Meet the Circle: David Ellard

The members of the Brussels Writers’ Circle are a varied bunch. Prose writers, poets, playwrights, memoirists, screenwriters and bringers of silly bits and pieces, we sweep in from all different occupations and locations every week to share our scrawlings with one another.

In this new segment, ‘Meet the Circle’, we will introduce you to some of our members, hopefully providing an insight into who we are, what we do, and what we think about Greco-Roman wrestling. Well, maybe not that last bit.

This week we will hear from David Ellard, current chairperson of the BWC, about his current projects, his history with the group, and what he gets out of it.

David Ellard, BWC Chairman

When did you join the group?

Way back in about 2002, so long ago it’s a bit lost in the mists of time!

What were your first impressions of the group?

I was a bit intimidated at first; I remember how serious everyone was. Things have loosened up a bit since and now it’s one of the mainstays of my life in Brussels!

What are you currently working on?

Mostly my sci-fi novel ‘In Search of Y’, although I wrote a sort of psychological short story last year (with considerable help from the Circle) which I’m planning to rewrite and then try and enter for writing competitions.

Who are your biggest literary influences? How have they influenced you?

My favourite novels are Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Woolfe and First Circle by Alexander Solzhenitsyn. If I can do anything approaching those, I’ll be happy.

When I was a teenager, I read a lot of classic sci-fi from the likes of Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, John Wyndham, etc. However, I don’t generally think sci-fi writers pay enough attention to description, styling or characterisation. I suppose my current writing ambition is to combine the subject matter of the sci-fi authors of my late childhood with the literary style and quality of my general literature faves above.

We’ll see how that goes!

Do you have a memorable moment from a BWC meeting that you could share?

I’m very shallow. Once we had a new, fresh-faced and very beautiful new member. I read out a chapter I had been working on for a long time and she liked it.

What do you get out of the group?

Many things. Inspiration, firstly. Motivation, because telling people I’m going to read out forces me to write the bloody thing. Education, because you never stop learning from other people. And just having a great time with really interesting people.

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