David Anderson was born in Toronto, Ontario, the third child of a Canadian RCAF pilot and an English war bride.
He grew up in Scarborough, Ontario and moved to Simcoe County, about an hour north of Toronto, in 1976. For thirty years he taught in Simcoe County elementary schools, grades one through eight.
He lives in a small town in Simcoe County with his wife and Shetland Sheepdog, Wilson.
His first book, "An Indecent Death", was published in September, 2011 and won critical acclaim. "A Striking Death" is due out in December, 2011.
MWU: Let me start by saying thank you for agreeing to let Mystery Writers Unite interview you. Now on to the good stuff (she says smiling)...aside from the main character in AN INDECENT DEATH, who is your favorite and why?
David Anderson: Detective Lori Singh, a young detective of Indian heritage, who assists Detective Sergeant Nicholas Drumm. She is new on the force, a little insecure, and unhappy with the way she is being treated by her superior. Possessed of a brilliant mind, she is trying to find her way in the York Police Services and appear competent but not overly brash.
MWU: What is one of your favorite chapters or scenes from AN INDECENT DEATH and why is it your favorite?
David Anderson: I like the first part of the book when the body is found in the woods. I had a lot of fun writing it. This was when I discovered I could write a mystery novel. I enjoyed seeing the scene come to life, the dump scene appearing before my eyes, and visualizing the characters in the clearing. After I wrote this, I knew all I had to do was write another 70,000 words. Easy!
MWU: Is there a character from AN INDECENT DEATH that you feel like you could explore further and may like to go back to at another time and write about them again?
David Anderson: I feel that way about most of the characters, actually, except for the minor ones where it wouldn’t be appropriate to use them again. Lori Singh and Nicholas Drumm, his girlfriend Emily, these people haven’t finished talking to me yet. Not by a long shot.
MWU: How do you “stay in character” when writing?
David Anderson: I need quiet, and I need no interruptions. When I am writing, I am drawn into the world I have created and the real world disappears. It’s as if I am in a tunnel, being drawn further along. Until I get tired, that is, and I have to stop!
MWU: Are any of your characters in AN INDECENT DEATH based on you or someone you know?
David Anderson: As a teacher, I met thousands of people in my career. So, yes, many of the characters are based on people I knew. But only parts of them. The janitor in the story, for example, is asleep with his feet in a sink in one scene. That really happened. Detective Sergeant Nicholas Drumm is a little bit like me, but only a little bit. I don’t have diabetes, but I do have a Sheltie, as Drumm does in the novel. The victim, a seventh grade teacher, is a wanton flirt, but I want to make it clear: I never knew anyone like that!
MWU: How did you choose the title for AN INDECENT DEATH? Do you decide on it right away or do you let the story brew for a bit and then choose?
David Anderson: I decided on it right away. And only after making sure no one else had used it. It wouldn’t do to call your book, “Ten Little Indians”, for example. I think I chose well, too, as lots of people have complimented me on the title.
MWU: If you had less than a minute to tell a perspective reader what they could expect from AN INDECENT DEATH (you are at a trade show and someone has stopped by your booth) what would you tell them? Go….
David Anderson: You can expect a good read. The story will carry you along and you will not know “whodunit”. At least, that’s what my readers tell me. You can expect a classic mystery story in the style of Peter Robinson or Louise Penny. It’s about a murder of a sexy teacher in a small community, and the people who solve it.
MWU: I ask this question to every author I interview. Do you ever experience writer’s block? If so, how do you cope with it?
David Anderson: No, I don’t, and I suppose I am lucky. Having said that, there are days when the writing doesn’t go well. I usually try to force things along but if that doesn’t work, then I give up and do other tasks. The next day is always better.
MWU: I always ask a published author what advice he would give to those of us still working away at their first novel, first draft?
David Anderson: Recognize that there are going to be times when things don’t go well, when you are full of despair and you just want to give up and run away from the whole thing. Figure out what is bothering you and then work out the way you will solve the problem. Do not give up and listen to others’ advice, but in the end, do what you think is right.
MWU: What have you learned about writing and self-publishing and what advice would you give to someone just entering the self-publishing arena?
David Anderson: I have learned that writing a novel is the easy part. Even publishing isn’t too hard. However, promoting your work, and getting others to buy it – now, that’s difficult. Fortunately, I have also learned that there is an army of helpful people out there, willing and able to assist you. The world of indie authors is a terrifically supportive one; be sure to join in and collaborate.
MWU: Is there anything you would like to say to new writers, new readers or current fans of your work?
David Anderson: New writers: keep going, don’t give up! New readers: thanks for taking a chance on a new author. I hope I have gained a new fan. Current fans: A Striking Death will be out soon!
Synopsis for AN INDECENT DEATH:
"Just the book to sit down with on a rainy afternoon with a cup of hot tea (or toddy). The plot is compelling, the characters are finely-drawn with charming quirks and the sense of place is familiar enough to make the story as unsettling as it is enjoyable to read."
"I really enjoyed this mystery. It kept me guessing all through the read. Trust me - I usually figure out the mystery before I finish the book. I hope to read more from this author."
"This is a riveting murder mystery that will keep you guessing to the very end! It's skillfully written, with such plausible characters that you feel these people could be real. The plot is logically developed to a climax that you won't see coming! I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Det. Sgt. Drumm's first case, and look forward to many more."
When sexy, seventh grade teacher Paula Noonan is found murdered in a nearby park, Detective Sergeant Nicholas Drumm of the York Police Services is called in.
Drumm's previous experience as an elementary teacher comes in handy when the investigation leads him to Paula's school, and a host of suspects, including the school's creepy janitor, an abusive spouse, the principal, a moody and leering fifth grade teacher and the angry and aggressive father of one of her students.
If you are a fan of Louise Penny or Peter Robinson, you will love the twists and turns of An Indecent Death!