David C Dawson

David C. Dawson is an award-winning author, journalist and documentary maker. He writes British gay-themed thrillers featuring gay men in love.

His debut novel The Necessary Deaths, won an FAPA award in the best suspense/thriller category. It’s the first in the Delingpole Mysteries series. The latest: The Foreign Affair, was published last year.

David’s also written two gay romances: For the Love of Luke and Heroes in Love.

He lives near Oxford, with his boyfriend and two cats. In his spare time, he tours Europe and sings with the London Gay Men’s Chorus.

Tell us about yourself.

I write British gay-themed mysteries. A Death in Bloomsbury is my sixth book and my first historical novel, set in 1932. I live near Oxford in the UK with my boyfriend and two cats.

When did you know you wanted to be an author?

Ha! I started writing when I was seven when I won a prize for sending a story to a children’s television programme. But being an author? That didn’t start until my fifties.

What genres do you like to read?  Are these the same genres you write in?

I’m quite catholic in my reading tastes: from what some would call classic literature through to racy romances. I’m reading a lot of books by authors of colour at the moment who are giving me a whole new perspective on world history. My writing genre is romantic suspense.

Is your book for adults, young adults or children?

Primarily adults but it’s accessible for any age from ten onwards I’d say.

What is your current release or project?

A Death in Bloomsbury tells the story of a gay man living in 1930s London when homosexuality was illegal punishable with up to two years hard labour. He uncovers a plot to assassinate the king and faces a choice between his loyal duty and revealing his true sexuality.

Tell us about the key characters

Simon Sampson is the hero. He’s a news reader on BBC radio, or ‘the wireless’ as it was referred to then. He’s in his early thirties and from an affluent background, but rejected by his parents. Florence Milne is the other main character. She works with Simon at the BBC and prefers to be known as Bill. She wears men’s suits and has her hair cut short. Like Simon she’s an outsider in the homophobic society of the time.

What is your blurb or synopsis of the book?

Everyone has secrets… but some are fatal.

1932, London. Late one December night Simon Sampson stumbles across the body of a woman in an alleyway. Her death is linked to a plot by right-wing extremists to assassinate the King on Christmas Day. Simon resolves to do his patriotic duty and unmask the traitors.

But Simon Sampson lives a double life. Not only is he a highly respected BBC radio announcer, but he’s also a man who loves men, and as such must live a secret life. His investigation risks revealing his other life and with that imprisonment under Britain’s draconian homophobic laws of the time. He faces a stark choice: his loyalty to the King or his freedom.

This is the first in a new series from award-winning author David C. Dawson. A richly atmospheric novel set in the shadowy world of 1930s London, where secrets are commonplace, and no one is quite who they seem.

Excerpt

Simon arrived at Piccadilly Circus at ten minutes to eight that evening and waited to cross the road to the statue of Eros on its traffic island. This part of London always gave Simon a thrill of excitement. It buzzed with activity, like a giant beehive. There were swarms of people hurrying from work, or strolling towards a restaurant, theatre or bar. The metaphor was apt, because within fifty yards of where Simon stood there were so many queens.

Across the road was The Trocadero. Its Long Bar was always guaranteed to provide a gay evening for gentlemen in search of pleasure. A little farther on was the Empire Theatre in Leicester Square. Its Upper Gallery was popular with painted boys and men dressed in smart suits who spent an evening either exchanging acid-tongued witticisms or seeking a friend for the night.

Even at that time of the evening the traffic on Piccadilly Circus was almost stationary. Simon stepped off the pavement and wove his way between taxis and omnibuses queuing to drive up Shaftesbury Avenue or down the Haymarket. Cameron was waiting for him, and Simon was pleased to see he was once again soberly dressed in his immaculate black coat. This time with a grey scarf and black leather gloves. Young men of a similar age to Cameron were also standing on the steps of Eros, and they wore far more flamboyant clothing. Simon preferred to be inconspicuous when out with a gentleman friend. There was less chance that they might draw the attention of the police, or busys as his friends in the Fitzroy Tavern would call them.

“I do hope you’ve not been waiting long.” Simon took Cameron’s outstretched hand and squeezed it firmly. “It’s getting awfully cold. I think it might snow this Christmas.”

Cameron reached out his other hand and rested it on Simon’s hip. Simon pushed it away. “Best not here, old chap,” he whispered. “Awfully public you know.”

He released Cameron’s hand and pointed across the road. “We need to head towards Leicester Square. The Lily Pond is two roads up. And we can walk past the Trocadero on the way and see who’s out gadding tonight.”

“I’m glad I’m wi’ ye,” Cameron replied. “I’m still finding ma bearin’s in London. I’ve nae come down to this part of town since I moved to York House.”

“Oh, you should.” Simon led the way through the still stationary traffic to Coventry Street. “It’s frightfully exciting. And you can always be sure of meeting someone interesting.” He pointed to the corner of Glasshouse Street. “That’s the Regent Palace Hotel. Awfully good bar. Perfect place to meet gentlemen from overseas, and they can hire a room for you by the hour if that interests you.” He grabbed Cameron’s arm and pulled him to safety as a motor car attempted to circumvent the traffic jam and drove up onto the pavement.

“Try not to get yourself killed, my dear.”

Do you have a favorite scene?

Bill has some of the wittiest lines in the book. She’s got an acid tongue but a heart of gold. One of my favourite scenes is when she has an argument with the lady who pushes a trolley around the corridors of the BBC delivering tea to the staff. Bill turns away from her and complains: “Give these people a trolley and they think they’re bloody Boadicea.”

What advice would you give a beginner?

Write! It’s that simple. Don’t judge yourself and don’t whatever you do try to edit what you’re writing in your head. You’ll never write anything if you do. The first draft is never the last draft.

Social media links:

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Website https://www.davidcdawson.co.uk

Blog link https://www.davidcdawson.co.uk/blog

Purchasing links

Universal Amazon link: https://geni.us/ADeathInBloomsbury

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-death-in-bloomsbury-david-c-dawson/1140305842?ean=9781916257368

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