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Title: The Necessary Deaths
Author: David C. Dawson
Publisher: DSP Publications
Cover Artist: L. C. CHASE
Release Date: 11/01/2016
A young journalism student lies unconscious in a hospital bed in Brighton, England. His life hangs in the balance after a ketamine overdose. But was it attempted suicide, or attempted murder? At the request of the student’s mother, British lawyer Dominic Delingpole reluctantly takes on the role of investigator, aided by his outspoken opera singer partner, Jonathan McFadden.
The student’s boyfriend discovers compromising photographs hidden in his lover’s room. The photographs not only feature senior politicians and business chiefs, but the young journalist himself. Is he being blackmailed, or is he the blackmailer?
As Dominic and Jonathan investigate further, their lives are threatened and three people are murdered. They uncover a conspiracy that reaches into the highest levels of government and powerful corporations. The people behind it are ruthless, no one can be trusted. The bond between Dominic and Jonathan deepens as they struggle not only for answers, but for their very survival.
Meet debut thriller writer DAVID C. DAWSON
We are here today to talk about THE NECESSARY DEATHS. What can you tell us about it?
The Necessary Deaths is the first in a five part series. It didn’t start out that way. It was just a story I’d wanted to tell for a long time. It’s about how far we’ve come in terms of equal marriage, but how there are some people who’d like to send us back to the closet, and back to the dark ages. Once I’d got writing, I simply fell in love with Dominic and his partner Jonathan. So much so, that when I’m not writing and I’m out and about somewhere, I’m thinking about how Dominic or Jonathan might react to something. They’re very real to me, and I wanted them to exist beyond this one book. So I sat in the garden one afternoon, a gin and tonic in hand, and planned their lives together. Why a series of five? Well it’s less than seven and more than three, and I like odd numbers!
Please tell us more about our main characters.
Dominic Delingpole is a country lawyer living near Oxford in the UK. He’s in his early thirties, good looking but shy and very “English reserved”. He’s been seeing Jonathan McFadden, a landscape gardener and occasional opera singer, for two years. Jonathan’s the opposite of Dominic, confident, outgoing, outrageous. They’re in love with each other, but there’s a big commitment question hanging over them. You see, Jonathan wants an open relationship… Two other characters you’ll meet in this first book are John, a twenty-year-old student at Brighton University, and his boyfriend Simon who’s in a coma in hospital from a suspected drugs overdose.
What do you want to tell those who may be new to the series (if applicable)?
I wrote The Necessary Deaths because I’d been looking for good quality thrillers with gay characters at their heart, and couldn’t find many. What was key for me was that the characters and plots shouldn’t always be about gay issues, I simply wanted to put the straight characters in a book in the minority for once! I reckoned there must be others like me looking for the same, so I decided to write it. This first book is set in the UK, in places that I’m familiar with, and that I love. But subsequent books are going to be set in Sitges in Spain, San Francisco, Berlin and Tanzania.
What about The Necessary Deaths makes you the proudest?
The informal reviews I’ve had from editors and first readers have been overwhelmingly positive. They tell me that Dominic and Jonathan are easy to love, and that the pace I’ve written at makes the book a real page-turner. That aspect of it I’m particularly proud of. Good pace is what I like most in a book, so I was really writing for myself. It turns out that’s what a lot of other people want as well!
What is next for these characters? Is there more to this series? If so who will we hear from next?
Yes, I’ve nearly finished the second book, and I’ve mapped out the story arc for the five in the series. It’s possible that any of the characters might come and go over that story arc, it’s also possible that one or two of them might do some very surprising things, and a couple of them might meet unpleasant ends! Life is full of surprises, and it’s no exception in fiction.
If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring writers, what would it be?
Write. It sounds so simple, but I know it’s so hard. We all have this terrible self-editor in our heads. We stare at a blank page or blank screen and feel so inhibited. The best thing any writer can do is just get the first draft written. It will be full of absurdities and embarrassments. But it’s only you who sees it. Then start the editing process. I come from a TV background, and I know how you can completely transform something in the cutting room. Mark Haddon once said that most writers are bad writers, but a good book can come from a bad writer who’s a good editor.
What do you think is the most rewarding thing about writing M/M versus other genres?
I get to create a world filled with people from all backgrounds, all sexualities and all genders. It’s partly real, because it’s come from my world, and partly imagined. And it’s partly idealized, because I know it’s sadly not currently possible in many places of our real world. That’s because of bigotry, hatred and absurdly ill-informed phobias. I want my books to show that diversity is glorious; it can make our world infinitely richer.
What’s your favorite thing to wear?
A kilt. I have a couple, one is in the tartan of the Davidsons, which is the nearest to Dawson. A kilt is liberating for a man, in lots of ways! A friend of mine makes leather kilts, but they’re frightfully expensive. They do look extremely sexy on the right man.
How do you keep characters consistent through a story? Do you write out extensive character bibles?
