Inspiration or the Subconscious Writer?

When my father died, I was working on a novel called Watershed. I think I had reached chapter ten. I had high hopes. Perhaps I might have hoped for his blessing, his guidance, but it didn’t work like that. Where does inspiration come from? Is there a capricious muse, an ethereal thing, all wisps and zephyrs? Or is…

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Manx shearwater – five million miles of migration

The Manx shearwater is a small white and dark grey seabird. It nests in muddy burrows on islands around the coast of the UK and Europe, as far south as Madeira, returning to the same burrow every year, before migrating back to the South Atlantic in winter. They fish during the day and return to their nests at…

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Robert David chats to South Wales Life

Robert David was recently interviewed by South Wales Life about his debut novel Aden to Zanzibar.  He reveals what inspired him to write the book, how he goes about his writing process and also gives us a glimpse into the soon-to-be-published sequel, Two Penny Blue.  If you want to find out more click here to watch the interview.

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Two Penny Blue – A Novel in Lockdown

Two Penny Blue is the sequel to Aden to Zanzibar and the second of the Plain Sight novels – Watermark will be the third and last. The broad sweep of the plot was already in my mind (as it is for Watermark – but more distant, as yet) when I started chapter by chapter planning in late 2019….

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The Poetry of Business

Some years ago, I wrote a satirical but unpublished novel called Watershed about a recently privatised, fictional water utility called Devalish Water (riveting subject?) that was ‘awash’ with cash and run by well meaning former civil servants who didn’t have a clue about how to manage a profit making business. The Chairman, a huge, fat man, lived for…

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The Sunshine Miners

When I was eighteen, I went to work on an opencast coal mine in the Swansea Valley in South Wales. It was at the top of a mountain near a tiny village called Cwm Twrch (of which there is both an Upper and a Lower). It was bleakly beautiful, treeless, sheep roaming and, in winter, the wind took…

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Aden to Zanzibar – Influences

Aden to Zanzibar, and its sequel, Two Penny Blue, (to be published in Spring 2021), are set in South Wales during the 1960s where I grew up. It is a Wales of contrasts: the iconic Valleys of coal mines and the windswept coastline of dunes. The village of Trebanog is at the top of the Rhondda Valley. My…

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Can Writing Be Taught?

Raymond Chandler – Can Writing Be Taught?

Raymond Chandler said that writing was like red hair, you either have it or you don’t. Presumably, he would have allowed that, if you have it, you could improve. But, writing comes from the belly, not the head, so no amount of thinking about it could make you a better writer. Because, Everything a writer learns about his…

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James Salter – A Life of Dreams

James Salter lived a varied life: fighter pilot, screen writer and novelist. He wrote, There comes a time when you realise that everything is a dream, and only those things preserved in writing have any possibility of being real. Are all experiences ephemeral and only the written word endures (Ozymandias, King of Kings)? Salter’s writing flows with images…

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