MEET DAVE JOHNSTON
AUTHOR OF THE ATOMIC NUMBER SIXTY
And the Sixty Minute Read Series
Atomic Number Sixty (Sixty Minute Reads Book 1)
*Where are you from?
I’m not going to lie. I had to look this one up on the map. I’ve definitely heard of it, but couldn’t place it in my head. Think I need a memory upgrade.
*What exactly is the 60 minute read series?
When I was considering starting my quest to write a book, I first thought about the books that I like reading: sharp, punchy, to the point. No fluff. No fuss. No long, dreary, padded paragraphs. Since my kids arrived, time is also a premium, so short bursts of reading is usually the norm. And thus, amongst all my pooled ideas, the Sixty Minute Reads series was born. Roughly 300 words per chapter, each with its own cliffhanger drawing the reader on, all anchoring in real time around an event or location, with flashbacks and revelations converging to that final, sixtieth minute.
I love the concept of this. Very fascinating and innovative. You certainly deserve a high five.
*Do you write full time?
I don’t write full time. I’m not even sure I write part time! I just write as and when the mood takes me. I’m very much a flitter in life.
Hah! I can totally relate to this one.
*Tell us about the protagonist in your new book.
Holly Holloway is hard to understand. She’s strong, she’s sassy, yet in certain situations she acts weak, vulnerable, and well, human. Perhaps she is difficult to like, seems a bit of a bitch, but maybe all things become clear in the end.
Vulnerability is always a keeper in crafting a protagonist. Readers tend to relate to that more than anything.
*Is this a stand alone book or beginning of a new series?
It is very much a series. I love my concept, there’s so much scope.
That’s awesome. Sounds like it definitely has potential.
*What genre do you mainly write in?
Young Adult: this is to be a series of Thrillers, but I have also written a YA Adventure novel (yet to be published)
YA definitely has a lot of market appeal. I love to read in this genre too!
What inspired you to become a writer?
I used to read books a lot as a child. I was really encouraged by my family, and would consume book after book, even walking to the bus stop banging into lampposts. Writing seemed to come naturally later in life.
That’s awesome. I cracked up at this. Picturing you banging into a lamppost while reading was hilarious.
What’s your GOAL in becoming a writer?
I think I have already reached my goal: to become a published author. Perhaps my new goal is to become a multiple published author.
Goal achieved. Multiple publications sounds very desirable.
What 3 things have hindered you from completing your projects? (CONFLICT)
Time, desire, imagination.
Time: I work full time, have a young family that I love spending all my free time with, and climb as a hobby when I can.
Desire: I find it hard to WANT to edit my books. The thought of endlessly correcting my work seems to eternally stretch before me, so I put it off and off.
Imagination: My own imagination runs away with itself, such that when Draft 1 is complete, I am already off and thinking about the next book or books or series of books.
Ah, yes. These are the three heavyweights. Time, desire and imagination.
What keeps you motivated in achieving your dream? (DESIRE)
To get that first book in paperback. To see it on our bookshelf at home. To think that one day my children will pick it up and read it and know that their Daddy created it. That it might inspire and spark their own imagination and dreams and loves. Motivation, got it in spades mate.
I guess that would be pretty surreal seeing your own book on the shelf.
What’s your ANTAGONIST? What’s in the way?
Only my self. The wandering, writers mind. If only I could type as fast as my brain can think.
This wandering mind can be quite a problem sometimes.
Have you ever wanted to give up your dream? If so, why?
I’ve given up plenty of times. When the rejection letters came through from an industry that is only interested in the “painting by numbers” writing approach. When I had 10 chapters left to write and I couldn’t be bothered. When my laptop ran out of battery. Any excuse really.
Well, I glad to see your book online!
Why do writers give up, quit, or never complete their projects?
From a personal point, I would say that human modesty plays a large part. Imagine writing down all your thoughts and ideas, and then letting somebody else read them. Or worse, your friends, family, the guy next to you at work. It’s weird, right? But you get over it. You get supported. You realise you’re being silly and life is like that sometimes.
I suppose we have to develop very thick skin to survive.
What would you say to a struggling writer who’s given up?
Why give up? With self publishing such an easy, free, accessible ride these days, you can publish to the world, and then learn from your mistakes. No need to tell anybody you know, maybe even write under a pen name, but put it out there. Don’t let all that hard work go to waste. Lots of people won’t like it, but if you’re proud of it, then there will be people out there who will be too. Don’t write for everybody, write for yourself.
I tried to beat my reading addiction……Worst two minutes of my life. -Unknown
If a book is well written, I always find it too short. -Jane Austen
Whatever you do keep writing…..