IAM15 Author Interview…Carys Jones

IAM 2015 - TopperWe’ve already met author Carys Jones today, in her first feature about her Writing Routine. But, she was nice enough to fill in some interview questions for us as well and so we thought we might as well share them with you 🙂

 

 

Snapshot Interview with Carys Jones

 

  1. A genie grants you three writing-related wishes: what would you wish for and why?

Ooh! That’s a fun question! I think I’d first ask for the ability to slow time down, especially when I’ve got deadlines looming as sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day.

But then secondly I’d also want the ability to speed time up! Particularly when I’m waiting on a submission as publishing is a notoriously slow paced industry and I’m an insanely impatient person! Lol.

Finally I’d ask for the ‘F’ key on my laptop to get fixed. I always write on my beloved pink laptop which I’ve had for years and just can’t bear to part with even though it’s now past it’s best. So if the genie could fix the keyboard that would be awesome : )

 

  1. Describe your ideal writing space.

I’m really fortunate because I already get to work in my ideal writing space. The room I work in has bright pink walls and is littered with Disney memorabilia and there are pictures everywhere of me and my friends. It is easily my favorite room in the whole house. I like that when I sit down to write I’m surrounded by all the things I love and so many happy memories. My dog, Rollo, even has a bed in there so he can come and sit with me when I work.

 

  1. What is the one book you think everyone should read?

Flowers in the Attic. It is beautifully written and deeply moving. But don’t make my mistake and tackle the rest of the series as they really don’t live up to the brilliance of the first book.

 

  1. How do you react to a bad review?

I totally get that not everybody is going to love the same book. It would be a very boring world if we did. When I get a bad review I take on board what the reviewer is saying, any negative feelings they have and am then just grateful that they took the time to not only read the book but to put in to words their thoughts about it. There have been loads of times when I’ve really hated a book that everyone else has loved. But that’s fine, it’s my opinion and I’m completely entitled to it! So if someone loves or hates my book, I’m just excited that they are reading it and having a reaction.

 

  1. What are you working on at the moment – do you have any other books in the works?

I’m working on a really exciting YA series at the moment which is Geek Girl meets John Green but I’m kind of sworn to secrecy on it at this point! Sorry!

 

  1. What has been your most rewarding experience since being published?

The most rewarding part of being published is connecting with writers, readers and book bloggers. I’ve met so many awesome and interesting people through writing. I feel like I have a totally new network of friends thanks to my books and I’m so appreciative of that.

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Want to know more? Check out the links!

carys jones author    Carys Jones loves nothing more than to write and create stories which ignite the reader’s imagination. Based in Shropshire, England, Carys lives with her husband, two guinea pigs and her adored canine companion Rollo.

When she’s not writing, Carys likes to indulge her inner geek by watching science- fiction films or playing video games.

She lists John Green, Jodi Picoult and Virginia Andrews as her favorite authors and draws inspiration for her own work from anything and everything.

To Carys, there is no greater feeling then when you lose yourself in a great story and it is that feeling of ultimate escapism which she tries to bring to her books.

For more information about Carys please visit www.carys-jones.com or follow her on Twitter; @tiny_dancer85

 

Blog   http://carysjonesauthor.blogspot.co.uk/

Website   http://carys-jones.com

Twitter   https://twitter.com/tiny_dancer85

Facebook   https://www.facebook.com/CarysJonesWriter

Buying Links   Amazon

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IAM15 Interview…with Mel Cusick-Jones

IAM 2015 - TopperHello! Welcome to our fourth annual Indie Author Month on Aside from Writing – I hope you enjoy what we have coming up over the next few weeks in July and get to meet some great new authors, seeing their thoughts and experiences on what it is like to be an indie writer these days.

As you’ll probably know, I’m one of the main bloggers for the site, along with my author buddy Tony Talbot. This year, we decided that one of us would open the event as the ‘author of the day’, with the other closing the event at the end of the month.

