What inspired you to write this book?
Well, it was 2016, two years into my Communications degree and I thought we should make a mini web series. I cooked up an idea with the locations well set in the school and pitched to a few of my classmates. Long story short, didn’t get any responses and so, a year later, I decide to turn it to a book.
Can you tell me about the book?
Surely. The book series is about a group of people who are way more connected than they think, hence “The Connexion Trilogy” and the first book (JURY) is about a small portion of these people who are tight friends and their friendship being tested because of secrets and pasts that some of them would like hidden. It is a thriller/drama that works around friendships, lies, secrets and two of my favorite things: Law and Spies.
What is your writing process like?
I think of myself as a Screenwriter before being an Author. I write my ideas in script form with reactions and location and if possible, camera movements and then I build from that and write into prose form. Most times, I don’t get to finish the script and just have to continue from where I stopped, but by then, I already have a clear vision of how I want the story to progress.
Was the character inspired by a real person? If so, who?
For book one, three of the four main characters are inspired by myself, my best friend and a close friend of ours. A large part of their relationship and personality are built around our own relationship and personality.
What do you think happened to the characters after the book ended?
Some of them still have classes and some of them were forced to ignore classes for the next instalment (laughs)
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Both really. I try to write whenever I have the chance and most times, I’m not able to because I become so tired and not able to connect with the story, but when I do get into a rhythm, it’s usually nonstop and reading my own words back just give me chills.
What are common traps for aspiring writers?
I can’t say for sure, but one trap I found myself caught in was the urge to release the book ASAP. I wrote as quickly as possible and got it all ready for self-publishing, but my marketing strategy wasn’t fully formed and there were some errors here and there in the book.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Not travelling. Even if it’s from the house to a grocery store or to school. I need to move around. I find that my ideas come clear when I’m on the move and so, even if I can’t travel, I walk around the house and get into the different characters.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
Original. I would hate to lose that. I draw ideas and inspiration from things I like, but I always put my personal spin on them and make it known that this is where it was taken from. That way, people can’t say I’m ripping things off. It still has that personal touch of originality.
Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
Right now, it’s a bit of both. I’m working on a book series and I’d love for each book to be a sort of standalone. That way, if one starts in book two, they would not be lost and would still be tempted to check out book one to get a full understanding.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
Five. Two of which are from this series and the other three are separate standalones.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
Before beginning a book, I do some research so I know if my ideas are linking. When I begin writing and it comes to those intricate details, I start doing all the research I need, checking different materials and taking notes. Especially for the Law scenes in the first book and some scenes that have to do with chemicals for the current WIP, research is important.
How long were you a part-time writer before you became a full-time one?
I’m still a part-time writer and I still enjoy it.
How many hours a day do you write?
That’d be hard to tell seeing as I am unable to write every day, but there are times I stay up well into the early hours of the next day to make up for it.
What period of your life do you find you write about most often? (child, teenager, young adult)
Teenage life. I’m still a teenager so it’s a lot easier to write about that.
What did you edit out of this book?
Not much. There were mostly additions as more inspiration came as I was turning the script into what we have now.
How do you select the names of your characters?
When it comes to writing, there are three main things I’m not so good at: Synopsis, titling and naming characters or places. I try to make the names as diverse as possible, although I have certain names I use in all my drafts but have to change when converting. It’s quite hard. I just think of a name I’d like to call someone and name the character that.
If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?
Since I’m still a student, I’d be acting on the side. But since I detest auditions, I’d have found myself writing scripts I’d be okay acting. Plus, I’m also a songwriter so I’d probably have found my way back to writing.
What was your hardest scene to write?
Answer: A clinic scene in one of the first few chapters of book one. I did quite the research for it, but the close friend of mine that I based a character off of, hates it. Now he is my editor and he keeps tagging scenes that aren’t well written “The clinic scene.” (laughs)
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
I wrote JURY in two months. I had the script and I wrote in class, at home, late into the night and all just so I could get it ready in time for it to be released on my birthday, seeing as I was self-publishing it. The second instalment has been on for five months now. I don’t have that much pressure from myself, but I have to finish it before the end of next month. (nervous chuckle.)
Do you believe in writer’s block?
Yes. There are times when nothing just seems to flow in one’s head. It’s quite annoying.
What works best for you: Typewriters, fountain pen, dictate, computer or longhand?
Computer. I haven’t tried the others tho. (chuckles)
When did it dawn upon you that you wanted to be a writer?
I started writing in grade seven. I was about eight or nine years old and I just knew I wanted to write stories.
How hard was it to sit down and actually start writing something?
Not so hard. I had to write with a ball pen and notepads tho. That was the hard part.
Do you aim to complete a set number of pages or words each day?
Nope. I work more with scenes. I try to finish a number of scenes each day I write.
Do you set a plot or prefer going wherever an idea takes you?
Both. I have a plot in my head: beginning, end, good guys, bad guys, conflicts and all thought up. But then as I write, things tend to change, especially when I hear beta readers’ theories.
Do you read much and, if so, who are your favorite authors?
I read quite a lot. Favorite author is Derek Landy because he gave The Skulduggery Pleasant series, then there’s Dan Brown, Ted Derek, Marissa Meyer and some others.
What is the most important thing about a book, in your opinion?
The relatability of the characters and their personality.
How much of yourself do you put into your books?
A whole lot more than I probably should. Friends read the book and go “Really?” because it’s mostly me they see in the book. It’s my way of telling people that don’t know me things I love and things about me.
Who is the most supportive of your writing in your family?
Everyone. I am so happy that they’re all supportive.
Writers are often believed to have a Muse, your thoughts on that?
Well, I do have a muse so I guess I can say I believe it.
Did any of your books get rejected by publishers?
Yes. That’s why I’m self-published right now. I didn’t have the patience because I wanted it out by my birthday, but for the second instalment, I can take my time to wait and query.
What is your view on co-authoring books; have you done any?
I think it’s possible. I know some authors who’ve done it and are doing it, but I haven’t done any and I don’t think I would unless the right person comes along.
Is writing book series more challenging?
I think so. There are more details to remember and there’s also having to stick to the storyline. It could be more tasking than a standalone.
Does it get frustrating if you are unable to recall an idea you had in your mind some time earlier?
Absolutely. I try to write down ideas as they come, but I don’t always have that luxury.
Have you ever destroyed any of your drafts?
For the script version, yes and it haunts me even now.
Can you tell us about your current projects?
I’m working on the second instalment of the series and it’s a look at another group and their relationships and secrets. It basically follows the same idea as the first one, except this one deals more with spying and cryptology and the first dealt with Law.
Had any of your literary teachers ever tell you growing up that you were going to become a published writer one day?
I was told I would be a lot of things, but I don’t think published writer was one.
Were your parents reading enthusiasts who gave you a push to be a reader as a kid?
Yes they were. My dad is an author himself and my mum was an English teacher. I got my love for reading from my mum giving me books to read when I was younger and from reading my dad’s books.
Do you enjoy discussing upcoming ideas with your partner? If yes, how much do you value their inputs?
I currently don’t have a partner, but I do discuss the ideas with my best friend and close friend. Their inputs mean a whole lot. I spend time arguing with my close friend/editor about details of the book as I write. It’s all worth it tho.
Have you ever turned a dream or a nightmare into a written piece?
Nope. Don’t know if I’d ever do that as well.
How can readers find out more info about you and your books?
Answer: My goodreads page is a good start https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18588690.David_Dada. I am also very open to discussing the books with readers, so an email, a tweet or a chat is always welcomed.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: _itz_flux and just my name on Facebook.