Saturday, August 13, 2022

Interview With Historical Fiction Author David Victor Spencer West



1.    What motivated you to write your book, to force you from taking an idea or experience and turning it into this book?  I’d finished the third book in the series. I flicked forwards through history. Nothing excited me about 1611, but the Fettmilch uprising in 1612 did. Book 3 had the underlying theme of gender inequality. Racism seemed like an exciting and worthwhile theme to work on next.  

2.    What is it about and who is it for?  It’s a murder mystery set against the background of an erupting pogrom. The central character, Maria, falls in love with a Jewish doctor who is concealing his faith, so it’s a romance as well. Anyone who enjoys historical fiction with a murder mystery and a touch of romance should enjoy it, I hope.   

3.    What takeaways might the reader be left with after reading it?  Why do we hate? Anti-semitism wasn’t invented by Adolf Hitler. It’s great that we have movements like Black Lives Matter and Me Too, but isn’t it sad that we still need them? Why is “woke” a pejorative? It means alert to injustice in society. Why is that a bad thing?  

4.    How did you decide on your book’s title and cover design?  Jacqueline Abromeit has designed the covers for all books in the series. She added an image of the uprising to the brand. There was a mini-ice-age at the start of the 17th century. The resulting crop failures had to blamed on someone. Witches and Jews took the blame. I had the idea that Sir Anthony would read the account book of the vineyard that he may buy, and discover the decline in crop yield. I made a ledger key to the murders investigation later in the book There is a theme running through the series about creation, and the Big Bang. Matter and anti-matter, yin and yang, credit and debt. For a murder mystery Called to Account seemed right.  

5.    What advice or words of wisdom do you have for fellow writers?  Read The Seven Basic Plots, by Christopher Booker. In terms of fiction, it was my eureka moment. I use the word moment loosely, it’s 705 pages long.  

6.    What trends in the book world do you see -- and where do you think the book publishing industry is heading? Audiobooks are growing so fast. I’ve got an actor / producer working on the series now. There will always be major publishers and physical bookstores, but it’s becoming a lot easier for Indie writers to publish quality books. So, I think volume will edge towards Indie.  

7.    What challenges did you overcome to write this book?  Romance has never been my favorite genre. Fortunately my wife has an encyclopedic knowledge of the Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer books. She helped me a lot with plotting the ups and downs of a difficult romance. She also drafted significant scenes.  

8.    How would you describe your writing style?  If I think about the authors who have inspired me the most, I hope I come across as a mashup of Ian Fleming, Dennis Wheatley, and C.J. Sansom.  

9.    If people can buy or read one book this week or month, why should it be yours?  It’s got murders, forensic investigation, sword fights, wine, gingerbread, witch trials, love, hate, and philosophy. What’s not to like?  

About The Author:  I read engineering science at Oxford, then worked in design and later project management and project sponsorship roles on a wide range of projects across three continents. I was approached by Gower Publishing (now Routledge) to write a book on project sponsorship, and caught the writing bug. I had already gained an MBA and a BA in modern language studies with the Open University, so enrolled on their creative writing courses. I had a short story published by Bridge House Publishing, and shortly after that read about Sir Anthony Standen in a biography of Francis Drake. As my mother’s maiden name was Standen, I became intrigued. I felt his story should be better known, so decided to write it.  For more information, please consult:


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About Brian Feinblum

Brian Feinblum should be followed on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2022. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This blog, with over 4,000 posts over the past decade, was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by as a "best resource.” For the past three decades, including 21 as the head of marketing for the nation’s largest book publicity firm, and two jobs at two independent presses, Brian has worked with many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres, right along with best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth, Mark Victor Hansen, Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey Mackay, Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Susan RoAne, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America, and has spoken at ASJA, IBPA, Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. His letters-to-the-editor have been published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, NY Daily News, Newsday, The Journal News (Westchester) and The Washington Post. He has been featured in The Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald. For more information, please consult:



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