Author Interviews

* you can find the original interviews and much more on my 'everything writing' blog (http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com), including author spotlights, guest posts, book reviews, flash fiction or poetry - new items posted 6am UK time Monday to Saturday and writing exercises at 6pm very weekday.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Author interview no.109: Kevin Broughton (revisited)


Back in August 2011, I interviewed author Kevin Broughton for my WordPress blog. I hope you enjoy it...
Welcome to the one hundred and ninth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, directors, bloggers, autobiographers and more. Today's is with multi-genre writer Kevin Broughton. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate the author further. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here.
Morgen: Hello, Kevin. Please tell us something about yourself and how you came to be a writer.
Kevin: I’m not a professional writer and although I’ve written short bits and pieces in the past I only started writing in earnest about 6 years ago. I’ve never been much of a reader so it would be very hard for me to be a novelist, since you need to know what you’re trying to achieve before you can achieve it.  One day on a mailing list there was an e-mail from the great writer Joe Michael Straczynski in which he explained the difference between writing for a book and writing for the screen. It was like an epiphany; I Iove films and television, so it was something I knew. I started scriptwriting and have been going ever since.
Morgen: You’re a braver man than me (not that I’m a man but, you know) – I adore films (I have a season ticket for the local flicks and see 1-2 a week either on my tod or with a local cinema group on http://meetup.com) but I did Script Frenzy in April 2010 and found the format too bity for my liking but I know some scriptwriters who wouldn’t (or perhaps couldn’t?) do prose. What genre do you generally write and have you considered other genres?
Kevin: I don’t really have a genre. I suppose I tend to gravitate towards historic or speculative fiction. What’s important to me is to go where the story takes me. I like writing comedy but I haven't fewer ideas for doing that so I most often end up writing straight pieces. I'd write whatever the story was, except perhaps crime stories, just because I don’t think I have an analytical enough brain for crime stories. In fact I have written a script where my main characters had to solve a crime and they couldn’t. I thought it was interesting to put them in that situation. They didn't like it much.
Morgen: Crime and comedy are the two genres I love reading so am concentrating on these now. I watched the four-part ‘Mad Dogs’ whilst doing some filing (of magazine short stories – that’s as nerdy as my research gets) yesterday and although it was a crime-led (with some character focus) it was hilarious in places, and I sat there thinking “this is what I want to write”. Maybe I could write the prose and you could turn it into a film. :) What have you had published to-date?
Kevin: I’ve had one play published, called “I Stand Alone”. It’s set in Britannia, which is a future Britain where war has ravaged the nation and left it derelict. Wealthy Celts have returned and started rebuilding, pushing out the existing population who have identified themselves as Saxons. One Celt stands alone against a small incident and gets drawn deeper and deeper into the conflict. It's a thinly-veiled allegory of the Palestinian / Israeli situation. The publisher is interested in seeing more, so that's a good sign.
Morgen: Ooh great, let me know. How much of the marketing do you do for your published works or indeed for yourself as a ‘brand’?
Kevin: I’m always on the lookout for a way to get my work out there so that it has the best chance of being noticed. On one occasion I had a play that could only be performed in sign language and I approached a lot of deaf theatre groups to see whether they were interested in performing it. I found out there is a difference in the syntax of sign language and the play doesn’t work very well. As a result of the contact with one group I ended up writing the outline to a pantomime for them because they were running out of time, and they’d produced a poster but had no storyline. From that, I was asked to write dialogue for another project. That’s my approach really, take whatever opportunity I can and hope it snowballs.
Morgen: Absolutely, just keep plugging away. As long as it’s enjoyable it won’t be a chore. Have you won or been shortlisted in any competitions and do you think they help with a writer’s success?
Kevin: I reached the semi final stage of the first play competition I entered; it was for a ten-minute play contest in the United States. That gave me the confidence to keep going. I think competitions help in that they give you deadlines and directions for a story idea. There is a danger though that if you don’t win you could feel somewhat despondent, but part of being a writer is dealing with rejection so you have to get used to not being chosen.
Morgen: Yes, once you receive the first couple it does get easier (for me anyway). Do you write under a pseudonym? If so why and do you think it makes a difference?
Kevin: I don’t, but I can understand people who do. Sometimes they want to differentiate between genres, or sometimes as in the case of Cordwainer Bird (Harlan Ellison) they want to disown the work altogether. Others will probably be able to speak more knowledgably about this than me, but I believe it was a practice of women in the past to use names that hid the fact that they were women, because of the institutional sexism in certain areas.
Morgen: They do – JK Rowling has got to be the most obvious example here. Do you have an agent? Do you think they’re vital to an author’s success?
