Author Interview: David Mayall

Are there any books or authors that inspired you to become a writer?

I remember at the age of 12 my mother giving to me, “The Hobbit” by J. R. R. Tolkien. The fantastic world and creatures Tolkien created were awe inspiring and captivated my imagination. In those days we didn’t have game consoles like the X-Box or PlayStation. So, I would sit for hours playing imaginative games. This helped create a healthy imagination where I would make up many stories. I would act out these stories and play in the quiet of my bedroom. My love for reading was born from this moment and feed my imaginative play. As I grew older, my taste changed toward the darker works of James Herbert. I began reading “The Magic Cottage.” This book still held the realm of fantasy but drew my fascination toward horror fiction. I became captivated by “The Rats,” “The Lair,” and “The Domain,” all produced by James Herbert. This led me on to Stephen King’s, “IT,” and I became almost obsessed with his work from, “Salem’s Lot, “The Shinning,” to “Tommy Knockers.”

Sadly, I went through dark times during my late teens. I forgot my passion for reading and became involved with the wrong crowd. I struggled through addiction and associated with a very bad, destructive element. I was lost. finding it almost impossible to find my way back. Then I stumbled across a book called “Lightning,” by Dean Koontz. I can’t explain why but this book changed my path, it provided a light at the end of a very dark and lonely tunnel. “Lightning,” by Dean Koontz inspired me to write, it brought back my love of reading and gave me the enjoyment of the written word. I have always been told to write what you know. So, I have written a thriller about the criminal world. I am trying to turn the negativities of my past into positives for the future. It is my hope to produce a piece of work which will have the same impact to a person as, “Lightning,” did for me and perhaps I can help change the direction of someone’s life, for the better.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

I have fond memories of my childhood visits to my Nan, “Nanny Smith.” I always read the same book, a medical journal, nothing very exciting. I was fascinated with the human skeleton and, at the age of 5, could name every bone in the human body. Also, I was obsessed with dinosaurs. So, as a Child, I wanted to be an Archaeologist when I grew up.

Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?

I live by the rule of the three P’s.

These are, “Perspective,” “Patience,” and, “Perseverance.”

To be a better writer you need distance from your writing. This distance will grant you clarity and perspective. We all believe our first draft is the best thing ever written. Therefore we need to gain a true perspective of our work and not allow emotions govern or determine the difference between a mediocre piece of work and a well written, edited and highly polished piece of writing.

This is where Patience comes into play. Many people will read your work but very few give honest critique. You need patience to weed out the productive (even if negative) pieces of feedback, from the demotivating or demoralising pieces of feedback. Even the worst pieces of feedback can help in a positive way. Most importantly is to be patient with yourself. If you have never written anything before and it’s your first attempt, remember you cannot run before you can walk. It takes time and practice to learn new skills. Listen to your piers and accept whatever they tell you as being their opinion (it may not, necessarily, be correct).

Perseverance is by far the most important thing, (in my opinion). There will be many up’s and downs, writing is like a rollercoaster. It can be fantastic one moment and frustrating/ demoralising the next. Perseverance is the key. Don’t give up. Keep going and with each set back you will become a stronger writer in both mind and skill.

How do you develop your plot and characters?

I start with an idea. This idea begins to multiply and before I know it, I have the base of a plot formulated in my mind. It’s at this point I develop my characters. All my characters are based upon people I have either met, or I have had some dealing with. This can be a close association, such as my “Curly,” character in Mr Blue Eyes. Curly was someone I knew in my past. A drug dealer and petty criminal known as Curly because of his thick Curly black hair, I have embellished him to make him more sleazy but his basic character is based on a real person. The Marco character in Mr Blue Eyes, thankfully, I had only a loose connection. The name Marco I made up, but the man based upon an individual who followed my wife and I whilst on holiday in Spain. The Man who followed us was a vicious looking, disfigured by a scar to his left cheek, he was a giant of a man who appeared in every location we visited. He became quite intimidating and worrisome as he just showed up in every bar, he would just sit and stare at us. We managed to lose him but not before he had fed our imagination and paranoia. This  is where the idea of Mr Blue Eyes originated.

