I'm so excited to bring you the first interview on my blog, my writing buddy Simon P. Clark! He is a super awesome,
Without further adieu, the questions!
1. I know you've been writing for quite a long while, but at what age did you decide that it would be the career you wanted to pursue?
I knew quite young, even though I wasn't a reader for a lot of my childhood. It's become a bit of a cliche, but Harry Potter was the first book I read that made a big impact on me. I realised that someone had written this, and that writing could be a job. I think before that I just saw books as these unknowable objects, floating in a vacuum. Knowing an individual was behind them changed me. I went from the kid who never read to knowing I wanted to write, and nothing else.
2. What setting (location, sound, time) is the most productive for you when drafting? Any changes when you move to revising or editing?
Grief. If anything, I just want the blog to offer a familiar and welcome place for writers. Having been 'in the trenches' of trying to find an agent (and still a publisher) I know that even the smallest bit of good info is valuable. As for qualities - really, I'd like to show others that books are important, and writing takes work.
6. If you could sit down for tea (YOU'RE BRITISH!) with any author, living or dead... not as a zombie or anything, but, like, if the dead author was in fact still alive and kicking... you get my point, ANYWAY, who would it be and why?
David Almond. I mentioned that Harry Potter made me realise being an author was a real job, but Skellig, and all that followed, were the books I discovered for myself. They were unlike anything else I knew, and Almond's talent as a story crafter is unmatched. He actually joined Twitter not too long ago, having never been on before, and I finally had the chance to tell this man, whose books put me on the path to where I am now, exactly what that meant. He responded a couple of times, and it was a beautiful moment. I'd also love to hang with Neil Gaiman or Alexander McCall Smith.
7. Do you see yourself in any way as a writer on two fronts? Are there any aspects of your writer's journey that are different because you hope to write books for publication on two continents?
Well, I work as a writer for my day job - articles and journalistic pieces - so I do certainly write in two ways. Fiction-wise, UK and U.S. markets are separate but my books are being submitted to both. Every writer's journey is theirs alone. Mine involves three countries (as I lived in Japan for many years). My agent is American living in London. I'm British working in New York City. That certainly helped. Mostly, though, I want my books to be read by people - old, young, big, small, clever, dumb, whatever.8. What are your other interests and hobbies aside from writing?
Music - piano, drums, violin - and Japanese language and culture. I also have a deep love of the baking arts, and can make a pretty mean scone. I read, obviously. I cannot draw. Seriously. I wish I could. My attempts at drawing always end in despairing sighs and questions from passers by about why I'm drawing so many amoeba. I have a qualification in pottery, though. Does that count?
9. Which part of the writing process do you find the most difficult? The most rewarding?
Ha! I dislike revising when I realise there's a big problem. Changing something small - especially near the beginning - always has knock on effects, chaos theory-like, throughout the book. I enjoy the moment a draft is finished, though. Nothing like it. The most hated part, for me, is preparing two manuscripts - one British English and one U.S. English. American usage of double quotations marks ( " ") means I have to go and change ALL of them from the British original ( ' ' ). Spelling, word choice, etc. also need doing. Bleh!
10. Have you any words of wisdom or parting thoughts for my fabulous readers?
Just huge thanks for reading this, to you for doing this, and the best of luck to us all in trying to get our stories out there. Also, if you happen to be an editor looking for a great new book - get in touch (hey, they might be reading this).One last note, Simon and some of his family live in the Northeast and while they're okay, there are still many surrounding communities in need. You can help by purchasing one of these gorgeous prints! Proceeds to the American Red Cross!
Thanks again for reading, guys, and be sure to leave some comment love here, and on Simon's blog!