Welcome to Clubhouse Chat page. For those of you who are not a member 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, in the clubhouse I’m chatting with Ray Daley. Welcoming to the Clubhouse Tearoom, Ray.
Thank you, Paula.
Before we start, let’s order our refreshments. What shall I order for you?
I guess my favourite beverage would be anything cold and fizzy, but I really like Dr Pepper.
Now we have our refreshment, I’ll start by asking you when you first began your writing journey what drew you to your chosen genre?
I’ve always loved Science Fiction. I grew up on Doctor Who, Space:1999, Blake’s 7, Battlestar Galactica, Star Wars and Star Trek. Those books were available in abundance in my school. I guess when it came to writing, it was the thing I knew best and found easiest to write. I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone since then though. I’ve written Fantasy and horror stuff, and had them published too. At the time of writing this, my most recent publication is a horror summer camp slasher parody.
How many unfinished projects do you have on your computer?
Far too many to count, I think I’d upset myself if I tried. Lots of partially started things, single lines, a few paragraphs. I think most writers have a folder where ideas go to die. Every now and then I’ll dip into that, just to see if anything catches my attention or spurs my imagination. Some of them do. Not all of them stay dead. Heck, I’ve got a piece of fanfic I’ve been writing since I was 16.
Do you plot first or write a first draft of your short stories? Do you plan your story or let the characters lead you?
On the whole, I tend to just write. It’s rare I’ll plot stuff out, some stories will come to me mostly formed so I don’t need to map them out. Often, I’ll not be inspired enough to write it there and then, on those occasions I’ll write an outline or a framework, so when the mood takes me, I can write a story easily. A story has got to be incredibly good for me to want to write it down there and then. Otherwise it becomes a framework & joins the to be written pile.
When reading your work through do you ever find that your daily mood swings are reflected in your writing?
Yes. I can tell when I’m very low, or hyper. My writing tends to reflect it. I can’t say if my readers notice but I can see it. It can be odd to have a note of your mental state at a given point, right there in a story. There are a few stories I can go back and read, things I wrote when my oldest sister, and Mum passed away. I can see my feelings writ large, in those.
Were any of your characters inspired by real people?
Lots of them are! Most of them are people I’ve worked with over the years. It’s fun to include their names as a little Easter Egg for myself to find later. I’ll ask friends if they mind being in a story. No-one has said no yet. The people I really like feature a lot. A lot of the character names in my 1st novel were people I was working with at the time.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
I’m a lot more organised now than I used to be. I’m doing a challenge at the moment to sub a story every day for a year. I get that done 1st each day, then do the related admin for that, archiving, logging the sub, posting daily stats online. Any free time after that is used for other creative stuff. I’m currently audioproofing my 2nd novel, to get it polished for PitMad in December. No actual writing has been done since August 10th. I shift focus now and then, either outputting stories, or getting submissions done.
Do you set yourself a daily word count?
Unless I’m doing NaNoWriMo or Camp Nano, I don’t have a daily word count goal. I’ll normally write until I’m done. That can be anything from 200 words to several 1000.
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
No. My name is there so if you like it you know who to seek out more from, and if you don’t you know who to complain to and avoid in future.
What was your hardest scene to write?
Something for a recent story, it scared me so much I put off writing it for eight months. Eventually I realised that I had to just get it written down, or I’d build it up so much that I’d never get it done. It’s had 1 beta-read so far and I’ve used that feedback, but I think it still needs a few more reads before I’ll be happy to submit it somewhere. I do have 2 markets I want to send it to though.
How long on average does it take you to write a story?
Most of my work is short form, so normally between 1 and 2 hours at the most. I think the longest a short story has taken me was 3 days, but it needed a lot of research to get the details correct. My novels took 28 days and 26 days. While I do have ideas for other novels, I don’t know if I’ll ever write them. I’m not a fan of writing novels, it’s a lot of investment into a project.
Thank you for joining me here today, Ray.
Thank you for having me, Paula.
If you would like to know more about Ray check out his website. or join his Twitter handle @RayDaleyWriter
It you want to find out more about Clubhouse Member’s Books don’t forget to check out the Clubhouse Bookshops too.