Culture Magazine

Interview With Dave Lewis - Welsh Author of 'Ctrl-Alt-Delete' - "...good Old Fashioned Sex and Violence"

By Americymru @americymru
dave lewis ctrl-alt-delete front cover detail small
dave lewis at the pub "Dave Lewis is a writer and poet based in Pontypridd, south Wales. He also lectures IT & Photography, designs web sites and is a keen photographer. He has always lived in Wales except for a short spell in Kenya in 1993-94 and enjoys travelling to different parts of the world. He writes content for and still maintains many web sites, was web producer for the BBC Wales Scrum V fanzine, has run four hugely successful rugby sites with and used to write a newspaper column for the Pontypridd Observer  " more AmeriCymru spoke to Dave about his latest novel 'Ctrl-Alt-Delete' and other literary projects.

dave lewis ctrl-alt-delete front cover detail large

Ctrl-Alt-Delete by Dave Lewis

AmeriCymru: Hi Dave and many thanks for agreeing to this interview. Your first novel 'Ctrl-Alt-Delete' is currently available on Kindle. Care to tell us a little more about the novel and what inspired it?
Dave: I guess it's a crime thriller. A Facebook, cyber-stalking, murder mystery, love story with some good old fashioned sex and violence thrown in for good measure. 
I've always wanted to follow in the footsteps of someone like James Patterson and be a successful commercial writer, if only to allow myself time out from the day job to develop my writing skills more. 
Having worked in IT for 17 years I am always amazed at how innocent to the dangers of the web people can be and whilst I had the idea of linking a number of very different local characters together in a very fast, filmic novel, I imagine my computer knowledge helped inspire the main thrust of the book. 
One of the reviews says: ‘Could do for Wales what Stieg Larsson did for Sweden!’ which is a great compliment and hopefully true ;) 
Amazon link -
When beautiful Jenny Morris uses Facebook to get her ex-boyfriend Hal Griffiths to stalk her she has no idea what a dangerous game she is playing - for someone else is watching from the murky shadows of cyberspace. 
And when an horrific murder in a sleepy Welsh village stirs a seasoned reporter, a conceited detective and an overweight IT expert into action, they too always seem to be one step behind the mysterious killer - Hagar. 
Against the backdrop of a tangled web of deviant sexual practices Hal must rescue his lover before the killer strikes again. In the wilds of the Brecon Beacons National Park an electrifying climax is played out when Hal is forced to confront his deadly rival. 
Social and political commentary within a close-knit community has never been so honest. Pornography morphs into technology and we are forced to ask ourselves the question - will man’s lust for instant gratification ultimately be his undoing? 
A full-throttle thriller effortlessly blending violence, eroticism and suspense, Ctrl-Alt-Delete is both a modern love story and a prophetic tale of intrigue in our ever-distracting machine driven world. A truly gripping debut novel by Dave Lewis.

AmeriCymru: How intrusive and how dangerous do you think modern social media/networks are? Can technology go too far? 
Dave: Very dangerous (just read the book) ;) I'm sure that we are just seeing the tip of the iceberg at the moment and things will get much worse before people wake up. I read one study last year that some young people spend five times more time 'socialising' online than they do in the real world - this is very sad when there is a great big beautiful world out there to explore.
There are security/identity issues with online use, health issues and outright dangers, especially when you delve into the world of internet dating and pornography. 
Technology is neutral I guess and will just continue to develop to enable more people to participate and therefore consume, it's a capitalist world and the masses of India, Africa and China are not even in the game yet - it's Christmas for sellers! 
AmeriCymru: Are you planning a sequel to 'Crtl-Alt-Delete' 
Yep! I can't say too much but it's half written in my head and whilst the first book is set almost entirely in Wales, the second will be in Kenya and... Nah, that would be telling ;) 
AmeriCymru: What are the advantages of publishing digital editions? How easy (or difficult) is it to publish on Kindle? 
Dave: Hopefully, budding writers can by-pass the traditional and outdated agent/publisher route and just get on with it. It's about 2-3 years quicker, very easy if you have a few computer skills and some very basic html knowledge. You also get to control commissions etc. I used the least commission / hopefully more sales option, e.g. my novel is just 86p or 99cents and already in less than 2 weeks I've sold nearly 100 copies (in UK). 

sawing fallen logs by dave lewis front cover detail

Sawing Fallen Logs
ForLadybird Houses
Dave Lewis

AmeriCymru: You have also published three anthologies of poems and short stories. Your third collection Sawing Fallen Logs For Ladybird Houses is accompanied by photographs on your website. How do the two media work together? 
Dave: Yeh, the poetry is always a constant and I'm sure I'll continue to publish poetry for many years to come. Sawing Fallen Logs... was a concept I had a few years back. I applied for a bursary from 'Literature Wales' to enable me to get a publisher in Wales but as they only seem to give money to the same old faces... I do what I always do if they are not willing to support grass roots art of this kind - I just do it anyway. To publish full-colour images alongside the poetry as was envisaged would have been better but in the end was just too expensive to do. Luckily the poems stand alone anyway, but for those that have bought the book and given me feedback they don't see it as such a drawback having to have the images open on a laptop or iPad. 
AmeriCymru: You were a runner up in the Rhys Davies Short Story Competition 2009 with your short story 'Onions'. Can you tell us more about the story? Do you plan to write more short stories? 
Dave: 'Onions' was a challenge to the politically correct mainstream literary world and they seemed to fall for it hook, line and sinker! Very satisfying :) Many thought it highlighted the racism within a working class valleys culture but actually all it shows is that there is good and bad everywhere and that people just get too hung up on clichĂŠs, stereotypes and jumping on the BBC bandwagon of over-the-top political correctness. 
The story is set in a south Wales valleys curryhouse and I take the stresses and strains we all face to extremes when an Al-Qaeda recruit (a pubescent, confused young lad who is neither one thing nor the other) blows up a restaurant. The story highlights culture within culture by means of jumping between tables in the room and from the waiters’ point of view rather than the customers.
I've got two more stories in Urban Birdsong and have a couple of others ready for a future book. 
AmeriCymru: In addition to writing you have also organised the Welsh Poetry Competition for the past five years. How has the competition grown and developed since 2007? 
Dave: It's been fantastic! We went from a few hundred entries mostly from within Wales in the first year to becoming truly international a couple of years later and get entries from all over the world now. I think the success has been down to our great judges, John Evans, Mike Jenkins and Sally Spedding and the fact that the competition is judged fairly, unlike many I won't mention ;) 
AmeriCymru: Who is the judge this year? 
Dave: It's a secret, but OK then, John Evans ;)
AmeriCymru: What are you reading at the moment? Any recommendations? 
Dave: My favourite book of all time is 'The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists' but at the moment I'm reading Gary Snyder - Turtle Island, a Patricia Cornwell book, a Sandy Denny biography and Crash by JG Ballard, plus anything else lying around... ;) 
AmeriCymru: Favourite pub in Ponty? 
Dave: Always was the Llanover Arms, but a new watering hole has emerged recently in the form of The Patriot - award-winning real ales, great landlord and always packed! The 'Llan' will always have a special place in all Ponty peoples' hearts of course, I've been drinking there myself since I was 15 or 16 ;) 
AmeriCymru: What's next for Dave Lewis? 
Dave: I've got a book of haiku half done plus bits and bobs, photography to catch up on, but I guess I really should start on a sequel to Ctrl-Alt-Delete and then the third... 
AmeriCymru: Any final message for the readers and members of AmeriCymru? 
Dave: Merry Christmas of course, does time fly as fast in America as it does here in Wales? Oh, and buy my book of course (is that allowed Ceri?)
AmeriCymru: Certainly is...BUY DAVE'S BOOK: Ed :)

Interview by Ceri Shaw Email

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