One thing I realised we’d never done on here, was actually interview ourselves. We’ve interviewed loads of authors over the last few years, particularly during the Indie Author event months, but neither Tony nor I had ever featured in a ‘proper’ interview on the blog. So, for my first feature of the day, I’m doing a snapshot interview with myself 🙂 It’s a lot more normal than it sounds and not at all Taxi Driver scary. Promise.

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A genie grants you three writing-related wishes: what would you wish for and why?

Firstly, I would wish for the little writing cave of my dreams…a cosy little room, with the walls all lined with bookshelves. There would be a nice, comfy couch for my dog to lie on and snooze the hours away as I work. There are some french windows in the room that lead to a garden outside and my desk in next to it… silly items and knick-knacks from my current mini-cave would be on the wall above my desk, to keep inspiring me as I day dream looking out of the window.

My second ‘big’ wish would be, that when I talk through scenes and dialogue in my head, that they magically appear in a notebook ready to use. I can’t count how many good things I’ve thought of and not remembered because I couldn’t write them down at the time. I’ve tried using a dictaphone, but something goes wrong between my head and my mouth and what gets recorded is just a terrible, flat version of what I was thinking of originally!

Final wish would be for an editing fairy…someone else that perfectly edits and finalises my finished work! That’s always the longest part of the project for me.

How do you react to a bad review?

It’s feedback, so generally I try to take any learning points from what’s said and apply that to my work. There’s several improvements (I think) I’ve made to my writing style and editing over the last few years since I started getting reviews of my books. Without the feedback, which wasn’t always given in the nicest of ways, I might not have seen the issue and improved. If you get a ranty review, you might not get anything that useful from it for improving your work, and in those cases I just kind of shrug and get on with something else. Everyone likes different things and I’ve had my share of DNF books that I’ve not enjoyed, so I can understand it from the reader side of things too.

Cirque de la Nuit coverWhat are you working on at the moment – do you have any other books in the works?

My current project is outside the ‘Ambrosia Sequence’ series, which I’ve been working on for the last few years and released the first two books so far – although I am about two-thirds of the way through the third book ‘Outlanders’ and I need to get back to working on it at some point! At the moment, I’m focusing on writing a stand-alone YA paranormal mystery ‘Cirque de la Nuit’ about a uni student who finds herself in the middle of supernatural gang warfare, after a visit to the mysterious Cirque de la Nuit. A bit of change from sci-fi related dystopian, but hopefully people will enjoy it when it’s ready to release.

What inspired you to want to become a writer?

The main inspiration is that I’ve always loved reading and disappearing off into other people’s stories. Because of that, I’ve always dabbled with writing: short stories, couple of plays (don’t ask!) and then when I finished studying English at uni, I started writing as a hobby. The first few things I wrote were really terrible and it took a lot of practice to actually write a full book with beginning, middle, end…sounds daft, but ask most authors and they’ll tell you that they didn’t just sit down and run off a perfect first draft. The first few books I wrote still sit in my laptop and may (with lots of revision) some day be worthy of release…

Who is your favourite character from Cirque de la Nuit and why?

At the moment, my favourite character is Alexander – the vampire ringmaster who gets Beth (the main character whose POV we read the story in) involved in the first place. He is probably the character, aside from Beth, who changes the most during the story. That said, I really like Mikhail, especially when you get him and Beth sparring off one another – I love sarcastic banter!

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Mel Cusick-JonesWant to know more? Check out the links!

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Melanie-Cusick-Jones/214124072009513

Twitter @melabupa     Author Blog http://melcj.com/

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5395324.Melanie_Cusick_Jones

IAM Guest Feature…A Day in the Life of an Author

To launch our Indie Author Month 2014, we’re pleased to welcome back to the blog author and satirist Michael Cargill. Regular visitors to the blog may well recognise Michael from his previous interviews and features where we’ve reviewed his books (see previous features here) – today he’s back to tell us about being an author.

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A day in the life of an author

By Michael Cargill

 

The other day I received an email from a friend complaining that I spend far too much time writing and not enough time socialising. I found myself surprised by the email, initially because I couldn’t help but notice that the apostrophes were in all the wrong places, but as I read through it a realisation began to dawn on me: my lifestyle has become wholly incompatible with how my friends live.

