When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I breathe quite a lot. Mind you, I do that when I'm writing as well. I've tried not to, but find it impacts significantly on getting proper words out. Once I forced myself not to breathe for three minutes. It was a silly thing to do because I was sick all over my desk.
Sometimes I walk. I've tried doing this while writing also, especially since my arms were busy and my legs were getting indignant. But it didn't work out because every time I did so I left my desk.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes I do. As a child, my sister and brother and myself left an exercise book in the bathroom, and whenever we visited the toilet we would contribute to an ongoing story about our pets. Considering the locale, and the fact two boys were involved, it tended toward a distinct lavatorial theme, which we considered hilarious. My sister's contributions would vainly attempt to return the tale to something more respectable, allowing my brother and myself opportunity to swing it dramatically back towards the puerile with ever increasing vigor.
I still have the book, actually, and the first Dooven book 'The Purging Of Ruen' clearly draws upon it. I think all children should be encouraged to read and write while on the toilet, as it's surprising how much imagination arises in a situation offering limited opportunity for anything other than the obvious.
What is your writing process?
6:00am; Wake up and curse in the disbelief that it's already morning, while wondering whether night actually bothered turning up at all. 6:05am: Realize that it did, evident in the dry bowl of half eaten cereal consumed late last night that will require a good hour of soaking before a fork will have any chance of scraping the crusty bits off. 6:07am: Get out of bed, stagger across the room and trip over the cereal box and milk left in the middle of it. Curse profusely, before realizing that doing so has resulted in breakfast being more or less made. 6:10am: Make an enormous pot of tea and stare belligerently at the desk at which I am supposed to spend the majority of my life, while realizing the toilet offers a far more constructive use of time. 8:10am: Get off the toilet and stare at the desk again. 9:02am: Sit at the desk and curse its mess, before clearing it with one liberating sweep of arm. 9:05am: Begin sorting through the mess upon the floor while refusing to admit it's now in an even worse state than it was three minutes ago. 10:15am: Find the papers relating to the current novel, and write "Current Novel" in the top left hand corner unbelievably neatly while waiting for ideas to arrive. 9:30am: Turn it into a shopping list, until remembering a prerequisite for a useful one is having money. 10:00am: Write, drink tea and cry. Laugh, mope, drink tea and write. Write, drink tea, reflect, fume and cry. And then write some more while drinking tea. 5:00pm: Realize what's been written over the past few hours requires editing to such a extent, it is called erasing. 6:00pm: Wonder where on earth the day went, and whether it bothered turning up at all.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Does my sister throwing a large book at my head count? Because the answer is several stitches and a day off school.
How do you approach cover design?
Very carefully, lest it gets scared and runs away. Usually with a flanking maneuver and some very casual whistling.
If it's a particularly attractive cover design having a drink at a bar, however, I might saunter up to it and mention the fact, before offering to buy it another one. This has never happened, of course, but I think it's important to be prepared.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
There's one propping up a wonky table in my living room which is a particular favorite, especially if I've made a very full mug of hot chocolate. There's another one my brother once tore the cover of when we were small which I am keeping as evidence until its need arises. The other three would be Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh, The Scarecrows by Robert Westall, and anything by Douglas Adams.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Getting out on parole helped enormously.
Unfortunately, I'm hopeless on twitter because I never have anything interesting to say. So instead, I hang around shopping centers and engage random strangers. Not for very long, as they have a tendency to call security. Long distance flights are useful also. Recently, I flew to Canada simply to force a fellow traveler to listen to me. I had fifteen hours of enforced compliance from the man sitting beside me, even though he pretended to be asleep for most of it. He wasn't though, because he began sobbing and pleading with cabin staff for a parachute. It was a terribly expensive and highly inefficient form of marketing, resulting in having me banned from the airline and being arrested in Toronto. Which is incidentally why I am now on parole.
Describe your desk.
Its purple and made of cheese. There are some pens on it that are currently involved in a vicious conspiracy against the stapler, presumably because they're jealous of it. But don't worry, because I am on the stapler's side, and the moment the pens start behaving in a manner contrary to the way pens traditionally behave, I shall rip their lids off and chew them while they watch. I like the stapler, and I don't like bullying.
In summer, the desk smells quite bad and often sags alarmingly. One very hot day, I used an umbrella to prop it up, but it inadvertently opened and split the desk in half. It's quite alright though, because I fixed it with the stapler. And I made the pens watch. Which on reflection might account for their jealousy.
What do your fans mean to you?
They'd mean a great deal if I had any. Unfortunately I'm about as popular now as I was at school, i.e. not at all. I was considering purchasing some off eBay, which would have me in a far better position to answer the question. A prerequisite for fans is their enjoying my books, and I think this is where the problem lies.
When the first three Velvet Paw of Asquith Novels are released in late 2015, I might get some legitimately. Which would be marvellous. I'd probably invite them to dinner and everything. If I ever got too many, I could always sell some on eBay. I suspect, however, that they'll be fans of Oscar Teabag-Dooven, rather than me. After all, I merely recount his adventures. He'd be thrilled too, as it would certainly make the dangers he faces a little more bearable knowing readers care.
Frankly, at this stage I'd be grateful for trolls.
What will you be working on next?
As I am currently writing the fifth Velvet Paw of Asquith Novel "With Eyes No Longer Blind", presumably the sixth will be next. The current free book "The Purging Of Ruen - Abridged" below is offered to accompany the Videobook production, and the novels will follow once technical editing is complete.
The books can be previewed at VelvetPawofAsquith.com, as can the videobook.
What encourages you to get out of bed each day?
The fact that I've wet it.
What is the story behind your latest book?
When the seven most dangerous poets in the world decide they want to physically own the place, it befalls Oscar, Lyeia and a baker who makes buns with petrol to do something constructive about it. Unfortunately, Oscar isn't constructive at the best of times, and beneath the omnipotent wrath of said poets, this fifth book rapidly becomes the very worst of times.
It's up to Oscar to convince the leaders of a world that knows nothing of violence to raise an army to defeat these creatures. Unfortunately, the armies that do exist mainly organize fetes and very large dinner parties, and the only thing kings seem interested in is presiding over court cases involving chicken allergies.
Fighting beasts with no skin, and others with more heads than is clinically acceptable, and suffering the sort of humiliation only possible through a misconstrued gardening magazine subscription, Oscar and his companions fight desperately the poets before they conquer this world, their own, and countless worlds beyond.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I had little choice after the publishing industry took me to court, the farce of which can be read about in my sorta-biography, "Writing Wrongly", which will accompany the release of the first three Dooven Books.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.
What happens when the worst writer in the world inadvertently decimates the entire publishing industry? This, that's what.
These are the middle bits of a book universally regarded as being distinctly saggy at both ends.