Interview with Paul Ikin

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a small seaside town called Bunbury 2hrs away from the most isolated city in the world Perth, Western Australia. As with most teens living in a small town I wanted to escape! I moved to Perth as soon as I could but found it was still a very little pond. It was a place that influenced my writing by pushing me inside myself, expanding my imagaination to find a better place.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing around the early years of high school. Not for english class as I paid little attention, but for myself. We had a PC computer with very little on it but a simple word processor, and one day I started writing it seemed to consume me. The first short story was about a man that woke up in hell and then tries unsuccessfully to find his way out. I was fond of horror (Clive Barker, Steven King) but ultimately moved to fantasy and more dark fairytale short stories. Many of these I guess were just writing assignments to get better and learn the craft.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The Other Side of Eve is about the journey and struggle of a cursed princess who's fantastical world of Mare-Marie is in turmoil. Effected and connected by Eve, a young schoolgirl, who's emotional state corresponds with Mare-Marie. Eve's rising guilt and anxieties have poisoned the land and enraged the sea, and now fuel's a witch and her growing army who aim to take over Mare-Marie.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I like being in control. I am a freelance illustrator and graphic designer so I like to have my hands in all creative side of things. Becoming an indie author in todays times just seemed right. One day I might get published...we'll see.
What are you working on next?
I'm currently working on the next book in the 'Other Side' chronology.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I'm a workaholic...not to work but...to create. Creataholic? Be it write, illustrate, paint, make. I get up and start straight away, some days I don't eat, I live off coffee and sushi. I try to sleep in but I find it uncomfortable unless I work into the early hours...what a weirdo.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I spend time illustrating, painting and potting around my studio. I like old point and shoot cameras and can be found at early morning markets scrounging round for them.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first story that impacted me was- I am Legend, by Richard Matheson. It threw me into Robert Neville's, last man on earth surrounded by vampire zombie situation, from start to finish. Highly recommend to all. (Not the Will Smith movie!)
How do you approach cover design?
As an illustrator/graphic designer I love to design covers. With the Other Side of Eve I wanted the cover to stand out compared to others on the shelf but also knew there were limitations with eBook readers. I went with Black and White because it would work across all mediums.
I implement a, less is more attitude, and I find a strong image speaks loud and clear.
I spend hours, days, weeks playing round with illustrations for my book. I find it's goes hand and hand with the story.
But never do I give to much information away and I too want the reader to use their imagination.
What do you read for pleasure?
For pleasure I read fashion magazines and art books.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Kindle Paper White at the moment is just perfect.
Published 2014-06-09.
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