David Clement-Davies Interview

We managed to steal some time from the amazing Author of The Sight, David Clement-Davis

Aoife: Did you always want be a writer?

David: Like everyone, Aoife (where does your name come from?) I wanted to be many things, but I think the admiration for writers and poets went deep in my family. When I left Uni I wanted to be an actor, and still hanker. But being a writer is really about just doing it, and believing. All of us think we're somehow frauds, when we start, and when I would mumble 'I'm a writer', most people thought I was a waiter!

Jaz: Who are the writers or artists who have been most influential to you?

David: Poets first, Jaz, though the book that truly gripped a writing soul was Lord of the Rings. A little novel called Moonfleet too, seared into an imagination. I loved the classic storytellers, the adventure writers from Stevenson, to the Hornblower books. Then there are those novels on the cusp of 'children's books' and the adult world, like Call of the Wild. Watership Down was crucial in taking me towards animal writing, because in a tale of honest rabbit folk, it employs the full, sweeping grandeur of a literary tradition that stretches back to the Greek dramatists. Richard Adams gave me my first very positive review. Favourite novelists now range from Bulgakov and Tolstoy, to Orwell, Huxley, Amis, Philip Pulman and Franzen.
Lindsey: What inspired you to write?

David: It's all wrapped up in early adventures, Lindsay, but my father would pay me a fiver sometimes to learn chunks of poetry, and was a brilliant storyteller himself. He was a powerful inspiration.

Allyson: What drew you to writing fantasy?

David: I guess that's a key question, Allyson, though I have written many things. The danger for a writer is getting type cast, yet I suppose fantasy is at the root of that big question of what writing is for. Is it just a good story, entertainment, or a search for truth? Often despised 'children's fantasy' is at the core of the human journey, from our intrinsic storytelling makeup, to facing the 'reality' of the world, and I think an actual shift in consciousness. It is also about losing the 'God' belief.

Jayne: When you are writing do you like peace & quiet or the normal everyday noise?

David: Peace and quiet, Jayne, though when you are locked inside your head, you can shut many things out! I want to be living in a big house in the country, but have always found myself a city boy. Perhaps that's why the nature writing, or yearning, is so strong.

Raven :Who is your publisher as I am in great demand of changeing mine?

David: Raven, you make me fall over laughing, because the story of Phoenix Ark Press is about the battles with my own publishers. I'm trying now to publish myself, and fight back for committed writers. Did they behave badly, because they often do? Can an author, who is of course first interested in their own work, lead the field in protecting others a little?

Siobhan: You have written novels and the one that stands out for me is Sight. I love wolves and this is intriguing, what made you decide you wanted to write a novel about wolves?

David: The Sight came out of many things. A real journey to Romania, where there are many real wolves, werewolf and vampire legends too, and in the harshness of it, questions about the nature of a writer's vision. But the truth is it came out of Fire Bringer, and being given the chance to write a second book. So I had to find an animal that would give me a different approach. The answer was a predator, darker and more complex. It was later I discovered how remarkable wolves are, especially in pack loyalties and mutual support, and later I met many and became patron of the Wolf Trust.

Siobhan: Out of all the amazing novels you have written if you have to pick one that you could life in which would it be?

David: Fire Bringer, because it was the first and in a sense the purest. I think it is also the best written of them all

Siobhan: What is next for David?

David: Who knows, Siobhan, it depends if I can get a publisher to work. That means raising the money to do it properly, and compete in a ferocious market, where writers are often trampled on, and shelves stacked with pulp, celebrity autos, and the big bestsellers. If you all start coming to phoenixarkpress.com, that would help. I am serializing a free story there, Dragon in the Post, and I've just put up our first film, 'Making all our writers the stars', that captures the dream and the energy. Can I make it all real?! That depends on readers.

Thanks for all your questions, and hope I've answered fully.


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