I’m delighted to host my first ever author Q&A here on my T. J. Blake #Author blog. And what better debut guest than David P. Perlmutter!
Something really awesome about David is that his novel, “Wrong Place Wrong Time” is being adapted into a movie. It’s currently in pre-production. So you can be certain that David will have some amazing insights for you if you’re an aspiring author!
Welcome David, thank you for joining me.
Let’s kick off with this. Describe ‘David P. Perlmutter’ in three words.
Impulsive – Petulant – Dreamer – according to my girlfriend 👀
What is your type and genre of writing?
I write true stories (4), crime fiction (trilogy), marketing books (8) for the indie author, and one children’s book.
Why do you write?
Well, when I first started to write, the last thing on my mind was writing a book, especially being dyslexic. But I did start a blog ten years ago when I lived in Portugal, which was mainly for therapy to be honest about my adventure to Marbella, when I was wrongly arrested for arson and manslaughter and ended up in jail.
I sent a couple of blog posts to my friend and then editor to look at and she replied, “David, this is far too good for just a blog, you should write a book.” So, within six months, I did. My friend and editor edited it, and that book, “Wrong Place Wrong Time” has been a #1 BESTSELLER around the Amazon world.
She did warn me that I may receive some negativity from readers because of the nature of the story, which I did, but with over a thousand five-star book reviews, these have certainly outweighed any negative reviews. Also, this true story is currently a book to movie project.
From there, I caught the writing bug. I guess it’s escapism, my escape from the real world.
You’re an author, but do you have another full-time occupation? And if so, how do you find the time to write?
When I first started to write, I was in newspaper sales, real estate, and Google page one online marketing in Portugal. Then I came back to the UK and worked for another newspaper selling advertising.
The past couple of years I’ve stayed at home to concentrate on my writing, but when Covid began, I had to do my bit. The past year I’ve worked at my local Sainsbury’s, stacking shelves from 10pm to 8am a few nights a week. I have a thirty-minute power kip at lunch, between 2 and 3am. I’ve done four nights on the trot this week. It’s such a tough gig and I now have the upmost respect for supermarket employers and key workers. As a customer beforehand and still of course, I really didn’t appreciate what went on behind the scenes. I used to go and get my shopping without even thinking how the products appeared on the shelves every day. I’ll tell you it’s a slog, nine/ten hours a night of ripping up boxes, lifting cans or bottles and stacking shelves. It’s a workout, one doesn’t need to go to the gym believe me.
Regarding writing, I can’t do any when I do the graveyard shift as working one night, takes out two days for sleep. So, I write at weekends, during the day and at night when I’m not working.
I also do extra work as an actor and some modelling. I have appeared in a few Bollywood movies, several indie films, TV shows, music videos and fashion photoshoots.
At 56, I wish I started the acting lark 30 years ago, but I’m loving along with my writing.
What is your writing process? Do you even have a format for when you write?
Good question. I have no format at all. Sounds crazy, but with my latest books, my crime fiction series, Write to Kill, Write to Survive (both on Amazon) and Write to Live, (with my editor) I never had a format. Yes, I had ideas, but nothing written down, not even a clue about books two and three when I first began to write book one.
What comes first; fictional world, character, plot, or something else?
With my crime fiction series, which I’ve loved writing, I guess the fictional world came first, then the characters came to me as I wrote, and the more I did write, the more the plot played out in my head and then onto the screen. You could say that I came up with the plot and characters as I wrote, which wouldn’t be too far from the truth.
How do you create your characters?
Again, with my crime fiction (You can tell I loved writing these books!), the characters came to me as I wrote. The main character is an author, his name is never mentioned in the books. He does have love interest with Lisa, a nurse, but his main rival, the danger man is called Mad Dog Maddox, an underworld mafia type character.
I also act out the scenes when I write and read the dialogue out loud too. I really have put blood and guts into writing these books so the reader can try and feel the scenario when reading. Judging by the many comments and reviews on my blog, I guess that has come across.
