Interview with mervynswhyte

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Making people life and allowing them to forget their troubles for a few hours.
What do your fans mean to you?
If my novel is like one of my children then fans are like my children's friends. I welcome you, I want you to enjoy yourselves, I'd like to hear your thoughts (on anything), but I expect to be treated how I would treat any of you: with love and respect.
What are you working on next?
Follow up to 'No Plan B' and a film script, details of which I cannot go into detail here unless it's with someone in the business who can help me get it sold. Time is of the essence.
Who are your favorite authors?
P.G. Wodehouse, E.F. Benson and Patrick Hamilton.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I always leave my false teeth downstairs. That and the first roll up of the day.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Turning some wood, smoking some roll ups, travelling up and down on my stairlift and eating cheese sandwiches.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Word of mouth.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
'No Plan B' is the first story I've ever written.
What is your writing process?
Up at 7.30. Breakfast, roll-up, then start work about 9. I've recently acquired a genuine 19th century school desk, which I will work out for about 4-6 hours each day.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I can't think that far back.
How do you approach cover design?
I'm still waiting for someone to tell me what to do and build up enough money to pay for one.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Right Ho, Jeeves - out and out comic genius; Slaves of Solitude - deceptively simple, but brilliantly observed; Any play by Peter Barnes - forgotten genius; Douglas Murray's biography of Lord Alfred Douglas - incredible piece of work for someone of 20 years old; anything by Ian Kershaw - accessible, action packed and intelligent.
What do you read for pleasure?
Used to be biographies of 1930s/40s film stars and history books, but now it tends to be novels. Just been through a Martin Amis phase and starting the John le Carre Smiley trilogy. Overall my tastes are very eclectic.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Kindle. Only one I can (just about) use.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Twitter and Amazon's free 5 day trial. Apart from that I haven't found very much that works. Marketing is a massive part of selling books, obviously, and if you don't have an established agent/publisher it is very, very difficult. Unfortunately I have no celebrity friends to call on for a recommendation.
Describe your desk
Already done it. Genuine 19th century school desk, together with beech wood seat and generations of graffiti covering the inside.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I've moved about too much to be specific. Humor was a big part of my growing up. I suppose I always try and turn everything into a joke.
When did you first start writing?
Just over a year ago.
What's the story behind your latest book?
People always want to know what the book is about or what the story is behind it. When they ask I always say the same thing: the book is about 70,000. I also like to quote Mark Twain: “Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot." There's no great mystery or message included in the book. It's just a bit of fun.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
How else was I going to get a book out there?
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Too early to say. Ask me in 12 months time.
What is your aim for 'No Plan B, Malcolm!'?
To sell enough copies to be able to afford a decent cover. After that, to make as many people laugh as possible.
Published 2015-03-20.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.