Interview | David Harris Wilson | Author of Tales of Johan

I really enjoyed reading Tales of Johan and wrote a review of it several weeks ago. I am delighted that author David Harris Wilson has agreed to an interview for Indie Bookworm:

Why did you write “Tales of Johan”?

“Tales of Johan” is set primarily in a remote village on the West Coast of Scotland. Inverdaig is fictitious, but based on a mix of two real villages. My parents took me to the area where the book is set every year as I was growing up, and I have continued to visit almost every year since, to work or to relax. It always struck me as a beautiful and magical place – somewhere like no other. But also a place that was beginning to lose its special identity, with the increasing growth in holiday homes, incomers that could afford to move there as a lifestyle choice, and increasing tourism driving a more money focused culture. I had already written three novels, and wondered why I had never come across one that I enjoyed set in that part of the world. I loved the early Marquez books, and wanted to see if I could tell a story, using real superstitions and folk tales, that had the same magical feel. And writing about Scotland is always fun!"

What kind of reader would enjoy “Tales of Johan”?

“I honestly think this book is for everyone and anyone. It has been read by a range of ages, from teens to elderly, of both sexes, and everyone seems to get something out of it.”

How did you develop your characters?

“I always think about the end of the book before I start, knowing the key people in the last scene and what they are thinking, and then work back to start their arc in a different place. But Johan, who sprang on to the page fully formed, and then was rather difficult to control, was an exception.”

Why did you decide to publish “Tales of Johan” yourself?

“I came very close to getting my first novel published with a major London firm. That would have been life-changing twenty years ago, but they decided my work wasn’t commercial enough. Over the following years I got many letters from publishers through my agent praising my books, but saying they were hard to categorize and therefore hard to sell. Times were always hard for publishers. So, I came to accept that fact and using Amazon was just a chance to see if others around the world actually wanted to read them.”

Are you working on any new writing at the moment?

“Of course. Next one is set in Laos on “the Plain of Jars”; a landscape scattered with thousands of mysterious huge stone urns. It is also the most bombed area of the world ever, where it is still impossible to access many areas as the ground is littered with buried shells and cluster-bombs. My characters have found themselves in the middle of that area at the moment, and are having an interesting time!"

Follow the link to David's author page on Amazon for links to Tales of Johan and all his other books.