David Turnbull is a UK based writer whose recent short fiction has featured in Sensorama Eibonvale Press and Beware the Little White Rabbit Leap Book, as well as five part serialised story featured in Serial Flashers Magazine.
1. How long have you been writing and what got you started?
In used to write a lot up till my mid twenties, but I never had anything accepted for publication. I stopped and never wrote a thing for nearly 20 years. Then I attended a stress management course where they suggested finding a hobby that would take you out of your day to day worries. I thought of taking up writing again. I attended a short story writing course at my local college and haven’t looked back since.
2. What is the best piece of advice you have for new writers?
Persistence pays in the end.
3. Are there any writing resources, such as books or websites, you’d like to recommend?
I would highly recommend ‘Wonderbook’ by Jeff Vandermeer (Abrams Image). It’s jam packed with ideas and inspiration, especially if you write in the fantasy or sci fi genres.
4. What is your favorite type of fiction and who are your favorite authors?
My favourite author is Ray Bradbury and my favourite book of all time is ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’. I think you get different perspectives on that book depending on what age you read it at and which character you find yourself associating with most closely. My favourite non-genre book is ‘Brighton Rock’ by Graham Greene, gangsters at the British seaside, but you might have to be British to get it.
5. What tips do you have for finding time to write?
Set aside a specific time of the day and discipline yourself to stick to that. I try to do 7.30am to 8.30am most days, before I go to work in my day job.
6. Do you prefer to outline a story in advance or write on the fly? Why?
I usually just push right through to the end of a story while the ideas are churning in my head and then go back and revise later.
7. How do you deal with rejections?
As a frugal Scot I never throw anything away. If a story gets rejected I try to rework and recycle it. I’ve had some success in combining elements of two rejected stories to create a new original piece that has subsequently been accepted for publication.
8. What are your writing goals for the next twelve months?
I had a children’s fantasy novel out couple of years ago but the publisher went out of business. It’s now been picked up by another publisher who had asked me to develop it as a trilogy. We are working with an illustrator at present – all three parts should be published within the next twelve months.
9. For the next five years?
I’m working on a novel set in a distant future where humanity has been enslaved by giant termites.
10. Is there anything you’d like to plug? Feel free to share a link.
You can find updates on my work at www.tumsh.co.uk