Friday, September 9, 2011

A Day in the Life of... Richard Denning

Welcome to Stitch Read Cook's weekly feature!!

A Day in the Life of..

This is where us bloggers & fans get a glimpse inside the days of our favorite authors!
Today we have YA author Richard Denning!

About the Author:

Richard Denning was born in Ilkeston in Derbyshire and lives in Sutton Coldfield in the West Midlands, UK, where he works as a General Practitioner (family doctor). He is married and has two children. He has always been fascinated by historical settings as well as horror and fantasy. Other than writing, his main interests are games of all types. He is the designer of a board game based on the Great Fire of London.

A Day in the Life of Richard Denning

I am a GP ( a family doctor), but also a Young Adult Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Historical writer as well as  a game designer and the organiser of an annual hobby game convention here in the UK that is getting bigger each year. So the days get pretty full. Here is a fairly typical day:

7.00  The Alarm goes off. My wife hears it and responds to it. I think I subconsciously know this and so I DON'T typically hear it. Only if I am alone or away from home do I seem to let the alarm disturb me! There is now a race to get in the bath room before the 14 year old daughter, because if I lose the race she will occupy it for half an hour. Questions about what she does to occupy 30 minutes are met with a Paddington stare.  The 8 year old son is kicked out of bed. On a good day he leaps up, gets dressed and races down stairs to play on his computer before school. On a bad day a lot of prodding is needed. 

7.30  Downstairs I will grab some coffee and usually something quick like a croissant, pain au chocolat or a bowl of cereals.  On a weekend day I might cook everyone a full English Breakfast once in a while but weekdays are too busy for that.

7.45  Check my emails and do some social media stuff. I try to see if anyone I am following has posted anything and RT or LIKE them. I usually find some event in history on the day to tweet about. If I have done a blog or a guest post I will try and get that out and about on Twitter or Facebook.

8.00 to 8.15  Going out the door. Sometimes I am alone and sometimes with my son who usually walks to school from a childminders nearby. I will drop him off and  then I try and get to my surgery by 8.30.

8.30 to 9.10  I am in the surgery doing my letters, checking blood results, signing prescriptions. Ideally I like to clear all that before I start seeing patients.

9.10 to 12.30  Morning Surgery. I work in a practice of 10,700 patients and about 9 doctors, 5 nurses and 20 odd admin staff. We have 10 minute appointments for the most part. Usually I see about 20 to 24 patients every morning and it is busy, nonstop, tiring and often demanding with lots of problems and issues to resolve.  Nowadays there is a the feeling that the Department of Health is keeping an eye on what we prescribe and how often we refer patients on to hospital so that creates its own tensions. I am glad when lunchtime comes.

12.30  I usually go home for lunch except when there is a practice meeting. Often I am alone but sometimes my wife is about. She is on part time work at  present and actually when this article goes out will have finished at one solicitors she works at. She is keen to get a new job quickly. If alone I will grab a sandwich, soup or baked potato and maybe pop a video of a film on, flick through the history channels or movie channels and watch something for twenty minutes or so. Something sci-fi or fantasy or historical and NEVER gritty real life dramas. I need escapism with my TV.

1.00 to 3.15  General practice keeps odd hours. This point in the day traditionally was when GPs would do a hospital clinic or look after a nursing home. I spotted it as a time when I could do writing and emails etc. So - especially when I am home alone I will get quite a bit of work done on writing OR in the run up to UK Games Expo in the organising of that convention. In the 2 to 3 months before Expo I send and receive  20 to 30 emails a day  and deal with all the queries from 70+ traders as well as questions from hundreds of our visitors. The rest of teh year I use it to write a book as well as keep in touch with writers, my editor and cover design artist.

3.30 to 6.00  I am back in the Surgery for evening surgery. 10 minute appointments and maybe I see 18 patients. Often there are lots of queries and issues which have popped up during the day to sort out. Quite often these are urgent and patients want answers before the end of the day.  Surgeries are a bit like middle distance running. You just have to keep going, keep the pace up and maintain the stamina. Time management is a key part of the job.

6.30  I am home.  Bit of a flop, check email and sort dinner. My wife and I take it in turns to cook. She does mainly English food whilst I do Indian, Chinese, Chillis and Mediterranean by and large.

7.30  Some nights we try and all watch a programme together as we eat - we are keen on Murder mysteries like Morse or Lewis or else perhaps a Sci Fi series. Currently working our way through Buffy with the daughter. On Monday though I have friends around who enjoy board games and roleplaying games and sometime we play test one of my games but usually we pull a game off the shelf. Tuesday night I go out to  a games club in town. The other evenings I am in (but my wife and daughter have some musical activities on Wednesday and Friday evenings). So there are some weeks when we are lucky to get 1 night all in.

9.00  By now the daughter will be doing home work and we will be looking to get the son in bed. None of us are early to bed types and that applies to the children too.  I will settle down to doing more emails, writing etc.

11.00  Especially from about winter until the UK Games Expo in June I often hook up with my fellow organisers on Skype around this time. We natter on about the show, sort issues, pass files back and forth and pour over maps.
1.00 am  Is my usual time to collapse in bed. I TRY and get some reading in before lights out.

By the same author:

Northern Crown Series
(Historical fiction)
1.The Amber Treasure
2.Child of Loki (Coming 2012)

Hourglass Institute Series
(Young Adult Science Fiction)
1.Tomorrow’s Guardian
2. Yesterday's Treasures
3. Today's Sacrifice (Coming 2012)

The Praesidium Series
(Historical Fantasy)
1.The Last Seal

Author Page on Facebook:



Thank you Richard for sharing your day with us!

1 comment:

  1. Ooo I live in Ilkeston. How strange to see my little town mentioned on a blog. :-)

    I think I've commented on this before, but I love reading these 'Day in the Life of' posts, it's really interesting to see how different people arrange their time.


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