Monday, 28 March 2011

Questions I was asked about my first book.


What prompted you to write this particular book – what was the inspiration behind it?
Some years ago I knew a woman who had spent her whole life blindly following a religious code.  When she was dying, she admitted to me that she did not really believe, but did not know what else there was.  She looked to me for help, saying that she was frightened of not knowing what would happen to her.  I reiterated the teachings of her religion, more or less saying that she was simply having last minute nerves and that everything would work out as she had been taught.  I told her this for the best of reasons but I wrote this book so that I would never again have to lie to a dying person.

Do you write in a special place or have a special system for writing?
When I set out to write a book, the story comes last.  Firstly I decide what I want to say.  Next I decide on the best setting to portray this.  Then I decide on the types of characters that would best demonstrate this point.  Lastly I invent a tale in which to wrap it all up.

What did you find most difficult about writing this particular book?
Trying to choose a few simple points from the plethora of anomalies in life.

What do you consider to be the best quality of this book?
Its simplicity.  As an author, I believe it is my job to explain, rather than the reader’s job to strive to understand.  That way the reader can immerse his/herself fully in the story without worrying about aspects which are not clear.  It is my job to do the hard work so that my readers don’t have to.

Is there a particular central message you want to convey to readers?
If you have strong beliefs about the way you should live your life and about what will happen when you die – fantastic!  If however you are led into saying that you believe because of fear or coercion, read this book.  You don’t need to be afraid!  Living a good life requires common sense not blind faith in a supreme being.  As for what happens when you die...... I’ll tell you that as well.

Of what facet of the book are you most proud?
The fact that I was selected to be the one to write it.

If you began to write this book again would you do anything differently?
Yes, I would stop worrying about it and enjoy the process more.  This book was written by countless characters I have come across in my everyday life.  I simply formed it into a story and put a few words down on paper.

Do you have any advice to pass on to aspiring authors?
If you want to write a book, there are many writing courses and clubs that you can join.  If your English is a little weak, you might benefit from taking a TEFL diploma.
If you HAVE to write a book, you will find your own way, and never let anybody tell you that you are wrong!

As an author, is there a book you wish you had written yourself?
No.  There are countless wonderfully written books out there, each containing a little piece of their creator.  To wish I had written one of these books is tantamount to wanting to be that author.  With all of my many faults I have never wanted to be anybody else.

Are you currently working on any other books?
I have written a book about the differences in people’s realities and how this affects their reactions to their surroundings.  The story concerns a plane crash and the attempts at survival among the (mainly) children involved.
The latest book I have written is a children’s book and is very special to me.  It is an adventure story which includes how to handle bullying, drugs, smoking and many other challenges.  It also explains photosynthesis and the energy cycle, in a way that young people can easily understand.  I am currently writing a sequel in which the young hero grows into a man, a parent and finally into an old person.  The book will end just before he dies.  My challenge is to explain adult feelings and actions to young people.
I could talk for hours about books I have planned for the future, but please just enjoy my current one.

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