I’ve been an author for nearly three years now and, although the changes that this has brought to my life are dramatic and overwhelming, they have occurred at such a gradual pace that I hadn’t really noticed them until now. Imagine travelling across Europe, absorbing and immersing yourself in all the sights and local cultures as you go, and before you know it you’re dining on racoon goulash and vodka coffee in the Siberian plains like it’s the most natural thing in the world. It’s as if the Twilight Zone has come to life… and by Jove is it effing marvellous.

This morning my alarm clock went off as it usually does and after splashing my face with cold mineral water I had to shoo Apple, my Siamese cat, off of my yoga mat lest he claw it to bits and spoil my chi. Bear in mind that I get up at midnight so there’s always a few minutes of fumbling around in the dark as I try to get my bearings but once all the lanterns have been lit (why do the matches never seem to be in the same place that I left them?) I’ll spend a few minutes doing leg stretches and finger exercises before stepping into my sun-blushed slippers and unlocking the door to my office. I sit down, make myself comfy, and check with Roald Dahl to see if anyone has sent me any important letters, fan mail, or ideas for future stories, all of which happen with surprising regularity these days. Although he has something of a high pitched voice and an annoying tendency to ramble on a bit, the great man does an important job for me so I patiently wait for him to finish. Just to clarify, Roald Dahl is the name I’ve given to my fax machine and may God bless his noisily efficient soul.

With all the boring admin and paperwork out of the way, I’m free to move onto the more interesting things that the modern world has blessed us with. If it’s a Wednesday I’ll fire up the laptop and connect up to one of those online elearning portals that are all the rage these days. Although Sting and his wife have developed something of a reputation for bad time keeping, their tantric sex meditation sessions are worth their wait in gold so I just sit tight until they’re ready to get things started.

When that palaver (finally) finishes my other alarm clock goes off to remind me that it’s 6am and the local coffee shop will be opening up for the day. After popping down on my scooter I’ll order a strawberry latte and, depending on how hungry I’m feeling, maybe even an apricot croissant.

By the way, does anyone else’s coffee shop sell those overpriced wafer biscuits? £3.50 for a flimsy hazelnut cream snack? No thanks, not when I’ve already got a bag of Melba toast in the kitchen cupboard.

Anyway, the barista is a pretty girl from Romania who pronounces the silent ‘p’ in the word receipt and I’m sure she’d be thrilled to learn that she made a brief appearance in one of my books… and the three year old girl in a pushchair who pulled a blanket over her head when I poked my tongue out at her, she’d be tickled pink to hear that her shyness planted the seed for an unwritten story that has been bouncing around in my head for the past six months or so.

There’s also the teenager in baggy jeans and oversized baseball cap who, even though I only caught sight of him for a few seconds on the London Underground, gave me the idea for the as yet unpublished short story that is currently sitting pretty on my external hard drive. And the woman in black tights who was sat cross-legged in her chair, completely oblivious to the fact that I was staring at her as she casually bounced a loose shoe off the end of her foot… she’d probably think I was an oddball if she knew that her slender thighs were the inspiration for a short scene in a book I published last year.

Once I’ve had my fill of coffee and grown bored of observing the actions of people minding their own business I’ll scoot back home to check my sales ranking. I load up the Amazon page, enter my password, and OHMYGOSHASALE! This is wonderful, it’s been ages since someone expressed an interest in… hold on, they went and got a refund shortly afterwards. How dare they do such a thing, that’s… that’s just plain unfair.

*Sigh*

If only I could hold down a regular 9-5 office job.

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About the Author: Living in England, Surrey and about to break the 33-years old barrier.  I can honestly say that coming to terms with getting older is worse than puberty.  At 14 every extra hair was greeted with rapturous applause and a desire to show it off at school.  Every time a small breeze blew I would worry that it was going to blow away.

These days whenever I spot a new nasal hair I can hear it laughing at me.  I even have to make use of electronic devices to prune it back.

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Want to know more? Check out the links!

