David H. Burton was born in Windsor, Ontario to parents that instilled in him the love of the written word at a very young age. Throughout his childhood, David read relentlessly, often into the wee hours of the morning.
Fantasy and Science Fiction novels have always been David’s greatest vice and he has indulged in the likes of Terry Brooks, Robert Jordan, Margaret Weis, Mark Anthony, J.R.R. Tolkien, George R.R. Martin, Robert J. Sawyer, Isaac Asimov, Melanie Rawn, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Sarah Prineas, and J.K. Rowling.
David graduated from the University of Toronto with a major in Biology and a minor in Classical Civilization. He also dabbled in Computer Science, to which he owes his current occupation in the Telecommunications world at one of the large banks in Canada.
When David isn’t writing he enjoys spending time with his partner and three boys: hiking, swimming, kayaking, biking, and reading. David has a great fondness for Portuguese cuisine, good wine, and all things left of centre. David’s newest release Scourge, is the first in his Grim Doyle Adventure’s and is a middle grade Steampunk fantasy.
PBD- How did you get started writing professionally?
DHB- Good question. I’ve been writing off-and-on since I was a kid, but not really focusing on any particular goal. It became more of a therapeutic thing in my high school and university years – something that helped me cope with being gay and in the closet. I’ve always been a big reader, so I suppose it was inevitable that the writing and reading sides of me would marry up at some point. That finally seemed to happen about seven years ago when I had one of those ‘Aha!’ moments with another book I read that I just couldn’t stand. I figured if that author could do it, there was nothing stopping me from trying.
PBD- Are you a plotter, pantser, or combination?
DHB- Combination. I have an overall plan for the book or series, after that it’s by the seat of my pants. It works well for me and I meet all kinds of interesting characters that weren’t necessarily part of the original plan. Sometimes it alters the overall story arc, but not significantly. I have to say, the pantser part of me has a lot of fun!
PBD- Who is your favorite character or type of character to write?
DHB- I don’t necessarily have a favorite, but I do love flawed and quirky characters. They’re a lot of fun to write about.
PBD- Who influenced or encouraged you the most?
DHB- With respect to my children’s writing, it’s my kids. My partner and I adopted three boys almost three years ago. They’re brothers and were at risk of separation. At the time, they were 6,7, and 9 years old. I had written an earlier version of Scourge from a female perspective. After adopting the boys, and seeing how few boy books were out there, I decided to rework the story. I’ve been able to draw a lot from my experience as a parent and seeing the world through my children’s eyes. They’ve been a HUGE influence.
PBD- Who was your favorite teacher and what subject did they teach?
DHB- I had a homeroom teacher in Grade 8 that I adored – Mrs. Godfrey. She taught a lot of subjects and I had nothing but encouragement and respect from her. Best teacher ever!
PBD- What interrupts or interferes with your writing the most?
DHB- LOL! Life.
With three boys (as I’m sure any parent will say) there’s so much going on that it’s really challenging to find the time to sit down and write. What I usually need is a couple of uninterrupted hours in order to be able to really get into it. Twenty minutes here, thirty minutes there – those are only good for editing, not being creative. But I’m willing to let writing take the back burner when it needs to. I have a whole lifetime to do it. 🙂
PBD- If you weren’t a writer, what type of work would you do?
DHB- I currently have a full-time job. I work in Telecommunications (computer networking) for one of the big banks in Canada. I LOVE MY JOB! I get to play with all kinds of technology and I work for a great company that treats me well. So I guess if I wasn’t a writer, I would do exactly what I do now. 🙂
PBD- What’s the biggest drawback to writing?
DBH- Hmm. That’s a tough one. I can’t think of anything when it comes to writing itself, but around marketing a book, there’s lots there. I’m an indie author – that means I don’t have a large publisher behind me. So writing, editing, cover design, marketing, typesetting, etc is all done by me. It’s a lot of work, but the hardest part is the marketing. Getting the word out there when you’re on your own is quite challenging. All I can say is thank goodness for book bloggers!!
PBD- What’s the best thing about writing?
DHB- I really enjoy being creative. Immersing myself in the story and having the chance to just let the words flow can be truly amazing. I also love editing – for some writers that may be a chore, but I get a thrill out of it.
PBD- If you decided to write in a genre you had never tried before, what genre would it be?
DHB- Oh, boy. Well, I’ve written children’s fantasy and adult dark fantasy/horror. I’ve been throwing around some ideas for a standalone novel that’s paranormal women’s fiction – so I suppose that would be it.
PBD- Thank you so much for answering our questions! We look forward to future works from you!
DHB- Thanks so much for interviewing me! I really enjoyed this!!
This is a very fun and exciting book. Scourge is full of interesting characters and dynamic world building. A great middle-grade book, Scourge also features a different family unit. Grim Doyle has two fathers and though that is not the main theme of the adventure, I found it refreshing to see an author write of a loving non-traditional family that bands together to try to survive the deadly world they have been thrust back into.
Another Burton book that I will be beginning soon is The Second Coming. Though definitely not for middle-grade, the premise sounds exciting and I can’t wait to sit down and read it…