Welcome to my interview with writer, David Viner. Enjoy.
Hello David. Can you introduce yourself?
I'm David Viner from Norwich.
How long have you been writing?
Dabbled in the 1970/80s. Became more serious in the past 10 years.
What first got you interested in writing?
Reading and thinking "I could do this."
Positive thinking! Do you attend a writing group?
Redwell Writers. One of the original members in 2006.
Why do you attend a writing group?
Mutual encouragement. Get feedback on my own writing. Interesting to hear what others are writing and how they are progressing.
What is the most valuable thing you've taken away from your writing group?
What genre(s) do you write? What drew you to this/these genre(s)?
Sci-Fi, slipstream, anything that takes my fancy! Have always read Sci-Fi since childhood.
Are there any genres that you don't enjoy writing?
No, I won't preclude any style or genre for which I get an idea.
What types of things do you write?
Short stories mainly though there are a couple of novels under the proverbial bed! (aren't there always?)
Indeed there are. Have you ever had anything published?
Yes, 3 short stories:
- Eight Excerpts from a Secret Inter-dimensional War - published in The Hub magazine (now defunct) 2007 – a science fiction story told in eight unconnected flash fiction sections.
- Home For Christmas – a story of one man's struggle to return to the city of his birth after the onset of a new ice age. Published in "Angles, an anthology of Speculative Fiction featuring authors/stories based in East Anglia, edited by Ian J C Millsted"
- No Accident – a tongue in cheek murder mystery set in the 1960s - published in First Edition magazine (also now defunct).
Have you sent your writing to agents/publishers? Have you received any rejections?
Yes and yes!
Would you consider self-publishing/e-publishing?
Yes, the anthology that we are considering doing for the writing group would be self published. It is no longer looked down upon – the "vanity publishing" aspect has almost disappeared now. Personally I prefer the feel of a proper paper–made book in my hand.
I agree about the paper made books; that's what makes it a book and not a computer screen! Who/what influences your writing? Where do you get your inspiration from?
Inspiration can come from anything: a chance comment, an article in a magazine, an idea seemingly from out of nowhere. I often start writing with no idea of what I am writing about – the Eight Excerpts story started like that as did the story I read out at the writing group a couple of evenings ago.
How do you come up with your characters' names and personalities?
It depends on the setting of the story – Zartok Krackskull is obviously not the sort of name I'd use for a story with a modern day domestic setting whilst Elsie Thompson wouldn't sound right for an evil Galactic Overlord! J The personalities tend to grow with the writing.
Unless Elsie was Zartok in disguise, to lead his/her enemies into a false sense of security... Do you start out with a complete idea for your stories, or do you just start writing and hope for the best?
Either will do.
Do you have a writing routine?
No routine whatsoever!
Do you have an editing process?
The read and review sessions at the writing group are good for identifying problems that I haven't spotted.
Have you ever entered any writing competitions? Have you ever won?
Yes and no.
Have you ever attended an open mic event for spoken word performers?
Yes, though I didn't get the chance to read anything and wouldn't have wanted to at the time as it was first (and only) time there.
How important is it for you to share your writing?
Quite important as it gives the feedback I need to improve.
What do you enjoy the most/least about writing?
A feeling of achievement when it goes right. Getting started can often be hard.
What is the best piece of writing advice you've ever been given?
What advice could you give to a new writer?
As above but also to believe in yourself – usually, it can only get better!
Apart from writing, what are your other hobbies/interests?
Music (I play guitar in a folk/ceilidh band). Computers (I build web sites for a living).
What types of things do you read? Do you think your writing reflects your book tastes?
Sci-Fi, comedy, technical, scientific. Yes!
Do you have any favourite lines from novels/plays/poetry/songs, or any favourite literary quotations?
"It's the same old story. Boy finds girl, boy loses girl, girl finds boy, boy forgets girl, boy remembers girl, girl dies in a tragic blimp accident over the Orange Bowl on New Year's Day." Actually, that's from a film – but it shows up my wacky sense of humour. Google it – it's not hard to find.
If you could have written anything, what do you wish that could have been?
Day of the Triffids – my favourite book.
Do you have a website/blog/Twitter/Facebook dedicated to your writing?
I have my own website though it is used for much more than my writing – www.davidviner.com
Would you be able to provide a short piece of your work?
This is from the 7th excerpt of Eight Excerpts and is a soldier's view of the start of an encounter with the "other dimension":
The view screen in front of him is blank and white, a wall awaiting a door. He gulps, swallowing the excess saliva. It’s not real, he tells himself.
And, indeed, it isn’t. The screen is not a window; it is a camera projecting an image into his cubicle as similar cameras are projecting similar images onto the screens of those in the cubicles around him. The white wall is miles away and he is safe in the bunker.
“Ten seconds,” says a dispassionate voice through his headpiece. He swallows again.
The ten seconds is gone in five and the wall starts to dissipate, to melt from white to Between grey and finally to streaked yellow.
He looks into another world.
He has seen the images before but, then, they had just been recordings and there had been other men and women at the controls. His turn now.
© David VinerThank you David.