‘Meet The Author’ on the BBC 24 Hour News Channel is usually the cue for Cyberspouse to sigh and reach for the remote control; we’ve caught up with the news, watched tomorrow’s newspapers being discussed, seen Film Review and ‘Click’ featuring the latest technology. No one actually wants to watch news 24 hours a day, hence the interesting filler programmes repeated at intervals.
Meet The Author is a simple formula, a presenter and author chatting. In the unlikely event of me being invited to participate, the interview might not go well. It is pleasing when anybody is interested enough to ask questions, but we Indie Authors must remember that in the real world life does not revolve around our current novel and connecting with other writers on the internet. When someone you haven’t seen for a while, or who has just been introduced, asks if you are still writing, do not reply with heavy sarcasm ‘Does the earth still revolve around the sun?’ Smile and say ‘Oh yes, still writing all the time’ and refrain from adding ‘You obviously haven’t looked at my website lately.’
Another common question is ‘How long does it take to write a book?’ perhaps many authors do know, but I have no idea. I lose track of when I first typed the title, let alone when the original ideas or characters popped into my head. Toby my camper van detective started as an exercise we were given for writing group, he first took an active role in a short story, ‘The Ambassadors’, in An Eclectic Mix Volume One published by AudioArcadia.com 2015. He also features in my two novellas published last year. He must be wondering when I am going to finish his novel; this year I hope. It is nearly three years since I had the idea for an opening chapter of a novel, when we went to the cliff top at high tide the morning after the Valentine’s night storm of 2014, inspiring the title ‘At The Seaside Nobody Hears You Scream.’
The follow on question is ‘How much time do you spend writing?’ Every available opportunity is the simple answer. When I first started with a second hand lap top on the dining table, connected to nothing except electricity, I wondered what authors in writing magazines were talking about; time wasting on social media? Even after acquiring sole use of a desk top it was a while before I realised you could have more than one page open at a time. Now writing my blog or novel is interspersed with messaging friends and relatives, looking at the latest family photos from (depending on the time of day) Australia or USA. And of course chatting with writers from all over the world. Dashing downstairs when the doorbell rings, the washing machine beeps or the oven timer goes off are all ways of avoiding deep vein thrombosis, but can seriously disturb the creative flow. Breaks to hang the washing out or put the chicken in the oven are ideal if you are editing; your brain and eyes need a break from the screen.
‘What sort of books do you write?’ A fair enough question, but ‘all sorts’ would be the best answer. ‘Quarter Acre Block’ is my only novel that could fit a genre, family drama. My trilogy encompasses family drama, love stories, crime, medicine and music; as strange things happen it is also science fiction. The real answer is I enjoy writing about ordinary people; especially when extraordinary things happen to them.
You can read the stories featuring Tobias Elliot Channing, private investigator specialising in missing persons, operating from a camper van, in Someone Somewhere.