Blog – http://michaelcargill.wordpress.com/

Twitter – @MichaelCargill1   Facebook

The Books…

Author Page on Goodreads

 Trailer for Underneath  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUBrxs38Dkc

Smashwords

UK Amazon

Interview with…Author Marc Nash

Author Marc Nash joined us with a guest post on Sunday, discussing experimental fiction and why he writes…today he is back for an interview so we can learn a little more about him!

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Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book. For a different type of read than you may be used to

Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects? Lots of books, but what I’m dying to do is work with someone to make a kinetic typography video of one of my flash fiction pieces. What’s kinetic typography? It’s animated text that moves along a screen and can do all sorts of interesting things visually. Then I want to perform it with a live scratch DJ

What has been your most rewarding experience since being published? Live readings. I put on a bit of a ‘show’ and I love the immediacy of the audience’s response

What was your favorite book when you were a child? I didn’t read books until I was 14. That first book was very significant to me as it got me reading, it was “L’Etranger” by Albert Camus

Is there a song that you would list as the theme song for your book? Every one of my books has its soundtrack. My WIP is going to have a Spotify playlist link when it’s published, as every song on it is referred to in the book

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors? You will receive a lot of conflicting advice about your work, so stay true to your own artistic vision as the ultimate arbiter

If a movie was made about your life, who would you want to play the lead role and why? Martin Sheen. (Not Charlie!) I like his intensity and integrity. Not sure if he could do the humour though

Who are your favorite authors of all time? Franz Kafka, Samuel Beckett, Jonathan Lethem, Don Dellllo, Jeanette Winterson, David Peace

Can you see yourself in any of your characters? Whatever anyone else tells you, all novels are autobiographical! All my characters emerge from me, different parts of me, or other people’s anecdotes and stories that I’ve made ‘mine’

How do you react to a bad review? I welcome it as much as a good one and respect the reader for trying to engage with my work even if ultimately it wasn’t their type of thing

If you were an animal, what would you be? Well I love vultures, find them endlessly fascinating. Not sure I’d want to be one though. They have a bad rep! I did write a flash story from a vulture’s point of view though

You have won the lottery, what is the first thing that you would buy? A study with walled bookshelves and music speakers to the ceiling. At the moment I write on my lap sat on my bed while my books are shelved in the shed…

Favorite music? Experimental! What else did you expect me to say? Let’s just call it ‘art noise’

Chocolate or Vanilla? Does anyone ever answer vanilla? Because if so they’re fibbing

City or Country? Argggh, city, city city. I’d shrivel up and die in the country!

Spontaneity or Planning Ahead? You’re probably not surprised if I say spontaneity right?

Beach or Pool? Library!

Cats or Dog? Cats, superior creatures who will one day inherit the Earth

Cause or Effect? Quantum physics, so neither and both

Favorite quote from a movie? “I love the smell of napalm in the morning”

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A,B&E

From the black market economy of the 1980’s through the gangsterism behind the Clubbing scene of the 1990’s, to today’s decade of drift and low cost airline hedonism, one woman in exile has lived it all. On the run from her gangster husband, Karen Dash is hiding out in a Club 18-30 resort in Kavos on the island of Corfu. A home from home as the neo-colonial horde of hens, stags, booze cruisers and sex tourists turn mythical, Classical Greece into Little Britain. Meanwhile, back in the UK, an NHS nurse decides she has had enough of being assaulted by the patients she is trying to help heal…

A guided tour into the contemporary British soul, conducted by the presiding Mother Spirit as a barfly Scheherazade and an arse-slapping midwife. Avenging angels both. This scurrilous and scabrous book not only peels away the sunburnt skin of our hens, stags, booze cruisers and sex tourists, but delights in jabbing fingers into the pus below. Wish you were anywhere but here ?

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About the Author: Marc Nash lives and works in London. He has been in the counter-culture of the indie music scene for 20 years and now works for a non-government organisation monitoring censorship around the world. He has twin boys whose football team he coached for two years, which gave him more stress than anything to do with writing! He has published 4 books on Kindle, recorded 19 videos on YouTube and performs live readings often in costume! His next ambition is to perform a piece with live backing from a scratch DJ.