Kevin: No and Yes. I don’t have an agent, I think they are vital to the success of an author, but it has to be the right agent. The right one will know how to open doors and they will be hard negotiators on your behalf. In short they will be out there doing their thing while I write, which is my thing. They take a large cut but most writers I’ve heard talk about this, say that agents will get you more return after the cut is taken than you’d get yourself anyway.
Morgen: I agree. I was listening to a recent episode (no. 6.8) of Writing Excuses called ‘What an agent does’ and it was fascinating as to how much they have to do. The bit about the agent handling an auction where as she said that it would be unlikely that this would happen to an author directly was where it sounded like they really earn their money.
Kevin: The wrong kind of agent can be harmful to your career, so you do have to pick wisely. So far the agent I would really like has turned me down twice. I would mention her name here, but there is a fine line between persistence and stalking. :)
Morgen: Phew, then I don’t have the dilemma of whether to edit it out. :) I met one at the 2010 Verulam Get Writing who’d been recommended to me but she wasn’t interested in even speaking so I didn’t warm to her one bit and I think even if she approached me now I’d listen but probably still not warm to her. You have to have a good rapport with your agent (I do with my editor so I know how it should feel) and first impressions do count – it was before the event started so there wasn’t anyone else clambering for her attention. Hey ho. What was your first acceptance and is being accepted still a thrill?
Kevin: Yes, I think it’s a thrill every time you break new ground. It might sound silly but my first acceptance was when a group of people performed my first pantomime.
Morgen: That doesn’t sound silly at all. I’d say that’s better than having a short story published (my first acceptance) because I wasn’t to know whether anyone else would read it (it was Woman’s Weekly so highly unlikely but I’d have no proof of course).
Kevin: It was cheap, very amateur but they threw themselves into it and I had my first taste of working with a Director. It was a great success and I’m very proud of it. The main thing it taught me is that I am very good at visualising how the play will look and sound when it’s performed. That knowledge builds confidence. When I was first asked to write the dialogue for a project, that was a thrill because it was the first time someone had recommended me based on work I’d done for them. Getting published was a great thrill because it shows there is an acceptance of the work as being marketable, and seeing it on the web gives me a good feeling. In a field where your ego takes plenty of knocks I think it pays to look for the victories no matter how small, then press on and write some more.
Morgen: I love having my work on the net (on other people’s sites; mine is cheating) and especially getting feedback on it. For me, it’s a prelude to having my books on Smashwords, Amazon etc. (again no guarantees but if I sell one copy I’d be thrilled… to some I don’t know!). Have you had any rejections? If so, how do you deal with them?
Kevin: I’ve had plenty of rejections, but I comfort myself with the knowledge that many now famous writers were also rejected. Roger Zelazny was a great writer and I’m told he was rejected 500 times.
Morgen: I think Dean Koontz had about that many.
Kevin: At one time nobody was interested in Lord of the Rings. I’m not for one minute comparing myself to those writers but it demonstrates just what a tough world writing is. I deal with the rejection in different ways. Sometimes I think it’s not what they’re looking for and sometimes I react rather badly. It depends a lot on how much the work means to me, who has rejected it and whether their reasons seem valid. All the scripts are my intellectual children and I’m protective of them, but some are just fun and others are what I feel are important stories to be told.
Morgen: And, especially in short story land, depends on what they've bought already. What are you working on at the moment / next Kevin?
Kevin: At the moment I’m working on a story with a working title “Spirit of the Meadow.” Which has grown from an entry I made to a weekly writing competition on Facebook run by Sue Welfare.
Morgen: They’re great aren’t they? That’s how we ‘met’. :)
Kevin: The entries are short paragraphs as an opening to a novel on a set subject. I'd recommend taking a look at it and giving it a go.
Morgen: Yes do. They can often be hilarious, spooky, tear-jerking… but most of all fun to write and yes, I’ve had a couple that I want to keep going. Do you manage to write every day? What’s the most you’ve written in a day?
Kevin: Most days I write, but I couldn’t say every day. Sometimes the day job gets in the way, and sometimes there are social engagements. I couldn’t say what the most I’ve written is because I don’t pay much attention to it, though I will work fairly solidly if I’m committed to the story, or if there is a deadline.
Morgen: Tsch to the day job and social life. :) I’m lucky I only have a half-week day job but my social life has been a tad lacking recently. I mentioned Meet Up earlier and see all the events being put up and go to some but have to turn some down due to lack of time. That said, I don’t mind. For me, at the moment, getting my eBooks ready has to take priority, it’s my baby, and I’ve got NaNoWriMo coming up in November so I may see my friends again at Christmas. :) Actually I have my writing group and I belong to two others so I get to see people, it’s just that it’s all writing-related… but nothing wrong with that, right? :) What is your opinion of writer’s block? Do you ever suffer from it? If so, how do you ‘cure’ it?
