Q & A with David McLean

Why did you decide to write your book?

Writing and literature have always been important to me. The stories we hear and pass on are our culture. An opportunity arose that afforded me the time to take on the challenge of trying to write more seriously and consistently and so I took it. The ‘Riddle-Quest’ series was a chance to utilize my imagination and explore what I could do creatively. I wanted to see if I had more than just one book in me – the first being, ‘Finding Coaby’.

Who/what inspired you to write?

My first book, Finding Coaby, was a story waiting to be told. My niece was diagnosed with clinical depression at the age of fourteen. Other events in her life made it the stuff of literature. I also thought that involving her in the telling of her story might be a way of addressing the diagnosis. My second series, Riddle-Quest, was a way of establishing if I could, in fact, be more than a one story wonder.

What was the most rewarding part of the writing process?

One could say finishing – but having others identify with characters in the story or appreciate what you have done or are trying to communicate is very worthwhile.

What are your top tips for writing a book?

Persevere. Persevere. Persevere.

Which books/authors have inspired you?

Eoin Colfer is delightfully imaginative. Victor Kelleher’s work. Greene. Steinbeck.

Why did you decide to self publish and why Palmer Higgs?

A sense of impatience was there with the formal publishing industry but I knew my market and how to access it which encouraged me to venture out on my own. I also had several educational publications behind me and could dovetail with the marketing done in that field.

What do you hope your readers get out of your book?

Finding Coaby provides an insight – but not a solution – to adolescent depression. So there’s a sense of achieving an understanding of the condition that is possible.
Riddle-Quest plays with language and provides a layered depth given the riddles can be interpreted several ways. Thus, an awareness that reading has a metaphorical level would be a good outcome.

Ultimately, if readers enjoy the books, then you have succeeded.

Would you consider writing another book?

I’m working on the next one now. Stay tuned.

Do you have any other tips for new authors (ie. book launch, research, marketing etc.)

You really do need a support base of people who are prepared to be critical and are able to provide feedback on your work. I had a teacher who gave a sample chapter to her class (my potential audience). I had friends who could critique the work and provide advice. I had support when it came to organizing the launch and publicity. If you go it alone, you need a network.

Click here for a radio interview with David McLean