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Want to know more? Check out the links!

Amazon.com.Author Page

Website   Blog   Goodreads   YouTube Channel

Twitter: @21stCscribe

Guest Post…What is Experimental Fiction?

It’s actually quite hard to say what experimental fiction is. It’s fiction that consciously departs from ‘conventional’ novels, so first we’d better define just what a conventional novel might be!

 

A novel depicts a fictional character or characters acting and moving through a period of time, usually but not necessarily a recognisable time from our actual history be it recent or long past. Its primary purposes are to communicate and to move the reader, a remarkable achievement of the author who is absent; that through the power of their words whispered inside the reader’s head as they read, can produce these responses across the separation in actual space.

The first myth I wish to dispel about experimental fiction is that somehow it is exempt from having to communicate and move the reader. It absolutely should, otherwise how could we expect a reader to devote time to reading a book that failed to communicate to them? Literature is a pastime and therefore must provide elements of entertainment.

The other myth I would like to debunk is that the word experimental lends itself to notions of an unfinished process that is still ongoing. Or that somehow the work is half-baked because it’s not been thought through and planned out. That the writer has no idea of the destination he will end up at.

I started writing the way I do, because the books I read didn’t satisfy me. It’s been a long journey finding my way through to discovering alternative ways of navigating the problems of traditional novels as I saw them. This wasn’t something I just arrived at all of a piece, so in that sense I have experimented along the way. But in any new novel I write, I often don’t know the destination. But as I proceed, the things that don’t work I throw out. Thus I think I prefer the term ‘radical fiction’ rather than experimental. It has less negative connotations.

I said experimental fiction consciously departs from one or more elements of the conventional in the way it puts together its narrative. It can be in story, in language, in how it deals with time or space or perspective. It can be in how it treats character. It can even be in the physical look of the book, or the print on the page. B.S.Johnson wrote a book that was loose leaved and came in a box. You could read the chapters in any order you chose, in between the specified opening and closing chapters and the book still worked! Georges Perec wrote a novel without using a single letter ‘e’ throughout, this style of writing being called a lipogram.

What experimental writing seeks to do is not use these devices simply for the sake of being clever or tricksy, but to open up new ways of representing narrative. Conventional narrative usually has story as its main feature around which it is arranged. That story in all likelihood will have a beginning, a middle and an end. The inner workings of the main character’s mind will be slowly revealed through a build up of information as the book progresses and thus the character will undergo a journey or an arc, which will probably end up with them being significantly changed by the book’s end. Conflict will be the catalyst of the character’s actions and resultant change. Time will flow one way as the character progresses, even if flashbacks and memories are used.

Well I’d say that experimental fiction opts to avoid most if not all of those elements in structuring its narratives. First and foremost because human lives do not unfold with beginnings, middles and ends. And while we do live our lives one day after another in a way that we cannot relive yesterday in any real way today, the past is constantly informing and impacting us in the present, through thoughts and emotions which spark off and draw from past experiences. The human mind is not linear, it is constantly feedbacking on its present disposition and comparing to the past information and planning ahead to the future consequences of action. In a way we live in an eternal present. We do not have arcs. We don’t even have stories, rather we have ongoing lives instead. A story is merely a set of datelines we artificially impose on our own lives in order to group events together in such a way as to seemingly offer us a pattern for making sense of our lives. Experimental fiction may opt to represent its characters in this non-linear, constantly feedbacking way. An example is the book “The Damned United” by David Peace, which has the best depiction of a human mind I think I have ever read.

Why might any of this be important? Because experimental narrative attempts to approach ‘truth’ in a different manner than the conventional novel. What could be stranger than seeking to derive ‘truth’ from a work of fiction? Yet if a book can move us emotionally, then it has resonated with some truth within us to move us so. Therefore fiction can touch truth. Experimental narratives primarily seek to represent human life in a more ‘realistic’ way than the conventional novel. That does not mean its techniques are realistic, but it recognises our lives as being far more formless than they are represented within conventional narrative form.

