Today I’m pleased to welcome David Towsey to the blog. David is the author of Your Brother’s Blood and the recently published Your Servants and Your People, the first two books in The Walkin’ Trilogy. David has been kind enough to answer a few of my questions.
1. Your Servants and Your People is the second book in The Walkin’ Trilogy. Without giving too much away, what is the Trilogy about?
The Walkin’ Trilogy is a kind of zombie-western set in a fairly bleak, post-apocalyptic landscape. . . although no one really knows what caused the apocalypse. In these tumbleweed towns and rolling prairies, death isn’t always final – some people come back to life as a Walkin’. One man, Thomas McDermott, finds himself in this position and the trilogy follows how he and his family cope with the change and the harsh world around them. In my mind it’s The McDermott Family Saga, but that’s not so snappy.
2. When you started writing Your Brothers Blood did you know then that you intended the story to last over three books or did it grow organically?
To be honest, it’s a little bit of both. Your Brother’s Blood started out as a short story that I managed to place in a SF magazine called Jupiter. The editor said he liked the world and wanted to see more of it. So when I began writing the novel, it was in the back of my mind to write more stories involving Walkin’ characters, etc. But I never really thought anyone would take my first novel – I always tried to keep my feet on the ground and look at it as a learning experience (and I still do). When my agent started talking about trilogies, I thought he was crazy: one of those moments when you laugh expecting the other person to join in, and they don’t. But once I realised publishers were serious about more books too I got to work on where I wanted the story to go. Your Brother’s Blood is all about family, so I started there and just moved them along a bit – I wanted to see how they handled the passing years.
3. Can you give us a hint as to what will happen in book 3?
Well, I don’t want to say too much, but even more time passes between book 2 and book 3. This means big changes for some characters, and I’m really excited to see how readers respond. There’s another generation of McDermotts and life hasn’t gotten any easier. This is a family that has been wronged, and there will be a reckoning.
4. What is your writing process? Do you plan it all before you start or just sit and write? How long does the process take you from first line to completed novel?
I always have a clear idea of a final scene that I’m writing towards. I’m not sure why, but that is really important to me. I tend to think about the stories I’m writing quite cinematically – I picture that last scene vividly. The rest is trying to figure out how I’m going to get my characters there. For books 2 and 3, first line to last has been roughly seven or eight months. Your Brother’s Blood took a lot longer and went through many, many drafts. But I think I’m getting the hang of it now.
5. What do you have planned for when the Trilogy is complete?
At the moment I’m halfway through an SF novel: something along the lines of Solaris, set on an asteroid mining facility. It’s quite different from the Walkin’ novels, and it’s been a nice break to write something else for a while. That said, I have ideas for more Walkin’ novels if people want to read them. There’s definitely something over those mountains. . .
6. I like to end my Q&A’s with the same question so here we go. What question have you not been asked that you wish had been asked – and what’s the answer?
It might sound strange, but the question I never get asked during Q&A’s is: “what would you like to drink?” I do quite a few interviews via email and so rarely in person, it would be nice to be interviewed over a coffee. Or at a bar. Yes, a bar would be best. As for the answer: a decaf latte if we’re doing coffee (I’ve avoided caffeine for a few years now, but can’t go cold-turkey). Otherwise it’s a lager. I can’t do big-boy beers.