Name: David Moody
Where are you from: Birmingham, UK
A little about your self – ie your education Family life etc.
I thought it might be easier to paste my author bio here… hope that’s okay!
David Moody is the author of the HATER and AUTUMN series. He grew up in Birmingham, England, on a diet of horror movies and post-apocalyptic fiction. He started his career working at a bank, but then decided to write the kind of fiction he loved. His first novel, Straight to You, had what Moody calls “microscopic sales,” and so when he wrote Autumn, he decided to publish it online. The book became a sensation and has been downloaded by half a million readers. He started his own publishing company, Infected Books. He lives in Britain with his wife and a houseful of daughters, which may explain his preoccupation with Armageddon.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
David: The final book in my Hater series (Them or Us) was released last November, and the last in my long-running Autumn series (Autumn: Aftermath) is out next month.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
David: I always wanted to be a film-maker, but with no relevant experience and no means of getting any, I ended up working in a bank after I left school. But I had a burning desire to tell my stories, and so began writing them in novel form instead. I began writing seriously in 1994, and had my first novel (Straight to You) published in 1996.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
David: As soon as I’d finished the final draft of my first book – mid-1994, I guess.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
David: I think I’ve already covered that! A burning desire to tell stories, coupled with a burning desire not to be working in a bank!
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
David: I think most authors do, though it does vary somewhat from book to book. I tend to write in quite a simple, uncluttered way, I think. My stories are direct and to the point, and are not overburdened by unnecessary description or length. I write about very ordinary people, who find themselves in wholly extraordinary situations.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
David: I try and pick meaningful, yet memorable titles. Autumn – the books are set between September and January, and they deal with the death of millions of people. They lie dead on the ground like leaves fallen from trees. Autumn just seemed to fit the tone of the series perfectly. Hater – when I first wrote the book (2006), the slang use of Hater was unheard of here in the UK. In the books, people turn against each other, and their actions are initially misconstrued as hatred – hence the name. The sequel Dog Blood has an interesting title! It comes from a line in the book which came to me early on during the writing process. A Hater is about to kill one of the ‘normal’ people (the Unchanged). The Unchanged, with her dying breath, says ‘You’re not human… you’re an animal. You’ve got dog blood running through your veins’. The final book in the series is a dark and gloomy affair about the end of the war between the two sides. Them or Us seemed a perfect title!
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
David: Yes. Plenty. I guess with the Hater books, the message is quite simple – kicking hell out of each other doesn’t do anyone any good. No matter how just you think you are in your actions, acting aggressively towards other human beings will send all of us down an inevitable downward spiral.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
David: None of my books are realistic, in that I write about such lovely things as zombies. But I hope there is some realism there… as I’ve already mentioned, I write about ordinary people, and I try to anchor events in familiar, realistic-feeling locations. I think that helps ramp up the horror!
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
David: To an extent. Many of my characters reflect people that I know/have known, and although I’m often vague with names and geographic locations, my books tend to take place in areas I know well.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most?
David: I always cite the same book whenever I’m asked this question – The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham. It was the first post-apocalyptic novel I read (and I was far too young at the time!), and it really opened my eyes to the power of speculative fiction. I was also amazed that he could make a story about the human race being blinded then attacked by eight foot tall, carnivorous walking plants feel real!
Fiona: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
David: Again, John Wyndham. Either him or Nigel Kneale, the creator of Quatermass.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
David: I’ve just this minute finished Juggernaut by Adam Baker, the sequel to his hit horror novel Outpost. The books have done really well in the UK recently, and are about to be launched in the US.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
David: Adam Baker, Wayne Simmons. Two excellent UK-based horror authors, and nice chaps too!
Fiona: What are your current projects?
David: I have several on the go now that I’ve delivered all the Autumn and Hater books! I’m working on revised versions of two of my earlier novels which are currently out of print (Trust and Straight to You), and I’m also planning and/or writing two further standalone novels and a five book horror/science-fiction series. On top of that, I’m also working with a UK based director on a horror movie which we’re hoping to film in summer this year.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
David: Other authors. There’s a close-knit community of zombie authors I’m proud to be a part of. Wonderful folks.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
David: It is my career. I’ve been writing full-time since 2008.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
David: No. Once a book is published, I don’t dare think like that. There will always be changes you can make, I guess, but once it’s out, it’s out.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
David: I think I covered that a little back at the start. I’d always had a flair for creative writing at school, and when I couldn’t immediately get into movie making, writing was a logical next step.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
David: If you visit www.lastoftheliving.net you can read over 120,000 words of fiction which compliment and expand the Autumn books.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
David: Not in the act of writing itself. It’s difficult to prioritise and plan when you’re a). juggling many projects and b). working from home! My kids often don’t realise how much work I have on. I think it would be easier if I hired an office!
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
David: I think I’ve already answered that one!
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
David: I regularly visit conventions and events, and I try to do a lot of signings. Unfortunately time constraints mean I don’t get to do as much as I’d like, and I don’t tend to get anywhere outside the UK.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
David: When I self-published (between 2001-2008), I designed all my own covers. Since signing with other publishers, however, they’ve handled all the design work (apart from the publishers of Hater in the US and several other countries who opted for variations on my original design). You can see all the covers at www.infectedbooks.co.uk
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
David: This may sound arrogant, but I don’t find writing a book hard. It takes a huge amount of effort and time, of course, but writing’s never a chore. If I had to give an answer, though, I’d say completing the first draft is the most difficult part of the process. That’s where the story stops being an idea and becomes a book, and it’s where you get to learn about your characters and the events you’re putting them through.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
David: That’s a difficult question to answer. I think I’d have to say that I learn more about the craft of writing from every book I complete. I hope that’s not too vague an answer!
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
David: Stick at it. When I was working at the bank, a senior manager once told me that if you want to succeed in anything, you need courage and luck. And if you’ve got enough courage, he said, then you don’t need any luck! Don’t expect overnight success. Work hard, keep working hard, then work harder!
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
David: I talk to my readers all the time via my website, Facebook and Twitter. I guess I’d just want to say thank you to every last person who has picked up one of my books and taken the time to read it.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done ?
David: Good question! Apart from a film-maker as I’ve already mentioned, I don’t really know. I guess an explorer, if that doesn’t sound too cheesy. I’d love the opportunity to see more of the world.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? if so what is it?
David: Indeed I do! Here’s a list!