Another significant difference being that the experimental novel is aware of itself as constructing yet another layer of representation of ‘reality’ and weaves that into its quest to more realistically represent human ‘truth’. It is less likely to ask a reader to suspend their disbelief in order to enter the world of the book that is absolutely fictional. Rather it says to the reader through its radical narrative forms, that it is absolutely a work of fiction and therefore takes its place in the confusion of life that forms ‘reality’. And it does so knowingly, in order to better help unpick the struggle for truth; it’s easier to separate fact from fiction, if fiction announces itself clearly.

A huge part of this revolves around language. Experimental fiction is aware of the limitations of language and adopts many different ways to try and make language do what it is supposed to do and communicate meaning. Words will be played with. The likes of Perec go further and play with the letters that make up words.

So experimental/radical fiction seeks different narratives from conventional fiction in order to differently attack the notion of human truth. It is less interested in linear story and plotting. It has a radically different approach to character, one that I feel is more akin to how we are as human beings. Language is key to our fiction, even down to the look of the words on the page which may not be blocks of print all flowing left to right. It endeavours to search for a different type of meaning. Personally, I’m not seeking a revolution to sweep away all other types of writing. This is just a different approach to stories that may appeal to readers who are interested in something a bit different. Something more in tune with our times, than the conventional novel which has basically remained unchanged in form for over 200 years.

Marc Nash

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A,B&E

From the black market economy of the 1980’s through the gangsterism behind the Clubbing scene of the 1990’s, to today’s decade of drift and low cost airline hedonism, one woman in exile has lived it all. On the run from her gangster husband, Karen Dash is hiding out in a Club 18-30 resort in Kavos on the island of Corfu. A home from home as the neo-colonial horde of hens, stags, booze cruisers and sex tourists turn mythical, Classical Greece into Little Britain. Meanwhile, back in the UK, an NHS nurse decides she has had enough of being assaulted by the patients she is trying to help heal…

A guided tour into the contemporary British soul, conducted by the presiding Mother Spirit as a barfly Scheherazade and an arse-slapping midwife. Avenging angels both. This scurrilous and scabrous book not only peels away the sunburnt skin of our hens, stags, booze cruisers and sex tourists, but delights in jabbing fingers into the pus below. Wish you were anywhere but here ?

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About the Author: Marc Nash lives and works in London. He has been in the counter-culture of the indie music scene for 20 years and now works for a non-government organisation monitoring censorship around the world. He has twin boys whose football team he coached for two years, which gave him more stress than anything to do with writing! He has published 4 books on Kindle, recorded 19 videos on YouTube and performs live readings often in costume! His next ambition is to perform a piece with live backing from a scratch DJ.

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Want to know more? Check out the links!

Amazon.com.Author Page

Website   Blog   Goodreads   YouTube Channel

Twitter: @21stCscribe

Author Interview…with Michael Cargill

On Tuesday I reviewed Michael’s latest piece of writing and first novel Underneath – you can read the review here or my previous review of Shades of Grey. Today he’s back with us for an ‘official’ interview, which we’ve been hoping to get from him for a while…so here goes! 

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Hi Michael, welcome back to Aside from Writing, thanks for joining us for a ‘proper’ interview. So can you tell us a little about yourself and how you came to be an author?

I’m a 2-month old bumble bee, and my mother tried to eat me when I was a grub.  It was for this reason that I morphed into a 33-year old bloke, who lives in the UK.

Not really sure how I came to be an author actually.  At school I had no real desire for writing, and instead developed a passion for IT.  Once I joined the rat race, and entered the world of office workers, I was often sending out silly emails to people.  Most people liked them, and asked for more, to which I obliged.  The occasional misery guts asked me to stop, so I slagged them off behind their back.  Anyway, in the middle of 2011, I decided to bite the bullet and publish some of the emails for free, and the beast was unleashed!

This week we’ve read and reviewed your book Underneath. Where did your inspiration for the story come from?

For a while, I had an idea for a story involving a sociopath bouncing around in my head, and it just bloomed from there really.  I also had a separate idea for some characters who were police officers, and they ended up in the story as well.  I did a bit of research into sociopaths, which took me about five minutes on Wikipedia, and realized that my initial idea for the character wasn’t really realistic – originally, I was going to make him very intelligent, and analytical.

