26 Sep 2018 Interview with David Hidalgo author Les Cowan

Les Cowan is a Lion Fiction author and creator of the wonderful David Hidalgo series. Les has worked in a variety of industries — social work, local government management, and he even ran a software business! Now, he is fulfilling a life-long dream of becoming an author. We're thrilled to publish his second title in the David Hidalgo series, All That Glitters!

Here Les chats with us about what inspired him to write the David Hidalgo series, characters that surprised him and his next book in the David Hidalgo series.

What first inspired you to write the David Hidalgo series?

After running my own business for more than ten years I was ready for a new challenge and having a crack at a novel seemed a good idea at the time. I’m not particularly drawn to solving of murders in the mechanical sense, however, the crime / thriller genre is a great way to explore human nature since it turns up the volume on all the normal human emotions and reactions. Instead of either a crime professional like Morse or Rebus, or a gifted amateur like Poirot or Wimsey, I opted for a pastor as someone who is constantly faced with other people’s problems, some of which may involve criminality. That choice then also allowed a lot of meditation on issues of faith, doubt and morality which also interest me. Then David Hidalgo appeared more or less out of the blue and started telling his story.

Did any of the characters in your book surprise you while writing?

Constantly! If characters are sufficiently real then they always end up doing and saying things you hadn’t expected. Sometimes a character may be introduced in a very minor role and then start demanding more and more attention. You just have to let them be themselves and see what happens.

How much of you is in any of your characters?

Probably too much and certainly more than I should ever admit to.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

I used to say ‘hope for the best, plan for the worst’ but lately that feels overly pessimistic. These days, I think love, beauty and heroism crop up in the most unlikely places and should be appreciated and nurtured wherever you find them.

What is the writing habit that you rely on to get you through a first draft?

I find discipline and routine very helpful in general but I also enjoy the creativity and unexpectedness of the writing process. I write to find out what happens next just as the reader reads for the same reason.

Who is your favourite literary character?

Philip Marlowe takes some beating. He is a deeply flawed individual in a corrupt and self serving age still trying to hold onto some sort of basic moral code but also capable of playing hardball when the need arises. His wisecracking dialogue is perfect.

What are you working on now? Can we expect any more books from you in the future?

Right now, I'm looking with Lion Hudson at cover art and blurb for Sins of the Fathers, book 3 in the David Hidalgo series! Books 4 and 5 are also already written after a mad creative spell that saw 4 books in about 20 months — don’t ask me how! After book 5, which I think will be called The Root of All Evil (money comes into it), I thought the series might be finished but now the muse has struck again. Only a few thousand words on the page, but the ideas are jostling for attention. Don’t hold your breath — that one would be for 2022!

Enjoy reading All That Glitters! Buy your copy here.

Interested in learning more about Les and the David Hidalgo series? Check out his fabulous David Hidalgo series website here.