David Henley, author of The Hunt for Pierre Jnr, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

by |June 5, 2013

the-hunt-for-pierre-jnrThe Booktopia Book Guru asks

David Henley

author of The Hunt for Pierre Jnr

Ten Terrifying Questions


1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?

I was born in New Zealand to English parents, raised and schooled in Canberra.

2. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why?

I don’t really know. I wasn’t a kid who thought about his own future that much. I do know that I was writing at twelve. At eighteen I was heading into sound and video production. At thirty,I’m deeply into publishing on all fronts, especially supporting new artists, becoming some sort of creative producer.

3. What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?

I thought the world would make more sense as I got older, but the more I learn the more quirky it proves to be.

4. What were three works of art – book or painting or piece of music, etc – you can now say, had a great effect on you and influenced your own development as a writer?david heley

His Master’s Voice, by Stanislaw Lem, because he brought me back to sci-fi and all the imaginative freedom that comes with it.

Pretty much every Magritte painting gives me something, especially the dominion of light. If anything, his level of accomplishment intimidated me and stopped me from painting.

Akira, the film and the music behind it, it’s often a touchstone for my writing. I like to watch it to boost my energy when I’m flagging.

5. Considering the innumerable artistic avenues open to you, why did you choose to write a novel?

I’ve tried my hand at a string of art forms and keep coming back to writing as the fastest and most effective way to communicate complex ideas.

Originally the Pierre story was going to unfold across a series of novellas, but the publisher felt a trilogy was a better way to go and I think now they were right, it forced me to really expand the world I was building.

the-hunt-for-pierre-jnr6. Please tell us about your latest novel…

At its simplest, we are a long way in the future and a group of people are trying to find a psionic eight year old that they believe is the greatest threat humanity has ever encountered.

The Hunt for Pierre Jnr is the first in a trilogy with lots of overlapping story lines and arcs that run across all three books. We get to see a highly evolved society and what a complex organism Civilisation is.

Click here to buy The Hunt for Pierre Jnr from
Australia’s Local Bookstore

7. What do you hope people take away with them after reading your work?

An impatience for book two to come out.

8. Whom do you most admire in the realm of writing and why?

There are so many, and the list grows every year. Perhaps Kurt Vonnegut, for being unconfineable to any genre. Or Masamune Shirow for creating such a refreshing futurology with Ghost in the Shell.

9. Many artists set themselves very ambitious goals. What are yours?

Okay, now you’re terrifying me. I think I’m largely still the same as my eighteen-year-old self, I go where the wind blows, but I confess I do have daydreams of getting to construct a game world, or a TV series someday.

10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?

Be aware of the world. Find editors who challenge you. Forget about the money and make sure there is always one thing you are working on that you love, otherwise that spark inside you may just sputter out.

David, thank you for playing.

Click here to buy The Hunt for Pierre Jnr from Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore

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About the Contributor

Andrew Cattanach is a regular contributor to The Booktopia Blog. He has been shortlisted for The Age Short Story Prize and was named a finalist for the 2015 Young Bookseller of the Year Award. He enjoys reading, writing and sleeping, though finds it difficult to do them all at once.

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