Interview with Charlie Taylor

Lots of writers have set routines, even little rituals, that need to be in place before they can write. Are you guided by routine?
Not at all. I just sit down and write. I can write anywhere and at any time provided I have something I want to say. I do know people who can't write if a fly lands on the window pane or if they have a hair out of place, or if there's a cloud in the sky with irregular edges. Which all seems most odd to me. I have words and phrases rattling around inside my head all my waking days, desperate to get out. Which is not to say, of course, that all my literary ramblings are worth reading. But some of them are, I hope.
Your favourite authors?
Kurt Vonnegut is my all-time favourite. He was a genius, he made me laugh and he was so, so spot on with his dissection of human foolishnesses. Douglas Adams falls into the same mould and, unfortunately, both have been wrongly tagged as science fiction writers. Well, they aren't. They might use what can be loosely termed science fiction devices from time to time but they are oh so much more than that. I'd have to include Steinbeck - another genius. And Mark Twain. And Amy Burns. Hang around a bit and you'll hear the name Amy Burns cropping up in the finest literary circles. Don't say I didn't tell you!
From where do you draw your raw material for writing?
Much of it from my experiences as a police officer. The job turned me into the ultimate cynic and misanthrope. But, having travelled around quite lot, and with my academic background, I see social incongruities everywhere. They make great material for writing, as evidenced in Scotch Mist which recounts the travails of an Englishman struggling to come to terms with Scottish Highlands life and, more particularly, with the Highlanders who are, indeed, a rare breed of people.
You now live in Devon. Do you find the same inspiration there as you did in the Scottish Highlands?
In truth, I live inside my head most of the time. My head is stuffed full of memories and experiences. All I need to do with them is give the characters a Devon accent instead of a Highlands burr, dress them in Barbour jackets instead of kilts, and have them driving Volvos and Mercs instead of beat-up old pickup trucks with sheepdogs in the back, and the result would be the same. People are people wherever you go and they are endlessly odd. We all are endlessly odd and we all deserve to be observed and written about. Some more than others, of course.
Are you desperate to make millions from writing, to be another J K Rowling or similar?
Of course I am. What a daft question. It's something all writers want and any who say any different ('I'm only interested in the art of it' sort of thing) is lying through their teeth.
Published 2014-02-26.
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Books by This Author

The Tyranny of Convention and Other Stories
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 20,630. Language: British English. Published: February 28, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller, Fiction » Literature » Literary
These short stories examine the hold that social norms have on us all. First, a violent man detained in a hospital for the criminally insane, writes about them in his creative writing class. Then, two Irish down-and-outs try to evade police while revelations about a murder leads to betrayal. And finally, a duologue between detective and murder suspect is a thinly disguised political polemic.