He is the GOLD winner of the Dan Poynter’s Global eBook Awards 2016 for the category Fantasy/Other Worlds for his debut novel Duilleog, the first novel in his New Druids series.
Donald lives with his wife Marilyn, son James, daughter Katherine, and dog Woody, in Ottawa, Canada.
Donald is currently working on Stoc, the third volume in the New Druid series, and a sci-fi novel involving nanobots from 3 billion years ago. Both novels are due out in Summer 2017.
What inspires you to write?
Writing is a simple pleasure and that lets me expose the world to the fantasy I imagine in my head. In a way, it’s a matter of cracking open my skull and letting all the story out. I’m inspired by the great authors who came before me. They let me escape to their worlds. This is me giving back.
Tell us about your writing process.
I usually just get an idea. A simple one at first. Then I expand on it. Usually while running or doing anything. Then I see an ending. A way everything can go and then I wonder how I could get there. Then it all falls into place. I create a rough outline but then discover whilst writing that there is all this other stuff I hadn’t seen for the trees. Then it magically comes together.
Scrivener is my tool of choice. I own a MacBook Air because of that program. Scrivener allows so much for an author of any calibre to make use of and grow. And keep track of everything.
I need to be in the right frame of mind to write. That’s what writer’s block is: finding the right zone. I could write anytime but I write so much better when everything is right.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I listen to my characters. Oh my, goodness do I ever. Sometimes when I am writing dialogue I have no idea what they are going to say until they say it. Sometimes it surprises me. I find it easy to hear their voices. Know their loves and hates. To know that they talk a certain way. Or act a certain way. They are unique and individuals in my head. I hear them loud and clear.
What advice would you give other writers?
This is going to sound trite: Just write. For all that is good in this world, it comes down to one effing thing: write. If this was about painting I would say paint. It is the huge frakking DUH in the world of writing. Write.
Right. So. Then force yourself to write to at least chapter four. It is my magic number for writing. Once you hit four you are on your way and there is no stopping.
Then learn to be patient. Research self-publishing. Try sending your manuscript to publishing houses. So what if they don’t accept it? There is so many reasons why they won’t accept it. And nothing good as far as I can tell. It’s like a lottery. You could send them the next Harry Potter and they likely would not recognise it. Be prepared to self-publish. Then find out how. Reach out to the communities and ask for help. Authors love to help others because we have all been down that path.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I always wanted to self-publish. They are my novels written my way and in my voice. They aren’t perfect but they are mine. Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing has revolutionised publishing. I doubt we will ever go back to the old way.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Self-Publishing is the future. Heck, it’s here now. The big publishing houses and retail stores are dying a painful death. I predict in 3-5 years the major houses will start to crumble and close down. Barnes and Noble, Chapters, etc cannot compete.
What genres do you write?: Fantasy
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.