Interview with Rupert C. Grech

When did you first start writing?
I have written a great deal in my capacity as school principal over the years. These have included reports, letters, proposals, plans and so on. My first attempt at prose is my current publication, "Stories My Parents Told Me - Tales of Growing Up in Wartime Malta." I wrote this book in 2011 and it was finally published in 2013.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book is a collection of seven, emotionally moving and sometimes humorous, short stories based on actual events which involved my parents and grandparents on the Mediterranean island of Malta during WWII.
What motivated you to become an author?
My mother told me a story about her childhood and I always thought this story was amazing. When I narrated this story to others, I would, at times, get a little emotional but I was not receiving the same reaction from listeners. I determined that I must not be doing the story justice in a brief, oral recount, so I decided to write it down. Other stories followed until I had enough for a small book.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest pleasure and joy I have received from writing "Stories My Parents Told Me" comes from the emotional reactions people tell me they have experienced when reading this book. The stories reportedly make them cry and laugh. Getting such affective reactions from others, including distinguished others worldwide, is especially satisfying for me, given the motivation for writing the book in the first place.

I have also experienced the joy of seeing the pride and self-esteem of my parents grow from seeing this book published and so welcomed by people all over the world. Seeing as they are the main characters in the stories, that is very satisfying. My mother’s education lasted only as far as third class, primary school, while my father got as far as fourth class, primary. I was the first in our entire extended family to graduate high school, let alone achieve an honours degree at university. To write a book and have it published is incredulous to them. It is the first book either of them have ever read.

My mother used to carry a piece of paper in her purse with the name of my degree and diploma on it, in case she got into a conversation with someone, so that she could tell them of my accomplishments. She now cherishes the book I gave her with the message I wrote in it for her. My father has become something of a celebrity at "La Vallette," the Maltese social club in Blacktown, Australia that he often frequents.
What are you working on next?
There are a few ideas I am considering, but have nothing definite yet. Perhaps another series of short stories associated with the many village churches of Malta. Perhaps a short, humorous novel about an eccentric woman who has a religious vision in a fast food restaurant.
What is your writing process?
When I am inspired to write, I just sit at the computer for days on end and do little else. I do not have a formal process, perhaps I should develop one.
Where did you grow up and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the inner suburbs of Sydney, Australia, and later emigrated to the outer, western suburbs of the same city. The greatest influence on my writing has been my ethnicity rather than my location. I believe that being from a different background and culture to the prevailing Anglo one in Australia has given me a keen sense of observation.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The knowledge and feeling that I am truly fortunate and have an incredibly blessed life makes it easy to get up each day. And get up early so as not to waste a minute of it; this and the belief that life is too short and passes by far too quickly.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I love to play and listen to music, read and travel. I also like to keep fit by walking and swimming when in Malta or walking and running when in Australia.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, it is the story about my mother which I mentioned above. It appears in my book as the first short story, entitled “Il Pupa” (the Doll). It has been described as a very emotional story with a dramatic climax.
What do you read for pleasure?
I try to read a variety of books and enjoy anything that I consider well written. Lately, I have tended towards reading memoirs and short stories.
Published 2014-01-27.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Stories My Parents Told Me: Tales of Growing Up in Wartime Malta
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 20,030. Language: English. Published: August 27, 2013 by FARAXA Publishing (USA). Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Personal memoir, Nonfiction » Biography » Cultural heritage
Stories My Parents Told Me is a collection of seven short stories based on actual events during World War II on the Mediterranean island nation of Malta. The stories describe a difficult time for children and their families where survival was paramount and family ties were what sustained them. These stories describe a culture of a time past for a deeply religious and frugal people.