In your creative writing you build ‘real world’ settings and characters very convincingly – what aspects of your ‘normal’ life or ‘day job’ do you find have helped you in your writing?

As a bumble bee?  None at all.  To be honest, it’s quite hard to answer this question definitively.  Some of the personality quirks, or minor situations that appear in my stories, are based around people or events that I have experienced personally.

We particularly love the characters you create in your stories; when you’re developing a new character for a story, where do you start?

God knows.  One thing that people are very good at, is compartmentalizing different parts of their lives, which is where the contradictions come from.  It’s how physicists can believe in God, or a boxer can shake hands with an opponent after the fight is over.  Or how I like chocolate, but don’t really like chocolate cake much.  To be honest, that doesn’t really answer the question.  I sometimes think of a basic personality for a character, and then just throw in some contradictory quirks further down the line.

There are some quite particular traits we’ve noticed in several of your characters: are you writing about what you know (i.e. basing them on yourself or people in the ‘real world’)?

It’s a bit of everything really.  Sometimes I won’t even know where some of the traits have come from, whereas other times I have stolen them from someone’s head.

Casting question! Who could you see playing the key roles of Hugh, Clare, Robert and Abigail if Underneath were made into a film?

Ooooh, tricky one.  For Hugh, I reckon Heath Ledger, as he did a good job with The Joker in Batman.  Or maybe Guy Pearce.  For Clare, I would go with… dunno.  Not Liz Hurley, ‘cos she is rubbish.  Geena Davis could do it, I reckon.  Robert would be played by… Christian Bale, maybe.  Or Johnny Depp.  Virginie Ledoyen could be Abigail.

What do you find are the best parts of being a writer?

Being able to make things up, without getting told off by anyone.

And the worst…?

The editing.  My God, the editing.  It’s like having the opportunity to get a bar of gold, but you have to carry it through a disused Somalian sewer, barefoot.

Any advice for people who have an interest in creative writing?

Patience, practice, poverty.  You have to realize that not even the best writer can come up with a perfect story by themselves.  It gets filtered and corrected by hordes of editors, proof readers, and God knows what else, long before it gets anywhere near the shelves.  It’s all about getting the ideas down on paper, and then cleaning it all up afterwards.

Ignore the poverty bit, I just wanted a third ‘p’ word.

So – what else do you have planned for 2012?

Avoiding the rain during this lovely, British summer.  Get my face painted for the Olympics.  Get the book I am working on now, finished.  Oooooh, did I say what you think I said?  I believe I did.

Random Questions:

If you could be a character from any book – who would it be and why?

Batman, ‘cos he is the Batman.  He is a billionaire who does what he wants.  I reckon he would sort this credit crunch nonsense out, once and for all.

Favourite fictional world – where would you live?

Jurassic Park, before it all goes wrong.  Saying ‘coochy coochy coochy coo’ to them raptors would be brill.

Best super-evil baddie?

Jesus.  Seriously, how many fishermen did he put out of work when he fed the five thousand?  It’s the first written record of a recession.

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About the Author: Living in England, Surrey and about to break the 33-years old barrier.  I can honestly say that coming to terms with getting older is worse than puberty.  At 14 every extra hair was greeted with rapturous applause and a desire to show it off at school.  Every time a small breeze blew I would worry that it was going to blow away.

These days whenever I spot a new nasal hair I can hear it laughing at me.  I even have to make use of electronic devices to prune it back.

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Want to know more? Check out the links!

Blog – http://michaelcargill.wordpress.com/

Twitter – @MichaelCargill1   Facebook

The Books…

Author Page on Goodreads

 Trailer for Underneath  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUBrxs38Dkc

Smashwords

UK Amazon

Interview with…Patricia Lynne

This week we’re welcoming author Patricia Lynne to the blog for a short series of features. Today we’ll be finding out more about her with an interview, on Saturday her book Being Human will be under the spotlight and finally on Sunday, she’ll be sharing some of her thoughts and experiences of writing in a guest post. Phew! With all that to get through, let’s get started with the interview! 

