Interview with Darrell Pitt

Darrell Pitt

Interview Date: 4/29/2012


I've wanted to be a writer ever since I had some positive feedback from a teacher in high school. Rather than becoming the next Stephen King I became a husband and a father instead and I'm fortunate to have such a wonderful family. Being a writer means that you mostly work for free. In saying this, I don't mean you never earn a cent from your writing, but what I am saying is that you work for a long time producing stories that are not quite up to scratch or not what people are looking for until you finally 'crack' the market. I've had many jobs over the years - too many to list, but I currently work part time at a facility called "The Sacred Heart Mission". This is a place where people who used to live on the streets now live in a hostel similar to an aged care home. I am constantly reminded that 'there but for the grace of God go I.' Anyone can end up homeless or suffering from mental illness. It's a cruel world and in my own way I try to make it a better place when I can. My other interests include Star Trek, Harry Potter, The Hunger Games books and chocolate. Always chocolate.**

When did you start writing, and was there a significant event that prompted you to do so?

I received positive feedback from a teacher when I was at high school. I guess it goes to show that praise really does drive a person further than criticism. I wrote short stories for many years and finally broke into novels when I hit my forties. My first published novel was The Steampunk Detective. I am currently working on a series of superhero books.

Kev's response: Always nice to interact with a fellow superhero novelist!

If you could have one superpower, what would it be? (Assuming said power would be reasonably "powerful.")

I would love to time travel. I think the power to manipulate time and alter history would probably be the most amazing of all abilities.

Kev's response: Good thing you said "alter history," because if you'd said "altar history," I'd have thought you wanted to be an old school Aztec or something...!

Do you have a favorite superhero from novels, comics, or movies?

My favourite was always The Flash. I’ve also had a great liking for Batman (who doesn’t?).

Kev's response: I'm hoping you mean the guy who dresses in red and yellow, and has a lightning bolt on his costume. (As opposed to the much more frightening guy who runs around in an overcoat....)

Where do you get your inspiration for writing? What motivates you?

What did Edison say? Invention is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration? The inspiration is the easy part. It’s the sitting down part of it I find difficult!

Do you pre-plan your stories, or are you a by-the-seat-of-the-pants style writer?

These days I pre-plan. I work everything out chapter by chapter. Having said that, I still allow a lot of variation within each chapter. I know where it begins and where it ends, but the adventure is working out what happens in the middle.

Do you write only when inspired, or do you have a set schedule where you sit down to write?

Writing is putting a bum onto a seat and forcing myself to write. These days I’ve even taken to disconnecting the internet so I’m not tempted to check my emails for the hundredth time or read the latest news.

Kev's response: I should do that. Twitter distracts me mightily!

Do you have a favorite genre to write in? To read?

I am a writer of young adult books. I enjoy action and adventure stories that are character driven. Regarding my reading, well, that’s a good question! And I don’t think I can give you a good answer! My reading is very wide. At the moment I’m reading the Kurt Wallander detective novels written by Henning Mankell. This year I’ve read Virginia Woolf. I’ve also read Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer. I read widely.

What do you enjoy the most about writing?

Being completely consumed within another environment and taking the journey with my characters as they struggle against overwhelming odds! (My characters are more exciting than me. Personally, I enjoy a good book or a movie as opposed to facing overwhelming odds!).

Is there any part of writing that you don't enjoy?

Sitting down and doing it! Lol. It’s true! As much as I love to write, I can always think of other things I would rather be doing i.e. checking my email or the news! The marketing side of it is somewhat of a drag too. Being a self published indie author means tweeting a lot and posting on Facebook. Still, as an author, I’m fortunate to live in this era where the opportunities have opened up so much for writers.

Can you tell me something odd about yourself?

I currently work part time at Sacred Heart Mission in Melbourne. It’s a type of aged care facility where many of the residents used to be homeless. It’s a great honour to care for such needy people. Many of them have had tough or tragic lives so I’m glad I can make their lives just a little better.

Do you write one story at a time, or do you have several novels in the works at one time?

It’s one story at a time although I am currently working on a series of books. The first was Diary of a Teenage Superhero. The second is entitled The Doomsday Device.

Where do you see the future as far as paper books versus digital e-books?

At one point I would have expected paper books to die out completely. I suppose long, long term they will. These days I tend to think they will retain a small portion of the market in the same way that some people still collect records as opposed to CDs. In the next few years we will see a dramatic drop in the number of paper books being produced as opposed to a massive increase in ebooks.

What are your current projects?

I’m currently working on the third book in the Teenage Superhero Series. Tentatively, it’s entitled ‘The Battle for Earth’. Some time in the future I’m going back to writing sequels to The Steampunk Detective. Don’t ask me about a time line! I’m not sure when! (Come to think of it, being able to split myself in two would be another good super power to acquire!)

Kev's response: I'd go with cloning myself over splitting myself in two. I mean, really, one-handed typing would be a pain, not to mention sitting on only one butt cheek!

Do you have any advice for others about self-publishing?

This is a great era for writers and digital self publishing is the greatest innovation since the invention of the printing press. I think the number one requirement is to produce good books. Just create the best books you can. The rest will come naturally.

Do you have any online sites where readers can find out more about you (and your books)?

I have my website – I also have my books on Amazon, B&N and the other usual online sites. Here are the Amazon links to The Steampunk Detective And Diary of a Teenage Superhero Thanks for the opportunity!

-- Darrell Pitt
Diary of a Teenage Superhero
The Steampunk Detective
The Last Days of Earth
Secrets of Successful Writers

Kev's response: Darrell, I appreciate you joining me. May your super novels gain great power!

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