I have a Kindle. Have I just promoted Kindle? There must be other e-reading devices and I am sure they are first rate. I will endorse them wholeheartedly if the manufacturers started sending them to me for inspection.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I am perfectly ignorant of marketing. Perhaps I have been marketing for years without realising it.
Describe your desk
My desk is my lap.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I am not from anywhere in particular and I have only just started to grow up. Being an adult has much to recommend it: objectivity, fewer emotional tangles and countless opportunities to acquire vast amounts of debt.
When did you first start writing?
Though the midwife that delivered me commented on my native wit and sagacity, I did not start writing in earnest until I reached the giddy heights of primary school. As a youth, my handwriting and spelling were so wayward that until I was about 10 years old, I was only allowed to write in pencil. To this day, I cannot look upon a pencil without experiencing a twang of shame.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest story tries to create opportunities for poetic writing in prose, and for the embedding of simple Christian symbolism. I have found that it is important to face up to technique in writing. There's a lot of rhythm in the prose, and repetition of key words, which create little eddies of variation. I am a musician by training and I am no hurry to forget everything that music has taught me. But at the end of the day, these are all apprentice pieces: I'm still trying to learn to write a good sentence and follow it by several more good sentences.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
In the day job I am an academic, so I am used to writing a certain kind of very disciplined prose, not that I do it particularly well. But it must be said, it is a rather joyless occupation, without humour or invention. Academics have to defend their writing so vigorously that many good ideas get put in the bin. I wanted to write fiction to make full use of the language and of my imagination. The English language is an extraordinary instrument and it seems tragic that we don't take it as far as it can go.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I don't have any success.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
A good sentence.
What do your fans mean to you?
If I have any, I just hope they too are looking for the art of writing.
What are you working on next?
A comic novella, the philosophical mémoires of a teenager, Reg Ridgeway, who is being detained at Her Majesty’s Pleasure at Packett Street Comprehensive School, Stoke on Trent.
Who are your favorite authors?
Samuel Beckett, Virginia Woolf, Edward Thomas, Walter Pater, Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger, Thomas Aquinas.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Trying to work and looking after children.
What is your writing process?
Immensely slow. Draft and redraft and then write 19 more drafts. It's all about learning technique.
What do you read for pleasure?
The Psalms of David.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.