Prizewinning author DA Watson spent several years working in bars, restaurants and call centres before going back to university with the half-arsed plan to become a music teacher.
Halfway through his degree at the University of Glasgow, he discovered he was actually better at writing, and unleashed his debut novel, In the Devil’s Name, on an unsuspecting public in the summer of 2012.
Plans for a career in education left firmly in the dust, he later gained his masters degree in Creative Writing from the University of Stirling.
He has since published two more novels, The Wolves of Langabhat and, his latest release, Cuttin’ Heads, along with a handful of non-fiction pieces and several short stories.
These include Durty Diana, which was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2016, and the Burns parody Tam O’ Shatner, which in 2017 came runner up in the Dunedin Robert Burns Poetry Competition, and was a competition winner at the Falkirk Storytelling Festival.
Time to meet Dave and find out what makes him cry and how he just missed out appearing in Mark Queen of Scots (in cinemas January 2019) with Margot Robbie.
Meet the Author:
My name: Dave Watson. I write under D.A. because there’s about a billion of us. Named after my great uncle David, who was a Burns scholar and lost a leg in the second world war, in an unfortunate grenade incident at a training camp outside Glasgow before he made it thirty miles from home. Hero!
My family: My wife Simonetta, and my son Max.
I was born in…. Glasgow, and raised in the smaller, similarly named Port Glasgow, a wee town some twenty miles downriver on the Clyde. But I now live in a little village on the west coast called Inverkip, famous for smugglers, big ass chimneys and witchcraft.
I like my home because… it’s quiet, next to the river, has an awesome view of hills and forests. And the Inverkip Hotel does a mean plate of chips, haggis and pepper sauce.
One thing I’d change about me… I like playing sports, but always get injured when I do. Chocolate ankles, my mates call me.
One thing I wouldn’t… Work in cold calling market research again. Yeah, I was that guy. Sorry. The first chapter of Cuttin’ Heads is pretty much nonfiction.
Best holiday? Boys holiday in 2002. A fortnight snowboarding and partying in Andorra. Absolute carnage. I have scars.
Worst? Was more of a working holiday, but while employed as a barman in a pub in Meribel, I spent two weeks (including my 23rd birthday) in a French hospital in the middle of the Alps after rupturing a kidney attempting a snowboard trick.
Absolutely out my tits on morphine much of the time.
In fact, that was a great holiday!
Favourite film? An American Werewolf in London. Hands down the best movie ever made, and I’ll have swords at dawn with any man who disagrees.
Favourite writer? Stephen King’s up there of course, along with Justin Cronin, Glen Duncan, Robert R McCammon, George RR Martin, Joe Donnelly, Dan Simmons, Joe
What the blurb says:
Aldo Evans is a desperate man. Fired from his job and deeply in debt, he struggles to balance a broken family life with his passion for music.
Luce Figura is a troubled woman. A rhythmic perfectionist, she is haunted by childhood trauma and scorned by her religiously devout mother.
Ross McArthur is a wiseass. Orphaned as an infant and raised by the state, his interests include game shows, home-grown weed, occasional violence and the bass guitar.
They are Public Alibi. A rock n’ roll band going nowhere fast.
When the sharp-suited, smooth talking producer Gappa Bale offers them a once in a lifetime chance to make their dreams come true, they are caught up in a maelstrom of fame, obsession, music and murder.
Soon, Aldo, Luce and Ross must ask themselves: is it really better to burn out than to fade away?
R Lansdale, Adam Nevil, Simon Scarrow, David Gemmell, Jack London, Conn Iggulden, Wilbur Smith, Dean Koontz, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Richard Laymon… Oh, did you mean one?
Favourite book to read with my children? We’re about halfway through the first Harry Potter book at the moment.
Family and a firepit
Think I’m enjoying it more than the wee man is, though. He prefers made up bedtime stories involving dinosaurs, Minecraft, ninjas and John Cena.
Best thing about my life? My family. And the firepit in the garden.
Worst thing? The absence of the new series of Game of Thrones on TV, and the poor form of Glasgow Rangers, though Steven Gerrard has taken over as manager, so here’s to next season.
What keeps you awake at night? Story ideas, coffee and biscuits, Netflix, books, football.
How many hours a day do you spend on your phone? Not much. Usually read a book on the train to work, and can’t get a reception at my desk in the office.
What’s in your bag right now? Emptied it when I got home from work earlier. Only thing in there now is the lingering manly odour of my sweaty gym gear. Oh yeah. My legs hurt.
What you don’t know about me? I was an extra in World War Z, and would have been in Mark Queen of Scots with Margot Robbie – in cinemas next January!
Took the train through to Edinburgh, had a costume fitting, they gave me a sword and a wafro and everything, but I had to go into work on the day of the shoot cause the other guy in my team got MRSA and was in hospital for a month.
So inconsiderate. Raging.
My guilty secret? The scene in Frozen when Elsa busts out Let it Go makes me want to cry. I love that song.
Cuttin’ Heads is available to buy on Amazon.