Where Are You Now?

David Clarkson

David Clarkson

BA (Hons) English Literature 2001

Since graduating from the University of Sunderland author David Clarkson has been very busy, and, after years of world travel, the Peterlee-born writer has published five novels.

After graduating, he started to write his first fictional stories, but always felt that to become a truly accomplished writer he would need to significantly broaden his horizons. Therefore, just days after his 27th birthday, he bought a one-way ticket to Sydney, Australia. 

He spent two years in the land Down Under and travelled through every far flung corner of the country, earning his keep by taking up jobs doing everything from pruning grape vines to driving tractors. In his spare time he vowed to try every new experience that was offered his way, no matter how crazy. He climbed glaciers, swam with sharks, jumped from aeroplanes and pretty much tried to live life as much as possible.

During his time overseas, he was also fortunate enough to meet the love of his life, Katie. Upon the couple’s return to the UK in 2009, what was originally intended as a birthday present (a travel journal recounting their time in Asia) helped him to rediscover his vocation in life. He has been writing like a mad man ever since.  

All of David’s novels are inspired to some extent by his own travels and he writes the kind of books that he would want to read. Far too impatient to spend months waiting for impersonal rejections from literary agents, he decided to publish his work himself. Ultimately, he just wants people to enjoy reading his books as much as he enjoys writing them. 

His first title, The Outback, was based on his time in Australia, and his second, Stealing Asia, further drew on his travelling experiences in South East Asia.

For his latest published work David returned to his experiences Down Under for the first instalment of his science fiction trilogy.

He said: “Diamond Sky shares inspiration with my debut novel, The Outback. Originally they were both going to be a part of the same story. As I began to write, however, I found that I was drawing heavily from my own experiences backpacking in Australia and the added realism this created did not sit well with the sci-fi aspects of the story, so I split it into two different, and unrelated, novels.”

Diamond Sky is a love story at heart, although it also deals with loss and the boundary between life and death. Dr Emmy Rayne has just made the scientific breakthrough of the century, but rather than explore the possibilities, some members of her team want to hand it over to the military.

The book features a romantic relationship between two female characters, and David remembers feeling unsure about how this would be perceived:

“It is about two women who are both dealing with the loss of their fathers, who are able to help each other come to terms with that loss and ultimately they fall in love. The fact that the lead characters are gay is really just incidental to the plot, but they meet prejudice along the way as I think it is important to show that the world we live in is still far from equal.”

David, who lives in Portsmouth and works for a pharmaceutical management company, is now working on the second and third parts of the trilogy

Diamond Sky, The Outback and Stealing Asia are all self-published and available to buy in paperback and digital format on the Amazon website.

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