Sunday, 5 June 2016

From Charlemagne to Shakespeare and Short Stories to Screenplays - Don Maker Casts Light

Today I am delighted to welcome writer Don Maker to the blog:~ 

Welcome, Don. Could you start by telling us a little about your background - have you always written?

I’ve been writing ever since I can remember, mostly poetry and short stories. I tried to write a novel when I was 10, but I don’t think I got much past the first page. It turned out to be a lot harder than I thought!

You write across a wide range of genres, so I'm guessing you don't have a favourite - but are some easier/more difficult than others, and in what way(s)?

Perhaps because of my background in non-fiction, I tend to write about whatever really catches my fancy. Although single-genre writers become more successful (or use pseudonyms), I find this a lot more fun. The challenging part is the research. Three of my novels are “modern”, and it’s so much easier to access actual data about people, dates, inventions, etc. While I might spend six months gathering information on a modern novel, the research for most of my WIPS is measured in years. That’s probably why so many historical novelists tend to stick with a particular era or subject.

Is there a period of history you still have a yearning to write about, and if so, what appeals so much about it?

Right now I’m working on a series called “The Franks”. It’s the period in Europe when the Roman occupation of Gaul ended and the wild Gothic tribes transformed the territory into modern France and Germany. Although it actually started with Clovis, I’m beginning with Charles Martel because he is a very little known but powerful figure. He originally united most of Europe in the 700s, and was primarily responsible for stopping the Muslim invasion through Spain and Italy, preserving the territories north of the Mediterranean as a Christian kingdom. Although he never declared himself king, Charles left the empire to his son Pepin, and then his grandson, Charlemagne. I’ve never written a series, but this was a pivotal period in Western Civilization.

Can you tell us a little about your non-fiction?

A long time ago in a galaxy far away (Tokyo), I started as a copywriter for a technical agency and a ‘stringer’ for the United Nations University. I retired early from corporate marketing to become a teacher, and started writing articles for Yahoo Voices (now defunct) on travel and education. I’ve published a number of articles on various sites on those topics, as well as sports and politics.

Your novels The Jersey Jupiters and The Grindstone are set in the 1950s. Debate rages about when history becomes 'history' - what is your view on that?

To me, yesterday is history because you can’t change it. Technically, it’s 50 years, but what does that mean to a 30-year-old? I don’t call those books ‘historical fiction’, but, if you read them, very few people would recognize what went on in the NFL or the school system, respectively.

Are you working on anything particular at the moment - novel, screenplay?

Always! A movie producer asked me to write a screenplay on a concept I pitched him about Charles Martel; the working title is “The Savior of Europe”. I’m also working on “The Shakespeares and the Crown”, about the civil upheaval in England during the Elizabethan era. The Shakespeare family represents the devout Catholic faction, while William Cecil and Francis Walsingham represent the spy ring developed under the Protestants. I’ve spent three years researching that, and there’s a lot of fascinating stuff, both about the Shakespeare family and how Elizabeth’s spymaster manipulated world events. It is NOT another Tudor novel! I’ve also outlined a sequel for my young adult novel, “Miranda’s Magic”, and planned another YA I’m writing in conjunction with my daughter.

Thank you Don, for talking to me today about your writing. 

Readers can contact Don at

Find him at his Amazon Author Page
and at his Facebook Author Page
and his Goodreads Author Page

Tweet him @DonMakerAuthor

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