About David Lassman

David Lassman was born in Bath, England, and is a scriptwriter, author, journalist and lecturer. He began his writing career in regional newspapers and magazines, before completing a script-writing degree at Bournemouth University.

A former director of Bath’s International Jane Austen Festival and Press & PR Manager for the Jane Austen Centre in the city, David is co-author of the Bath-based ‘Regency Detective’ novels, with fellow author Terence James.

As well as novels, David writes non-fiction and these include ‘Frome In The Great War’, ‘The Awful Killing of Sarah Watts: A Story of Confessions, Acquittals & Jailbreaks,’ ‘Foul Deeds & Suspicious Deaths in and Around Frome’ and ‘Bath At War 1939-45’.

David’s most recent book, published in July 2021 is ‘A-Z of Frome’  (with regular co-writer Mick Davis) published by Amberley. They are currently working on a biography about Frome MP Mavis Tate. 

Hi David, and welcome to my blog. Its great to hear a little bit about the person behind the writer, so thank you for taking the time to share.

My first question some might find a bit odd, but I wondered if you had a particular hobby when you were growing up?

My hobby when I was younger was writing & producing music fanzines, listening to music and playing football. I now write books, still listen to music, but have not played football for quite a long time. 

Were you an avid reader as a child? Do you still read books? What do you enjoy reading?

I was quite an avid reader when I was younger, but it was mainly comics. I did read quite a few books, as well though. One I remember distinctly was about Robin Hood and his Men. I mostly only read for research purposes, but I do enjoy a good biography now and then, especially music ones, which I can read purely for pleasure. 

Are you a “re-reader” or are you a “read-it-once-and-I’m done” person?

Probably more a ‘read it once and I’m done’ sort of person (although I’ll keep the book just in case . . . ) although there have been a few books I’ve re-read – Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey. John Fowles’ The Magus and possibly a couple of others.  

So David, would you mind giving me a list of some of your books?

Frome in the Great War

Frome at War 1939-45

Bath at War 1939-45 (with my brother Nigel)

(all those listed below with Mick Davis)

Foul Deeds & Suspicious Deaths in and Around Frome 

The Awful Killing of Sarah Watts

The Adventures of a Victorian Con Woman

Visitors Historic Britain: Somerset

A-Z Frome 

(fiction written with Terence James)

The Regency Detective

The Circle of Sappho

Wow!” You have been busy! Thanks for that. Now back to quizzing you again.

I’m just wondering what your writing space looks like?

A desk, computer, and a book shelve on my left with the reference books I use most often. I do find that I can work on buses though and also in cafes or the library, dependent at what stage I am at with the book. 

Out of interest, I know writers sometimes struggle with book titles, how do you come up with the titles of your books? I know your most recent is obvious – the A – Z Frome, but anything you can add to that?

Most of the books I have written up until now (whether on my own or with other writers) are part of a series a publisher is producing – [Your Town or City in the Great War] or [ Foul Deeds & Suspicious Deaths in and Around . . . ] etc, so the title is already there. ‘The Awful Killing of Sarah Watts’ and ‘Adventures of a Victorian Con Woman’ however, were down to our publisher, while the two Regency Detective titles was mine. Ahh, thanks for that.

How do you work, with an outline or do you just write?

Whether its fiction or non-fiction, I always do a chapter breakdown and outline what is going into each chapter, in terms of subject matter. I find that way of working so much easier. 

I wonder could you describe your writing in three words

Accessible (hopefully), enjoyable (certainly for me writing it) and historical. Fab. I find that kind of question difficult.

So what challenges have you faced getting your work published?

Numerous rejection slips early on for my fiction, although I have been very fortunate with non-fiction in that I normally get commissioned to write books in certain series, or else my outlines are accepted.  How wonderful! Getting published can be so very hard.

What challenges have you faced marketing your work and how have you overcome them?

A couple of times, books have not had the full back-up from the publishers, and so a lot of the promotion has had to come from me. I think it’s pretty much standard these days though, that the author has to do awfully big share of the promotion/marketing themselves. A well-written press release with some kind of attention-grabbing angle normally helps. Also see below regarding Covid.

Yes, I agree, the marketing side of things isn’t immediately apparent to new authors and can be quite time consuming, and as to Covid it has made it particularly hard work.

How long did it take you to develop your latest book?

The A-Z Frome didn’t take long to write (there was two of us) say, perhaps three months, but the publication process – because of Covid – meant the book was kept back for about a year.

What inspired you to write this particular book?

We were approached by this particular publisher and asked if we would consider writing for them, within one of their series. We choose their A-Z one. 

What impact did covid-19 have on your writing career?

It stopped live author events and during that period of lockdowns, I had three books published, so it kind scuppered large chunks of the marketing/promotion plan.

What book would the book world never be the same without?

Thesaurus. Hey, that’s an interesting one!

What is the best piece of advice you have received related to writing?

Don’t get it right, get it down (then, get it right). I absolutely love this, and will be sharing with my writing buddies, and of course everyone reading this blog!

Where did the inspiration for your current book come from?

The two books I am working on, plus the most recent published – A-Z – have all been commissioned by the publisher

What can we look forward to with your next writing?

Currently working on a book about The Great Fire of London, a local business with a long (and illustrious) history and after that . . . Mick and I need to finish off a biography of Frome MP (1935-45)  Mavis Tate .

Well thank you David. It’s been great finding out a bit more about you. I look forward to possibly catching up at the Frome Writers Collective – FWC and author friends, will be celebrating five years of authors and books on November 12th at the Frome Masonic Hall from 7- 9 pm.

Below are David’s contact Info & Links – I recommend you take a gander – its well worth it.

PRIMARY CONTACT INFO:

Email: davidlassman@davidlassman.com 

Website: Currently under construction but https://www.amazon.co.uk/David-Lassman/e/B005BKOJWE has basic biography & books

PRIMARY CONTACT INFO:

Email: davidlassman@davidlassman.com 

Website: Currently under construction but https://www.amazon.co.uk/David-Lassman/e/B005BKOJWE has basic biography & books

https://www.amberley-books.com/current-month/a-z-of-frome.html

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