Author Interview: Dave Sivers
Today I am pleased to welcome Dave Sivers on to the blog with a quick interview! He’s come up with some intriguing answers!
What is your favourite thing about writing books?
It’s partly what Stephen King calls ‘falling through the hole in the page’ into the story – but I guess it works best if you’ve created a complete world that you inhabit when you’re writing, or thinking about, the story. My Archer and Baines characters operate Buckinghamshire’s Aylesbury Vale; the place is real, but my version is a slightly shadowy twin, to make the books a little gritty. The team at Aylesbury Vale nick, and the characters they regularly interact with, are all part of my little world.
Who is your favourite character in your book and why?
That’s always a hard one, because I have two protagonists – DI Lizzie Archer and DS Dan Baines. Both of their characters have been affected by horrific events in their pasts, and both of them are fighting demons that might have destroyed some people. So I admire the way they both apply themselves to solving crimes and getting justice for the victims despite their personal problems. If forced to choose, I’d admit to a soft spot for Lizzie. She has burned so many bridges in hope of a fresh start that she finds herself living a rather lonely life.
What is your favourite drink to consume while writing?
Tea. I seem to be getting better at remembering to drink it, too!
Do you have any bad habits while you’re writing?
The writer’s curse – procrastination. Once I’ve fallen through the hole in the page, I’m gone, but there’s this period when I’m supposed to be getting down to it when I find all sorts of distractions. The Internet in particular has a lot to answer for.
How do you research your books?
A mixture of things. Good old Professor Google, of course, and then I have a number of useful contacts who help me with police procedure, forensics etc. If I can’t get the information I need from any of those sources, I will find a professional organisation and email or phone through my questions. 99% of the time people are keen to help a writer. I suspect they enjoy making a little contribution to a book. I’ve found people are especially enthusiastic about helping me dispose of a body.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I’ve long been a pantser. It’s yonks since I tried the planning thing, and it really didn’t work for me. But I must admit that the plots are getting more complex and my modus operandi of starting with a body and then ‘watching’ the police investigate is making it increasingly hard to hang onto the threads. It makes for more structural editing than would probably be necessary if I did a bit more advance planning, so I might turn plotter yet.
If you could live in any fictional world, which would you choose and why?
Ah, really tricky this. I’m thinking somewhere with magic in it, like Narnia, Middle-earth, maybe Hogwarts. But they all seem rather prone to dark lords rising and epic conflicts, which I really don’t fancy. Oh, I’ll go for Narnia. It was one of the first books that inspired me to write, plus the good guys tend to survive, and I wouldn’t mind meeting Aslan.
If you could befriend any fictional character, who would you choose and why?
Another interesting one, because a friend is someone to share a glass of wine with, chat with into the small hours, and maybe share a secret or two – not too many of my favourite book protagonists come into that category. Except, just maybe, Ian Rankin’s John Rebus. Although I’ve no doubt he’d lead me astray.
Thanks for having me, Faye. It’s been a blast!
About the book
The quiet Buckinghamshire village of Houghton is reeling. Soon after twelve year old Leanne Richards is killed by a hit and run driver, the two classmates who were with her that night disappear, one by one.
Jade and Becky said they couldn’t identify the car or the driver. Does someone want to make sure it stays that way? Or are other, darker motives in play?
As DI Lizzie Archer and DS Dan Baines search for the truth, buried pasts and secret loves begin to reveal themselves. But is time running out for the girls? Or is it already too late?