Kevin: I haven’t experienced it. There are times when I think a story isn’t going too well and I leave it to work on another one, and there are times when I don’t get on and write as much as other times. I guess it becomes more of a problem for staff writers who have to come up with ideas and write them up each week. I take my hat off to them. Harlan Ellison says that you should quit while you’re hot and never finish the scene, so that when you come back to write you’re not starting from a dead stop. He says if you do that you’ll never have writer’s block.
Morgen: I’m a bit the same, variety means little halting but then I tend to write short stories so they tend to be written before I get a chance to falter. Do you plot your stories or do you just get an idea and run with it?
Kevin: I have an ideas file with the very basic ideas in. I then write an outline, which I call an 'outkline' due to a typo in the first outline I wrote, and it having become a silly tradition with me.
Morgen: :) I used to work for a chocolate company and wrote to a customer once enclosing a 'git box'. Fortunately I spotted it but I always smile when I see 'gift box' written down. Yes... outlines.
Kevin: That gives me the story in a nutshell, but I don’t mind straying from the outline. This is going to sound very cheesy and pretentious but sometimes the characters surprise me and they don’t do what I was expecting them to do, so I often have to make changes along the way.
Morgen: My goodness not cheesy or pretentious – I’d say this happens to every writer. Even the aforementioned JK Rowling is quoted as saying that she was planning to kill off a character (I don’t know who) but he / she wouldn’t let her so she killed off someone else instead (I won't say who in case anyone reading this hasn’t read the book or the film – actually that almost passed me by in the film, it wasn’t made a big deal of which surprised me in a way). Do you have a method for creating your characters, their names and what do you think makes them believable?
Kevin: This is hard to explain, they just sort of form with the story. They have their own story that intersects with the one I’m telling. I recently wrote a six part television series and for that I wrote the background for all the characters. I think it helps make the characters believable if the things they say come from somewhere rather than just appear when it’s convenient for the story. For me a great source of character ideas is the post office queue.  I'm stuck there so I might as well observe the way different people react to each other as they shuffle forward.
Morgen: I don’t go into the Post Office if I can help it (my three local branches are a nightmare) but maybe I should. :) Who is your first reader – who do you first show your work to?
Kevin: My wife, Penny, but usually only for important stories. Others I send out when I’m happy with them or I send them to be professionally appraised.
Morgen: I think it’s worth having an editor, especially as you say for the important stories, as someone else is bound to pick out things that had never occurred to the author because they’re too close to it, or know the intention behind something. Even if you don’t hire a professional, someone who reads books will be able to read a story as a reader would, which is what you want. Do you do a lot of editing or do you find that as time goes on your writing is more fully-formed?
Kevin: I do a few edits, but I don’t like edit the life out of the script. Sometimes I find it useful to go back to a script after I’ve left it for a while. I get a fresher look and I see what is really there, as opposed to what I wanted to be there when I was writing it. In one case I wrote long speech for a character to say just before he was executed. When I looked at it again later I decided to cut the whole speech because I thought if I had to listen to that I’d kill him myself.
Morgen: :) What is your creative process like? What happens before sitting down to write?
Kevin: Ideas come from everywhere and I jot them down on paper. For example there is an advert that begins with a naked man running, he uses his credit card to buy things. At the end he arrives at his wedding. That gave me a story idea for a film which is now sat in my ideas folder for me to use at a later date. Once I have the idea I think about them until I’m able to set down an outline. It’s during that stage that the characters and locations start to appear more vividly in my imagination. The outline is usually pretty well formed by the time I set it down.
Morgen: Do you write on paper or do you prefer a computer?
Kevin: When I’m jotting down ideas I use paper, but once I get down to proper writing I use the computer.
Morgen: Yeah I’m pretty much the same. What sort of music do you listen to when you write?
Kevin: Usually I don’t. But if I do, at the moment, it would probably be Classical, The Association, Salif
Keita, or the theme music from Sharpe or Due South.
Morgen: Oh I loved Due South. Nothing to do with the 6’-something Paul Gross and an equally adorable husky. :) What point of view do you find most to your liking: first person or third person? Have you ever tried second person?
Kevin: Scripts are written in first and third person; the dialogue is first person and the action is third person. I’ve not had cause to use second person, but I would do if I came up with a great story for a video game.
