The Questioning Author Edition

The Questioning: D.P. Woolliscroft

The Questioning is where everything gets upside down. As part of my blogiversary celebration, I invited 10 authors and 10 bloggers/reviewers who showed great support during my first year as a blogger. Then I pushed them waaaaay out of the comfort zones. Authors had become interrogators and Bloggers got interrogated. Rest assured, no one got hurt (much) and everyone had fun (eventually). You can find every related post on The Questioning page!
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Born in Derby in England, on the day before mid-summers day, David Peter Woolliscroft was very nearly magical. If only his dear old mum could have held on for another day. But magic called out to him over the years, with a many a book being devoured for its arcane properties. David studied Accounting at Cardiff University where numbers weaved their own kind of magic and he has since been a successful business leader in the intervening twenty years.

Adventures have been had. More books devoured and then one day, David had read enough where the ideas he had kept bottled up needed a release valve. And thus, rising out of the self doubt like a phoenix at a clicky keyboard, a writer was born. Kingshold is David’s debut novel and Tales of Kingshold, companion short stories to the novel, are flooding onto the page as fast as David can write them.

He is married to his wife Haneen and has a daughter Liberty, who all live with their mini golden doodle Rosie in Princeton NJ. David is one of the few crabs to escape the crab pot.

Thanks for letting me out of my little padded room for a while to ask you some questions. You know it would be nice if you pushed some food under the door occasionally. What? I’m not allowed to complain, just ask questions. Fine. I suppose we’ll get started. Who introduced you to Fantasy? What was the book that opened the door to other worlds for you?

Dave, what are you talking about? You get dried bread and a glass of water three times a day! Did you forget? Poor, poor troubled minded friend.

As for many people in my generation, my first step into fantasy was the Harry Potter series. I remember back in elementary school, everyone was talking about it and I refused to read it for YEARS. Mainly because EVERYONE was reading it and I had no interest in anything like that. My taste tends to differ from the masses. The fifth book was just released in Hungarian when one day I decided to give it a try after I had a talk with my dad about Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, me saying I didn’t understand what the fuss was about. He was like, well, if you don’t give it a try you’ll never know. So, reluctantly I took down the first Harry Potter book from my shelves, and within weeks I’ve read all 5 books. But what really got me into fantasy was those two books I stumbled upon in a bookshop which sold cheap books: Ysabel by Guy Gavriel Kay and Nightlife by Rob Thurman. Rob made me fall in love with dark urban fantasy and there was no looking back after that. This was I think in 2011.

I’m guessing that book was traditionally published but now you’re doing a great job of sharing the love for traditional and self published fantasy. How would you compare the quality of self published fiction to traditionally published?

My relationship with self published fantasy is largely thanks to luck and fate I guess. I’ve stated a few times in my answers before that I had no idea about self publishing and trad publishing when I started my blog. Most of the self published books I’ve read this past 2 years would deserve to be published traditionally. Honestly, if I didn’t know they are self published I couldn’t say the difference. I think nowadays the quality of self published books grew up to those that are traditionally published. In some cases surpasses them. It’s incredible some author how much time, care – and I’m guessing money – puts into their books to be as perfect as possible. Be it editing, proofreading, cover, etc. I’m not saying there aren’t a lot of low quality stuff out there, but if you search at the right places, you can find a lot of gems that would be able to erase the judgement toward self publishing.

I know the biggest challenge for most self published authors is getting readers aware of their book. What do you think self published authors should do to be able to reach a wider audience?

Personally I think that the strength of self published authors is that they can communicate directly with readers using the different social media platforms. Admittedly, they don’t have the marketing budget of a big publisher at their disposal, so that makes things a bit harder. In my experience, authors who are just present in the community, engaging in conversations building up their public image are more likely will attract attention from readers and bloggers alike. If they get interested in the person, they will be interested in the books. If your feed is full of retweet of your own books and ads, that will turn away some people. Along these lines, having connection with reputable bloggers can be helpful, participating in blog tours or trying out Esme’s TBRIndr is also a plus, not talking about cons where they can engage directly with the community.

You’ve also been taking part as a judge in SPFBO which I’m sure has been a great way to make whole bunch of new friends (it definitely is for the authors who take part). Let’s throw you a hard question and give you a chance to make some enemies. How would you change the format of the competition in the future?

Ugh, thanks Dave, this question earned you at least 1 more year of confinement in the asylum. But yes, I’m grateful to SPFBO as I’ve made quite a few friends thanks to it and I’m sure it gave me a really good push to get my blog where it is today.

There is no competition wich is 100% perfect, or fair for that matter. As taste in books are very subjective, it’s hard to prevent some favorites to fall out early. Having said that, Mark and the bloggers are continusly talk about possibilities how to make it better. Maybe I would allow every blog to give one free card to any book they wish and do a vote or something to choose an 11th book to get into the finals. But this just an idea.

