Interview with Phil Mcfarlane

When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Well that's an interesting question and it would include cooking for the family, I have a converted garage that my son and I use as a studio / rehearsal room which is where I spend some time. My wife and I enjoy an evening out either with a band or sometimes a quiz most often will include dining out. Shopping and trips to the coast tend to feature quite regularly now I find.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Trawling mainly its a good way of finding books and authors that you may not otherwise see.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes I remember it well it was entitled My First Attempt at Cooking and was for a school essay. I had top marks for it unfortunately it was a test run or a mock as they were known and I should have copied it for the real exam, I didn't and as a result got a lower mark. That said at least I was original.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Yes it was The Castle of Adventure by Enid Blyton it had a great impact as I enjoyed the book from cover to cover and went in search of more. I have always loved a good story in print or via a good yarn
How do you approach cover design?
Well that is a good question, I am not sure if I am qualified to answer this as my approach is quite abstract. As one would expect I look for elements that will be reflected in the story in the case of The Trouble With Youth I had opted for colours that reflect the era. In addition there were pics of a period microphone resting on a drum which of course reflects the Sidekicks. I had looked at others which were minimalist as I have always liked the phrase you cant judge a book by its cover. In the end I settled for a design that my son came up with and I like it very much.
What do you read for pleasure?
Anything to hand to be honest I have always enjoyed comics, parts of the press, and so on if I fancy it I will read it.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
I will start with The Castle of Adventure this because it was one of my early discoveries and it held my attention which was a good sign at that age particularly. As the activities were described you could imagine being among them great stuff.

I enjoy autobiographies, biographies and I have to include a book called Survivor that was insightful into the life of Eric Clapton up until that time (80`s) I think it is still available and it told of his life and people in his circle at that time. I read it in a library in Cardiff and stood rooted to the spot until I had completed. Now that is a good sign that a book suits you, I have others by him and they are a good read especially if you are a music lover.

The Day of The Triffids - that speaks for itself I think but I will add that another love of mine particularly in film is science fiction.

The Wicker Man - Loved that book mainly due to the intrigue I enjoyed the film as well I thought the first film with Edward Woodward caught the book better for me and that end well what can one say.

I love all of Colin Dexter novels that are around my favourite Oxford detective Inspector Morse there are quite a few and I have them all. Nothing like a good who done it and with such class I love the way he manages to work his way through academics being an Oxford man himself.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Kindle
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Its a little early to say at this stage I will get back on this one
Describe your desk
Actually its a kitchen table that looks out onto my garden and I have easy access to the patio door so I can let Hugo my cat in and out with little fuss. He is supposed to be an indoor cat hence the lack of a cat flap but no-one has informed him.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in South Wales and I guess the influence would be in part the humour that I was exposed to, gritty and sharp. I have lived in Cardiff which is a vibrant city and I have lived in the valleys which although just a few miles up the road is in stark contrast.

Its a place of close community and people that are gifted in many ways, a strong musical presence. Always a strong sense of realism and patriotism I hope these qualities have come through in my writing.
When did you first start writing?
I wrote avidly as a youngster essays and the like was my favourite activity during my school years. In fact it was about the only thing I liked. As I started work writing stopped and work and marriage took over now that I have arrived at an age where I have more time I have put pen to paper again
What's the story behind your latest book?
Its a fictional work based on how I would like to see a home of that sort managed. Where people are offered the chance to get back on route and build a successful productive life using the skills they have learned while away. I have always liked teamwork and in the book I have emphasis-ed that fact over and over.
There is no stronger feeling than pulling together to achieve and I hope that has come across. Another facet is that of the trust extended especially from the Major.
Eddie is a bit special in as much as his personality shines and he appears afraid of nothing apart from letting his family down. Strong ethic for one so young and of course the book ends with him risking everything for those he loved which again is worth writing about I think.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I have always wanted to write a book and let as many people read it as is possible and this format is by far the most effective.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I feel confident that Smashwords will work perfectly their systems are user friendly even for a technophobe like me
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Escape I guess, sometimes when you are in the middle of a piece you can become so absorbed you can almost hear the tone of the voices of the characters you have created. I would describe it as being part of a game being played on X-Box or Playstation. You are controlling whilst at the same time being part of the plot. Nearly happened then ha.
What do your fans mean to you?
Well its a little early for me to talk about fans as I am unknown. That said if I ever do create a following however small they will be vital for my future writings and I will ensure they have access to me via an email address
What are you working on next?
Probably a sequel to The Trouble With Youth that will depend on a couple of things - ideas and viability.
Who are your favorite authors?
As a young man - Enid Blyton
Now - Colin Dexter and some others too numerous to name
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The thought of a new day untouched, making a nice coffee for the wife that always earns a few points and not knowing what the day will bring.
What is your writing process?
Hatch the idea, create characters that you would want to work with - spend some time imagining how they would react to a situation and how it could be shared with regard to humour or drama.
Following that I dont plan too much I just write about a scenario leave it for a day or two then return and refine it.
Write your own question here!
I hope this has helped you in some way to gauge something about the guy who`s work you have been reading. If you need anything else leave a note in the feedback and I shall reply.

Many thanks

Phil
Published 2015-02-22.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.