Morgen: Ooh that’s an idea. I love second person (as readers to some of my previous interviews will know so I won’t go on about it again here). :) Do you use prologues / epilogues? What do you think of the use of them?
Kevin: For episodic TV scripts there tends to be a teaser and a tag so I have used them. I think the writer should use whatever they think is best to tell the story the way they want to tell it. Nearly every rule I've read I can think of a successful example of where that rule has been broken.
Morgen: That’s what I love about rules – I’m not a red tape person. Do you have pieces of work that you think will never see light of day?
Kevin: I have some that are not ready to see the light of day yet but I wouldn’t want to give up on them. They might take a different form or be joined with something else. Usually I’ve stopped work on them because the story seems to have run its course without producing a full script.
Morgen: But they could be something else. I have hope that my dozens of unsubmitted stories could be tweaked (some need it more than others) and have life. What’s your favourite / least favourite aspect of your writing life?
Kevin: I don’t write full time so I pretty much enjoy all of the process of writing. Sometimes it’s more enjoyable than others, such as the days when the action is playing out in front of me and I can’t get the story down fast enough. I find it hard to be constantly pushing my work out to people, and I don’t like the rejection. I’m quite shy by nature but I force myself to bring my scripts to people’s attention because it seems to me that you have to have no shame if you want to get noticed.
Morgen: I’m rubbish at sending things out but only because I don’t get round to it, which is bit silly really because I’m not going to get published if I don’t submit. Rejections are the downside but I think new writers will soon develop a thicker skin and just keep going. I have just under 30 rejections so I’m somewhere in between.
Kevin: Proof reading is not something I dislike, but I do find it difficult. My mind tends to wander and not pay great attention to detail. It helps with the creative side but not the craft of writing; still you can't have everything. I try very hard though because bad spelling and grammar will put people off before they've even given your story a chance.
Morgen: Perhaps that’s where Penny comes in? If anything, what has been your biggest surprise about writing?
Kevin: How much I enjoy it, particularly play writing. I like the puzzle of telling the story in real time and without having the effects and changing locations that other forms of script allow.
Morgen: What advice would you give aspiring writers?
Kevin: Don’t write my way. All writers have their own way of doing it so find a way that suits you, and that you enjoy. Even the best writers get rejected and you're going to have to enjoy it so that you keep going. All I can do is pass on some of the things I’ve picked up from writers far more qualified to comment than me, and there do seem to be some common threads. Don’t try to please everyone. If you write something that really touches you, and your honest about it, the chances are that it will affect someone.
Morgen: We mentioned Sue’s weekly competitions (I say competition but we don’t do it for the money because there isn’t any but having your name in lights (on an email) – Kevin’s a regular on those, I’ve been on a couple :) – is a thrill and as you say it can easily kick off a bigger project but also you get the emotions just reading those couple of hundred words; amazing. Any more advice?
Kevin: Appreciate the great moments in the things you like and try to create great moments in your own work. Write, finish a project and then start on another one. Keep going and don’t let anyone make you give up. Above all keep aspiring.
Morgen: Absolutely, I’ve even heard top writers say they’re still learning. Doctors still read up on new developments etc. What do you like to read?
Kevin: I’m not an avid reader but when I do it’s either non fiction or science fiction. I recently came across Ben Jeapes who wrote some very good stories with fresh ideas in so I’d like to give him a plug. Joe Straczynski’s book “The Complete Book of Scriptwriting” was a great help to me when I started writing and I still refer back to it. It not only tells you the craft of writing it tells you how to go about selling it.
Morgen: Christopher Vogler’s ‘The Writer’s Journey’ is another good one. Even though I don’t write the genre, I have a few script books; Robert McKee’s ‘Story’ is another – my bookshelves are heaving (100+) writing guides that I (sometimes) dip into. :) What do you do when you’re not writing? Any hobbies or party tricks? :)
Kevin: I enjoy movies and some television. I used to do longbow archery and mediaeval re-enactment, but nowadays I just enjoy being at home with Penny and the cats. My party piece used to be sliding down stairs on my shins, but I'm a bit older and wiser now, I just try to bring a bit of humour to the parties I go to these days.
Morgen: And I’d say hitting the bottom bannister post would hurt a little more these days. Humour, yes, I can tell by your novel intros. :) Are there any writing-related websites and/or books that you find useful and would recommend?
Kevin: Apart from the scriptwriting book I mentioned earlier, there are loads of clips on YouTube where writers give their views on writing. These give interesting insights into the world of a writer. This one on the shapes of stories is a good example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oP3c1h8v2ZQ.
