Interview with Peter Blakeborough

What is your e-reading device of choice?
A Kindle while traveling. It takes up so little space and can hold such a lot of reading. At home I read on Kindle for PC. I just find it convenient when I spend so much of my time on the computer.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
When I had print books for sale I took them direct to bookstores and libraries. The books really just sold themselves with almost no paid advertising. But I was fortunate to receive a lot of free publicity from newspapers, radio and television interviews during my travels. Speaking at a variety of meetings about my books and writing also generated lots of sales.
Describe your desk
Cluttered! Whoever said that a tidy desk indicates a tidy mind was probably talking about someone who was unemployed, or was running a business that was awaiting its first sale. From my desk I research books, write books, design books and I sell books. Everything is at my fingertips, even if it is several layers down.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in rural districts of New Zealand. On a dairy farms a young person learns to be skilled at many different jobs while keeping in touch with nature. It was a wonderful way to grow up and it provided a good background for creating plots for novels. Later, I lived in cities and small towns, and that has enabled me to include both town and country scenes in my novels.
When did you first start writing?
At school I had a flair for storytelling. But that was a talent that later lay dormant for many years. I always wanted to write novels, but believed that first I needed a broad experience of life. I did quite a lot of non-fiction writing; editing club newsletters, that kind of thing. In 1966 I published my first non fiction title, The Coinage of New Zealand and it sold 3,000 copies. After that I became the editor of a national monthly magazine for coin collectors. It wasn't until 1995 that I started writing my first novel, Nathaniel's Bloodline.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords enables me to reach a wider market with prices that print books cannot compete with.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
No single answer here. It gives me a wonderful feeling to review what I have written and I have to ask myself often, "Did I write that?" I still get a thrill when I pick up one of my print books and thumb through the pages, pausing to read a passage or two. But the greatest joy with writing comes from the readers who come back for more books and to tell me how much they enjoyed the books they already have.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The need to put into a manuscript a scene that has formed in my mind in the early hours. I do my best writing in bed.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
It's a busy life for someone who is supposed to be retired. I just love to travel. I like being with people, and taking them on coach tours is a great way to see happy people while beautiful scenery passes by. I'm a paid tourist. Many years ago I was a pilot and flew more than 50 aircraft types. Now I fly with a flight simulator which means that I can enjoy a private flight in a Boeing, Airbus or WWII fighter without breaking the bank. I have a motor-home and enjoy time away in that with my wife. We also go to country music events where I pretend to be Johnnie Cash or Merle Haggard. It's a busy retirement and I have no idea how I ever managed to work full-time.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
That's a good question. I do remember being praised for excellent work at school, but I now have no recollection of the story itself. Whatever it was it must have been all lies.
How do you approach cover design?
It is said that a book should not be judged by its cover - but many people do just that. The cover can be the most important part of the book because it creates the first impression. The experts say that the cover should be designed by a professional and I'm sure they are right. But I design my own covers, not because I'm good at design, but simply because I love to play around with different designs and styles. For me it's part of the challenge and when it's finished it is my book completely.
What do you read for pleasure?
My reading habits have long been wide ranging. I like history, technical subjects, travel, news and current affairs, biographies, politics. About one in three books that I read will be fiction including historical fiction, romance, thrillers, crime and mysteries. I think novelists should keep a balance between fiction and non-fiction reading.
What are you working on next?
I often work on more than one book at a time. Currently I have a non-fiction title, The New Zealand Tour Commentary, which is being updated. It was previously sold as a print book only, but the new edition will be on Smashwords along with my other books. I am also working on another novel, as yet unnamed, which may be completed within the next year.
Who are your favorite authors?
Early on I read authors like Neville Shute and Ernest Ghan. More recently my favorites have been Bill Bryson, John Grisham, Ruth Rendell, Robert Ludlum, Maeve Binchy and Arthur Hailey.
Published 2014-07-28.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The New Zealand Tour Commentary
Price: $14.99 USD. Words: 74,820. Language: English (New Zealand dialect). Published: March 18, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Travel » Travel - Reference
The New Zealand Tour Commentary is the definitive work in New Zealand for tour drivers, local guides and international tour managers. Everything that tourists could ever want to know about is in this Bible of the New Zealand tourist highways.
Blogging Along
Series: The Blogger Series. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 32,130. Language: English. Published: February 2, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » General reference » Bibliographies & indices
Blogging Along has been compiled from the author’s blog, which has readers in more than 120 countries. This companion book to Around the World in Eighty Blogs, published in 2013, contains opinions, information, and revelations on a wide range of topics, some obscure, some controversial.
The Scapegoat
Series: The Asker Trilogy, Book 2. Price: $6.99 USD. Words: 127,290. Language: English. Published: February 17, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Historical » Australia & New Zealand
Newlyweds Cedric and Doris Asker sail for New Zealand aboard the Elingamite. But they become separated when the ship sinks near the Three Kings Islands with the loss of many lives. The Askers strive to overcome tragedy, disaster, business failure, and a wrongful murder conviction.
Around the World in Eighty Blogs
Series: The Blogger Series. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 50,400. Language: English. Published: September 12, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Travel » Specialties & interests, Nonfiction » Business & Economics » New business enterprises
Around the World in Eighty Blogs is a selection of the best earlier posts from Peter Blakeborough's Blog. The topics are wide-ranging, some serious, some humorous, and come from many different parts of the world. This is Peter Blakeborough's eighth book and many of the posts express opinions that may be controversial and give rise to vigorous debate. The author welcomes comments and reviews.
The Life and Times of Freddie Fuddpucker
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 26,010. Language: English. Published: July 12, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
New Zealand yarns and humor at their hilarious best centered around a clumsy, half-witted, give anything a go, con-man.
Highway America - The Life of a Trucker
Price: $7.99 USD. Words: 59,520. Language: English. Published: November 11, 2011. Categories: Nonfiction » Travel » Road travel, Nonfiction » Transportation » Automotive / Trucks
Highway America is a must-read trucking and travel guide for anyone wanting to drive across America or work as an interstate trucker. Peter Blakeborough, a native of New Zealand, recounts his life on the road with humor and graphic detail.
A Twist of Fate
Series: The Asker Trilogy, Book 3. Price: $6.99 USD. Words: 125,130. Language: English. Published: October 28, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
(5.00 from 1 review)
Bob Asker is a sixteen-year-old when his girlfriend is murdered by cop’s son, Bryce Russell. But Asker is charged with the crime and a rigged jury decides that he must hang. The prison van carrying Asker to Mount Eden prison crashes at the infamous ‘Collision Crossroads’ near Auckland, New Zealand, and the condemned youth runs for his life.
Nathaniel's Bloodline
Series: The Asker Trilogy, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 127,050. Language: English. Published: September 24, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Historical » General
(4.50 from 2 reviews)
A novel about Australian First Fleet convicts and their families. Nathaniel's Bloodline is based on historical events in the earliest days of convict settlement in New South Wales. It is also about fair-dinkum Aussie battlers chasing their dreams, and running from gangsters and corrupt law men. Fast moving, gripping action with lots of twists and turns.