Today we talk to David Whelan
Q) Tell us something about yourself.
Hi, I’m David Whelan from a small village called Monamolin in County Wexford, Ireland. I currently live in Clonmel with my wife and cat, Fudge. I’m just an average bloke with the usual interests in life such as football and wrestling, music and film and of course writing. Nothing out of the ordinary about me, well not yet anyway!
Q) Tell us about your latest book. Why do you think the readers will like it?
My book, The Silent Saga: Desolate is a Sci-Fi Adventure novel that is the first in a saga telling the story of the survivors of a war that started when the Universe was silenced all at the one time. Having been posted on Mandrania for peace talks, much like Babylon 5, a long war had ended but when such an event as universal silence from all off world bases and ships happen, they all blame each other and start to fight again on this new alien planet. Nobody can be contacted and nobody comes to them. Six years have passed when the primary story starts and from here, the mysterious silence will be talked about in this book and later expanded on in later books.
As to why I think readers will like it is because it is a throwback to the space opera stories of the seventies and eighties. I intended the story to be familiar to what readers will know, focusing on clichéd sci-fi fare instead of trying to reinvent the genre. It is a simple story without unnecessary twists and turns. It is quick paced with moments of fun and characters that have just enough depth but not overly complicated.
Q) How did you come up with the title of the book?
Didn’t really think to hard into it. I was writing away with the idea that the whole universe was silenced at once by a powerful enemy and it seemed quite apt to call it The Silent Saga. I always intended it to be a saga of six books before I settled on the titled anyway.
Q) What kind of research did you do for your book?
I have been researching all my life really. Reading sci-fi, watching films and watching TV shows. The characters and the story come from an amalgamation of many of these previous shows and books. On the technical side, I have called upon the services of online science sites and contacted physicists so as to have the engines and weaponry somewhat believable.
Q) Which of the Characters in your book are your favourites and why?
Well the main man himself, David Markesh, would be the obvious choice but I quite like Jeffries, the hardnosed commander who is cynical and thinks of nothing only the military. He is a bit of a loner but when the chips are down, he’s the man for the fight.
Q) How did you formulate this character? Is it based on someone you know?
He is based in many ways on Stephen Lang’s character from Avatar but with more of a vulnerability to him in that he has suffered a family loss at the hands of one of the enemies because of his involvement in the war. As such, he keeps to himself. But to show his weaker side, I incorporated the idea that the main character David Markesh ends up his second in command and makes him echo his commands but in a more friendly way. This keeps him appear mean to others but in reality he is hurting inside. So really he is Colonel Miles Quaritch (Lang) with some of Jack O’ Neill from Stargate. Which is my favourite franchise by the way.
Q) Every Author has a distinct writing style. How would you describe your style and how do you think you came to form it?
Ah the technical question. I can’t say I have a very good technical grasp of writing or indeed a distinct style but I do in many ways write as though I am a fan. I write each chapter thinking what I would like to see, what would create some action and what would create a domino effect for more action. Of course having done this on the first draft I end up cutting a fair bit of it but as a result, I have learned what not to put in because it seems exciting. My style incorporates getting to the point as quick as possible and some may say that this leaves characters and stories a bit thin. But others will like its quick pace and the fact that if flows without fuss. As to how I came to form it, well it’s probably because I’m not that brilliant a writer to add depth and definition to the story. But I am only at the start of this journey so bare with me.
Q) How long have you been working on this book and what inspired you to write it?
In all it took about six months to write it and then an additional three months to make some changes that I felt where needed. I don’t write professionally so I don’t get as much time to write as is needed. Like many writers out there, it’s a pastime or hobby after work. What inspired me, well really it’s just the enjoyment I get from Sci-Fi and alien worlds, ships and fantastic physics ideas needed to travel vast distances. I find it fascinating and so I wanted to create my own world, with scope for expansion and spin-offs. I wanted to start my very own self indulgent galactic neighbourhood.
Q) When did you start writing and when did you realize you want to become an Author?
I have been writing for eighteen years now, since I was a teenager but I started off writing scripts for film and television as a hobby. I still do and have also had minor recognition in that field. I wrote a novel for the first time about eight years ago. But it was a romantic comedy; nothing inspired me for it as I just started writing one day and ended up with it. It was enjoyable however and then I wrote bits of novels, never really finishing them as was the case with many scripts until I finished The Silent Saga: Desolate. I have always wanted to be involved in writing in any form, even trying songs. Novels give me the greater scope to create a whole new world and thus a greater involvement in the story.
Q) Who are some of the Authors you like and how do you think their work inspired you?
I enjoy Derek Gunn, The Vampire Apocalypse series of books and Pittacus Lore and The Lorien Legacies. The reason why I connect with these is the quick paced writing and the constant involvement in the story. There isn’t much deliberating and pages of unnecessary description for a simple thing. Some other books, although fantastical in nature, have too many words to get to a point. Some people will prefer this but I much prefer a fast paced book.
Q) What do you think is the most difficult part about writing and publishing a novel?
The most difficult part is finishing off a book. Starting is fine but finishing the book in a way that paves the way for the next book without giving away too much was tough. If it was too blunt it would seem a quick finish as though interest was lost. If it dragged on to try and make sure the reader gets the second book then it would be boring. The ending has to be just right. I found this the hardest. As regards to publishing, I went the Print on demand way and did the kindle version myself. It was easy enough however getting noticed is not so easy. Marketing is the biggest part of it and it is also the hardest. Finding readers and buyers of the book is proving difficult which is the negative side of the easy publishing route.
Q) What is some advice you will like to give to people trying to write and get their stories published?
Keep at it, never give up and remember; people will not like it, people will think it’s just not good enough. But others will like it, and others will appreciate what you’ve created because at the end of the day, we all have different tastes. One person will say no, one will say yes so keep the heads up and believe in yourself.
Q) Tell us something about what you are working on or about some of your future projects.
I’m working on the second part of the saga which I hope will be out in April 2014. I’m also involved as an assistant writer in a low-budget thriller film which is in Post Production. It is called Tangled Alibi’s, made in Dublin and will be my first involvement in the film industry.
Q) From amongst all the novels ever published if you had to write any one, which one would it be and why?
The Silent Saga: Desolate by me ha. But other than that, I guess we all appreciate the stories of Stephen King, Philip K. Dick and Arthur C. Clarke. As to why, well there just legends at what they do.
Q) If you had to convince someone to read your book in 5 lines what would they be?
Lost and alone with no-one to help them, not even reply to them, the last known survivors of the universe fight till the end. But the powerful force that caused the silence is coming, and it has one last planet to silence. In a story of struggle, hope and resilience, the survivors live on in a tale that reads like a mix of Babylon 5, Terra Nova and Lost. Desolate is where it all begins and sets in motion an epic saga that will even tinge your nerves and may even frighten you. The silence is coming, are you ready!
Buy The Book From : http://www.amazon.co.uk/Silent-Saga-David-Whelan/dp/1781765731
Amazon (Other Regions) : http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-silent-saga-david-whelan/1114913088?ean=9781781765739,
Website : http://www.thesilentsaga.com/
Facebook : www.facebook.com/thesilentsaga
Twitter : www.twitter.com/thesilentsaga
Goodreads : www.goodreads.com/DWauthor