On Wednesdays on social media, people use the hashtag #WriterWednesday to chat about all things author, book and writing, including authors promoting their own work. As we love to support self-published authors, we thought we’d join in and we will be featuring a UK self-published author every Wednesday on the website. This week, we met David Meah to find out more…
Please tell us about yourself; when did you first become interested in writing?
Hello, my name is David, I’m 53 years young and work in a call centre in Leeds. I live with my wife Tracy. Married for 28 years.
I am fairly new to writing despite my age, I became interested in writing at an early age when I was back in junior school. My English teacher said I had a knack for telling stories, and that I was a bit of a daydreamer. The problem with life is that it tends to throw obstacles in the way of your dreams, like work, managing your life and being there for all the people you care for. I left school in 1979 with no qualifications and joined the army as a junior soldier.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
That would be back in junior school, I had watched a 007 movie that weekend and wrote a story called; When I met a shark, I remember this story quite well, it was then Mrs Higgs (my teacher) first praised my work. It was me in the role of 007, who rescues a female in distress. The story as I recall was about four pages long and at nine years old, that was a lot of homework.
What genre/genres do your books fall under?
I believe reading should be easy, and not complicated. The genre for me is general fiction, covering both every day and past lives. History is a fascinating subject, which offers an author an abundance of material to pluck at.
What is your latest book called, what is it about and what was the inspiration behind the book?
My current book is a short story named Trench Rats.
I must be honest and say, when I began to write the story down, I could visualise the setting and all that it had to offer. For me, it was like watching a movie, as it unfolded onto the page. I must have had this in the brain locker, stashed in the far reaches of my mind, about 30 years.
Warhorse by Spielberg and Stalingrad by Joseph VIlsmaire. Both movies about how terrible war was through both the eyes of the British and German soldiers, were very influential in the way it portraited the discomfort and realities of the horrors of war.
This follows the endurance of a group of British WW1 soldiers, left wandering through the battle-scarred landscape of France, after the defeat and heavy losses at the battle of Marne, struggling against the brutal trench life and their own morality, on how to survive in their journey home.
Besides your current book, do you have any new projects coming up?
My latest project is in the editing stage and will hopefully be out in February 2017.
Synopsis – The Boy from Nowhere Street
When young David is born on a cold January winters day, a tragic accident leaves him parentless; he is thrown into a series of events that peak through to the extremes.
“The Boy from Nowhere Street” follows these events of David’s life; celebrating the highs and sharing the lows as he grows to adolescence with a childless couple who love him as their own.
We join in with the trials of making friends, and the tribulation of losing them. From a newborn to a teenager, his journey through life is an emotional roller-coaster adventure. We witness the very raw feelings of individuality due to his skin colour in a predominantly white suburb of Leeds (England) during the 1960’s and 1970’s, and the troubles that can be caused by simple-mindedness and an old way of thinking.
Although the book is written in the third person, “The Boy from Nowhere Street” puts the reader into the heart of the action, almost as a friend of David’s who is watching the events unfold as they happen. This gives a very real feeling and a gritty truth that can be both uplifting and sometimes difficult to handle. The tale of a young man who as he reaches sexual maturity adds some light-hearted humour to the subplots, but even at the height of his teenage years, when he steps into manhood, life takes a very different turn for David and fate turns black for him.
Where can people find your book?
What has been the greatest moment in your writing career?
Not happened yet, just beginning to set my stall out, I was very giddy when my book arrived through the post. It’s a good feeling seeing your words set out in a book. Much nicer when someone you have never met says they enjoyed the read.
Besides writing, what hobbies or interests do you enjoy in your spare time?
Besides my creative writing, I am a makeup artist for a group of amateur filmmakers, they specialise in science fiction and horror. I mainly make the prosthetics. Here is an example of my creations:
Which novelists do you admire?
Tolkien, James Herbert, Sven Hassel and of course J K Rowling. All of which have given me great reading pleasure over the years.
What has been the best piece of writing advice you’ve received?
I was going to go to a publishing company and they told me to pay £3000 towards the cost. I rang around a few publishing houses and questioned if this was normal, some said yes, it’s the way of the world, but one chap, sorry cannot recall his name, was passing his reception area when I contacted his house. The receptionist started to fob me off with the normal sorry you need an agent to speak to us, well to my surprise he took the call from her and spoke with me in length. He advised me never to pay and go self-publishing if that’s all I can afford or to get an agent who covers the editing and they would get you in with a house. The most important thing he said, as he asked how long did it take to write, which I replied seven months, he told me to go away and spend another seven months editing and filling in the gaps, and read it out aloud. This he told me helps with punctuation. That was sound advised.
Do you have any tips or advice for other indie authors?
Listen, read and watch. You don’t need to be a mastermind or have a PHD behind you. If you can think it then you can write it. However, it’s only words on paper till somebody reads it. Good luck.