Getting personal with David Court
David Court is a short story author and novelist, whose works have appeared in over a dozen venues including Tales to Terrify, Strangely Funny, Fears Accomplice and The Voices Within. Whilst primarily a horror writer, he also writes science fiction, poetry and satire.
His writing style has been described as “Darkly cynical” and “Quirky and highly readable” and David can’t bring himself to disagree with either of those statements.
Growing up in the UK in the eighties, David’s earliest influences were the books of Stephen King and Clive Barker, and the films of John Carpenter and George Romero. The first wave of Video Nasties may also have had a profound effect on his psyche.
As well as being a proud VIP writer for Stitched Smile Publications, David works as a Software Developer and lives in Coventry with his wife, three cats and an ever-growing beard. David’s wife once asked him if he’d write about how great she was. David replied that he would, because he specialized in short fiction. Despite that, they are still married.
1. How old were you when you first wrote your first story?
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, but the first time I remember ever enjoying writing something which was liked was back at secondary school. We were assigned to write a story with the title “The summer I met…” where the tale had to be about an encounter with a fictional character. We were told it had to be at least six pages long but my story – a veritable saga in which I had adventures with Gizmo the Mogwai from Gremlins – took up most of a notepad, easily ten times the required length. The teacher loved it, and I remember that experience fondly; having created something from scratch that somebody else really enjoyed. That’s all I’m doing still, to a fashion.
2. How many books have you written?
As well as having a number of stories dotted about in various publisher’s anthologies, I’ve got two short story anthologies currently out in the wild – The Shadow Cast by the World and Forever and Ever, Armageddon. However, I’ve recently finished a full length sci-fi novel called Recreant that I’m trying to find an appropriate home for.
3. Anything you won’t write about?
Once upon a time I would have said sex, but – as an experiment to prove I could, more than anything – I wrote an erotic horror piece. One thing I won’t touch is extreme horror – much as I enjoy reading it (and there are some damn fine writers in that particular sub-genre), I don’t think it’s anything I could ever write myself.
4. Tell me about you. Age (if you don’t mind answering), married, kids, do you have another job etc…
I’m about to turn 47, and am married to the lovely (and supportive) Tara. My main job is in computing – I’ve been working in the software industry for the past quarter of a century. (Wow. Putting it like that makes me feel really old).
5. What’s your favorite book you have written?
I’m really pleased with Recreant, my new sci-fi novel. It’s a world I’d been thinking about and fleshing out for nigh on a decade, so it was great to put some of these ideas down onto paper. I’ve tried to avoid – or play around with – a lot of the typical clichés in science fiction, and I think it’s a really great piece of work that I’m really proud of.
6. Who or what inspired you to write?
My job is pretty mundane and there isn’t a great deal of flexibility for exercising any creativity – not as much as I’d like, anyhow. Writing is a means of flexing my creative muscles and keeping me sane, I think. I have to exorcise these thoughts somehow!
7. What do you like to do for fun?
I used to role-play heavily as a teenager – which is what I did a lot of my writing for – and that’s progressed into a love of board games as I’ve grown older. I’m also somewhat of a film buff. Just so it doesn’t look like I spend the entirety of my life indoors, I’m a keen traveler as well. I love going on holiday to new places.
8. Any traditions you do when you finish a book?
Drink heavily. It’s a tradition I stick to when writing the book in the first place as well. And beforehand.
9. Where do you write? Quiet or music?
I have a spare bedroom which tends to be used to store all the crap in the house which is laughably referred to as the “study”. I can’t write in silence, so tend to listen to Spotify through headphones whilst I work, but nothing with lyrics in, or I end up getting distracted. I tend to listen to film soundtracks or instrumental pieces, and I’m sad enough to have a number of playlists set up to match the kind of stuff I’m writing – horror, sci-fi, action sequences, that sort of thing.
10. Anything you would change about your writing?
I am an absolutely terrible editor of my own stuff. I will literally not spot some errors even if I pour over the manuscript a dozen times with an electronic microscope. Some of the errors I make are honestly embarrassing. Thankfully, I’ve got a great editor who is very, very patient. I’m way too keen on a tendency of “Yeah, that’s finished” and throwing it out there, without giving it the loving final touches and tweaking the work needs.
11. What is your dream? Famous writer?
Much as I love my job, I’d love to be able to give it all up to write for a living – that’s my lofty ultimate ambition. I don’t want to be rich, but it’d be nice just to make enough from the writing that I could make a full-time career out of it.
12. Where do you live?
I live in Coventry in the UK, which is slap bang in the middle of the country in the Midlands. Which is a damn shame, because I really like the seaside.
I have three cats. Aslan and Lilith, who are brother and sister, and Twist, who, despite being 11, is the youngest so will always be known as “the kitten”. Aslan is my writing companion who insists on sprawling across my lap whenever I’m at the laptop.
14. What’s your favorite thing about writing?
Readers telling me they’ve enjoyed my stuff. We all crave acknowledgement really, don’t we? A good review will make my week.
15. What is coming next for you?
Stitched Smile are currently putting the finishing touches to my next anthology – Scenes of Mild Peril. It’s my biggest collection yet, and I’m really excited about getting it out there so people can read it. I’ve also got quite a body of new short stories behind me which will shortly be another for another anthology. There’s a story in the new collection – Let It Cry – set in the time of the Black Plague in Ireland, and I enjoyed the research so much, I’m planning on writing a new historical horror novel set around some of the local ghost stories. That’s very early days yet though, but I plan on making a start before the end of the year.
16. Where do you get your ideas?
A combination of strong cheese and exotic wines.
You can connect with David Court here:
Some of David Court’s books: