Interview with Stephen Leslie France

What is your writing process?
My writing process commences with music. I pick a piece that's inspirational and ambient (no vocals) that fits the scene I am about to write. Subsequently, I begin writing without reserve.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first story I ever read was in a collection called Ghost Stories chosen by Robert Westall. It had an impact on me because I didn't quite understand it, yet I knew something was terribly wrong with the conclusion.

It was one of many books that encouraged me to write, because I enjoyed the idea of attempting to create something original. .
How do you approach cover design?
The image used must hook the reader similar to the blurb on the back.

It must draw suspense as well as an extreme emotion; it could evoke joy or horror. Comfort or unease. Main factor: it must provoke a strong reaction whilst relating to central ideas or scenes in the book.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
1) The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman - The introduction of one of my favourite characters of all time is found in this book. Will is my kind of hero - mentally astute and physically capable.

2) The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman - this writer had the audacity to show God. This alone was sufficient reason for it to be my preferred choice of book. It breaks boundaries and the author successfully achieved his goal of revealing the atrocities often produced by religious control. He even pleasured readers with a profound picture of Heaven in his writing.

3) The Deathly Hallows by J K Rowling - The finale in her seven-book series, this ending was great. The book was greatly anticipated and I felt it delivered in its conclusion - a difficult challenge that deserves commendation when accomplished.

4) The Hard Way by Lee Child - This was the first book I read in the Jack Reacher (the main protagonist) series. I had immediately assumed it was 'beach reading' from the huge title on the front and author name in massive CAPS, but on reading, I was pleasantly surprised by the use of prose, character development, plot, and of course, the action.

5) Shakespeare's Othello (although a play - an excellent piece of literature) - The villain Iago sets a global tone in fiction for the best in malicious, cunning behaviour that leaves audiences wondering what his motivation was to be so cruel. He provides reasons throughout the plot, but each purpose falls short of the vicious acts he commits and the final tragic conclusion.
What do you read for pleasure?
Jack Reacher books by Lee Child
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I don't have one as yet, but recognise that it's the future.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Facebook and Twitter as well as networking in the various industries I've had occupations.
Describe your desk
Very neat. Everything in order.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
London and since it is dominated by 'difference', there is infinite knowledge here. It allows for a very diverse writing style that can appease a wide audience if you take advantage of meeting as many different people as possible.
When did you first start writing?
About 8 years of age
What's the story behind your latest book?
Working on several. The main one is the second in a series about the fall of a Utopian world and its effect on our world.
Published 2014-12-24.
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