Tuesday 28 August 2018

Interview: David Lea

entangled-earth, david-lea, book

This week, I am excited to be welcoming sci-fi/thriller author David Lea to The Writing Greyhound! Keep on reading to find out what happened when David and I sat down for a chat...

Firstly, please could you introduce yourself?
I grew up in Cheshire, not including a year in Washington DC as an impressionable 7-year-old. In my 20s I moved to London where I spent 10 years as a Forensic Scientist. 7 years ago I became a Business Analyst, which I now do as a contractor in London. A couple of years ago I moved to West Sussex near Brighton where I appear to be in a weather bubble where it’s always sunny, or maybe it’s just global warming.
How did you first become interested in writing?
While my wife was doing her PhD I had a lot of free time and I’d always liked being creative. Without the support of a major film studio behind me, I was never going to get my ideas on screen so writing seemed like the next best thing.
Tell me about Entangled Earth.
Do you remember that bit in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade where Indy steps out onto nothing? Take that invisible bridge (ignoring that it turned out to be just an illusion) and extrapolate it into an entire planet. That’s the key to Entangled Earth. It’s a journey through a world where a planet has invisibly embedded itself into the Earth and while life continues undisturbed on the unaware invisible planet, every movement is totally destructive to the Earth. A lot of people die.
Why did you decide to write in the thriller genre?
I’ve never been keen on writing long slow thought pieces and I love a good twist. I’m really looking forward to my friends reading Entangled Earth so I can discuss the ending with them.
What drew you to writing sci-fi?
Sci-fi has been my favourite genre for years. I love the idea that I can create an entire world, that anything can happen. Under Three Skies, my next book, goes deeper into the sci-fi genre with spaceships and an artificial barrier covering the Earth.
Did you have to do any research for the book?
I took a trip to Paris with my wife and wandered about on the Eiffel tower for an hour taking photos. It’s a hard life!
How did you get inspiration?
I've got a big folder full of ideas, most of then very silly, but occasionally something will jump out at me as suitable for an actual story. Once I have an idea that I want to work on the inspiration seems to come naturally.
david-lea, author

What’s your writing process?
With Entangled Earth the first concept came to me, then the ending. With this in mind, the rest of the story was only lightly planned out when I started writing. I tried to do some every day but that doesn’t always work out.
What’s the hardest thing about writing?
Definitely motivation. Under Three Skies sat at 45000 words for six months while I got completely distracted with moving house and work. I’m back in the zone now but getting past a big chunk of not writing can be hard.
What do you love most about writing?
Creating ideas. If I could skip the writing process and just tell someone what I wanted to happen I’d definitely be tempted!
Which authors inspire you?
I’m a big fan of some of Michael Crichton’s work. The adventure set around a science experiment gone wrong story that frames Entangled Earth is classic Crichton.
Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
Just start writing. All the other stuff can come later but you won't get anywhere without something written. Your first project won't be perfect but you won't improve without feedback and you won't get feedback without putting what you've written out there.
What are you currently working on?
I'm about 50,000 words into Under Three Skies. It's a bigger beast than Entangled Earth, a more ambitious wider scope sci-fi novel covering different planets and time periods with a few good twists thrown in.
What are you reading at the moment?
Authority, part two of the Southern Reach trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer. I really enjoyed the first one, and the film, but I’m finding book two a bit hard going.
What’s your all-time favourite book?
As far as the book I’ve read the most time, definitely Lord of the Rings. I read it roughly once a year as a child. All-time favourite has to be either Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton or The Dice Man by Luke Rhinehart.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
The dream would be to see something I’ve written adapted for the screen.
What are your interests outside of writing and reading?
In between writing, I collect Alternative Move posters and screen prints and occasionally try to persuade my friends to go skiing.
Entangled Earth is available to buy now. For more about David and his writing, you can check out his website.

Will you be reading the book? Let me know in the comments below!

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