Interview with Alice Wickham

What do your fans mean to you?
A lot, I appreciate it so much when someone reads and comments on the work
What are you working on next?
A comic novel of my own, and the next anthology
Who are your favorite authors?
Concept of favourites is alien to me. Interests shift and expand constantly. Currently into Octavia Butler, I think she's a skilled narrator. American writer, John Kennedy O'Toole with his Gothic comedy novel, Confederacy of Dunces is a perennial. I love the rhythm of his New Orleans speech which in a way reminds me of Dublin speech. 'The Dead', by James Joyce, is one of the most lyrical and most moving short stories of all time. I like to dip into the 19th Century now and again, I recently enjoyed reading Don Boucicault, the 19th Century Irish dramatist, I like the lyricism in The Shaughraun. Also enjoy The Life of Gargantua and of Pantagruel, so OTT. Currently reading The Deadly Times by Lew Irwin, a thrilling account of the bombing of the Los Angeles Times building in 1910, an atrocity carried out by the powerful Iron Workers Union, (lest we forget that terrorism begins at home).
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Books, news, emails, communication of any sort
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Thinking, reading, eating, worrying, drinking
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
By chance, I get absorbed in a topic and the book appears, currently e-reading Ayan Hirshi Ali's book, 'Infidel' - also Melanie Phillips book 'Londonistan', an excellent critique of Islamified British society. I e-read three or four books at a time. A topic interests me and I search for a book on it, that's how I discover.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I think it had a dark night and a moon, it may have begun 'once upon a time'.
What is your writing process?
Get an idea, form a picture in my head, do it, then re do it, then re do it, then re do it.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I think it was a fairy tale, a morality tale really, by an obscure Russian folklorist, it was about a girl who steals a penny, then dies. Her ghost returns the stolen penny to her mother.
How do you approach cover design?
Make it striking
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Hate this question. How can you pin down a few amidst the galaxies of thoughts and ideas.

A few I remember more clearly are Dubliners, by Joyce, mainly for those pellucid passages in The Dead.

Confederacy of Dunces, by J K O' Toole. Not only a comedic delight, seat of the pants enjoyment, but poignant considering poor J K's fate at the hands of an insane editor.

Country Girls, by Edna O'Brien, bitter-sweet Ireland.

Mrs Dalloway, by Virgina Woolf. I see Woolf as a mentally fractured elitist who wrote in a way that challenged her own (privileged) society's view of itself, (she was hampered by Victorian restrictive mores). She upended the prevailing 'master narrative'. She remains important but has been superseded by people like Toni Morrison.

Survival in Auschwitz, by Primo Levi. Taut, sad, brilliant. A triumph of spirit over disaster, and a testament of man's inhumanity to man.
The Right To Be Lazy written by French Marxist Paul LeFargue, a mordant satire on the sadistic 'work ethic' of Victorian 'philanthropists.' This is required reading for anyone with a mind.
What do you read for pleasure?
All the deadly gossip about terrible events
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Kindle every time
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Getting the news out with personal emails to groups of people, LinkedIn group mails, Twitter and Facebook
Describe your desk
A 1930's oval-shaped dining table, made of pale oak. I purchased it at an antiques shop in the town where I live. I paid a small amount of cash for my table and I love it.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Dublin, Ireland, the home of storytelling, listening to my mother and aunts; they were walking narrators
When did you first start writing?
Aged three or four
What's the story behind your latest book?
I am disturbed by the rise of Islamism, want to counter it with a narrative that celebrates freedom
What motivated you to become an indie author?
It's quicker
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords is fabulous for networking and getting your stuff out there. This has just begun for me, but I think it will blossom
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Creation, the joy of making things up, the sort of control over events that you don't really have.
Published 2015-02-20.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

New London Writers Anthology - Volume 2
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 35,080. Language: English. Published: February 10, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Drama/Theatrical
A selection of new writing from fiction writers worldwide. This issue contains two novel excerpts, one long essay and two short stories. The works are diverse and intriguing. The editor is Alice Wickham of New London Writers Literary Agency, London, UK