Thursday, December 13, 2012

10 Questions with Sci-Fi Thriller Writer C.L. Davies (@cldavieswriter)

This Author Spotlight features British Science Fiction Thriller writer C.L. Davies.

Please tell us a bit about yourself, Cheryl.

Born in Ashford in 1978, I moved with my family to the Isle of Man when aged five. I obtained my degree in English Lit at the University of Hertfordshire, and returned to the Island and qualified as a teacher. I've taught in a local primary school for nine years.

I love the Manx countryside, and my little gorgeous garden. I'm a little obsessed with palm trees. As a demented but doting first-time mum, much of my time is spent caring for our new baby, who is beautiful and bonkers! She's the centre of my world and the reason for everything I do.

I work on my fourth book when she feeds and naps.

I live happily with our beautiful baby, the spirit of our much-missed cat, Pudge, and fiance Dean.

Dean, unbelievably, is yet to read the book ...

1. How did you get into writing?
It was as simple as a promise to my mum – I love words; perhaps not the most sane thing I could admit to, but they’re constantly flitting through my head, and I often get obsessed with a given word or phrase, repeating it to myself throughout the day! Mad about words and good at English at school, my mum always used to say; ‘You must write a book before I die.’ She’s neither ill nor old, but I promised nevertheless. As I approached my 30’s, I knew I’d hope to soon start my family, and so I started writing before spare time became a luxury.

2. What do you like best (or least) about writing?
I enjoy the escapism of writing, which is something I’ve never found elsewhere – I can literally lose track of the world around me, as the web spun of words enswathes me. 

3. What is your writing process? IE do you outline? Do you stick to a daily word or page count, write 7 days a week, etc?
When the Gods Of A Good Idea finally smile upon me, I type the outline of the story on my laptop. When I start the actual writing, and the storyline evolves, I add any extra elements to the plan. With baby here, I don’t stick to a programme, and write when I can. My favourite place to write is outside, in the fresh air, snuggled beneath a Slanket if it’s chilly. Bliss.

Tell me, Cheryl, what is a Slanket?

A Slanket is a blanket with sleeves - it's a trademark - I got one last Christmas. They're gorgeous and super snuggly!

Ah! It's what is known in the states as a Snuggie. It's basically an extra-long fleece bathrobe worn backwards. Genius.
4. Who are some other writers you read and admire, regardless of whether they are commercially “successful?”
I’ve always enjoyed the powerful storytelling prowess of Stephen King, and the sublime fusion of horror and poetic eloquence in a good Dean Koontz. Lately, I have read and loved two fantasy thrillers by Chandler McGrew, with Crossroads now one of my all-time favourite reads. Remember earlier I mentioned getting obsessed with words or phrases? This stunning extract from Crossroads is one that still echoes in my mind: ‘As they rounded a long, sweeping curve the scimitar moon sliced through the ribbony overcast, spilling silvery shards of light earthward.’ Wow!

5. Should the question mark in the above question be inside or outside the quotes?
Hmm … I think outside, because the question itself is outside the quote. Is that right? Whatever the answer, consistency is key.

6. What’s your stance on the Oxford Comma?
I use it, so I guess my stance is a positive one.

7. What is your book Automaton about and how did it come to fruition?
Automaton is about a society obsessed with entertainment, celebrity, and reality TV. It came about from my own continuing fixation with reality TV. Happily watching the participants of Big Brother as they slept, when I too should have been sleeping, got me thinking about how far an obsession might go. Automaton tells of an island where the programmable A.I. inhabitants exist only to entertain, alongside their fanatical gamers in the ‘real’ world. Lily and Dean live happily on the island, until resentful gamer Luke sickens of it and snaps. The devastating consequences ripple ever out, affecting human and non-human alike.

8. What’s your current writing project?
I’m writing my 4th book, as yet title-less, over my baby-bundle’s head as she feeds and naps. I’m also doing a final edit of my 2nd book Resonance, ahead of publication in 2013. Resonance, in brief, is a multi-strand story about super-rich Oscar, who pays for, upon his death, the storage of his soul. Reincarnated as Jake, his actions give rise to the age-old question; are we defined by nature or nurture? The story also tells of sinister elements in the ‘Forever Foundation’, of paranormal shared dreams, and its underground legacy of sadness and suffering.

9. What book(s) are you currently reading?
I’m reading a paperback of Bard Constantine’s The Troubleshooter - a dark and amusing dystopian novel - and Erasure by A.T.H. Webber – a fascinating fiction about the influence of the Internet - on my kindle. Both books are thus far brilliant!

10. Who or what inspires your writing?
Personally, I’m inspired now by my 10-month-old baby girl – everything I do is for her. I’m also inspired by my dream of being a full-time writer, with my kids running around in the garden, whilst I sit in some kind of organic red clay curvy den, and write for hours at a time.

Professionally, I’m inspired by Steven King, whose haunting stories stay in my mind for years – I can still hear the tramping of the dark man’s boot heels, in The Stand, and the rattling, shifting shells in Duma Key.    

Finally, is there anything you’d care to add? Please also include where people can read your published stories, buy your book, etc.
I’d like to add a thank you! I only want people to enjoy my stories, and it’s thanks to the generosity of book bloggers, reviewers and author interviews that newbies like me can hope to gain readers. Thank you thousands!

Automaton can be bought at all the usual and good online bookstores – www.barnes&  – etc and with free shipping at and in both paperback and electronic versions. Resonance is due out late 2013. 

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