Paul Collis


Born in Greater London.
Art school in the seventies.
The next few decades spent at ad agencies creating TV commercials in London, Milan, New York and San Francisco.
Some fishing here, some photography there.
Now thinking about the next project...

Smashwords Interview

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Twickenham, near the Thames, West London. As a small child I spent much of my time with my grandparents, Eric and Edie. On work days, Eric cycled off to Teddington Library, where he was the maintenance man. One of his responsibilities was to stoke the furnace of the boiler. Quite often he would bring back books that his employers had culled from the shelves and consigned to the flames. He put a greater value on them, and gave them to me. Even though I couldn't read some of them - an outdated encyclopedia, say - I treasured the pictures. Edie worked at the Twickenham Library, a proud Edwardian building with columns and pediments that, to me, declared the importance of books by housing them in a palace. Three times a week, at 7 a.m., she would unlock the huge double doors and let us in. We had the place to ourselves. While she cleaned the vast expanse of parquet floors and polished the solid oak shelves and desks, I would be assigned a chair and my choice of book. Any book! For an hour and a half the shelves were all mine, and I could climb the rolling ladder and make my own discoveries.
How does this early experience influence my writing today? I find that one of the pleasures of writing anything – books, emails – is conducting the research. I'm always fascinated by it, and always distracted. And that's my excuse for not being as productive as I'd like to be.
When did you first start writing?
My initial attempt at writing for adults was at art school, writing copy for a series of ads for Alcoholics Anonymous. That led to a job in an ad agency, which led to a career of creating TV ads in Europe and the US. Cameras, cars, soup, chocolate, beer, airlines, radios, wine, TVs; people in my business are knowledgeable about many things, but experts in none.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Paul Collis online

Where to buy in print


The Army of the Night
Price: Free! Words: 17,600. Language: English. Published: August 15, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Undead, Fiction » Historical » Paranormal
(4.83 from 6 reviews)
It’s 1813. Napoleon’s army has to retreat from Spain to France, but the main pass across the Pyrenees is within reach of the British forces. In his search for an alternative route, Alaine Bellanger discovers more than just an ancient mountain trail. High in a cleft between two peaks, he finds something very strange — and someone even stranger. But who can he tell? And who would believe him?
The Scottish Movie
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 96,950. Language: English. Published: August 15, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Alternative history, Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
(5.00 from 1 review)
Harry Greenville, a part-time writer living in modern Los Angeles, writes a novel about Shakespeare's 'Macbeth', and the cause of its unlucky reputation. He posts the first draft on a website where it's discovered by Hollywood — but not in a good way. The result: life mirrors art in an entertaining tale of revenge. (Positive reviews at, etc. BRAG Medallion.)
The Wrinkly
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 45,160. Language: English. Published: May 29, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
(4.29 from 7 reviews)
Mike Lewis wants 'out'. Out of his meaningless career, his shallow relationships, the big city rat race. On a whim, he signs a contract for a house in an idyllic retirement community in Florida that promises a peaceful life of golf and hobbies. Only later does he read the small print: he has to be over 60 to join the enclave. Trouble is, he's only 39. Welcome to the start of a whole new life...

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Smashwords book reviews by Paul Collis

  • The Death Trip on Jan. 30, 2013

    In a similar speculative vein as 'Brave New World', Soylent Green and Never Let Me Go, 'Death Trip' concerns itself with the moral and ethical questions of corporate medicine, government control and over-population. For those who consider such tales as impossibly far fetched, I offer these recent (January 2013) headlines: 'Amgen gets a [$500m] gift from Congress' (NYT) and 'Japan To Elderly: Gov’t Is Paying Your Healthcare, ‘Hurry Up And Die’ ' (Fox). Ms. Stein's cast of characters is colorful, and their respective points of view are well researched. I really enjoyed this intriguing novella.