Interview with Ted Farrar

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Generally I can't wait to get out of bed, and I'm always reluctant to get into it! To me, sleeping is wasted time when there are so many other things I could be doing. If I were to place a time value on everything I'd like to do it would occupy the next 150 years. Sadly, going without sleep for too long is frustrating, because when you're tired you can't do anything constructive either.
When you're not writing, how do you prefer to spend your time?
I love being alone, ideally out in the country surrounded by nature, with no people or traffic. I suppose I'm slightly xenophobic. When I was young and in a strange town or city I'd always head for the outskirts, for the nearest countryside. But there's a balance: having beauty all around you and no-one to share it with is very, very lonely. If there's one person on earth I'm willing to share this solitude with it's my wife. Nature has order and consistency; people haven't. I have a thing for orderliness. Everything has to have its place. Everything has to be ordered and cross-referenced, and I'm forever working on my databases and spreadsheets - to some people that's very anal. After a stressful day there's nothing more settling for me than to watch my computer hard drive defragment.
Do you remember the first book you ever read?
I remember vividly the first book I ever read by myself. It was 'Torchie the little battery boy'. Can't remember the story, but I can still remember the pride I felt.
What is your writing process?
First of all get a rivetting story idea. Work on it in my head until I have the whole book in embryo - this could take weeks, months or years. I call it the road trip method: I know where I'm starting from and where I'm going, and I have a number of must-see destinations en route. The fun part is the little unexpected detours you take on the journey. At this stage I also jot down short scenarios and odd or interesting phrases that crop up in conversation. In the meantime I find real-life characters to match the characters in the book and study them (although most of my characters are mix-and-match - rarely do you find everything you want for your characters in a single person). Then one fine day when the muse hits me I fall out of bed, turn on the computer, make a cup of tea and get to work.
What do you read for pleasure?
I don't read. At least, not novels. I did all that when I was younger and my eyes didn't tire so easily. Those days I could read three Zane Greys in a day. Nowadays I'm lucky if I read three pages.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
None. I wish I could say I was avidly read and endorsed by a Really Famous/Influential Person - say Stephen Fry, although I don't think he'd like me as an author. Most marketing techniques aren't worth the effort and I've got better things to do (although, Stephen - if you fancy a free copy of 'Dreamers'?).
Describe your desk
At this moment? A computer. A jar of preserved frogs (don't ask), a pen and a sheet of A4 paper covered with scribbled notes and reminders.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Not so much where I grew up, as how. My folks let me run wild. The house was full of animals, the garage full of bats and life was full of mysteries waiting for me to solve them.
What's the story behind your next book?
That's secret. But it's psychological and mystical and disturbing.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
You know, writing is magical. I can say things and people I don't even know can hear them. I can lie and there are people out there who'll take my words as gospel. I can tell the truth and make people think I'm lying. If I do my job well, their lives may be changed. If I don't, they may just think I'm a stupid tosser and move on.
What's your least favourite thing about writing?
It would have to be that I'm never 100% happy with what I've written. I can review my writing a hundred times and still find things I feel I need to change.
Published 2014-12-18.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Dreamers
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 164,570. Language: British English. Published: December 14, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Ghost, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller
Wilson Cole’s problems start when his nightmare follows him back to the real world, and his humdrum life becomes infinitely more precarious. Stalked by Greenspite and hunted by the police, ‘Dreamers’ is a heart-stopping ride with a drunk driver behind the wheel.