Why do I write?

Several people have asked me why I write and where I get my ideas from. After answering this question on Stage 32, a resource for writers of all disciplines, I put down the following.

 

After reading the first couple of chapters of H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds, in school, I took the book home and finished it that evening. Since then, I’ve always written.

Whether it be short-stories, poems, film-reviews, interviews with the famous or full novels, I’ve always loved the putting together of words to describe something in a specific way.

I was fortunate enough to meet and interview Clive Barker, Terry Pratchett, James Herbert and many other writers and their responses when I asked them what advice they’d give to an aspiring writer was consistent. “Don’t give up. Keep writing. You will get better and better” they all said.

Clive Barker, and his horror work in particular, was inspiring to me and so I wrote. I was published in film magazines such as Samhain and Starburst along with articles and stories for various fanzines, but it wasn’t until I put into words the telling of a personal tragedy that things really kicked off for me.

Access Denied, the true story of an emotional trauma and the subsequent battle I had with corrupt and despicable organisations, was self-published as my first book. It met with immediate success – to date, it has 100% positive reviews! People who read it told me I had a real talent for writing with many of them telling me that once they started reading it that they couldn’t stop. “I couldn’t put it down.” several have said. I was humbled but ecstatic.

The self-publishing boom enabled me to look at some things I’d been working on, revise and complete them and publish them. I write fiction primarily, loving the short-story form and poems, and the responses to my horror books (The Roots of Evil and The Wretched) has been phenomenal.

It’s a hard slog though. The writing bit is easy. But getting people to buy your books and marketing them is a massive struggle in a world that’s saturated with talent (and non-talent). It’s very difficult to get people to try something new. There seems to be no end of competitions which appear to be nothing but exercises in making someone else money, so I tend to only enter those that are free or cheap.

I have already won several awards but real success (to the point – as Arthur C. Clarke did – where his book sales earned more than his day job so he could give up the day job) eludes me presently.

I clearly have something of worth on those pages. What I write is not to everyone’s taste, but a lot out there really like it. If only they’d leave reviews and tell all their friends, I might make a few more pennies. Despite all this, I soldier on, hoping for that big break, to get my stories in front of the right people, living in anticipation that the word-of-mouth explosion will occur. As Clive, James and Terry suggested, I’ve never given up. I’ve come close but my love of creating stories and visions for people is something I’m passionate about and I’m always drawn back to those ideas, some of which come in dreams. Expanding upon them to create a world and characters which people love and enjoy taking the journey with is very rewarding, even if it’s not financially enriching.

Getting that finished book in my hands, all those months or years of effort coming to fruition, is a feeling like no other. And, one day, I’m sure I’ll be on a train or in a park somewhere and see someone reading one of my books. When that happens, I know I’ll be humbled but ecstatic once more. Something to look forward to.

You can follow my blog at www.davidegates.com or my author page on Facebook @davidegatesauthor where you can find details of all of my books and free short-stories to download or buy.

Thank you.

All Books

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