Interview with S P Mount

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, I was ten-yrs-old, and it was very much in the style of Enid Blyton's Secret Seven and Famous Five series. I loved those as a child. It was read out a chapter a day at school.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love the worlds, the times, and the characters I create. I miss many of them dreadfully when I finish writing a story, so much so that I pop in and visit them on occasion. I feel that I breathe life into characters, so that they are real to me. I enact what I want them to say, and who I want them to be as if they are actual people in my life, and only then will write whatever they do and say. I love getting so lost in the stories I create I feel that I am there in person. The greatest joy of that is escaping into the fantasies of a world with no limits. Worlds where I can call out in a way I might not be able to do in the real world.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Any impact on me wanting to write was by reading anything by Enid Blyton. I loved, loved, loved her books as a child, including those intended for girls–Malory Towers, for one–and even got excited upon seeing her famous signature.

I loved the movie 'Enid' also, starring Helena Bonham Carter as Enid Blyton, and learning just where Ms Blyton herself got her inspiration–although, perhaps sometimes its better not to know too much about such things!
How do you approach cover design?
I love that process. I do cover design on the days I know I just won't be able to string a sentence together, or for my simple amusement. I love the creative process, and, being slightly OCD (but, i'm told, in a good way . . . ) I can happily scan for images from stock photo sites for hours using a variety of keywords, or until the most unexpected image pops up rom nowhere to tell me it is perfect for my story. In terms of font for titles etc, they look best with time honoured rules as to which suits various genres. That's the kind of thing an author has to look up to try and get it right and present it all as if it has been the easiest thing in the world to achieve. Hah!
What do you read for pleasure?
I love to read non fiction, actually. Biographies, especially of the Royals, and also, true stories. I love history as well the possibilities of tomorrow, and usually try to integrate the two in my own work. Even though most of my writing is speculative, there are elements of people and life in general that I have personally known in all of my stories, as well, oftentimes, my hopes and dreams for a better future. I guess its called transrealism. I have to say that I absolutely loved reading the Harry Potter series perhaps as much as I did every Enid Blyton book I ever read. In my adulthood, though, I do enjoy darker, no bars held works–for instance, in the vein of Charles Bukowski, whom I think I also take some inspiration from. I like raw, and real, and stories that are a little shocking. Again, I try to include such elements in my own writing. I even shock myself sometimes!
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I don't own an e-reader, per se, but I do like to use Kindle on my mini iPad–which I found on the sidewalk! I love, though, that thousands of books can be stored in a device that you can take with you through your life–but I do miss the musty smell of old books. That spirits me back to an innocent time, in fact, my grandparent's house, where they also had an old piano I think, in the end, they locked shut 'cos I had absolutely no proclivity for any kind of musical instrument. Too mathematical for me; I use the other side of my brain. I can sing quite well though.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I am the laziest person ever when it comes to marketing . . . Although, perhaps not exactly lazy, per se; just simply disinterested in that whole process–even though I went through a period of studying it and I understand how essential it is to put yourself out there. I think sometimes, though, in a market where many people are promoting something or other, one really needs to be an expert and commit a great deal of time to it, and even then it can, for someone like me, feel entirely pushy. I only want to write and to share my stories for the love of it. I would rather my work speak for itself. If someone comes across it, fine; that's good enough for me; I have a paying job, like most writers do.
Describe your desk
My desk has a 27inch iMac, a salt lamp, a ton of bills waiting for the end of the month, which I pay religiously, that are not in an in-tray because the in-tray has all kinds of crap in it (all three trays) that I occasionally clear out but soon fill up again with stuff I really don't need to deal with. Its like my clutter drawer because my clutter drawer is full. Right now, I have a baseball hat, bills, expired cheque books, keys, pens that don't work, a modem, a couple of tins with various membership cards to goodness knows what in them, and usually a chocolate bar wrapper and a travel wallet with passports. I do have a really comfy leather computer chair that has seen better days. Sometimes, the wheels catch the dog's tail. The dog never learns.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I am originally from Glasgow, Scotland and had a horrible childhood not without pain and suffering that most people cannot imagine that involved abuse and, ultimately, a children's home–or orphanage, if you like. My early experiences are a massive influence in my writing, which I attempt to do with humour, but they also affected, quite profoundly, my general outlook on life. Those experiences have made me a compassionate person–if I were not already born that way, and allow me to come away from the fairytale side of storytelling. I love to root for the underdog. I often write about the failings of humankind, and imagine how it could be better in a near future. That said, I do, it has been said, as a result, have some kind of inimitable humour about it all that isn't just a result of being Scottish. I am a little . . . Au contraire.