As an example, a scene in book one, Write to Kill, I acted out when the main character, the author in the book was gently pricking himself in the stomach several times to feel the pain from the tip of a knife before he did his murderous deed. At the time, my editor (my editor is also my partner), Julie Tucker, was editing the scene as I acted it out in front of her and said, “are you mad?”, which, my partner knows full well, I am. So, just for her, I replaced the knife with a banana.
Can you write us a flash fiction story based on your latest story? Let’s say no more than 10 words.
What about four sentences: “An aspiring author, cursed with writer’s block and ridden with debt, is offered a huge amount of money to commit a heinous crime.
Caught up in the machinations of the underworld and at the mercy of a gangland boss, will this budding writer accept the money, commit the crime and leave his innocence behind him?
And will real life turn to fiction, as events inspire him to write what he dreams will be an international bestseller?”
What’s the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing?
A few years ago, I met Anthony Horowitz at an event. He gave me a few minutes of his time. He in fact grew up in the next town to me.
Anyway, he told me a story of when he was writing his sixteenth book, without any success at all beforehand. His wife said, “If this one doesn’t take off, I feel you should think about changing professions.” That book took off and changed his life. He told me to never give up.
My third book “Write To Live” in my crime fiction, which is with my editor as I stated above, is my sixteenth novel too.
Even better, Anthony follows me now, and he’s my mum’s second favourite author.
What’s you next project?
Apart from being involved in the book to movie of “Wrong Place Wrong Time”, which believe me is a very long process, especially with the current world situation involving Covid, my new project is pushing my crime fiction to become a TV series. Yes, it’s a dream, but the response on my blog, where I’ve featured the first three chapters of Write to Kill has been nothing short of overwhelming.
I also have a producer in LA, pitching it for me. This one blog post alone has received over 100,000 page views, (over 417K in total) and over 170 comments/book reviews from readers who have stated how much they have loved reading the books, also suggesting actors to play my characters if optioned for TV, which many want, with Jenna Coleman being the firm favourite of readers to play Lisa. Other names have been mentioned. So, that is what I’m pushing for. If one doesn’t try, then to me, what’s the point.
What advice would you give someone who wants to start writing?
You must enjoy writing of course. Don’t over think and write for yourself. Also, as I’ve said above, try and make things happen.
How important is book marketing?
People who know me know I love social media marketing. I just wish social media was around when I was a lot younger. But I can’t do anything about that apart from acting younger than 56, which believe me I do. Anyway, as I have mentioned, I have written several books about book marketing, a brand titled “MY WAY”. I do not confess I know everything of course, but if just one of my tips helps an author sell a book or get their name out into the world, then I’m happy with that.
I’m on several social media platforms with Twitter being my number one with over 55k followers, followed by, and this may surprise people, LinkedIn. I went from 150 to over 18,000 followers in a year and a half. I even had a post that went viral with over 70,000 views and 35,000 comments. I wrote a book about that too. Instagram is of course great as is Facebook.
I’m also on Vero another great platform. Book marketing is free on all platforms if you use it right, and the only cost and investment is your time. I have also featured over 200 books from authors from around the world on my blog.
Which authors inspire you?
To be honest, all authors inspire me as writing is a tough gig.
Please name up to three of your favourite self-published/indie authors.
I could name three thousand.
There are so many, but I’m going to be biased as these three authors have been very, very supportive. I met Anne John-Ligali at the London Book Fair six years ago and we’ve been great friends ever since. We also meet up during the year and at Christmas for a few drinks, also with my next author mention, Soulla Christodoulou and I must say, they are such bad influences on me (Yeah, right David).
My third author is more of a writer and blogger, and he has been so supportive all the way from Philadelphia. Billy Kravitz has been a supporter for several years on Twitter and when I read his tweets about my work, I feel so special, so, Billy thanks.
Anne and Soulla, subject to Covid restrictions, I’ll see you over Christmas for some more shenanigans.
Well, I hope my invite for that Christmas drinking session arrives in the post soon! 😉
Thank you so much for giving me your time today David, speak again soon!
Did you enjoy that?
If you have any questions for David then please do drop them over to me and I can happily hold another session with David. Or head over to his blog or even one of his popular social media accounts he mentioned above.
Thank you for reading, another author Q&A coming soon!
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