What do you consider your #greatestinfluence to your #writing ? What #advice would you give #writers first starting out?
So good to have two questions to start.
Well that's quite a hard question really, I have many different influences from Monty Python to Morcambe and Wise, I loved Spike Milligan too. In fact I still have my copy of 'Silly Verse for Kids'. It's one of those books, full of silliness and one I will never grow out of. As to writing influences. Well I can remember being told by some friends at school to buy Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. So raided my money bank, and when my parents next went to Sainsbury's I popped next door into John Menzies and bought it.
Another book I still have on my shelf, no way is it anywhere near mint, but it is first edition and it is mine. Something I will never sell. There are other great writers that influenced me as well, James Herbert would be the next in line. I was at one point into Stephen King, but that ended quite early. I started reading Christine, but never made it past halfway. Even then I found his books too samey. #Controversial?
Terry Pratchett was another influence, two of my all time favourite characters are Death and Binky. You would think with the likes of Pip Ballantine, Gail Carriger and Robert Rankin you'd think this fairly niche market was full. Think again.
My advice to first time writers, don't give up. It's hard work and you will no doubt feel like packing it in many times. But don't, get the book written and take a break, then go back to it and read through. Make sure that it makes sense and that if its complicated you have not missed something out. People notice if you forget things. If you're going to get an editor then get a recommendation. I read a book that was meant to have been edited and the Author had paid quite a bit for the privilege. It was a very poor job to say the least. Shame really, as the Author had quite a good concept.
I am lucky, I have an Editor, she is brilliant. We don't only talk work but other things too, she is now a good friend as well as being my Editor and me being the cause of her hair loss.
What does your family think of your writing?
My wife is my biggest supporter, although the rest of my family are also very supportive. I am lucky, I have quite a large extended family, though most of them being on my wife's side. We have three children, my oldest son is 19 and is training to be a chef, the two girls are not yet old enough to know what they want to do. Though I see a teacher and a vet in the making.
I have a lot of talented Nieces and Nephews as well, one Nephew will be performing in two West End Ballets over the next few months and he is only twelve. Another Nephew is currently at University studying, I have one Niece who is training to be a dance instructor. another is an excellent designer and the last, but never least has a voice that will make your spine tingle.
I am lucky to have talent all around me, even my wife is an amazing baker, cakes like you could not believe.
I get lots of encouragement and input from all of them, they inspire me to be the best I can be.
What did you do to solve writers block?
Another person with two questions 🙂
Now this isn't bragging, but as of yet I have not had writers block. I have got stuck, not in what to write so much, more as in how I want to write it. When that happens I check my notes (of which there are copious amounts) then normally I will start on another section of the book.
This usually works really well, and I can get a few thousand words down and not worry that I have not made any progress.
I have no doubt that it will come to me, what I will do then, well that's something I will have to deal with at the time.
What group of friends was panda in at school?
That's not an easy question to answer, Panda was a bit of a loner at school. Not a Jock, but not a geek either. Though with four arms and being quite large he was fairly intimidating. Sadly Panda was never one for the girls at school. Do you have any idea how hard it is to fight off someone with four arms who wants to get your bra off?
Panda did have a girlfriend, of sorts. She was not by anyone's standards good looking, think of a block of wood with eyebrows. Her name was Misciloainiuminiuminiuminium, bit of a mouthful which is probably why Panda called her Bev.
What was pandas first girlfriend like?
Ah, now I sort of covered that in the answer to the last question...
"Panda did have a girlfriend, of sorts. She was not by anyone's standards good looking, think of a block of wood with eyebrows. Her name was Misciloainiuminiuminiuminium, bit of a mouthful which is probably why Panda called her Bev."
Bev, bless her came from the far side of the planet and had spent the first ten years of her life living under a rock. Not because she was poor, her father just a total idiot. Panda cared not, he was always of the opinion, "Live and let live." That is of course unless that person was trying to kill you. At which point all bets were off and the skelp could die by any means possible.
Sadly for Panda, his time with Bev was cut short when she had to return home unexpectedly after the family home collapsed killing her father...
What would you say is your interest in writing quirk?
16th October 2015
That's hard to say as I don't know a great deal of Authors. I know most like to work in either solitude or quiet. I, on the other hand can work and write almost anywhere. I can quite easily sit in the front room with the TV on and get a few thousand words done. I have said this before, but I even listen to music quite a lot as I write. It's me controlling the environment about me.
So I think that is my quirk, being able to write anywhere.