2016 Snapshot: David Schembri

Interview by Greg Chapman.


Photo by Mark Avellino

David Schembri has been published in several print anthologies and magazines. His first novelette “The Unforgiving Court”, appeared in the Chaosium anthology Undead & Unbound. His “The Black Father of the Night”, was published in Eulogies II. David’s poetry will be appearing in a forthcoming anthology from the Rainfall Books, and also the Hippocampus Magazine, Spectral Realms #1 & #2.

David’s new collection, Unearthly Fables, edited by Paula B. of The Writing Show, was published in 2014.

David lives with his lovely wife and children. http://davidschembriwriter.yolasite.com/

You’re an illustrator and an author. Do you have a preference? How do you find a balance to create within two very different art forms?

When an idea comes to me, I rely on my gut to tell me how best to approach it. With Unearthly Fables, I didn’t illustrate every tale, and only went with visualising the stories that really cried for artwork. Not all stories do. As I love to visualise ideas as well as write them, there are certain tales that I want to share more of what’s in my head. Those are the ones I choose to illustrate. If I really had to make a choice on the two, if my life depended on it, then I would go to writing. As we know, with words, things are limitless.

Your collection Unearthly Fables was epic in scale and scope. Was it a rewarding journey? How will you top it?

Wow, thank you! Yes, rewarding in every way. The learning experience with publishing my own book was enormous. Working with my friend and Editor, Paula B, was fantastic. Right from the beginning her support and teachings on how best to approach the editing side of things was worth its weight in gold. She pushed me harder than I would have ever pushed myself in order to get the stories as perfect as they could possibly be. I will carry that experience with me forever. Top it? Well, all I can do is keep improving what I do and hope others enjoy what’s on the page.

What are you working on right now?

A younger reader’s novel is my current focus. I can’t really reveal anything in detail as I am under contract, but the project has been on my desk for the past year. I’m currently completing the second draft and am loving the process. I have big plans for artwork on this project also. Even though this story has been going for a year in terms of it being a novel, the actual theme, characters and world they inhabit have been my creative obsession for over 20 years…

What Australian work have you loved recently?

I’m a big fan of the local spec-fic scene, however, I have been getting great enjoyment out of the novels by Australian author, Ashely Capes. If you haven’t picked up a Capes’ book, then I recommend you to really dive in. I love just his storytelling.

Which author (living or dead) would you most like to sit next to on a long plane trip and why?

Personally I’d rather fill the plane and go seat to seat as I have influences everywhere, but considering we’re looking at just one – as I’m pretty sure there aren’t many authors on my list that could fly the plane as well – I’d have to go with J R R Tolkien. You may or may not know this, but as well as a professor of Anglo-Saxton, ex-soldier, and author, Tolkien was also an artist. I would imagine myself spending much of my time thinking of the correct way to word my questions and hope that he’d be happy to answer them and not roll his eyes and look the other way…it would be a very long wait for the coffee trolly if that happened.



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