David Walters talks about his next big thing

 Hello all!

Today we have a guest post from extremely talented author and very good friend, David Walters as part of him being linked to from Andrew Drage’s next big thing blog hop.

So without further ado, here is David…

Who are you?

Existential questions aside, I’m David Walters, author of six novels: young adult historical books Samurai’s Apprentice (1, 2, 3), adult historical fantasy Dragonwarrior (1 & 2), and fantasy novel City of Masks. I’m also part of the design team for the Way of the Tiger role playing game which should be out in the next year or so.
You can check out a couple of my latest online articles in the latest edition of Fighting Fantazine http://www.fightingfantazine.co.uk/index.html
To truly answer the question, you should know I don’t really exist. I’m a fiction created by myself, springing into existence a couple of years ago, a fictional author writing fiction.
Anyone who has read my novel Dragonwarrior will understand the identity angst caused by the question ‘who are you?’.

What else do you have coming out in 2013?
I’m due to release my novel Samurai Master soon – it continues on the story from Samurai’s Apprentice 3, which was conceived as a trilogy but as it turns out the characters have a lot more story to tell, so will now be part of a series of six books. Kami’s journey continues for all his fans, and he’s got some exciting times ahead after his surprise decision at the end of Shogun’s Apprentice.

Also, I’ve got a gamebook called The Canticle of the Demon in the pipeline for later in 2013. I’ve been a fan of these ‘choose your own path through the story’ books for a long time, and want to write one that draws heavily on characterisation, tension and drama. This one will be set in and around a monastery, and of course contain a demonic influence – the rest is under wraps for now. There is a bit of a resurgence of the gamebook genre at the moment, and it will be fun to contribute to that.

I’m also working as a designer for the Way of the Tiger role playing game, and also have another few side-line projects but I’m not revealing any details on those just yet. I’ve also got to finish the Dragonwarrior trilogy – so much to do, and so little time.

Just how different is it writing a gamebook compared with writing a novel?
A novel is rooted in character and usually has a distinctive emotional arc for the main character. In most gamebooks, you are the hero who chooses which path to take, so there usually isn’t the same emotional arc: a gamebook is more about the world you explore and the choices that you make. There are some third person gamebooks that try to do a bit of both, such as The Arcana Agency by Paul Gresty at Megara Entertainment that does just that to learn a bit more about it.
I am interested in challenging myself as a writer, and this means trying new directions and ways of doing things.

When writing for the Way of the Tiger role playing game, you are part of a design team, how different is it working as part of a team rather than as a solo novelist?
The great thing about being part of a team is you can take more creative risks, as the group act as counterbalance if you go too far, double checking your work, and also they can spark off ideas in a collaborative way which help ideas to grow in unexpected and interesting directions. The only potential drawback to group creativity is you have to be prepared to compromise on your artistic vision, as you are bound by the agreements of the group, but on Way of the Tiger I’ve been given a very free hand to write for it, within the pre-established world. I think that is mostly due to the fact that the team are all so busy with other side projects!

There have been dozens of pieces of artwork created for the Way of the Tiger RPG, as the book will be released more than 200 pages & in full colour throughout. It was fascinating to see how artists on the project create artwork based on what I’ve written, and similarly it was an interesting exercise to be given a piece of artwork as a starting point and have to write some story or background around it. Again it is part of the collaborative process which sparks new ideas, or making old ideas go in different directions.

The original Way of the Tiger gamebooks were written by Mark Smith and Jamie Thomson, so this is my first time writing in a world that someone else has created, so that has been an added challenge, and I’ve tried to be as faithful as possible to the original author’s work. The original Way of the Tiger books were a big influence on my eastern style of writing, and so I am having tremendous fun writing in that world.
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