Very happy to welcome Dale Brendan Hyde to Liz Loves Books today to talk about The Ink Run…
When and why did you decide you wanted to write a novel.
I never felt in the early days of my writing that I was on the path to constructing a novel. I think looking back that it just developed over many years of scribbling down random long hand notes. As the pile of sheets covered in different inks grew, I kinda started to contemplate in the back of my mind that there was a link that threaded very loosely all the writing I had done. Friends would suggest making something of it all, to which I would start to reply that I was writing a novel over a long period of time. As the idea started to anchor down more solidly in my head, I actually started to believe that I had quite a unique story developing. From that point onwards I began to write with a more determined aim of linking the old stuff up with the new. I’d first written creative writing out of necessity when incarcerated for street robbery as a teenager. The prison library had a few hidden gems but unfortunately our wing bibliophiles were always active. I recall many a good book that I would restrict myself to reading a chapter a night to make the book last, only to find crucial pages torn out. It was usually the endings, so I began to write my very own, which is where I developed my creative writing streak. So I think I have always wanted to write my own novels.
Can you tell us a bit about what influenced the narrative and how you went about tackling such an emotive issue realistically.
The influences for the narrative in my debut are somewhat mixed into my own past & my love of research into topics that I find are quite uncomfortable and not discussed enough in everyday literature.
I feel the prison time I did as a youth had a lot to answer for regarding the setting of the middle parts to the ink run novel. In my opinion there are many incarcerated prison inmates who would not be out of place in a mental asylum. So the foot print for me to change my own past and experiences into the main character in my debut serving a decade in a mad house was reasonably easy to juxtapose.
The set up part of the boy being accused of murdering his own Mother in the early parts of the novel and the heartache of being wrongly accused stemmed from when I came out of prison for robbery and enrolled into college. I had reformed myself in prison and started to educate myself to becoming a better person and a credit to the community when only after a brief spell in the middle East & starting my new course I was arrested again at the age of twenty for a crime I most certainly did not commit. It was such a set back and traumatised me to such a point that I had no say in my writing about that type of issue surfacing somewhere in my narrative. I guess the ending part of my debut is all about revenge and how something like a miss carriage of justice leaves a young man haunted and desperate for justice to be served.
What’s next for you? Are you working on a new project and can you tell us anything about it?
I have many writing projects that I aim to complete. I will say here that I’m not going to be around for ever and feel once I have written the books I feel that need to be out there, then I will be gone from the scene. I have never wanted to be a writer that has a series of books that to me kinda look and read the same. I’m sure it’s great for commercial success, but I hope in time people regard my writing as something much deeper than your average yarn. I’ve written poetry and short stories. I’ve tried my hand at magazine article writing and contributed to others books with chapters or poems. I have another couple of novels in me. One is titled STITCHED and is very close to the bone regarding whether it’s viewed A’s autobiographical. I’ve probably written around 20 thousand words of it and it will more than likely come as my last published work. I have a couple of short stories more or less done, yet I’m in no hurry to put them out to the public just yet. I shall in time though reveal CONCER and THE DIFFERENT DOORS IN HEAVEN. I’ve just recently put on the back burner a novel I was 50 thousand words into titled THE DEATH ROW THRIFT SHOP, it’s another crime fiction piece about two pairs of serial killers that eventually cross paths. It’s set firstly in Belfast and then plays out in a small town just outside Texas called dripping springs. I will finish that as soon as I’m done with my current writing project which came quite out of the blue. A friend and I had a conversation about him having a few offers from writers wanting to do his life story. He kindly decided I was the best man for the job. I didn’t quite realise just how fantastic a back story he had until he started sending me a few links from google. His Father for instance on bail at the moment for his alleged involvement in a 60 million pound fraud that revolves around the mafia. Or my Friends links to some of the worlds most dangerous super villains. It’s mainly a book about the financial underworld but yet at the very heart of the story is the relationship between my friend and his father. It’s full of deceit and treacherous acts and I honestly believe it’s going to blow away the competition when it comes to these gangster type of autobiographies. It’s got all that you would expect yet it’s a very personal story of betrayal from the very people we believe should protect us. It’s titled EASY TARGET and I’m aiming to have it picked up by a good publisher around next spring.
Admittedly I wasn’t sure this book would be for me – it tackles difficult themes and doesn’t pull any punches – but I was drawn in by the writing and the sense of it and in the end it was a proper page turner for me.
The subject of abuse and how it can define a personality is at the heart of this – Dale Brendan Hyde tackles it by keeping it real, including the violence of it, thereby making you really think about what you are reading.
The characters are well formed, jumping between sympathetic and almost horrific. As events unfold you are drawn deeper and deeper into the world in which Otis lives.
A very good read especially on the emotional levels.