and memories which are not her own, she begins to lose her own mind as someone else pushes in, destroying everything around her. It is a mental health psychological thriller. 'Reborn' is out in June.

Did you discover anything new about yourself while staying home during the lock-down (COVID-19)? What was it? ​

Due to being front line, I have been at work more which means less time to read and write. I also moved in the middle of it which has given me more time to myself.

How has your writing changed over time? What has been a major influence on you as a writer?

It has improved, I used to worry about what others thought. Now I just write what I want and how I want it.

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