Interview with Paul J Spooner

Paul, how long have you been writing?
I suppose, on and off for a dozen years or more.
How come you have only just got around to publishing?
It was never my intention to be an author. I have been involved mainly with the visual arts for most of my adult life. Writing became somewhat of a relaxation for me. Instead of sketching with pencil and brush, I occasionally sketched with words. After several years of doing this you can imagine there were a considerable number of words in my writing sketchbooks.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born and raised in London, UK. A bit of a 'Jack the Lad' as a kid, I loved wandering around the city on my own. I soon noticed and was influenced by some of the seedier, as well as the more glamorous views of life. Well known T.V. and theatre personalities of the time often rubbed shoulders with the more dubious elements of society, owning houses in the same street and drinking in the same pubs. The whole scene was somewhat mercurial. Though quite naive of my surroundings and probably my safety, I was a sponge for that exciting amalgam.
So this background influenced your writing?
Absolutely. How could it not? I actually got to meet and drink with some of these people. Winging it, as one would say.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Initially, there wasn't a story. As I mentioned earlier, I had numerous sketches that I had written. Like, when one wanders around the city with a sketchbook and pencil (which I occasionally did) I memorized some of the things and wrote them down, embellishing somewhat at times, as my creative imagination ran riot. It was much later in my career when my wife convinced me that I should mould some of these ideas together into a whole. That's how Echelon evolved, into what it is now. I don't want to tell the story here and spoil it for you. Better that you read a few chapters and see if you can get into it.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Dealing with standard publishing houses made me feel inadequate and irrelevant. Yes, I trod the conventional path. I sent off my manuscripts, cap in hand as one does, hoping like hell someone would respond. When two did eventually respond positively, I nearly fell over with excitement. When the promised contracts arrived, so did the request for money. A considerable amount I should emphasize. That kicked the legs out from under me. It was my 'Techie' son who suggested ebooks, even finding me contacts on the web. Now you have probably gathered by that statement that I am not a 'Techie'. So this has been a steep learning curve for me.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I don't know if it has yet! This is my first publication. But going down this path has certainly given me a feeling of control over my work and a method to get it out there to the public.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Losing myself in the story and engaging with my characters.
What do your fans mean to you?
That's a hard one to answer, as I don't yet have any in this field. But form my experience as a professional artist, I was always amazed that members of the general public were prepared to part with their hard earned cash to purchase one or more of my works.
What are you working on next?
The sequel to Echelon. Before I had even finished the final draft of Echelon I had become so engrossed with my characters and the story line, that I found it necessary to further develop the story they were in and take it to the next level. So I began writing CHAPTER & VERSE as I was completing Echelon. I now find the way it is progressing, it will have to lead into a third book before I can finish the story. Holy Cow! That means I have a trilogy to finish. I had better stop answering these questions, so that I can get on with it.
Who are your favorite authors?
Lee Child. Daniel Silva. David Baldacci.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The fact that I wake up!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
All the #%^* domestic jobs one has to do, which kills half the day.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
They were never stories, just sketches. This is the first complete story I have written.
What is your writing process?
Fingers on a keyboard.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first adult story was 'When the Lion Feeds' by Wilbur Smith. I bought it at Heathrow Airport as I was about to leave for Australia. I'm surprised I did not write his name down as a favourite author, as I have all his books. All of his earlier books sucked you in. I think I must have read it a dozen times.
How do you approach cover design?
I taught some subjects in Applied Design at Adult Education College. I don't think it is essential that the cover should reflect the full story, or even if that is possible. It just needs to relate somehow. The essential thing, is that it needs to grab your attention and suggest some intrigue. I was modest enough to think one of my own paintings held enough of that to be used as the cover for my first book.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
I have favourite authors, not books.
What do you read for pleasure?
The obituaries! No, just kidding. But definitely not instruction manuals, that's for sure! I enjoy reading books similar to what I have written. Guts an' all Thrillers.
Describe your desk
A Grand Canyon of a collage.
When did you first start writing?
Think I've been asked that one before, so it is a good time to finish. I wish everyone well and ask them to take the time to sample a few pages.
Published 2017-07-26.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Echelon
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 182,380. Language: British English. Published: September 1, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
ECHELON is an intermingling of the gritty residues of a rich and powerful megalomaniac with that of a pair of devil-may-care street wise criminals, who have inadvertently become entangled in the web of intrigue, woven by a mysterious woman whose determination to solve an insidious crime has led her on a convoluted five year journey to bring a monster to justice.