DAVID’S TOP WRITING TIP: All authors were once ‘first-time’ authors, without knowing with any real certainty whether their books would become bestsellers or they would be considered ‘great authors’. Although the one thing all successful authors have in common – they went ahead and wrote their first book.
David Stanley is the pseudonym of a former New South Wales police officer who has opted to keep his identity secret due to the controversial nature of his recently released book. I haven’t read it yet but with the teaser that ‘every reader’s challenge will be to differentiate what is fiction and what isn’t’, I was certainly interested in finding out about its author.
Why do you write? I write because I have stories to tell – stories that I have borne witness to that are too important not to be told. The nature of my previous work as a police officer has given me endless inspiration to write: about heroes, about villains, noble and corrupt conduct, the entertaining and the controversial.
What would you be doing if you weren’t a writer? I have already done it: police officer; corporate management, small business owner. Writing, in my case, is not all-consuming, it is a therapeutic activity I undertake out of passion, not a financial need.
What was your toughest obstacle to becoming published? The toughest obstacle to being published, for a new, and therefore unknown, author is to be given a chance. Without a reputation (good or bad) and without a catalogue of published works, finding publishers and then readers, willing to invest their time and money regardless is by far the toughest obstacle.
What’s the best aspect of your writing life? The ability, through fiction, to explore issues that through other means may be taboo, too controversial, or highly sensitive. Writing does, within reason, allow for the purest form of ‘free speech’ and to indulge in characters and situations that bring joy, entertainment, anger, suspense and thrills to the reader
—the worst? There are two. The first is the time and effort required to write a book. In an age when instant gratification is the norm, the motivation and self-discipline required to complete a book can shake the most determined author. The second is the unknown. Authors write with the deliberate intention of sharing their stories. Competing with millions of other books for readers’ attention, not knowing if your stories will be read, and enjoyed, is another negativity that must be overcome.
What would you do differently if you were starting out now as a writer? I consider myself to still be in the process of ‘starting out’ so my perspective remains steadfast on having no regrets. In that regard, write the story you wish to tell, even if it doesn’t conform to a ‘successful formula’. With my limited hindsight however, gaining a greater understanding of the challenges and obstacles facing new authors would have been beneficial.
What do you wish you’d been told before you set outto become an author? That the most daunting aspect of being an author is not the time, effort, or discipline required to get published (along with some good luck), but the vulnerability associated with your work being available to readers, reviewers and critics and their subsequent opinions.
What’s the best advice you were ever given? If it’s to be, it’s up to me.
The Complete Duology
by David Stanley
Optimistic. Naive. Ostracised. Isolated.
Oscar Herald’s first day as a Probationary Constable in the New South Wales Police Force did not go as expected. His dedication to policing, his emotions and his mind are pushed to their limits as he crashes headlong against a carefully indoctrinated organisational culture.
From the twisted political machinations that manipulate the very top executive officers, to the chasm between policy and practice separating criminals and victims at its grimy bottom, Oscar struggles to find support from those around him who have fallen victim to the syndrome ensuring justice will not be served.
As a multiple murderer threatens the lives of thousands, Oscar’s attempts to track him are hindered and dismissed. With no one willing to listen and nowhere to turn, Oscar seeks absolution in a desperate attempt to catch a killer and faces consequences that he could never have imagined.
The challenge for every reader will be to differentiate what is fiction and what isn’t.
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