Welcome to Clubhouse Chat page. For those of you who are not a member of the clubhouse won’t be aware that the location of the Clubhouse is shrouded in mystery. The only way to visit the clubhouse is via membership or invite to the clubhouse tearoom. Every few days, I’ll be sharing a conversation I’ve had with a guest over tea and cakes, or maybe a glass of something stronger, about their work in progress, or latest book release. I’ll be talking to all sort of writers and authors at different levels of their writing careers.
Today I’m with David Bowmore in the Clubhouse Tearoom. Welcome, David. What would you like to drink?
Well, could I have a Malt Whisky from Islay, it goes by the name of Bowmore.
Now our drinks have arrived can I ask you, when you first begun your writing journey what drew you to your chosen genre?
When I started I thought I would be writing sci-if extravaganzas – space battles, fantastic super weapons, and evil warlords like Ming the Merciless. I think part of me is still seven years old and making Star Wars blasters with Lego.
As it happens, I don’t really have a specific genre, although my work has often been called literary. I have written numerous stories embracing most of the standard genres; exciting thrillers, ghost stories, the odd bit of horror, westerns and old style murder mysteries. Even some fantasy and sci-fi. My new book, Tall Tales and Short Fiction (October 2020) is a collection of some of my best work.
What writing elements do you think is your strongest points, and what would you like to do better?
Character creation. They become real to me. I know them like you know someone you work with or see down the pub. I can tell you the basics of how they look and what they might be like on the surface, but then sometimes I’m blown away to find out something deeper, something that shaped the person in their past and made them who they are now. I quickly realised that displaying emotion was the key creating a character that the reader can connect with.
I’ve been told my dialogue is pretty good.
Sometimes, my descriptions are a bit vague and that can take a lot time in second and third drafts to get right.
Tell us a little about latest writing project. Is it a new idea, or one you have been mulling over for some time?
Which project would that be? I seem to have so many on the go at once. I’m trying to get my head around the sequel to The Magic of Deben Market. It still has to have the sense of abnormal in a normal world, have lots of characters who vaguely know each other, and at the same time feel like a continuation of the first book. Plus in must include time travel, ghosts, murder, mystery, magic and Rod Stewart!
Then there’s Mortimer and Georgette (Morty and George to their friends) a pair of adventurers getting up to all manner of high-jinks, while scuppering the plans of master criminals in the 1930s.
I have plans for an embittered,ex-policemanin an austere post war Britain.
And only a couple of nights ago I saw a call for a space opera in no more than 15,000 words. But it’s turning into a murder mystery/conspiracy thing in deep space. It may well be a novel by the time I’ve finished.
Oh, and a best of collection is due for release at the beginning of October- Tall Tales & Short Fiction: A Multi-Genre Collection.
I think that’s everything.
How many unfinished projects do you have on your computer?
All of the above plus about ten others. I’ve written far more words than I’ve had published. I might lose the forlorum to continue, perhaps the story isn’t coming together, or I don’t know where to go with a character. More than likely I’m tempted away by another project.
Do you write a synopsis first or write the first chapter or short story, or do you plan your story, or let the characters lead you.
I sit and start writing, usually with no idea where it will lead. However, the longer the story, the more planning is needed. So as thestory grows, so do the notes and timeframes and lists and million other pieces of paper that help me keep track of what’s happening.The whole story might turn on a pin head with just a few words from the right character.
Choosing only five of your favourite authors. Can you list them in order 1 begin the top of your list and say how have they influenced your writing?
P.G Wodehouse – no one else who writes in the English language can put sentences together the way he can. His plots may be silly, but his wordplay and characters are outstanding. There’s not one page where you cannot help but be impressed. Genius.My character, Morty is definitely from his world.
Agatha Christie–Christie said she only had about five plots, but it’s the settings and the characters that make her brilliant. Most of my stories have an element of mystery to them.
Stephen King – the first author that I always wanted to read more of. He inspired me to write, and after I read ‘On Writing’, I did.
Elmore Leonard – no one else does dialogue like this man—it’s perfect—and his rules on writing are some of the soundest out there. I try to dialogue like Leonard.
Alan Moore – yes, I know he’s a comic book writer, but his genius for character creation, world building, incorporation of pop culture, diverse themes, and complex, multi-layered plots, all mirroring our own world is outstanding.I always try to layer my stories.
Were any of your characters inspired by real people?
The simple answer is some are. But it’s complex; the genesis of a character might be in some words or odd phrasing that I’ve overheard, or it might come from a particular trait or habit. Sometimes, a character might be several real people rolled into one.I hope the reader will recognise a bit of themselves in my characters – the good, the bad and the embarrassing.
What did you learn when writing your book or story? In writing it, how much research did you do?
Research is essential, especially if the story is a period piece. I’ve found lots of things out. For instance, did you know that Harrods sold little brass tins of morphine and cocaine complete with needle for loved ones to send to the troops in the trenches of the First World War? I wrote a story around that.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
I try to write every morning, usually at a dedicated desk,for an hour or two. But I also write just about anywhere thanks to an iPad and cloud storage. The ideas must never be lost. For me, writing is not only tapping away on a keyboard, it’s printing out for editing, reading (my own work, those of my contemporaries and some classics too) and sometimesI put my feet up and think stuff through.
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
David Bowmore is my pen name. I decided to use it because I was embarrassed at first, and wasn’t sure how people I know in the real world would take my writing. A month ago, Ieventually gathered enough courage to tell my family. As it happens, my mother phoned last nightto say how much she liked The Magic of Deben Market. She loved it, with the exception of the swearing, and told me all about her favourite characters.
I don’t think I could write using my own name, so it looks like David Bowmore is here to stay.
Thank you for joining me in the clubhouse tearoom, David.
Thank you for inviting me to have a drink and chat.
If you want to know more about David and his writing check out his website:
It you want to find out more about Clubhouse Member’s Books don’t forget to check out the Clubhouse Bookshops too.