So I did this author interview over at the Australasian Christian Writers blog. If you’d like to know why I’d love to have dinner with Sir Paul McCartney or why I visited Singapore 28 times, read on …
Welcome David to our blog today. We are going to have a little fun while we learn a little more about him.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Sure. I’m a 40-something father of three and husband of one. I’m a copywriter with my own business (when I want my writing to earn a living) and write Christian fiction (when I don’t).
I’m based in South Australia, south of Adelaide. The best way to pinpoint where we live is five minutes to the beach, five minutes to the bush and ten minutes to the McLaren Vale wine district.
When I’m not writing you’ll find me watching sport or in the kitchen. I’m a serial caterer who relaxes by cooking for everyone else.
When you were a child did you have a favourite book or books?
When I was a kid, I read everything within an arm’s reach. That’s something I’ve encouraged my own kids to do – to see the wide range of styles, genres and authors out there.
Sure, you’ll have your favorites but you’ll also have your mind opened to a wide range of story ideas and writing talent.
Do you have a favourite Genre to both read and to write?
I’ll read anything, but I’m partial to a well-written biography (never an autobiography, unless it’s about and by a writer. Spare me cricketers and football players trying to write their own stories. Yeah, nah, did it all for the team, one week at a time … ugh.)
While I read across a number of genres, if you were looking for common ground among them, it would possibly be the fact it’s clever writing or is plotted well. They are two things I like to take into my writing. My genre is probably best matched to Slipstream if you’re familiar with it. A bit of contemporary, a bit of speculative.
Did you have any favourite authors growing up who have influenced you?
Robert Ludlum was, an remains, a hero of mine. I loved the way he plotted his books and painted scenery from some exotic far-flung places.
I met him at a book signing when I was a teenager in the late 1980s. He’d made his way down to Adelaide on a book tour, so I couldn’t get there fast enough. His advice to me that day on how to be a pantser trapped in a plotter’s body is how I write today.
When did you know you wanted to be an author?
When I was a kid, sitting at the kitchen table with a pencil in my hand. Apparently I declared when I was very young that I was going to be a journalist and a writer when I grew up.
I ticked that first box early in my career and now that my debut novel – The Baggage Handler – is coming out next month, I’ll be ticking the second one as well.
How did you go about becoming an author?
I finally bit the bullet. I began writing professionally when I graduated as a journalist in 1990.
Fiction writing was always something I was going to do … one day. All these ideas for novels came to me, which I politely filed away for that day in the future when all the financial ducks were lined up. That would allow me to comfortably approach the task of writing without the expectation of getting paid. When I had enough money or enough clients behind me so I could safely take the plunge into what is a vocation not flushed with cash, I would take them out of my folder, and write fiction. (I currently have 17 storyboards sitting there waiting to be fleshed out into living breathing stories).
I finally got serious about writing fiction in 2015, took out the story I thought would resonate the most with readers and wrote it. It was called Pastor Swap and it finalled in a few American Christian Fiction competitions. It didn’t progress beyond that – and may be published one way – but it was the start.
If you were not a writer what would you like to be?
I would be running my own restaurant, or building a sustainable farm.
Or maybe be a travel writer, combining my two great loves.
Outside reading and writing what do you like to do?
See the previous answer, and you can throw in sport. I’ll watch anything, anywhere, and have a favourite team in just about every sporting competition in the world.
I’m also big on music – I play bass and have an iPhone full of the most eclectic playlists you can imagine. I’ve also factored that into my writing… I bury Easter Eggs relating to music in my novels.
And I enjoy watching comedy, although I won’t watch just anything. I prefer my comedy to actually be funny which means if it’s got a laugh track, I’m outta here.
Do you have a place you love to visit or would love to visit?
I loved visiting Singapore when I was lecturing for the University of South Australia. I went there 28 times and just feel at home in the humidity and hawker stalls.
I loved Nashville – if you love cooking and music, who could go wrong in the capital of BBQ and guitars? And Japan was amazing – incredible culture and food.
As for “would love to visit”, I would love to visit France and Canada. I studied five years of French in high school and I’ve had a fascination with Canada for as long as I can remember.
If you could have a meal with 3 living people who would you choose and why?
Sir Paul McCartney. I could listen to him talk about music, the history of the Beatles and songwriting forever.
Eric Idle. Anyone who can talk comedy and music is someone I want to share a meal with. Plus we could spend all night talking about Monty Python sketches.
Michael Jordan. I’m not just impressed with his sporting ability, I am awestruck by his approach to work and his attitude. The way he went about practice to ensure perfection is incredible. I would love to hear about that.
Finally can you tell us about your latest release. Where can buy the book and where can we find you on the web?
Sure, here’s the blurb:
A hothead businessman coming to the city for a showdown meeting to save his job. A mother of three hoping to survive the days at her sister’s house before her niece’s wedding. And a young artist pursuing his father’s dream so he can keep his own alive.
When David, Gillian, and Michael each take the wrong suitcase from baggage claim, the airline directs them to retrieve their bags at a mysterious facility in a deserted part of the city. There they meet the enigmatic Baggage Handler, who shows them there is more in their baggage than what they have packed and carrying it with them is slowing them down in ways they can’t imagine. They must deal with it before they can leave.
It’s a modern-day parable to inspire people to think about the things slowing them down in their own lives.
The Baggage Handler is available from March 5 but is also available for pre-order through Amazon.
You can read excerpts on my web site (www.davidrawlings.com.au) and if you sign up for my newsletter you’ll also get some free short stories – one titled The Funeral and another called Gustav’s Bench.
Thanks again for being on our blog.