For each character (important Characters) I build a profile page of their physical appearance, mannerisms, and habits. I may not use this in the book but throughout the writing process, it helps me to develop the characters as I progress through the story.

How do you process and deal with negative book reviews?

We all hate receiving negative book reviews. My wife deals with all reviews good or bad. Anything she feels will help improve my work, she passes on to me, be it good or bad. The rest gets thrown on the slush pile.

It is important for me to keep my perspective. My work isn’t going to be for everyone. I work hard to produce quality and entertaining work. Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn’t. Really negative reviews serve only one purpose and that is to demoralise, even ridicule, the writer for daring to express their creativeness. For this reason I allow all reviews to be buffered. I rely on my editor to tell me (quite bluntly) if what I have written is rubbish.

How do you use social media as an author?

I rely heavily on social media for marketing. My main outlet is via Twitter. Follow my page here,

I actively engage with fellow authors and retweet their posts and in return they do the same.

I am a member of several groups on Facebook follow my page here,

I actively engage with these groups by promoting authors and their work. In return they help promote me and my work.

I have just started using Tic-Toc to share my advertisement reals I am trying to build my following but this is a new area for me and will take time to establish.


I am on Instagram

I have a growing audience on all these social media platforms and would love to welcome all to follow me. I would love to share your work through my social media as I am a big believer in helping others and in turn this help is reciprocated.

How long did it take you to write this book?

Mr Blue Eyes has taken ten years approx. The novel has been through many drafts, title changes and setbacks. Perseverance has paid off and I have been able to complete Mr Blue Eyes, learn new skills and improve on the ones I already have. It’s been a mixture of fun, excitement, frustration, demoralisation, and elation. I almost gave up but kept going even, through some real low points and now it is finally complete. I believe there is a lot more to come…

How long have you been writing or when did you start?

I began writing when I was very young, (early teens), but I lacked the confidence and self-belief to show my work. I would write in silence then destroy my writing once complete. Then begin all over again. I first began writing poetry, small verses or linking phrases together to make a rhyme. The more books I read the larger my vocab became and I was able to draw upon an array of written word to improve my prose. My poems turned to small 5-line stories; the small stories became longer short stories. It is such a shame I lacked the belief in my writing back then. So much work has been lost to the trashcan. I still struggle with belief and confidence but this is one of many demons I battle to keep silent.

If you’re planning a sequel, can you share a tiny bit about your plans for it?

I am planning a sequel to Mr Blue Eyes and it is work in progress. I plan to explore the link to the Russian crime syndicate, whilst familiar characters seek their revenge upon Kirsty and attempt to bring about a fiery demise.

What advice would you give to a writer working on their first book?

My advice to a new writer working on their first book is this.

Believe in yourself and listen to your instinct. When editing your work do it yourself. There isn’t any shortcuts to writing, it’s long hours spent polishing your work. Don’t expect to much from a first draft. The first draft is your pencil sketch all subsequent drafts are the colour to give the reader a 3-dimensional picture in their mind. Write what you know, if you don’t know then research the hell out of it until you do or at least have a basic understanding. Forget A.I grammar checkers, I could name several. They help to a degree but they do not write the work for you. If help is offered then be receptive, you do not have to give out all your secrets about your WIP but the writing community is full of friends whose only wish is to help. Always read your work out loud before submitting it to anyone. You may be surprised how often things are missed. A simple piece of punctuation can make all the difference. Do not pay any person or companies posing as publishers. These are vanity publishers who will tell you you’re going to be the next Stephen King or J.K. Rowling etc. This will come at a very high cost to you and your work. Never sign over your rights to your work unless there is a nice fat cheque attached.

I hope this helps all new writers and I wish you every success. Look me up on my various social media outlets, I will be only too willing to help.

Many Thanks David Mayall

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