How did you become a writer?
Twenty years ago, I was inspired by actual career upheavals and professional experiences to work out a plot for what eventually became my debut novel “Hatred Ridicule & Contempt”, combining a libel trial with a distasteful round of law firm internal politics. I wrote half of it before becoming disillusioned at the prospect of ever finding a publisher, and shelved it. Then came the Kindle boom and the opportunity it provided for independent self-publishers. This was the inspiration for me to take out the long forgotten typescript, shake it down, finish it off and finally see it in print in 2011. “Infernal Coalition” followed a year later, and “Craven Conflict” three years afterwards, both of them once again legal suspense dramas.
Name your writing influences.
You’re no doubt expecting me to say John Grisham! I’ll gladly concur, but my all time favourite for reading pleasure and inspiration is Robert Goddard, an undisputed master of the ever twisting plot and the use of fascinating settings. I’d add Tom Clancy, Michael Crichton and Glenn Cooper (not a relation!).
When and where do you write?
Home and office, whenever the moment seems right. I am still working full time in the legal profession, so writing is very much a sideline. Thankfully I can answer “doesn’t the boss mind?” with “I am the boss”.
What are you working on now?
The outline of a potential plot for a new legal suspense drama involving disputed wills, dishonest brokers (far more entertaining than honest brokers) and family turmoil. I’ll need to be sure in my own mind that the plot is both interesting and watertight before the first words start to hit the screen.
Have you ever suffered from writers’ block?
As described above, my initial experience involved a 12 year block…
What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever received?
Write about what you know about, and what others are likely to know less about.
What’s your advice to new writers?
It was going to be “ne te confundant illegitimi” (Google it!), but on a more constructive basis “learn how to self publish and get yourself a really good cover designer.”
David Cooper is a solicitor by profession and lives in the UK. He has written and self published three UK based legal suspense drama novels, Hatred Ridicule & Contempt, Infernal Coalition, and Craven Conflict. He tweets as @DavidCooperBks and his blogsite can be found at davidcooperbooks.blogspot.co.uk.