OK, that’s enough about books for a while. Lie back on this couch and imagine you’re on your death-bed in the far, far future; what are the two things that you are most proud that you accomplished in your lifetime?

Fortunately, I still have a few years before me so I can still accomplish a lot – hopefully. I have no idea what’s waiting for me yet. One of the things I think will be my blog whether I’ll keep it up for a long time or decide to shut it down in a few months. It opened up a few paths for me, helped me find friends, made me grow as a person.

As for the other… I don’t know. Maybe that I could make all my dreams and goals come true. I have so many places to visit, things to do, experiences to have.

What is the funniest practical joke that you pulled on someone? And did they find it funny?

Honestly, I’m not the practical joke kind of girl, I don’t think I ever pulled one myself. I’d feel guilty and bad for tricking someone. My dad on the other hand… He pulled a few on me during the years. Here in Hungary we have a tradition, on Easter Monday the boys dress up and visit all the girls in the village/neighbourhood to water them. Literally. They have to tell a poem, and they usually get some sweets or a red-painted egg, or lately money. These days in the city instead of water people use cologne/perfume depending if they want to be assholes or not. It’s a bigger tradition outside of the city where girls are usually end up with a bucket of water dumped on them.

Anyway, dad used to be a traditionalist, and he splashed water on us. One year, a few days after Easter I got home after school. No one was home and I went into my room. Suddenly I heard some noise coming from the wardrobe right next to my room. I went to investigate, pulled the curtain away and got splashed in the face by dad. He had a good laugh about it.

I guess we better get back to the fantasy stuff. Tell me, Timy, what is your biggest pet peeve or most over used trope in fantasy? (So I can make sure I hit that one in my next book – mwahaha – wait, you’re probably going to say one that I’ve already used. Nuts!)

Well, one trope I don’t like is traveling – I talked about this in one of my answers to Ben Galley. As for pet peeves, I don’t know, maybe insta-love. That there must ALWAYS have to be a love interest. The concept of Chosen One. If there is a character like that in a story, then you can more or less predict how the story will end as the Chosen One usually succeeds. Often thanks to a prophecy. I also hate repeating passages… There is a series I wanted to love as it had a really cool setting and a lot of awesome ideas, but the writing put me off around book 4 I think. I just couldn’t stand anymore the MC’s whining about his mom and the fact that the name of the place was used on almost every page. Yes, we all know where the story sets place, thanks, don’t need to tell us at the end of every fucking sentence. What also puts me off is the constant usage of names, especially during conversations. I think I actually pointed out in my review of Kingshold. It seems to be a problem with quite a few books. I peered into a book which sounded really cool, and within the first page both characters name who had a scene were repeated at least a dozen times – mostly unecessarily. I’m really interested in that book but it just annoyed me so I think I’ll need a better frame of mind to get to it.

Oh look I dreaded this question as I had no idea what to say. Seems like I do have a few pet peeves after all.

Lightning round time now. Don’t think, just answer the first option that appeals to you.

I bolded my picks 🙂

Fantasy covers – stylized vs people focused vs landscape

Stories you enjoy – great world building vs interesting characters

Dragons or pixies?

Dragons – intelligent or beastly?

Most annoying – people complaining or baby crying

Good answers. But before you have those big guys drag me back to my room, some of the nurses on the ward told me that as a child you dressed as various Disney princesses for Halloween. Who is your favorite princess? But most importantly show us the pictures!

First off, I’m a Hungarian, we don’t celebrate Halloween. We do however have a Carnival (Farsang) season in February. One of the most famous event is the Busó walking (Busójárás) in  which lasts for a week. People dress up as some kind of demons and this tradition was meant to chase the winter away. Check a video out about it:

But back to me. Back in kindergarten and elementary school (in the first 4 grade anyway) we had a costume competition every February celebrating Farsang. At the time I was really into Disney movies – oh who am I kidding, I’m still into them – and my mom made me an Ariel (1994, I was 6) and a Jasmine (1995, 7) costume. The skirt and top used for the Ariel costume was part of my wardrobe for many years. My older sister had a similar set in wine red. Let me tell you, in the 90s’ that velvet fabric was REALLY COOL! So, without further ado, pictures:


If you’d like to get in contact with D.P. Woolliscroft, you can find him on social media:

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Read my review of SPFBO entrant Kingshold, or Tales of Kingshold, then go and grab a copy of both books by clicking on the buttons. If you hurry up you can catch up before Ioth, City of Lights is out this summer!

Check out The Questioning page for more similar content where you can follow both the Author Edition and Blogger Edition in one place!