An interview with
How did you come up with your pen name?
My name is so common, there are literally two David Wilsons on my street alone – so much confusion. I needed another plan. My friend Jon suggested an anagram of my children’s names – so from Teddy and Violet we got Eddy Telviot. They love it!
What is your book about?
It’s an adventure story about a secret society of inventors (The Few) who have protected a mysterious book for thousands of years. Harbinger Robotics want it! Packed with legends, intrigue, gadgets, epic fights and exotic locations – it’s a SFF rollercoaster ride!
Describe the main characters.
The first book is mainly told from the point of view of Sam, a teenage boy who discovers his family are part of The Few. Sam seems to be a typical boy his age, however he has suffered loss and displacement during his childhood and we soon learn that he just longs to feel part of something. He takes a mysterious summer internship and makes three new friends who are similar in age. Joe, who is slight of frame but stout of mind. Veronique, a girl with a flair for accents and Fedor, a fighter with a perpetual scowl. They are soon plunged into the mysterious world of The Few – and their enemy – The Harbingers.
Are the main characters based on real people?
No, but I think certain characters draw from parts of my personality and those of people I have met along the way.
Is the book based in a specific area? If it is, why that area?
It’s not. From the Himalayas to the Amazon jungle, it’s quite the globe-trotting affair. Sam and his friends are whisked around the world on their summer of fun and discover some pretty amazing places (and secrets) along the way.
Is the story or are parts of the story based on real events?
Hmm! Now that would be telling. Stephen King says, “write what you know” and I am a scientist, so a lot of my subject matter is what I call “pseudoscience”. Much of it are simply things and places I wish existed!
Was much research needed to write the book?
Yes! I probably should have “Google” in my Acknowledgement… I did a lot of research in order to make my pseudoscience as plausible as possible, but at a certain point, you just have to let the story flow and forget about the practicalities of everything you create. It was twice as long before I edited out a great deal of “information”.
Is this book part of a series?
It is. A potentially vast one – and it includes games and even a comic. I have a huge story arc mapped out and cannot wait to see it unfold. I just hope I find the time to write it all!
Have other people read it already? What was their reaction (hopefully positive)?
Yes, apparently ranging in age from 8 to 78! Friends and family initially. Then friends of friends and now total strangers are reviewing it on Amazon and Goodreads. I’ll be honest, I’m blown away by the feedback – it’s been very positive and humbling. I guess time will tell whether the general sentiment holds, as the sample set of readers hopefully grows.
Where did you get the idea for your book?
My father used to have Official Secrets clearance. He once told me that there were so many amazing things which had already been invented but had never seen the light of day. Light bulbs that never burnt out, matches you could strike a hundred times etc. That was the seed. Unfortunately, he passed away quite some time ago, so I was never able to ask him whether any of it was true, but it certainly sparked my imagination, and my story grew from there.
What about comparable titles, are there books that are similar to yours? Who is your target audience?
I battle with this one, as I just did my own thing and don’t want to be seen to be standing on anyone else’s shoulders. People who have read the first book have compared it Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, Divergent, The Maze Runner and Percy Jackson. My only criteria when writing it was, I did not want to be embarrassed to read to it my children. So, I guess my target audience is anyone with an imagination and who loves a grand adventure!
Tell us about you. Who are your favourite authors?
As a child, Lloyd Alexander, David Eddings, Robert Jordan and Raymond E. Feist. As an adult, Robin Hobb, Joe Abercrombie and Philip Pulman.
What are your favourite books?
Fantasy epics. I love to invest in characters and a world that does not end after one book.
What is your favourite genre of writing?
Fantasy, again. I think it takes real talent to not only create a world, but to be able to develop it in such a way that the reader believes it could exist – but for it to not come across as clichéd.
How old were you when you started reading?
I’ve been reading for as long as I can remember. But I discovered fantasy books when I was around nine. I was given a copy of “The Black Cauldron” by our school librarian.
How old were you when you started writing?
I started writing short stories when I was seven or eight.
Did someone inspire you to write (i.e. an author, teacher, relative)?
I’ve always loved creating and building things. Words are the best tools I’ve found.
What part of the UK do you live in?
God’s Own Country – Yorkshire.
What do you do for a living (or did if retired or otherwise not working)?
I run my own IT business.
Are you married, have children/grandchildren?
Yes, married with two children and two dogs.
Is it easy for you to find time to write?
I wouldn’t say it’s easy. I have to make time, but it greatly depends on work and home commitments. Some days are easier than others. I finished “The Stone Thieves” ten years ago when my wife was pregnant with our first child – I think the impending deadline of “life changing event” spurred me into action!
Do you have a favourite place (room in the house) to write?
Not really, it just needs to be quiet. Warm and sunny are a bonus. A dog or two at your feet makes it perfect.
Have you appeared in the media before (like local papers) and, if so, why?
Yes, but not for writing. I started a business in Cambridge in 2002 and was in the paper for that. I’ve then been in a few trade magazines for various other work-related things.
Have you met anyone famous?
Quite a few rugby and cricket players, when I was younger and I met Sir Clive Woodward once. A few years ago I sat behind Jimmy Carr on a train, but he was on the phone the whole trip, so I’m not sure that counts.
If you could meet anyone famous, dead or alive, who would that be (more than one, if you like)?
This one is hard to keep short. David Eddings and Robert Jordan, from a writing perspective – mainly to say “thanks”. Nikola Tesla. Sir Christopher Wren! So many to choose from, but they would be top of the “no longer with us” list. Alive… David Walliams. I really admire what he’s done for children’s books. Kevin Feige, J.J Abrams, Neill Blomkamp and Guillermo del Toro for bringing amazing stories to life on screen.