Interview with Ches Torrants

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born in the South-West of England. From a working-class home in the nineteen-forties to the life we have today, that's a long journey. Some of my characters are still trying to make sense of it all.
Describe your desk
Most important are Bertie and Harry, the ten-inch Basset Hounds on the shelf, either side of my monitor screen. There's a supply of paper for making notes, which Bertie and Harry keep safe by sitting on them. The jumble of pages includes a print of my calendar to tell me what's happening, and the lyrics and chords for a few songs. There's a keyboard and mouse too.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I soon learned that I would never get rich as an author. Agents were not interested. But I still felt that some ideas are worth writing about. Such as two characters who pioneer a hydrogen-burning car engine, or the fight against a pernicious new mobile technology.
E-publishing gives us this great opportunity.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
It must be the characters who appear and take on a life. I sometimes wonder how they are getting along, after the story is finished.
Who are your favorite authors?
There are favourites like: Mickey Spillane, Giovanni Guareschi, Robert Harris.
In my youth I was amazed by the "Best SF" collections edited by Edmund Crispin. Later, I read a lot of science fiction, including Isaac Asimov and Robert Sheckley. Now I am discovering more recent authors like Derek B Miller, Dennis Lehane, Robert Radcliffe.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
There's always a writing project, and homework for the next writing group meeting, and I have to practise the guitar. No time to waste.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
College days got me hooked on playing guitar. As John Denver said, what a friend to have.
I try to be a handyman and fix things around the home, although technology is making it more difficult all the time.
And with children and grandchildren, there is usually someone on the phone or email.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
When someone recommends a book, or if I remember a famous title that everyone except me seems to have read. Or sometimes I just browse and see what I find.
What is your writing process?
It starts with an idea and a character or two. The story runs for a while. Then the problems and what-ifs come along. This is when I am so glad that we have word-processing tools, to make new versions and move everything around.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Impossible to choose, but let's say:
Campbell's Kingdom (Hammond Innes) because it brings adventure to someone with no hope.
The Long Wait because it introduced me to the lurid world of Mickey Spillane.
Four Quartets (T S Eliot) because I find myself reading it at times of change. One day I might understand it.
How to Drive a Car (by the editor of "The Motor"). Undated, but the advert for a Morris Cowley two-seater puts it around 1925, so this is ancient wisdom.
Scotland Laughing (W B Burnett) I am not Scottish, but I can appreciate the bittersweet humour.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
My stories don't always seem to fit into any obvious genre, so marketing doesn't come easily. But I'm still learning.
Published 2015-10-31.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Bunting, Bicycles and Blackmail
Price: $0.99 USD. (Free!) Words: 29,870. Language: British English. Published: August 5, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Historical » United Kingdom, Fiction » Coming of age
(A novella) In 1953, Coronation Year, wartime rationing is almost over. Things can only get better. Daniel is leaving school. He gives up his part-time job at the warehouse where such puzzling things have happened. He wants to work as a mechanic but Mum wants him to aim higher and to marry a better class of girl.
Brendon Hill Mornings
Price: $1.49 $1.12 USD. (25% off!) Words: 99,710. Language: British English. Published: December 27, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Historical » United Kingdom, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Family sagas
Henry leaves the farm to escape his bullying brother. He glimpses a page from a diary, a secret that the brothers must not be told. The village establishment is against him. But this is 1930 and changes are coming.
The Lanthorn
Price: $1.49 USD. (Free!) Words: 90,890. Language: British English. Published: December 19, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Amateur sleuth, Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
Fenbury's oldest folk group is in trouble. Aunt Liz's will, redundancy, bankruptcy, burglary, the crises keep on coming. For the local criminals it is business as usual. Respectable people will keep their heads down and toe the line. Or will they?
Rabbits Don't Make Deals
Price: Free! Words: 90,700. Language: British English. Published: November 26, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Political
The United Kingdom is dead, betrayed by its leaders. The federal superstate regards its citizens as rabbits. Ron Smith is one in a billion. What are his chances?
Callous Highway
Price: $1.49 USD. Words: 89,560. Language: British English. Published: November 2, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General, Fiction » Historical » United Kingdom
Matt works on I.T. systems for a failing company. But faced with World War II aircraft wreckage in the back garden, and ageing inventors who need his help, he can't just walk away.
Driven Offline
Price: $1.49 $1.12 USD. (25% off!) Words: 94,430. Language: British English. Published: October 21, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Spies & espionage, Fiction » Science fiction » High tech
Jerry is programming the new smartphone that will flood the market, but is it too clever? Will the technology influence emotions and drive public opinion? Hatred has gone global. It's time to choose sides.