R. J. Davnall (or Rik, as I know him), hails from Liverpool. And not Liverpool, New York. Liverpool, United Kingdom. Our cousins across the pond. He’s a writer, musician, and PhD student, working on a thesis about something that my feeble mind can’t comprehend. But since Rik is super-cool, and funny, his posts regarding it include comments like “Got the word ‘gobbledegook’ into my thesis. It’s another one crossed off the list!” and “Actually doing proper, intellectually-respectable research. I can tell, because I’m reading about something called ‘graph structuralism’. WHHHYYYYYYY?!?!?! *cries*.” I just wish I’d included the word ‘gobbledegook’ in my thesis. Oh well.
For the record, I am not 100% certain that Rik is actually a human. I mean, the only photos he posts of himself are of blue alien-like beings, like this one <—————–. He once posted a pic of a guy with long hair in my online writers’ group, but later claimed it was someone else.
In any event, please make Rik feel at home as he answers The Questions.
5. What skill(s) do you wish you’d learned as a kid?
The ability to shut up when I don’t know what I’m talking about. I still have problems with that to this day (though it’s turned out to be a surprisingly useful flaw when it comes to teaching seminars at university).
6. What do you want on your tombstone?
“Oh, laugh it off. I wasn’t that big a deal anyway.” (Assuming, at least, that I end up a big enough deal for this to be ironic rather than tragic…)
9. What is a guilty pleasure?
Motorsport. As an ecologically conscious liberal, I should be dead set against it, but I love motorsport at all levels from semi-amateur up. I still haven’t completely given up the childhood dream of being a racing car driver.
(dSavannah note: I too would adore being a race car driver. In Rik’s case, I wonder if they make helmets that would allow his antenna to poke out? Or would they just get flattened?)
19. What is one of your pet peeves?
People not answering emails and messages promptly. I’m a child of the modern age (by which I mean I’m horrendously impatient). I get very neurotic very quickly if I send someone an email and don’t get a reply within a couple of hours. One disadvantage of being imaginative is that it becomes very easy to think of obscure ways in which you might have offended someone to the point that they stop speaking to you…
(dSavannah note: I’m afraid I share this trait… even though I grew up waiting weeks and weeks to get a letter from someone. In the mail. Oh, the horror!)
23. Where is your heart home and why?
At the moment? I can’t really say anywhere more specific than ‘Liverpool’. I love this city, but I’m fed up of living in shared and student housing (I’ve been a student for 7 years). I really want a place of my own, and to not have to pick other people’s pubes out of the bath plughole every morning…
24. If you could go back and give your 13-year-old self a piece of advice, what would it be?
“Look, I know we feel clever and all, but sometimes it is actually worth listening to people older and wiser than us. Me included, squirt.”
24a. What about your 20-year-old self?
“For what it’s worth, the worst of it is now over.”
30. What’s the most expensive crap you own that you can’t live without?
I don’t know if I’d call it crap, but the most expensive single thing I own is my digital piano, and I suspect I’d go crazy in a matter of days if it broke or was stolen. Piano music and pianos have been a part of my life as long as I can remember, and I’ve been playing piano for almost three quarters of the time I’ve been alive.
R. J. Davnall has been telling stories all his life, and thus probably shouldn’t be trusted to write his own bio. Besides writing, he’s currently trying to prove that the physical world is an illusion (in order to earn his PhD thesis). Penny Lane is in his ears and eyes, and frequently on his brain, which is the price he pays for living on one of the most famous streets in the world. He plays piano and Minecraft, and occasionally remembers to eat and sleep.
What he creates (in his words):
I’m a fantasy author and sometime musician. I publish monthly installments of ‘The Second Realm’ here and my Smashwords page. I’ll be publishing a standalone sci-fi novella, Where the Angels Took Him, soon, and I’m working on my first EP, entitled String Theories, for release in October sometime. I also take a philosophical look at the publishing revolution on my blog, It’s the Future Stupid.