Interview with Graham Bayes

When did you first start writing?
Until I moved to live in Gozo, in the Maltese Islands, it never occurred to me to have my stories written down. So It all began in 2010. Until that time, I would ad lib my stories for my children and grandchildren, and stopped when I could not carry on with the storylines. The next time we shared between ourselves, I would have had time to think about how to continue a particular story. Now it is possible to narrate stories into a dictaphone and carry on when my ideas have fully developed. Then I pass the completed stories on the machine to my wife who types them all up for me.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book is inspired by the success of the first book and more stories about Joe Fenek - Joe the Rabbit. "The Adventures of Joe Fenek" - six, short stories about Joe Rabbit and his animal companions - have become quite popular with young children in Europe and the United States. Many children positively clamor for copies of the book every time I hold public readings. "Joe Fenek Discovers Christmas" is an additional short story targeting the interactions of humans and children during the holiday season.
What motivated you to become an author?
I was motivated to seek a publisher by my friends, Peter and Barbara, because of the content and quality of my stories. I was also highly encouraged in this regard by my wife, Janet.
What are you working on next?
My next project (in progress) is to write some stories about a dog who lives on the tiny island of Gozo.
What is your writing process?
When I travel around Malta and Gozo, looking at the wonderful scenery, ideas just seem to flow. I often find myself telling my wife about a new plot or a new place for a story to be set in. First, I find myself needing to gather ideas and make notes, before dictating stories. We try to make notes if we can and this is easier if we are travelling by bus. As I am presently working on stories that are set in the Maltese Islands, it is a shame that they are not published in Maltese but in English. The Maltese language would allow my use of more names of local places, with their mundane connotations, but this is something which is not feasible in a book which sells in a global world. I think that Maltese and Gozitan children and their parents would enjoy the stories more if they had to be in Maltese.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
For me, the greatest joy in story-making is the thought that somewhere, someplace, a child or children will read and thoroughly enjoy the characters and adventures I present, thus being encouraged to read more. It gives me great pleasure to know that children enjoy the stories I make up for them. I am looking forward to making up more stories and sharing them with the young and old alike.
Where did you grow up and how did this influence your writing?
Born in Norwich, Norfolk (UK), I am the youngest of four. My father worked in the printing trade, my mother was a domestic. Both my parents passed away when I was a young adult: first, my father from lung cancer, then my mother from pneumonia a few years later. Growing up, I was encouraged to use my imagination, make up stories and narrate them to friends. As an adult and a father, I have narrated and shared stories with my three children and seven grandchildren.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first story I have ever written was "The Magic Knitting Needles." This story was set in Xaghra, Gozo, and revolved around my wife's love of knitting. It is a story of magic, crime and secrets.
What do you read for pleasure?
My reading pleasure is gained from history books, books about crimes of the past and novels, including factual history. I have always enjoyed learning about the past and think it helps to know the history of a place, if you are going to narrate or write stories about it.
Published 2014-01-27.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Joe Fenek Discovers Christmas
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,590. Language: English. Published: December 11, 2013 by FARAXA Publishing (USA). Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Animals, Fiction » Children’s books » Animals
Joe Fenek - Joe the rabbit - meets up once again with his animal friends Jimmy the rat, Digger the shrew, Tony the rat, Horace the horse, Mario the mouse and Spikey the hedgehog, to discover the meaning of Christmas and the way humans celebrate this feast day in the Maltese Islands.