A new interview
(in which I am the one being interviewed this time)
I bumped into author and interviewer James Flynn on Facebook some months ago, and he was kind enough to offer to interview me for his website. You can read the first few questions right here in this email. There’s a link at the end for the full thing over on his website.
I would have announced this sooner, but I had other posts scheduled and I don’t want to overload you with content.
When did you start writing?
I started writing when I was around five years old. I remember having ideas for stories, designing game levels for Sonic The Hedgehog and inventing a platformer game map for Lego’s Bionicle. but the first thing I remember writing was a poem for my younger brother. He’s autistic, and at the time had frequent meltdowns, so I thought it might help him chill out. It was about a magical realm that could be accessed via an interdimensional portal behind our couch. I later read it from memory to my university poetry tutor at a Wetherspoons, so it’s the oldest poem I have performed for an audience.
What do you write about?
Typically, emerging science, big questions, and things I find funny. Not always in that order. My debut book, Who Built The Humans? was named after its primary big question. Right now, I’m working on several books about time travel, as well as some dark comedy for my satirical newspaper. There’s also WHO BUILT THE HUMANS? TWO on the way, and this is the first interview in which that is announced.
What attracts you to this kind of subject matter?
I have an almost magnetic attraction to weird subjects, and that includes controversial ones. If I feel something is not properly explored, I will write about it. Not all of the stuff gets published, but the process of writing through a subject, rather than around a subject, fascinates me and informs the work which does get published. A good example of this would be my time travel stories. I intend to publish seven of them, I’ve written about twelve. One of them was just my own exploration of a concept that was later explored in a better way in another story. It’s not publishable, but it needed to exist. It was part of the journey.
How often do you write? Are you a prolific writer who writes every day, or do you write sporadically?
I average 750 words per day. I’ve tried for more, but the best ones come along when I am not actively trying, when I am just telling the story. I do a bit of poetry writing every time I get the train (writing a comedy collection exclusively whilst on public transport, for vague artistic reasons) and I find I write fiction faster and more efficiently if the story is not too complicated. For the time travel trilogy, I am writing slowly and looking for any continuity errors as I go. The whole series will be around 400,000 words long, so there are a lot of moving pieces, and I am being very careful that they all mesh together properly. I don’t want someone wearing a hat that got blown up in the last chapter.
And that’s the best part of the interview in my opinion. If you want to read the rest, please do check it out on James’ website (below). But before I go, I wanted to give one final shoutout to this week’s digital bookshelf,
SPACE IS BIG.
There are only 24 hours left before this bookshelf vanishes, which includes a small selection of existentialist Sci-Fi adventures, all of which are discounted. Dale Sale’s Corvus Ascending, for example, is now only a third of its usual retail price.
I’m part of this deal too, which means my bookfunnel reputation is improved every time someone clicks on the button. Of course, you should only click if you are interested in more mindbending sci-fi which, if you’re reading this newsletter, you probably are.
On top of that, I’m also doing a giveaway when I get to 500 subscribers.
I won’t tell you what I’m giving away, only that I think you might like it. We are, as of today, 417 subscribers strong. It is a big number for a newsletter in a world awash with newsletters, so thank you for choosing to read this. Every time you open these emails and say hello, it boosts them a bit higher through the tornado of information that is the internet, and I get a bit closer to that 500.
Not too long ago I thought 50 was a distant, almost unreachable goal, but thanks to the Bookfunnel community, and the Substack community, I have not only soared past that huge 100 but have made some friends along the way. You’ve all been very patient as I set up and evolved this newsletter, and I’m glad you’re all here. And as always, if you have any suggestions for future posts (or if we have similar writing styles and you want to post a guest story one day, or come onto the podcast) you know my email address.
Anyway. Want to read the rest of the interview?