Today’s 20-20 guest is writer, Ray Daley from Coventry.
What name do you write under? Ray Daley. My name is there so if you like it, you know who to look up more from, and if you hate it, you know who to blame and avoid.
Where are you from, live or work? I’m from a city in the UK called Coventry. We’ve got 3 cathedrals, the 2 fastest cars in the world and we revere a naked lady on a horse. Our football team were also a Monty Python joke, once.
Tell me two things that people may not know about you. I’m related to the actor Clive Owen (cousin). My oldest brother lived next door to the lead singer of The Specials.
Do you have any hobbies? Reading & watching movies. Super boring, I know. My life is mostly writing or submitting stories these days.
What is your favourite book(s) and why? Either The Forever War (Joe Haldeman) or Have Spacesuit, Will Travel (Robert Heinlein). I read both when I was about 10 & fell in love with space & SF forever.
Who or what inspired you to become a writer? At junior school, a friend & I used to make up stories about what we’d done that weekend, the object was to be as outrageous as possible without making the other guy call you a liar. For some reason, it involved a lot of restaurant meals eating rainbow trout. I guess it seemed like quite an exotic fish to 2 young lads. I seem to recall I started writing stuff around that time in English class, stories which were basic rip-off’s of whatever SF TV show I’d seen most recently but I used myself as the protagonist.
What type of books/genre do you write? I cover SF, Horror & Fantasy, but I’ll try any genre at least once. Heck, I once wrote an erotica story where all the sex happened either off-screen or just around the corner where you couldn’t see it.
How would you describe your writing style? Frantic. Get it down, get it finished, get onto the next one.
What comes first for you – character, plot or setting? Probably plot. Some ideas come fully formed with everything there, sometimes its just a person saying something weird.
Do you have a writing routine? Not really, as every story is different, my approach is too.
Do you become a ‘method’ writer? No. I just write. I do like mood music to write to though!
What are you currently working on? Submitting a story every day to a paying market for an entire year. At the time of writing, it’s day 22 and things are going okay so far. I’m not sure what my odds of success are, but I’ve got over 600 finished stories to choose from and plenty of markets. I also just got done with final audio proofing on my 2nd novel, which I’m looking to pitch during the next Twitter pitch event this December.
What has been the most fulfilling part of your writing career? Making my 1st ever pro sale last month (Aug 31st, to Daily Science Fiction). I thought my 1st ever sale would be a tough high to beat, but 1st pro sale certainly does it!
What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever been given? Write for yourself, if anyone else likes it, that’s a bonus.
What piece of advice would you give to someone wanting to become a writer? Persistence pays off. It took me almost 5 years from my 1st paying story to my 1st pro-rates sale.
What have you published recently? That was my summer camp slasher parody. Summer At Camp Long Drop, in Ghostlight Magazine (issue 6). https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ghostlight-Magazine-Terror-Fall-2020/dp/B08HTBWSDF/
Before that it was my cyberpunk story Electric Feet, Manual Street at Kasma Magazine. https://www.kasmamagazine.com/electric-feet.html
Do you think there’s still some snobbery between commercial and self-publishing? I haven’t tried to self pub much, to be honest. I’m the wrong person to ask. I put out stuff for ages through Smashwords, before I finally decided my work was good enough for people pay to read it. Then I switched to being published by others via submissions, I haven’t looked back since. I briefly toyed with selling through Amazon early on, but it made almost no money so I stopped that fairly quickly, but I do still see the odd royalty payment from that now and then.
How do you market your writing? Twitter and Facebook, and on my blog. I don’t use many social media platforms. I’ve taken part in a few online interviews before now too, to promote my latest release or just get people interested in my work.
Where can people find your work? This is a link to my bibliography, a lot of it is free to read:- https://raymondwriteswrongs.wordpress.com/2019/04/23/bibliography-page-for-ray-daley/
Where can people find you on social media and online? Twitter I’m @RayDaleyWriter , on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/raymond.daley.10 and my blog https://raymondwriteswrongs.wordpress.com/ The blog always has a monthly round-up of what I’ve done and what’s coming up in the near future, so it’s a good place to check if you want to see what I am doing or will be doing soon.
Thank you, Ray, and finally a note that may interest you: Alchemy Press are opening up their submission inbox in January 2020 for inclusions to their third Book of Horrors anthology. Click on the image below to be directed to their submissions page.