Author – Patricia Lynne

Hi Patricia, welcome to Aside from Writing, we hope you’ll enjoy your time on the blog. Let’s get started with your interview!
If you could invite any 5 people to dinner who would you choose?

Tim Burton, Johnny Depp, Heather Brewer, Mike Rowe, my mom (because otherwise she’d be miffed I didn’t invite her!)

If you could have any superpower, what would you choose?

Hmmm, I’d say it’s a toss up between super speed because I hate car rides and being able to fly because Rogue of the X-men was my favorite and she could fly.

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

Mackinaw Island Fudge. It’s vanilla ice cream and fudge and oh so good and is a Michigan specialty.

Wow – that sounds amazingly good – how far is Michigan from Manchester?! 🙂 OK – still thinking of food – what is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?

I never wake up in time to eat breakfast, because let’s face it, mornings are evil, so let’s count lunch as my breakfast so grilled cheese and tomato soup.

Lastly…a drink to go with your meal…Coke or Pepsi?

Neither. Mountain Dew. I love my elixir of life.

OK – now back to books! Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.

Because if you don’t I’ll send Tommy after you and he has no qualms about getting flesh stuck in his fangs. 😉 Oh, sorry, did you want a serious answer? Being Human is a new take on a myth that’s been done a million times over, but with no sparkling.

You know – that might not be a bad thing for me – on the basis that the cover image is a very gorgeous guy, who is saying ‘please bump me to the top of the tbr pile’ with his sexy stare – I think it is enough to keep refusing. And let’s face it – we like vamps because of the danger 😉 

What are you working on at the moment? Any new books in the works? 

I have a few books that are in various stages of editing and I’m hoping to have at least one ready to get published soon. The one I’m most hopeful to have finished soon(ish) is called Snapshots and it’s about a boy who can see the future in others eyes so he keeps one eye covered earning him the nickname Cyclop.

What’s been your best experience from being published? 

This may seem mean but I highly enjoy hearing my story has made someone cry. Writers all strive to create stories that resonate with readers and make them feel, so hearing my book made someone happy or sad enough to cry is very rewarding. I did a good job.

What was your favorite book to read when you were a child?

I loved all the Clifford the Big Red Dog books. I had them all and I’m pretty sure my mom still has them stashed somewhere.

When you were little, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?

At one point I wanted to be a ballerina, but mostly I wanted to be an artist like my grandpa. I even when to college at Grand Valley State for a year in art.

How do you feel when you get a bad review? And how do you deal with it? 

I’ve only had one really bad review so far and I whined to my husband and a few friends privately, and then I got away from my laptop and got slightly (no, really) drunk. Then I didn’t really care about the review. Plus, the people I was with reminded me that every movie, book, TV show get bad reviews.

Take us through a typical day in your life…

Well, I lay in bed thinking about how I need to get up for way longer than I should. Then I finally force myself to jump up and go through the usual things (brush teeth, deodorant, get dressed) I check twitter and my email, comment on blogs or reply to emails. For some reason, I can never motivate myself to write until after I eat lunch. I can spend all afternoon writer/editing while checking twitter too much while having Mythbusters, Criminal Minds or Dirty Jobs playing in the background. I can’t write to music, but the TV is fine. I don’t have a real job (I have a small online handmade jewelry store and deliver a paper on the weekend) so I never have to worry about squeezing writing in between work. I make dinner when my husband gets home. If it’s nice out, we go for a walk and I try not to bore him with writing talk and he tries not to bore me with computer related jabber. Shower and then it’s back to writing, but usually I’m a bit worn out on writing and waste time on twitter talking about how I need to be writing. Around midnight, I trudge to bed and glower at my husband for being able to fall asleep in two seconds while it takes me a half hour.

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Patricia will be going under our author spotlight on Saturday – so come back and find out more about her and Being Human then!

And don’t forget the giveaway to win your own copy of Being Human – just comment in any of the features from Patricia posted this week and you’ll be entered to win an e-copy supplied via Smashwords!