To celebrate the release of his new book The Relic Hunters, author David Leadbeater tells us a little bit more about himself. 

David Leadbeater

David Leadbeater

I’ve been writing since I was 15

I submitted my first book to a publisher at age 15 and never heard back. Through the years I have written many books, most often for my own reading, until my wife brought my attention to Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), Amazon’s independent publishing programme in 2011.

I wrote a book specifically for Kindle

Having taken some time to learn how to upload book files, manage and promote myself, I researched bestselling genres on Amazon and found one I really enjoyed. The Bones of Odin, an archaeological action adventure, came out of that.

I like to keep my stories fresh

My mantra is ‘never stand still’. Every book in my main series moves the general, ever-evolving story forward, changes circumstances, often drastically, and always challenges the reader. To grow stagnant is to lose your audience.

I write for a living, my dream job

Since 2012 I have been lucky enough to be able to narrow the daily commute down to a walk from the kitchen to the dining room/office. As far back as I can remember my dream was to write for a living and I thank my readers every day for giving me that chance.

I enjoy creating new versions of old meals

I take something like a Jambalaya, add lots of different spices, garlic, Chorizo, lose the seafood and see what happens. Sometimes it ends up in the bin but often we end up with a tasty twist to an old meal. I like to think about my stories the same way!

I love family holidays

For me, there’s nothing better than the four of us heading off on a two-week holiday. This is where we can all switch off, relax and be ourselves, away from the outside world. My two beautiful girls are 6 and 8, so we always end up enjoying a non-stop, high-spirited break, but I wouldn’t change a thing and will enjoy every moment whilst it lasts.

I love to stare at a wall whilst I write

My idea of getting away from distractions, including the internet, is to take my laptop, jump in the car and drive to a quiet area where there’s nothing but walls and trees. Here, I can concentrate fully and write my best work. The calm emptiness acts as a balm to my brain, helping me think, and enables me to double or even treble my word count in a single day.

I don’t read as much as I used to

Being an independent author means working around my children’s school and meal times, meeting the day’s word count, answering all emails from readers and then engaging on Social Media platforms like Facebook every day, all day. It’s a continuous cycle – you are always available – and only ends at bedtime when I pick up my Kindle and find myself falling asleep in double-quick time.

Almost on a weekly basis, I’m asked who I would want to play the characters in a Matt Drake movie

At the moment, because Sean Bean is a bit little too old, I say Richard Armitage or Philip Winchester. Of course, there are also quite a few strong and confident women throughout the series, and I’d envision Charlize Theron, Maggie Q, and Emily Blunt. Fingers crossed!

My favourite author is. . .

Of all time? It has to be Robert Crais. I’ve never had so much fun with a series than with the Elvis Cole/Joe Pike Crime novels, but I do feel the last several years have brought nothing new. My favourite author of the last few years is Chris Kuzneski.

David Leadbeater’s book The Relic Hunters is shortlisted for the UK Kindle Storyteller Award, a prize recognising newly published work across any genre. 

The winner will be announced at the end of July and will receive a £20,000 cash prize, a marketing campaign and the opportunity to have their book translated.