David J. Cooper

David Cooper BIO PIC

I was born and raised in the West Midlands, England. I served as a member of Walsall Council from 1980 – 1981. I moved to Brixham, Devon, in 1988. I started writing freelance in 1997.

I moved to Mexico in 1998 and live in a small town in Jalisco, with my dog, Chula. I am featured in the Best Poems and Poets 2012.In my spare time, I like to travel. My favourite TV programs are anything to do with the paranormal. My latest book: Penny Lane – Paranormal Investigator – The Ouija Board Mystery, is the first in my Penny Lane series.

I am now working on the second in the series: The Candy Floss Killer.

What is your writing process? Do you follow a regular routine or do you have any weird, funny, or unusual habits while writing and what are they?

My writing process varies but I usually get ideas in the middle of the night when I’m trying to get to sleep. When these ideas occur, and it’s usually around 3 am, I get out of bed and jot them down.

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?

No, I’ve never suffered this.

What is the single most important piece of advice for aspiring authors?

Keep at it. If you run out of ideas think about something that might have happened in your life and use that in your writing. Write something down on paper, even if it is only your shopping list!

What are your current/future projects?

I’m currently finishing off my next book in my series Penny Lane, Paranormal Investigator. This book is the second in the series entitled The Candy Floss Killer, it’s about 3 children who go missing after visiting a fairground. My future titles in the series are The Old Mill, Slay Bells, The Pity Hole and the final one will be The Other Side. I also have other ideas on future books but I want to finish the Penny Lane series first.

Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? If you write more than one, how do you balance them?

At the moment, my paranormal series is because I’m very interested in that genre. The others I have in mind, as I say, come to me during the middle of the night, as though something is directing me that way.

What do you think is the future for independent authors and do you think it will continue to be easy for anyone to be a published author?

I think independent authors will continue to grow and yes, think it will be easy.

Are you traditional or self-published, and what process did you go through to get your book published?

I am self published at the moment but it would be nice to be offered a contract with a traditional publisher.

What opportunities have being an author presented you with and share those memories? (i.e. travel, friends, events, speaking, etc..)

My book. The Party’s Over, a true story about a friend of mine who died of AIDS and how it affected me. A local school did a book presentation of it and I was very nervous to talk about it in public.

What are your marketing, advertising, promotion strategies and which one(s) have worked the best for you? If you had to share your most valuable promotion tip, what would that be?

I usually use twitter and facebook, but the best one that has worked for me has been by word of mouth from friends and bloggers.

If you are a self-published author, which platform do you prefer? (Amazon, Smashwords, Lulu, Author House, or something not mentioned), and why?

In would say, apart from Amazon, then Kobo. I seem to be selling more with Kobo.

What field or genre would you classify your book(s) and what attracted you to write in that field or genre?

Paranormal, because that is what I’m interested in.

What do you do if inspiration strikes in an inconvenient place like (car, restaurant, bathroom/shower, etc..) and how do you capture that moment before it gets away from you?

Whenever or wherever I’m inspired, I jot it down.

Do you have a target amount of words/pages for each of your books or do you just know when enough is enough?

When I’m writing I usually know when to finish one chapter and start another. You could call it instinct.

How do you think you have evolved as a person/author because of your writing and do you believe your writing has helped others, how/why?

If I only sell one book a week I feel good, because at least one person is interested in my work. it would be nice to have a best seller, but these things don’t happen overnight. I would like to become a well known author.

How much influence do you believe a title, cover, content, page numbers have in purchasing decisions of potential buyers/readers?

I think that if the title and the cover stand out this should grab readers’ attention.

Do you believe there is value in a Press Release, have you used any press release service, and what have your experiences been?

I have had Press Releases but it hasn’t helped me much.

Do you believe there is value in a review? Do you believe they are under rated, over rated, or don’t matter at all?

Yes, reviews good or bad, matter.

What are your thoughts on authors doing review swaps, paying for reviews, or reviews that just don’t seem right for the book?

I think that reviews should be done for free.

Do you believe there are competitors or general readers out to sabotage authors with bad reviews and what are your experiences with this?

Not really.

Have you ever had an interesting, funny, or even bad experience during a live interview, reading, event, or autograph session?

Not yet.

With self publishing being so easy these days, do you believe there is an over abundance of books out there and how do you sort through all the hype or copycats?

I don’t think there can ever be an over abundance of reading material.

What is your biggest fear about having a book published?

I would be very nervous if my books turned me into someone like J K Rowling.

What is the intended audience for you book?

young adults

Give us a fun fact about your book(s)?

When I write my paranormal series I usually include something funny in a chapter for example I get a character to say something which has a double meaning.

If you had the chance to get one message out there to reach readers all over the world, what would that message be?

Try reading my books!!!!

What makes a good story, why?

For me , mixing fact with fiction.

How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?

Very important. Once you invent a character, you have to bring it to life. I think about people I know or have known, and use another name and mix one or two friends personalities into my book character.

Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?

Yes, I do. Strangely a bad review can sell more books.

What is the easiest/hardest scene for you to write, why? (Love, action, fight, death, racy, controversial, etc…)

The hardest thing I had to write was when I was putting my feelings into The Party’s Over book. Because this is a true story, it brought back memories f the friend I lost and this hurt me emotionally. In fact, I cried whilst I was writing it.

What would you like to write about that you have never written about before?

I haven’t thought about that.

Have you ever had a book idea or characters come to you in a dream? What did you do about it afterwards?

This happens a lot. I write it down when I wake up.

Were your characters based off real life people/events or did you make it all up?

In my Penny Lane series, my characters are based on real life people. In The Party’s Over, the main person is based on a real person although I changed his name.

What are the most important elements of good writing? According to you, what tools are must-haves for writers?

A writer of fiction must have some fantastic ideas. Ideas that probably wouldn’t happen in the real world.

What book(s), author(s), or significant life event(s) have had a positive or negative influence in your life that inspired you to begin writing?

I used to live in Brixham in Devon, very near to Agatha Christie’s home. I think she played a big part in my deciding to become a writer.

What are your thoughts about eBooks vs. print books?

Personally, I prefer a printed book, but I have nothing against ebooks.

Do you view writing as a career, labor of love, hobby, creative outlet, therapy, or something else?

At the moment it’s a hobby, although I would like it to become a career.

Were there any challenges (research, literary, psychological, or logistical) in bringing your book to life?

Yes. I read and read each chapter over and over until I’m satisfied with what I have written. If I don’t like it, how am I going to expect another reader to like it.

Do you proofread/edit your own books or do you send them off to an editor? If you send them off to an editor, who/what have you had the best experience with?

I do all of this myself. Sometimes I ask a friend to go over my work to see if she can improve anything I’ve written.

What are the advantages/disadvantages of self or traditional publishing?

The advantages of self publishing is that you don’t get rejected. The disadvantage of traditional publishing is that an author has to persevere until they strike it lucky.

Do you have a subject/genre you would never write about, why?

I would never write about porn or anything like that. It’s not me.

What motivates you to write and where does your inspiration come from?

I like writing, simple as that. My inspiration comes from someone or something I don’t understand. It’s like someone is saying “Here are some ideas – now make a story!”

What makes your book stand out from the crowd?

I like t think they are different.

Do you design your own cover? If not who does, why?

Sometimes, and sometimes a friend does this for me.

What is your most/least favorite part of the writing process, why?

Getting involved personally with my story. Trying to jump in there with it to make it real. I never like coming to the end of a story because it’s like saying goodbye to an old friend.

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