Creator Spotlight: Dave Weaver
"We are living through science fiction right now; everything is changing so rapidly. What was fantasy yesterday is gritty reality we take for granted today. Sci-fi is really just staring into the immediate future and saying ‘what if…?'" - Dave Weaver
Dave Weaver is a straight, speculative, and science fiction author from St. Albans, England; positioned about an hour north of London. The devoted husband and proud father has five paperback/digital novels published by Elsewhen Press in addition to two self-published novels and a few short story collections.
It's not enough to say that Dave is just a good writer; instead, he's a gifted storyteller. The stories he's published on Vocal are emotionally powerful and are simply fun to read. In fact, we'd go as far as saying they're automatic. In plots where readers might feel burdened or distracted by details, Dave does all the heavy lifting by means of natural, choice syntax—painting vivid, impactful imagery between mere periods.
Now would be a great time to visit Dave's author page and familiarize yourself with his work before diving into this interview. In any event, it's our pleasure to present Dave Weaver in this #VocalSpotlight. Enjoy!
On Himself and His Background:
I’m 66 years old and live in St. Albans in Hertfordshire, England. The town was originally an ancient Roman fortress named Verulamium, one of the largest in Britain in the first and second centuries. This fact has inspired one of my novels, ‘Timekeepers’.
On His History with Writing and Self-Confidence:
I started writing late, wrote a terrible novel then joined a writers’ group to learn how it should be done. After a few years I became Chairman for a period of four years, which I enjoyed. It gave me the self-confidence to speak in public and promote my work in local book signing events.
Reading your stories in public may be intimidating at first but it lets you know what parts work and what parts don’t. And connects you to potential readers in the most human way possible.
My latest novel is ‘The Transference’.
On What/Who Inspires Him to Create:
Finding new ideas and ways to express them. The three authors who have inspired my writing most are Christopher Priest for his sideways view of the nature of time and reality and intricate plotting, J G Ballard for his incredible descriptive writing and sexually psychotic imagery, and Kazuo Ishiguro for his deceptively simple plots which meander and change into almost dreamlike quests into memory; a diffusion of reality until we’re not sure whether what he’s telling us is true or a version of the truth.
All these authors play with truth and reality, distorting the past and rendering the present a minefield of unsure assumptions. They leave the reader unsure of exactly where they are or what is happening; surely an exciting condition to be in rather than a plod through the obvious.
On His Goals as an Author:
I just want people to enjoy, and hopefully buy my novels. If they like the short stories then that’s great too. Feedback is always valued, no matter how critical.
On Creative Outlets He Enjoys Besides Writing:
I am a graphic designer by trade and design my own book-covers when self-publishing.
I love films, any nationality and any age. Anything that creates brilliant characters and fascinating stories. There are a number of film directors I admire and will seek out their work.
On Science Fiction:
Put simply, you may not be taken as seriously writing science fiction as general or ‘artistic’ fiction but you will have some more exciting options and scenarios. Science fiction isn’t all spaceships and star systems; it’s about the inner demons of the mind as well. We are living through science fiction right now; everything is changing so rapidly what was fantasy yesterday is gritty reality we take for granted today. Sci-fi is really just staring into the immediate future and saying ‘what if…’
I love any serious science fiction film right from Time Machine onwards. My favourite sci-fi story is Ray Bradbury’s ‘A Sound of Thunder’ which I consider probably the most perfect science fiction ‘fable’ ever written. I also consider ‘Galaxy Quest’ a work of near genius, especially for a life long Star Trek fan.
On Vocal and Developing an Online Presence:
It’s given me the opportunity to frame and present my short stories with beautiful and relevant photographs and precise handsome graphics, and hopefully the chance to make new readers aware of my tales all over the world. Which is brilliant.
On His Approach to Character Development:
Just think about what they are doing and imagine yourself in their place, then react without over-thinking it.
The Record Breaker is a real person, as are the others in this series, but obviously I don’t know what they were thinking in their moment of trial. You find out what you can about them then imagine how such a person would react. We’re all human; not so indifferent to triumph and disaster as we’d like to think.
On Building Suspense and Crafting a Story:
To hold back the twist then release it or change what is expected can be more powerful than going for the obvious and also more challenging for a writer. To use cliche to your advantage is a good idea.
My writing method isn’t particularly unusual but I find it’s the only way I achieve a story. I have an idea, a concept for a story with a theme that interests me. I find a central protagonist to carry me through the plot, someone I can trick and deceive but who will do things their own way and make decisions I wouldn’t expect. I imagine a starting scene, usually an action one; and an end where the story finds a satisfactory or at least logical conclusion.
The rest is just ‘seat of the pants’ plotting which can be dangerous and messy but is quite fun as you’re not too sure where you’re going next. That’s when the characters you’ve already created jump in to give you a hand. Hopefully.
On His Advice for Aspiring Authors:
Just what everyone says: Read a lot of good authors and a few bad ones to see what not to do, write little and often to keep up the quality, like a daily work out (although of course I don’t follow my own advice), don’t give up but if a scene isn’t work leave it for a few hours or days, go for a walk, do anything else but think about it. In the middle of the night you’ll suddenly find the answer. Make a note before it’s swallowed up by the morning.
On What's Keeping Him Sane During These Crazy Times:
I’ve been working from home during the pandemic with my wife, so skyping my daughter who is studying at university in another part of the country, watching great and not so great series on Netflix, fixing things around the house (or cocking them up).
I went through a recent phase of buying second hand road-bikes from Ebay and doing them up. We’ve been riding around the local countryside everyday to keep kind of fit. Now it’s too cold and rainy. Reading, writing, stuff… Just like everyone else.
On His Favorite Stories He's Published on Vocal:
The story I think works best that I’ve published so far is ‘The Missionary’ which hopefully says a few things about the nature of religion. Without realising it at the time of writing I can now see a sort of Joseph Conrad feel to it (name dropping only the best of course). It has a nice arc.
Also ‘Amsterdam’ seems very popular, surprisingly so. I think that worked out pretty well too.
Don’t think about it—first thing that comes to mind:
What is one thing you couldn’t live without?
Watching football live
Favorite Musical Artist at the moment?
Cats or dogs?
Favorite travel destination?
Day or Night?
Favorite local restaurant?
Any that are still open
What’s your go-to late night snack?
What are you currently binge watching?
Loads: Star Trek Discovery, The Black Spot, Deadwind, The OA
What are you currently reading?
‘Hello America’ by JG Ballard
If you could speak a new language, what would it be and why?
Italian. I’ve fallen in love with Italy, particularly Sicily, since my wife and I stayed there a few years ago and drove around the whole island. And I really should learn Japanese but it’s so difficult.
Favorite story you read on Vocal by another creator?
‘Rouse’ by Hannah B
Bonus: Check out Hannah B's Creator Spotlight
Thanks for sharing, Dave! While we typically feature creators near the beginning of their creative journeys, it's refreshing to hear the perspective of an established author on Vocal. Surely, your earnest responses are beyond valuable to aspiring/amateur writers; offering trustworthy reflections on your productive experiences.
Before we bid farewell, we'd like to say that the way you develop a character in such a short span of text is incredible. Not only that, but we love how you position supporting characters within your narratives, especially in short stories like the "Six Loners" series. Keep up the amazing work!
Keep up with Dave here on Vocal and shop his paperback/digital novels on Amazon. Thanks again, Dave!