I have a large Character File that has details about all the characters, including photographs. I add to this document as the book progresses. If I forget what color their eyes are or whether they have straight or wavy hair, I consult the Character File. And there’s nothing more fun than spending an evening on the internet, looking at images of gorgeous men for reference – all in the line of work!
How important are secondary characters to your story telling? Do you actively try to have women characters in your M/M to balance the male focus of the MCs?
That’s a really interesting question. In the second book of the Dominic Delingpole Mysteries, I’ve worked very hard on the secondary characters, giving them as much back-story in my Character File as I do the main characters. I love writing women. They can be fabulous, wry commentators on the protagonists.
What book do you keep by your bed?
250 Recipes from an American Master by my good friend Jeremiah Tower. He is a wonderful man and the world’s best chef.
If you could breed a character who was a love child of three different media icons, who would you choose?
The looks of George Clooney, the wit of Dame Maggie Smith, and the gorgeous Manuel Ferrara has some marvelous attributes…
If you had to be a cat, dog, or a rat, which would you choose and why?
A cat, especially one of my cats. You get treated like royalty.
What are you reading right now and what is next on your to-be-read list?
I have just finished History of a Pleasure Seeker by Richard Mason, a fabulous, sexy read. I’m about to pick up A Fool’s Alphabet by Sebastian Faulks – an astoundingly inventive writer.
Rapid Fire Time
1) Batman or Superman? Batman – I love the outfit!
2) Top or Bottom? Oh both, life’s more fun when you’re flexible!
3) Tardis or DeLorean? Tardis, it’s got more space inside for parties!
4) Sushi or pasta? Sushi, Japan is one of the best countries in the world
5) Jock or Thong? Oh Jock, thongs are so itchy…
6) Sex or Chocolate? Both!
7) Cook or eat out? Cook, and I’m good, though my boyfriend’s better
8) Hugs or Kisses? Both!
9) Tattoos or piercings? Neither, but I do admire them on the right body
10) Pasta or potatoes? Neither, my son got me on to a brilliantly healthy diet
What are you working on? What is next?
I’m really thrilled that DreamSpinner Press has chosen one of my short stories to appear in the Love Wins anthology for the Orlando shooting victims. It’s published this December. I’m three quarters the way through the second Delingpole Mystery and I’m developing the concept of an MM supernatural story set in London during the Second World War.
“Goodness, they are having fun, aren’t they?” he murmured as he tried to distinguish the blurry faces. There was one man—who seemed to be less involved in the group activity than the rest— Dominic felt sure he had seen before. He flicked through the images to try to get a clearer view, but the man always appeared on the edge of the frame with his face partially obscured, or he had his back to the camera.
“There’s something about this one,” he indicated to Jonathan. “I’m sure I’ve seen him somewhere before, but I can’t get a clear enough view of his face.”
“And I always thought you’d led such a sheltered life, my dear,” Jonathan whispered into his ear. “If I’d known that you were into group sex, then I’d have introduced you to some acquaintances a long time ago.”
Dominic giggled with embarrassment and nestled back into Jonathan. He held the cell above his head so that they both could see it. With his thumb he pointed at the edge of the screen.
“To be honest it’s difficult to work out whether this is group sex or a game of naked rugby in some stately home. You take a look at the chap on the far left of this photo. It’s almost like he knows where the security cameras are and is keeping out of view, but here he’s obviously got a bit distracted….”
“Probably by the cute young thing sucking his cock, I would imagine,” replied Jonathan drolly. “Lover, it really is too late to be looking at security-video porn. Let’s wait until the morning when we can transfer it onto the large computer screen.”
Jonathan gently took the cell from Dominic’s hand and put it on the table behind him. “Bedtime, my little Hercule Poirot. Unless you would like us to have our own security-video moment now.” He reached down and began to unbutton the fly of Dominic’s trousers. “Goodness, I think you do,” he exclaimed with mock surprise. “I think you’d better let me see to that now. It wouldn’t do for you to walk into Brighton police station tomorrow morning with your trousers in such a state, now would it?”
About the Author
David C. Dawson is an author, award-winning journalist and documentary maker, living near Oxford in the UK.
He has traveled extensively, filming in nearly every continent of the world. He has lived in London, Geneva and San Francisco, but now prefers the tranquillity of the Oxfordshire countryside.
David is a Mathematics graduate from Southampton University in England. After graduating, he joined the BBC in London as a trainee journalist. He worked in radio newsrooms for several years before moving to television as a documentary director. During the growing AIDS crisis in the late eighties, he is proud to say that he directed the first demonstration of putting on a condom on British television.
After more than twenty years with the BBC, he left to go freelance. He has produced videos for several charities, including Ethiopiaid; which works to end poverty in Ethiopia, and Hestia; a London-based mental health charity.
David has one son, who is also a successful filmmaker.
In his spare time, David tours Europe on his ageing Triumph motorbike and sings with the London Gay Men’s Chorus. He has sung with the Chorus at St Paul’s Cathedral, The Roundhouse and the Royal Festival Hall, but David is most proud of the time they sang at the House of Lords, campaigning for equal marriage to be legalized in the UK.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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