Today we welcome David O’Neil, all the way from the Highlands of Scotland.
Book ‘Em: Tell us about you and your life outside of writing.
David O’Neil: I was born before the war, and spent my early years surviving in London and Glasgow from the age of seven, enjoying the excitement of being bombed and having disturbed nights. As a child the death and destruction was overshadowed by the excitement of seeing vapour trails in the skies of dog-fights during the day and the gunfire of the AA guns during the raid nights. I was also bombed out one night and lived the rest of the war in Glasgow and elsewhere in London. I worked briefly in London and served in the RAF during my National Service, where I learned to fly. I returned to my London job but after three years I joined the Colonial Police and served for 8 years in Central Africa in what is now Malawi. I returned to UK and worked six years in the Hi Industry, before spending several years as an independent Management Consultant. I returned to Scotland finally in 1980 and became a tour guide. I retired from guiding in 2015.
Book ‘Em: What books have you written? What are they about and why did you choose to write them? Do your books have a message? Are they fiction or nonfiction?
David O’Neil: I started by writing Guide books and had published three when my wife informed me that she would need more than the guide books to keep her, I should write a blockbuster. I have been trying ever since. My first three books were a trilogy of thrillers, from then on I have written a mélange of Historic Naval stories of the 18th -19th century, also WW11 sea stories. I am currently writing a Romantic thriller about Provence and the wine industry, and an espionage thriller in the present day. All my books are fiction and any message apart from my frustration with the eternal bickering of politicians who have no empathy with the public.
Book ‘Em: Do you have a work in progress?
David O’Neil: I am currently writing a Romantic thriller about Provence and the wine industry, and an espionage thriller in the present day. 4) What was the most difficult section/piece you ever wrote? What made it difficult? I confess I am a lazy writer who has found it easy so far to just sit and write, throughout my varied career I have read so many books that I cannot claim that everything I write about is original thought . I can only plead that it came from within somewhere and finished up on the page 5) What sort of research do you do for your work? Only necessary research, I hate being given an unasked for history lesson unless it is truly an essential part of the story. I notice in many cases history is quoted to the extent that the author appears to be trying to impress the reader with his erudition. I am not impressed. Anthony Richie and Simon Scarrow are examples of authors who tell enough without going overboard and the contribution of the history forms an important part of the narrative.
Book ‘Em: Which books and authors do you read for pleasure? Is there an author that inspires you?
David O’Neil: I have mentioned two above, but I also follow WEB Griffin, in all genres, Reeman, Monsarrat, Forester, John Grisham, Mark Gimenez, et al.
Book ‘Em: Was there a person who encouraged you to write?
David O’Neil: My wife started me off with the Guide books.
Book ‘Em: What would you say are your strengths as an author?
David O’Neil: I am told my books are easy to read
Book ‘Em: How often do you write, and do you write using a strict routine?
David O’Neil: Every morning until lunchtime.
Book ‘Em: Five years from now, where do you see yourself as a writer?
David O’Neil: Still hopeful and still writing
Book ‘Em: If you could offer one piece of advice to a novice writer, what would it be?
David O’Neil: Don’t give up, write every day, even if you erase it tomorrow, the discipline of writing will out in the end
Book ‘Em: What would you consider the best compliment a reader could give your book?
David O’Neil: A quote from a critic on my collection of short stories ‘Choices’, “An ideal companion to a glass of wine, on a summer afternoon”.
I’m in Amazon, Barns and Noble, Smashwords Kobe etc. My website is http://www.donnel8wixsite.com/donnelprints-