D. B. Carter lives with his family on the edge of a small town nestled amongst the rolling hills of rural Devon, England.
The son of two nomadic artists, he grew up in a world of creativity, studying painting techniques under his parents' tutelage. In his 20s, he went to university and followed a career in science and later commerce, running his own business for twenty years.
A lifelong bibliophile, he is firmly of the opinion that there is no such thing as too many books, only insufficient shelf space; it was his love of classical literature, of Dickens and Brontë, that led to the creation of "The Cherries."
His philosophy is, "If we look for the good, we will find it."
Tell me about your books
My first novel was “The Cherries" It’s a story about a young woman, Susan, coming of age and overcoming her own lack of self-confidence. She and her mother flee a life of poverty and abuse in the city to live with a friend in the remote English countryside. There they make new friends, including their reclusive new neighbour, Luke. With his encouragement, Susan discovers artistic talents long forgotten and maybe also love. But can the past truly stay hidden?
My second novel was “The Wild Roses”. Set in the 1980s, it’s about three friends, Pip, Sharon, and Gavin who are coming to the end of their time at school and facing a new world. But a chance meeting tears them apart and they each face new paths, very different from what they’d planned for themselves. It’s a story of hope overcoming adversities, such as betrayal,
corruption, and obsession.
My third book was a novella called “Ups and Downs”. Carol is a successful businesswoman who’s made it on her own and against many odds, not least overcoming a serious illness. But when disaster strikes in her business, she needs to seek outside help, and the only person who has a solution is the man she wronged long ago. Is it too late for love to blossom again?
My most recent book is “Christmas Yet to Come”. With Dickensian undertones, it tells the story of Mark, a 16-year-old boy with a dead mother and a drug addicted father. Mark is doing his best to look after his younger sister in almost impossible circumstances. When disaster strikes on Christmas Eve and things look bleaker than ever, they discover the true meaning of the season. Maybe things will change for the better. Perhaps Mary, the girl on the train, will hold part of the answer?
In addition to the books, I have also written several short spooky/horror tales.
When and how did you start writing?
I’ve written for as long as I can remember. In fact, I can clearly recall penning a story for my grandmother when I was small enough to use a chair as a table. I loved writing stories when I was at school, and I had an English teacher called Mr Edwards who was a wonderful encouragement.
However, once out in the world, I never showed my writing to anyone, not even my wife. It was only after several bereavements, and my impending 50th birthday, that I started to work on The Cherries and share my work with my family – they gave me the encouragement to go on, and the rest is history.
How does a story begin for you? Is it an idea, a conversation, a title or an image?
Sometimes, it’s a particular scene or even a line of dialogue which has occurred to me and about which I can build a story. Other times, it’s because I have a particular message I want to say, and the story forms more or less as a whole in my mind.
You write in different genres is the experience the same or different?
Good question! I’ve had to think very hard about this. I get very involved with my stories – when bad things happen, it affects me, so I think from an emotional perspective, there isn’t much difference. But in terms of story telling, I think things are different. With horror, giving too much insight of my characters’ states of mind is something I avoid, whereas in my dramas/romances, I feel knowing their thoughts enhance the narrative.
What was your favourite research activity you have done for a book?
I enjoy research too much to pick a favourite, but I certainly enjoyed looking back into my own teenage years of the 1980s for The Wild Roses.
What do you consider you greatest writing accomplishment?
My books cover difficult subjects in a gentle way. Bullying, sexual harassment, homophobia, self-harm, poverty, drug abuse, mental health issues, and bereavement have all featured in my stories. To have been contacted by readers and told they found the story lines have helped them with issues in their own lives feels like an accomplishment.
And which was your biggest challenge?
Putting myself into the mindset to realistically depict people whose lives and experiences are very different from my own.
Has a book really touched you? Made you rethink your views on life? If so, what was it?
To pick one is hard, as I tend to draw meaning from most books I read. I think the gentle sentiment of many Dickens stories sits with me always and my mind often turns to them.
I also found the (non-fiction) “84, Charing Cross Road” very moving and it’s book I read again and again. At the end of the day, it’s about friendship, love, generosity, and the goodness of the human spirit.
What are your current projects? What should we be looking out for?
I have several projects in different stages of development. However, one that I hope to be out this year is a fantasy set in our present-day world.
What is your ultimate dream as a writer?
As long as I can write, I am happy, but I guess it’d be nice to be as popular as Stephen King.
What advice would you give new writers?
Hold true to yourself. You know your story and you know how to tell it. Take advice and feedback on board, be willing to change and adapt, but don’t lose your voice. There is no right or wrong – if you’re happy with it and people like your work, that’s all that matters.
All images belong to author.