david litwack children of darkness

Interviewing David Litwack, author of The Children of Darkness

This week I’d like to introduce you to David Litwack, the author of The Seekers dystopian series for young adults. The Children of Darkness is the first of the novels. David has been writing since the age of 16 and is the author of four books so far.

david litwackThe David Litwick Interview

What is one thing that no-one would usually know about you?

I started writing seriously when I was seventeen and continued through most of my twenties. When career and family pursuits made writing difficult, I basically gave up, frustrated with my lack of progress. Thirty years later, with career done and family grown, I had no intention of writing again. But once I had time to daydream, the ideas started to flow. Now, in this second stage of my life, I’ve published four books and am hard at work on a fifth.

What did the best review you ever had say about you and your work?

The best ones are those where my story has moved a reviewer in ways I could not have anticipated. A novel is a partnership between reader and writer. The writer stimulates some emotion, and the reader feels it based on their own life experiences.

One reviewer, after reading Along the Watchtower (a story about the recovery of a wounded Iraq war veteran) said that the book brought back vivid memories of 9/11, even though she’d read the book ten years later. Another reviewer, after reading The Children of Darkness, where the leaders restrict education and free thought, recalled the time he first heard about Malala Yousafzai, the young Pakistani girl who the Taliban tried to kill for promoting education for girls.

Are the names of your characters important to you?

Names matter, especially for a SciFi/Fantasy writer building new worlds. Names need to be consistent and reflect that world. For the Seekers trilogy, where the society had been forcibly returned to something like our 15th century, I found the passenger manifest for the Mayflower, and borrowed names, mixing up first and last names to get ones like Nathaniel Rush or Thomas Bradford. All except for Orah. I wanted her to be different, a rebellious throwback to an older time. So rather than picking from the Anglo-Saxon, I chose a name with Hebrew roots. By the way, a little secret is that the name means light.

Are there any occupational hazards to being an author?

Being sedentary and having a desk too close to the refrigerator. The solution—planned exercise breaks and stocking healthy snacks.

Do you have any hints or tips for aspiring writers?

I take to heart the words of Justice Louis Brandeis: “There are no good writers, only good rewriters.” If you want to become a better writer, read lots and rewrite until no unnecessary word remains.

Assess every word, phrase, sentence, paragraph and scene objectively. Remove what’s not necessary, even if you love it. I have a favourite quote from Antoine de Saint-Exupery (author of that gem of a novel, The Little Prince): “A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” Polish each and every word until all that’s left sparkles.

Where do you find your inspiration?

Ideas are everywhere. The secret is not to discover ideas but to be open to them. When I’m in a solid writing routine, it seems everything I encounter offers a new idea. Of course, I don’t use all of them, but they get the creative juices going.

I wrote a blog post on this titled “Ideas are everywhere.” You can check it out here.

What was the most important thing you learned at school?

Far and away the most important is the love of reading. I had a wonderful, but eccentric English teacher in high school. On the first day of class, he informed us we were all failing. The only way to improve our grade was to read a book and write a book report to prove we’d read it. We’d improve one grade per book. Since that school had monthly report cards, that meant to get an ‘A’, you had to read four books a month. Oh, and one more important point. He provided us with a reading list of the best books imaginable—The Complete works of Sherlock Holmes, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, The Saga of Andy Burnett (I wanted to be a mountain man until I was fifteen),The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. I’ve been reading ever since.

Tea, Coffee, Water, Juice, Wine or Beer … which do you prefer when writing?

Cold drink—Diet Pepsi; Hot drink—chai tea latte or mulled cider.

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children of darknessWHERE CAN I FIND OUT MORE ABOUT DAvid AND his book?

You can find The Children of Darkness in Kindle or Paperback format here:

You can also meet David on his website: davidlitwack.com.

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WHY ‘THE THURSDAY THRONG’?

These posts are called The Thursday Throng in honour of the throng that waits eagerly outside the book store when a new author is doing a book signing event or appearance. On this website it takes the form of a ‘Meet the Author‘ online event with some information about our author’s latest book and an interview. If you would like to take part in the Thursday Throng then why not visit Thursday Throng Author Interview Guidelines to find out more.

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