When did you first start writing?
I wrote three books as a small child. Throughout my early adulthood, I flirted with the possibility of writing, but was too busy travelling the world and reinventing myself–or trying to reclaim who I believe I was meant to be if it had not been for my terrible upbringing. With that lifetime of unusual experiences, as well being a little against the grain in most things, I approached writing seriously in 2005; joining writing groups, as well attending college to learn the rules of writing that I like to break now that I actually know them. The professional editing experience was a very enlightening, albeit very tough time for me, but I wouldn't have it any other way; it meant I was able to leap forward with great momentum to create stories that I am proud to showcase, and the lessons were very well learned. I am a sponge for knowledge.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I guess I try to create stories where I would like the reader to root for the bad guy. Right now, I am writing a horrible person, albeit with redeeming qualities, who contemplates his existence with the supernatural powers every seventh birthday seems to bring him. But, because I like to get a little outrageous, he gets to contemplate life from the beginning of time itself, right through to the end of it. It has been said, though, that I don't treat my characters very sympathetically. I was being mean to mine, and killing them off way before it happened in Game of Thrones. However, that said, I'm not necessarily about happy endings . . . More, endings to make you thin, and perhaps be completely unexpected. I like to showcase the private, darker side of a character as I to tend to stray from the norm. I always say originality is key (although, I rather think it is a hard sell–at least until someone comes along to tell everyone else what to like now).
What do your fans mean to you?
I love it when a reader contacts me and is completely invested in my stories, or identifies with a particular character. It makes my heart smile to think that someone actually got some kind of meaning or joy from something I created. I write for myself, because I love it, but I also love to share my work, and appreciate every person who takes the time to read my work. There are millions of ebooks out there; for one of my little barnacles to be chosen from the underside of a rock within that tsunami is a great privilege.
What are you working on next?
I wrote an epic many years ago. Two books (with the intent of more) that, literally, hundreds of people loved and even write to me today about as to where to find it again. I published those stories before the editing experience taught me a great deal, though, and removed it when I was first published professionally as I did not want people to buy it and see the level of editing it contained, lest they might be disappointed. But that was more about my personal standard; I know how people loved those books. I intend, once and for all, to polish them to a very high standard today, as 'Prickly Scots' is my favourite story I ever wrote, as well being my first born. It has everything I ever loved about any story contained within it–humour, fantasy, realism and just pure escapism, as well the wide-eyed exuberance of a writer standing out. The covers really rock too; people were always blown away by them, and articles were even done about it. Eye-catching indeed, if I may be quite so modest.
Published 2018-03-15.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Black Ice
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 14,950. Language: English. Published: March 12, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Dark, Fiction » Horror » Crime
Men have become mindless drones controlled by chip implants and a master satellite. Can one serial killer imprisoned for a thousand years give them the will to truly live?
(G)Astronomic Disaster
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 26,170. Language: English. Published: January 31, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories, Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
Following a catastrophic event, a lone wolf astronaut on a mission to Mars regains consciousness to find he is the only person left in existence. Met only by the pitch of black and a deafening silence, he reflects on the life he thought he hated. Just as his oxygen supply runs out, an astonishing turn of events presents him with an ultimatum that would change the nature of everything he ever knew.
The Cuckoo's Clock
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 49,690. Language: English. Published: January 29, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Crime, Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Gay
A 20th century aristocrat deserter runs psychological rings around a group of psychiatrists gathered to assess the result of his lobotomy-the first ever conducted in wartime Britain–as well to get him to finally admit to a series of heinous crimes involving the crude hybridization of man and beast. But he's not at all what they expected;Insisting he was sent there by a future version of humankind.
Warped Mirrors
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 44,910. Language: English. Published: March 13, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Drama
(4.50 from 4 reviews)
A boy meets whom he thinks is his older self at a Scottish country mansion. If only it were that simple. Overnight, with the help of a peculiar housekeeper, Julian must decipher the complexity of an unusual Mayan globe together with a mysterious board game originated from an alternate universe - one that manipulates time, dimension and weather and the key to averting a life-changing threat.