Today is the second post of my Meet the Author series (eeeekk!) and I’m over the moon to be have the lovely (and funny!) Dave McCluskey with us :). So without further ado….let’s hear from Dave – this Q&A had me laughing out loud so check it out!!!
Dave McCluskey (write under the name D E McCluskey)
Horror, thriller, children’s
Tell us a bit about yourself:
I live in Liverpool in the UK with my 11 year old daughter. I’m not an animal lover, I don’t have cats, dogs, hamsters, snakes or goldfish (I don’t mind people who do, I just don’t). I’m not vegan!
I work in IT, or at least I tell people I do, and my boss actually thinks that I do. What I do is have a laugh with customers and write in my down-time.
I work the stand-up comedy circuit around the north-west of England.
What inspired you to start writing?
I have always had a vivid imagination. Growing up, my whole life was a movie, just one that no-one had bothered to film.
One Christmas night I was reading to my daughter (The Night Before Christmas) and thought to myself, I can have a go at that… So I did.
I started writing rhyming stories, then they expanded… and now I write novels.
How many books have you written and published?
All my books are self-published. But, I have written four novels. I am currently working, in draft form, on another four, with another one almost completely finished.
I have also written and self-published four graphic novels, and a number of comics too.
Which book, out of all the books you have written, is your favourite and why?
My favourite book is a novel called In The Mood… For Murder. It’s based in Liverpool. I love my city with a passion and it was a blast to be able to research a lot of the things I needed too for this book. It’s based in 1946, right after the war, and my mum helped with a lot of the fashions and the language of times.
It’s also the book that has been earmarked to be made into a film. Watch this space!!!
How do you choose the names of your characters?
I get the names for most of them from people in work. If someone has pissed me off in work, then nine times out of ten, they are a disposable character who meets a grisly end in a story somewhere along the lines.
Writing about killing them keeps me out of trouble!!!
Which of your characters would you want to be stranded on an island with, and why?
I don’t know if I could be stranded on an island with any of them as they either die, or get sent to prison…
Who is your favourite author and which of their books is your favourite, and why?
A few years ago I would have said Stephen King, hands down. But recently, his work output has been very poor. His latest works just don’t have the reach or the feel of his older works. Now, I would probably say one of my favourite authors was Neil Gaiman. I love his fantasy works. I love the Tim Burton(esque) feel to his locations, and his imaginations is everything that I want mine to be…
The Graveyard Book could well be my favourite of his…
What is the first thing you can remember writing?
When I was in my twenties I wrote a series of short stories about a robot called Crank. I might just revisit these tales as I really did enjoy them.
What other jobs have you done other than being an author?
I work in IT at the moment, I have been a postman, I have worked in an engineering office, I have worked as a musical instrument salesman, I have been a stand-up comedian, I have worked in clothes shops, I’ve worked behind bars, I was once (very nearly) a club 18-30 rep!!!
If you could get in a time machine and had one chance to travel, where would you go? (Backwards or forwards!)
Definitely backwards. I love anything to do with Victorian England. I’m have an avid interest in Jack the Ripper and all the other mysteries of the period, Spring Heeled Jack for instance. I love the romance of that era, even (or probably mostly) the ugly side of life, like the poverty and the way people dealt with it (alcoholism, prostitution, street gangs etc) and how the more affluent people lived.
I’m a huge fan of the series Horrible Histories on Kids TV, the way they pull no punches on how thing were back in the day!!!
If you could have one conversation with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
My dad… He would LOVE what I’m doing right now. He had a creative streak in him too, but he never really did anything about it. He got stuck in the 9-5 rut (that I’m hoping to get away from)
What are your favourite things to do?
I love to write… that’s more than obvious in my huge body of work. I also love to cook, and that is more than obvious in my huge body!!!
I do stand-up comedy in my (very) spare time and I absolutely love it.
I’m a huge fan of music. I’ll listen to almost anything except R&B and all the rubbish they play on Radio 1 and Captial UK (my daughters both love this station!!! I HATE IT)
What is the strangest thing that has ever happened to you?
This story is a little bit ‘X’ rated (but only a little bit)
About 15 years ago, I was on a lads weekend in Amsterdam. We were all a little drunk, when in the bar walks a gang of girls all dressed up like school girls. Nothing says ‘hen night’ more than a gang of girls dressed as St Trinnians.
Anyway, I got talking to the head bridesmaid and she was telling me that the bride had a list of ‘dares’ she had to do. She had done them all, except for ONE. She needed a pair of underpants from a complete stranger… Always one to oblige, I instantly whipped off my trousers and underwear and offered mine to her… she took them. We got a photograph of me handing them to her, and shall we say that EVERYTHING was on show…
Then, they went their way, and we went ours… never the twain to meet ever again…
Fast forward ten years…
I’m walking through my work (I work in an IT Department) and I hear my name being shouted across the office. It was one of the bosses. He pulled me into his office and asked me to sit down… he then went on to ask me how I knew his wife!!!
I said that I had never, ever met his wife. He told me that he begged to differ… He took out his phone and there was a picture of a semi-naked McCluskey handing a pair of boxer shorts over to… HIS WIFE!!!
Luckily, he saw the funny side and the photo was circulated around the office!!!
If you could give your younger writing self any advice what would it be?
LOL… start writing earlier in life. I was 36 before I started writing. I had never even given it a proper thought before (except for the small Crank stories I mentioned earlier).
I would say, ‘Don’t bother learning computers in University because the job its going to get you is only going to make you miserable… Just start getting that warped imagination of yours ticking and START WRITING!!!
Name one book you think everyone should read?!
My favourite book is The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, but the book I think everyone should read would be The Stand by Stephen King.
And finally, tell us about your most recent book and where we can find it?
My latest book is called Z: A Love Story. It is a romantic comedy on one side of the Atlantic (England) while it chronicles an ugly, violent and graphic apocalypse happening on the other side (USA).
Kevin has worked in the same office for ten years. In all that time the big city of London has chewed him up and spat him out again. He is lonely, bored and borderline depressed. The only thing he loves about his life is one of the girls in his office. Rachael.
She has been hurt before and has one rule, no office romances.
Kevin builds up the courage to ask her out…
4000 miles away, in a top secret lab, a nervous scientist drops a vial of Agent Z.
No-ones world will ever be the same again.
I also have a website that is (at present) a work in progress!!! This will going live sometime this year: www.dammaged.com
A massive thanks to Dave for being the second person to take part in my new series! I’m sure you will all agree…..I can completely understand why he does stand up! I’m looking forward to reading his books soon so keep an eye out for reviews in June!
Thanks again Dave and I hope you all enjoyed this! Any comments/suggestions/questions for Dave, please let us know!