Well everyone, it is the day you've all been waiting for! Time to open the Confessional for its first use! Anyone else think that sounded as dirty as I did? Well, our first entrant into the Confessional is author David Estes. Thank you David for coming to sit with us in the confessional and share a little bit of yourself and your books with us today!
1.) What made you want to become a writer and from what authors do you draw inspiration from?
In the back of my mind, I always had this crazy notion that someday I would write books for a living, but I always found some excuse not to write. I moved to Sydney two and a half years ago for work and met my wife, who helped convince me to start writing in late 2010. Now she can’t get me to stop!
So I’m pretty much obsessed with writing now and recently began doing it full time. I published my first three books in October 2011 as a trilogy (The Evolution Trilogy: Angel Evolution, Demon Evolution, and Archangel Evolution). I have loads of other projects at the moment too, which I’ll tell you all about later.
Once I started writing, I think I knew pretty much right away that it was what I wanted to do with my life. It’s just who I am! When I’m in the throes of a writing session (I mean like living, breathing, feeling the characters, the plot, the drama), it’s the most amazing feeling in the world for me.
My inspiration comes from all different places. From the authors I look up to like Suzanne Collins, JK Rowling, and Veronica Roth, to music, to the little things you see in life as you’re walking down the street: inspiration is abundant in this world, so you always have to be ready to grab it and embrace it.
2.) Of all the genres out there why did you choose to gear your writing to children and young adults?
Ahh, so many things. I guess first and foremost it’s the chance to write for a young audience. I loved loved loved reading growing up, as both a child and teenager, so it is so exciting to help young adults and kids use their imaginations while developing a love for reading. I am also so excited about what is happening within the YA and children’s genres. The interest in it has expanded across generations and so many not-so-young adults are reading YA books these days that there are really no age restrictions anymore (I know I regularly explore the YA an children’s sections in the library!)
Although I am in the gender minority for authors in the genre, I feel right at home in the space. I am a bit of a romantic, and I prefer writing about younger characters, so it’s a perfect fit for me!
Finally, I’ve never really grown up myself, always enjoying reading books across all genres and age groups, so it was just natural that I should write in such a versatile genre.
3.) Being a writer with OCD, give us a glimpse into your writing process, how do you work through a creation?
*Laughing out loud* I guess I don’t hide my OCD too well! It’s strange really, in that my OCD manifests itself in some ways but not in others. In terms of my writing process, I don’t think my OCD has much of an impact as my process is relatively unstructured. I don’t really use an outline and tend to rely more on a set of general ideas in my head. In other words, I just sit down and start writing, letting my creativity run wild, so to speak. As the artistic juices start flowing, I tend to come up with more and more ideas, which I type below my writing as bullet points which I later organize and slot in to the appropriate sections of the book.
However, where my OCD does come into play, is in the amount that I write. When I am working on a project, I am obsessed with finishing it. I track my progress based on a planned number of words and make sure I’m writing at least 2,000 words a day. Generally by the halfway point, I start pushing my words per day up to 3,000, and in the last few days I’m hitting 4 or 5 thousand words per day. If I only hit 1,000 words in a day, or can’t write at all, I get really stressed because of my OCD!! So it’s a blessing and a curse I guess. It helps me to write quickly and finish a lot of projects, but it also stresses me out a bit when I’m not making as much progress on a book as I think I should be.
4.) Aside from quirks that come along with your OCD what other little quirks do you have that influence your writing a novel or reading one for that matter?
Ahh, I know why Martha’s asking me this. She and I know each other quite well from Goodreads, so she knows I can be nuttier than Snickers bar. Well, let’s see, where do I start? I guess the first thing is that my characters talk to me…literally. Like I can’t get them out of my head. Day, night, and everywhere in between they are talking to me, which is why I am constantly on my iPhone, jotting down what they’re saying.
Another weird thing is that I’m somehow able to stop and start writing in an instant. My wife, Adele, is amazed by this. I can go from having a conversation with her, to opening up my laptop, taking 30 seconds to read the last couple of sentences from my last writing session, and writing five hundred words without taking a breather or even thinking about it (about twenty minutes of solid writing). I don’t know where it comes from, but that’s what has allowed me to write 9 books in 18 months.
