This week we have Kevin Morris, who takes the honour of being the last formal author interview, next week we may have a guest interview running along these lines, but for now, this brings an end to the author interviews. I want to thank everyone who took the time to participate and share their world wisdom with me. I have learnt loads from you all. I am still open to the occasional guest blogs/posts, but I am putting a pause on these author interviews temporarily whilst I focus on getting novels written. Without further ado, I welcome Kevin.
I am currently working on revising my collection of poetry and prose, ‘Dalliance’. This is currently available as an eBook, however I will also be publishing it in print.
When and how do your characters come to you? Is it in a moment of inspiration, an epiphany? Or do they grow in some murky recess of your mind?
My characters spring from my imagination, and frequently, take on a life of their own. I am sometimes surprised at the unexpected ways they develop.
There’s an acceptance that authors often write in traits or characteristics of themselves into their work, is there any part of you in any of your characters?
‘Samantha’ tells the story of a young woman forced into prostitution in the city of Liverpool. Samantha’s boyfriend Peter (who is unaware of Sam’s profession) is a highly educated teacher. I also am a graduate which does, I believe, influence the character of Peter. Both Peter and Samantha love poetry, as do I, and this is reflected in the book.
My characters brew in the dark recesses of my brain.
Are you a planner, or free writer?
While I start off with an idea regarding how a story will develop, the plot takes on a life of its own and I am frequently surprised by the way in which my stories develop.
When you are developing a book, what tools or techniques do you use, e.g. timelines, mood boards, character interviews, scraps of notes?
Many of my stories and poems stem from my imagination, and do not require the taking of notes. I did, however, carry out extensive research into prostitution when writing ‘Samantha’, which entailed the taking of notes.
Has your technique changed over time?
My technique has remained constant over time.
Where do you draw inspiration from? Do you actively look for it?
Inspiration springs from a variety of sources. Much of my writing flows from my imagination, while specific stories and poems have been sparked by news items or events observed by me as I go about my daily life.
I do most of my writing during the day when I am most mentally alert. I find music and other background noise distracting so prefer to work in silence or as close to that state as is humanly possible!
Half way into writing my first novel, it’s taking over my brain! What advice can you give me on completing it? Or maybe an easier question. What do you wish you had known about writing a book before you started?
I find that writing can make me absent-minded, as I am concentrating on it to the exclusion of other matters. I wish I had known this before I began as it would have prevented me from mixing tea and coffee in the same cup and feeding my dog twice, (not that he complained)!
The publishing industry is in decline across the board. Do you think things like the Kindle are bridging the gap, is there still the same love for the written word, or is it being diluted by the modern obsession with tech and gadgets?
This is not a simple question to answer. Technology can have the effect of shortening attention spans, for example, the flicking between reading a book and checking social media, rather than concentrating on the former. On the plus side, the Kindle means that people with limited shelf space can own and enjoy a vast library of books. In addition, the text to speech facility on the Kindle means that I and other blind people can enjoy print books in a way unimaginable to previous generations.
50 Shades of Grey author EL James was reported to make around £100k a day at the book’s height, and the upcoming film will make her millions. Do you find it a shame that the most lucrative and famous book franchise of the moment is one so widely derided for its lack of literary value? Or is it just good to have a book going mainstream?
I am pleased when I read of authors making a success of their career. Even if a particular genre is not to my taste, I don’t begrudge anyone their success.
If a fascist regime was burning the worlds libraries, what books would you save?
George Orwell’s novels and, in particular, 1984. Orwell’s criticism of totalitarianism is chilling and deserves to survive as a warning to us all. I would also save Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury which describes a world in which books are burned by the state. In the field of Politics/Philosophy, I would save Mill’s on Liberty, which acts as a wonderful defence of individual freedom.
I went down the road of self publishing, as this provides me with the freedom and flexibility to write and publish as I see fit. Self publishing appealed to me from the beginning due to the lack of bureaucracy.
What do you wish you knew about the publishing process before you started?
There are many self publishing companies keen to take authors hard earned money. I wish I had known that one can self publish without paying large sums to such organisations.
What is the best advice you could give to aspiring novelists like me? Or what was the best advice you were ever given?
Don’t be discouraged. Keep writing and believe in yourself.
Is fanfic to be welcomed as it broadens interaction and the readers experience or a scourge that devalues the ability of an author?
Fan fiction is not to my taste. However, one man’s meat is another man’s poison, and I don’t see it as my role to tell others what they should or should not read. In short, I don’t have a strong view on the matter.
I am finding more and more, that writers often have several creative outlets. Do you? Or is writing your one source?
I enjoy many social activities. Writing is, however, my main creative outlet.
If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?
I have a day-job and it is this which pays the bills. In the ideal world I would like to work in academia, preferably as a lecturer.
I have always enjoyed telling stories; however I have no clear recollection as to when I first became conscious of a desire to write professionally.
What authors do you admire, and why?
I admire Charles Dickens; his ability to create larger than life characters while, at the same time portraying the harsh realities of Victorian England. I am a huge fan of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories. I admire the ingenious way in which Holmes/Doyle solve cases. The stories are well written and entertaining.
To find out more about Kevin, read his author bio below
I was born in Liverpool on 6 January 1969, a year best known of course for my birth. Well no actually it is better known for the moon landings which certain peculiar conspiracy theorists still maintain never took place (the moon landings that is, not my birth!).
On Saturdays my grandfather and I would invariably pop into W H Smiths and buy a book. Often he bought Enid Blighton books and I’ve happy memories of him reading to me about the adventures of Julian, Dick and Ann – not forgetting Timmy the Dog (who could!) It was from my grandfather that I derived my love of literature.
I attended school in Liverpool and later went on to read history and politics at university. Since 1994 I have lived and worked in London. I live in Crystal Palace. I’m lucky that my home overlooks a large garden and a historic park.
I began to write seriously in mid 2012. All of my writing takes place in my spare room surrounded by books. Being blind I use a standard laptop with Jaws (software which converts text into speech and braille allowing me to access my computer’s screen).