Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
My name is David Nesbit, and I am the wrong side of forty but just about the right side of fifty.
Fiona: Where are you from?
Originally from Blackpool in the UK, but I grew up in Essex and then emmigrated to Indonesia in my mid-twenties. I have been in Indonesia ever since.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
Well, as I say, I was born in Blackpool but only lived there for a few years before moving with my family to Essex. I pretty much grew up there and I left school after my A levels. I got a job working in London in the City and from there I continued my education on day release before graduating in Business Administration.
I took some time out travelling in my early twenties, and that is when I first arrived in Indonesia. I stayed for a couple of months the first time, and then came back here to live in 1993. I then retrained as a teacher and got a masters degree, and have been living, teaching and now writing in Indonesia ever since.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
Now I am working as a writer and also a teacher. I work as the Head of Department at an International School in Jakarta. I have written my first novel: Twilight in Kuta, after several years of writing short stories and opinion pieces for Indonesian media.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve always enjoyed writing ever since I was at school. I first made some real efforts to take it a bit more seriously a few years ago. I guess it was the old cliché of worrying that time was passing me by. I started with just trying to force myself to write two to three hundred words every other day and took it from there.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Well, I recently read a quote of Stephen Fry’s, and to paraphrase slightly, I don’t consider myself a writer or any noun at all: I consider myself a verb. That is, I am not a writer, rather I am a person who writes.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I think it was guilt more than anything else. I always felt that I ‘had a book in me’ but I was just too apathetic to bring it out. One day I just told myself to stop procrastinating and get on with it. I felt that I had a good tale to tell based on some of my experiences and things I’d witnessed over the years, and so I took the bull by the horns.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
That was actually almost the last thing I settled on. I had a totally different working title right up to the point of publication, but then it was changed at the last minute. The title was finally settled on after a lot of brainstorming and cups of strong coffee!
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
Well, again it’s a bit of a cliché, but I tend to stick to writing about what I know. Having lived in Asia for so long, the area and its inhabitants is probably the one thing I feel most comfortable writing about.
I have found descriptive writing in terms of describing people and places a bit of a challenge, but I think I’m slowly getting better in this area.
As for a particular writing style, well, I am not sure really. I certainly don’t try and copy anyone else’s style, and I just tend to go with the flow, really.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I would say roughly half the book is based on either events in my own life, or on things I’ve witnessed through people I’ve met during my time as an expat.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
My writing has included a reasonable amount of descriptive narration. Again, this has been based mainly on my own experiences. For someone who has lived as long as I have in Indonesia, though, I have done shamefully little traveling.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
The publishers. Nothing to do with me. Blame them J
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Well, modesty prevents me from thinking I am important enough as a person, or good enough as a writer, to be trying to get any message across to readers as such, but I would hope that anyone reading my book might be reasonably entertained, whilst at the same time being introduced to some of the wonder and fascination of Indonesia.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
I have read and enjoyed some of the work of Kathryn Bonella, who is famous for writing non-fiction books about Indonesia. She is able to see past the superficial appearances of the country and the people who live and visit here, whilst remaining impartial and non-judgemental.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
I think my students at the school where I work! I am lucky enough to teach some wonderfully creative and talented children, and seeing them develop as people and follow their dreams without fearing failure has been inspirational. If they can face life so bravely, then it’s about time I did the same!
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I would like to think so. However, reality bites and circumstances being what they are, I still need to work at my ‘proper job’ for now, too.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I don’t think so. I think I probably would be a bit braver a bit earlier in terms of actually writing it, and I would probably have got it finished quicker!
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I learnt a lot! I learnt how hard it can be to write a book that other people might want to read, but I also learnt how much fun it can be, and the sense of achievement you get when it’s finally done.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Oh my! No idea. Maybe a young Matt Dillion: a kind of nice guy who’s a bit wimpy and naïve without actually being a pushover.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Just do it! Enjoy writing and write first and foremost for pleasure. Get your ideas down and then worry about editing and revising later.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
If you have not yet had the chance to visit Indonesia, you don’t know what you’re missing.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m re-reading ‘Bali Nine: the Untold Story’ a non-fiction book written by Cindy Wockner and Madonna King detailing the famous case of the nine young Australians caught attempting to smuggle several kilogrammes of heroin out of Indonesia. A tragic tale of greed, stupidity and loss.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I think it was ‘Nobody’s House’ by Martin Hall. I was perhaps seven when I read Hall’s story of a haunted house. It scared the life out of me.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Brain Blessed makes me laugh! He lives every minute of every day at a million miles an hour and his joy and zest for life is infectious. What a man!
Tragedy makes me cry. Anything that is just ‘unfair’.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Oscar Wilde would be fun and interesting, if not a little intellectually intimidating. I think he would be inspirational, amusing and shocking all at the same time.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Well, I enjoy running and have completed a few marathons, and up to a year or so ago was still playing football. Nowadays, though, I settle for a good book, a trip to the cinema, or a nice meal with the family.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I don’t really get to watch that much TV. I will sometimes read reviews of British TV programmes on the internet and then tune-in – things like drama mini-series – or wait for the once-a year American series such as House of Cards, The Americans and Scandal, but I don’t have a great attention span when it comes to TV anymore.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
In Indonesia I love a traditional dish called Nasi Padang. It is basically a hotch-potch meal made up of rice, vegetables, eggs, beef rendang, chilli, potatoes, chicken and sauce all mixed together. It’s both wonderfully tasty and awfully unhealthy.
Musically I am a bit conservative, with old chestnuts such as the Beatles, the Stones, Elvis, the Stranglers, and the Jam still getting far too much airplay in my house, I’m afraid.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Goodness knows! I would become even lazier and more apathetic, I guess.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
“Here lies Nesbit: He was OK.”
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Not yet, but I am working on one and hopefully it will be up and running in a month or so. In the meantime, you can visit www.monsoonbooks.co.uk
Amazon Authors Page USA https://www.amazon.com/David-Nesbit/e/B01N5HKQEH/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1520863054&sr=1-2-ent