The same principle applies with my reading. I’m obsessive and able to pick up a book and read only a paragraph at a time. Adele calls me ‘Brick’, after the child character from the TV show The Middle. In the show, Brick is constantly reading no matter where he is. That’s me. We’ll be watching TV and then a commercial will come on and Adele will run back into the kitchen to get a drink, and when she comes back, I will have my book out, trying to sneak in a page before the show comes back on!
5.) With your Evolution trilogy, why did you chose a non-religious take on the angels and demons? Why evolution?
Mostly because I always just have to be different! I’d read a few angels series and enjoyed them, but they all seemed to be similar in that the plot involved fallen angels and some level of religious focus. I just wanted to try something new and thought it would be cool to create completely brand new angels and demons, who were simply humans in a highly evolved state. I’ve received so much positive feedback on the concept that I know I made the right decision—I think the concept is completely unique to Angel Evolution, which I’m quite proud of.
6.) What projects are you currently working on?
My current project is a YA dystopian series written from the perspective of two characters in alternating chapters. Without giving two much away, the two characters (one male and one female) come from very different walks of life, but are thrust together unexpectedly. As their lives intertwine, they must seek to bring balance to a world that is out of control. I’ve finished the first book, called The Moon Dwellers, which I will release on June 30th of this year!
I have also recently finished a YA novel about a boy with a very unique disability and one hell of a sense of humor who meets loads of interesting teenagers on a suspenseful yet funny adventure to uncover the truth about the father he never knew. This book is scheduled for release on July 31st of this year.
I have also completed the first four books in a children's series aimed at kids between the ages of 7 and 10. It's a classic superhero story about a girl who meets a strange animal who leads her to a treasure chest in the middle of the forest. The chest contains a gift that allows the girl to perform miraculous feats. I have another two books planned for the series, which I will be working to complete in 2012, although the first four books in the series will be published on August 31st 2012.
My remaining projects range from a variety of children's novels from the fantastical to the downright silly, to my next venture into YA fantasy, and to the creation of an adult suspense/mystery series with a strong and interesting male character. I have written the first page of more books than I can count without taking off my shoes!
7.) Recently you announced that you’d be spending time travelling with your wife, Adele, what are some of the places that you want to see in the two years you will be traveling?
We are so fortunate to have the opportunity to travel for the next two years while I write fulltime. We’ll be on a very tight budget, so we’ll be sticking to countries and places where we’ll be able to lock in relatively cheap accommodation.
We haven’t planned it all out yet as we want to stay flexible, but here is a rough itinerary:
Hawaii- two months to see our close friends and relax!
Nashville- one week to get our country music fix
Pittsburgh- 1 month to see my parents, brother, and sister, go Steelers!
Florida- 1 month to see Adele’s cousin and nieces
Caribbean and Mexico- 4-5 months just because we want to!
Morocco, the Mediterranean, and Asia- 12 months. We haven’t made detailed plans this far ahead yet!
So all in all it will be the experience of a lifetime and promises to provide me with plenty of inspiration for my next books!
8.) When can we expect new material from you publishing wise?
For the rest of 2012, I will publish at least one book per month. I know it sounds like a crazy amount of new material, but my backlist of unpublished works currently sits at 6 books, so it shouldn’t be a problem! The first of the parade of new books, my YA dystopian The Moon Dwellers, will be published on June 30th 2012!! I can’t wait to see what my readers and fans think!!
9.) If you could ask one of the characters in your head any question, what would it be?
I’ve actually been thinking about this for a while. I’d ask Adele, the main character in my new book, The Moon Dwellers, whether she ever gets scared. Because honestly I don’t know. She seems so tough throughout the book but I just think there’s another layer to her that will come out eventually. But until I write it, I’m not sure.
Thank you so much Martha for the awesome interview questions and for including me as the first author in your new interview series!! I’d love to hear comments and feedback from everyone via one of my social networking sites below. Happy reading!
My blog/website: http://davidestesbooks.
My Facebook page/s: http://www.facebook.com/pages/
My Goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/
Where you can buy my books:
Amazon in print or Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/David-
Smashwords in ebook: https://www.smashwords.com/