Morgen: Ah yes Kurt Vonnegut’s videos – they’re great aren’t they? :) In which country are you based and do you find this a help or hindrance with letting people know about your work?
Kevin: I live in England. I think that’s probably a help because there seem to be quite a few opportunities that come up, particularly through the BBC’s Writers Room. Having said that I don’t have any experience of working in any other country so I have nothing against which to compare.
Morgen: The BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/writersroom) is so encouraging. Although I don’t do scripts I’ve been tempted to write a play for Radio 4 although they read out short stories too so definitely an opportunity there. Are you on any forums or networking sites? If so, how invaluable do you find them?
Kevin: I’m in a local playwriting group, and I interact with writers and actors on Facebook and Google plus. I find them very useful for contacts and for hearing about opportunities.
Morgen: I’ve not tried Google plus yet but I’m also on Twitter and LinkedIn so it leaves little time. I’ll get there at some stage, I’m sure.
Morgen: Do you have a phrase or quote you like?
Kevin: Quentin Crisp said: Artists in any medium are just hoodlums who cannot live within their income of admiration.
Morgen: I wonder how many of us wear hoodies. :) Where can we find out about you and your work?
Kevin: I have one script on http://lazybeescripts.co.uk so you can see a piece of my work. I have a Facebook page for Bounder, a stuffed toy I bought as a pantomime prop. He spreads the news about me and my writing.
Morgen: Wasn’t he one of the dogs in Neighbours? :) What do you think the future holds for a writer?
Kevin: Difficult to say. The ability for self-publishing is better than ever because of the online world but it is also easier to copy and distribute work without paying for it. The need to get better at writing and find a way to stand out from the competition is the same as it has ever been.
Morgen: I’ve heard (from podcasts mainly) that famous authors have their worked ripped off all the time and whilst most find it infuriating (with some taking legal action), others surprisingly don’t mind as it means that there are people out there who want to read what they’re writing, which I guess is what it’s all about. I guess I wouldn’t mind if I could afford to. Is there anything else you’d like to mention?
Kevin: I had a sticky issue over copyright when I did a collaboration. It was resolved amicably in the end when we both decided to pursue individual projects. If you are going to collaborate I’d recommend agreeing the copyright issues first.
Morgen: Absolutely, everything in writing, even if it’s via email. Is there a question you’d like to ask me? :)
Kevin: What drove you to pluck me from the masses to appear on your blog?
Morgen: Because I loved your sense of humour (and quality of writing) on Sue’s Facebook Competition we mentioned earlier. That and the fact that you’re a writer. I’m not actually that fussy. No, I shouldn’t say that… Kevin, I’m incredibly fussy and you’re very lucky to be here. :)
I then invited Kevin to include a portion of his writing and he took this from one of his contributions to Sue Welfare’s weekly writing contest, the entry that he says he is currently working up into a full story:
“We filed past, our faces pressed against glass darkened to protect our eyes from the bright artificial light within. Ours had become a twilight existence. There was no time to stop, so the glimpse of our national treasure was all too brief. It is said that people once wanted it to disappear, but I don’t believe it. Why would there be a perennial queue to see the last of its kind? What would life be, without once looking on the beauty of a Dandelion?”
He then added “If the TV Series I've written gets made, this will be the opening weekly dialogue”:
“The King I served is dead and I have been exiled for carrying out my duty. So I stand now before a stone hewn from, and rooted in, this land. As an arch is only as strong as its weakest stone, so is a nation as strong as it's poorest citizen. Once the weakest stone fails so does the arch.  Wherever I see anyone suffer injustice, I will fight with my sword in my hand and compassion in my heart. I am a Knight of the Stone King and this is my vow.”
Thanks Kevin. See you on Facebook. :)


Update June 2012: Since I did this interview I've been spending a lot of virtual time with story writers. I've learnt a lot from them and been enthused to give it a try. I've still got a lot to learn but it's now fun to write stories as well as scripts; so thankyou to Morgen and everyone else I met on Sue's competition page.

We all got together and produced a book called Telling Tales which is published on Lulu.com if you want to take a look. Producing that book was a learning curve and it didn't all go smoothly, but still i am proud to have been a part of it.

I've almost completed my first novella; I didn't want to go straight for a novel without the aid of a safety net :-). It was originally a film script I wrote for Jason Salkey and Patricia tallman; if you ever get a chance to meet them I would take it they're lovely people. Sorry, I digress - the story is sort of a horror story. This is how it starts:

In the mist, a lone Danish warrior strode with his long slightly greying hair flowing free. He looked upon the standing stones that had stood in this land long before his people had trod the ground of this fertile island. Now his people had suffered and he alone was able to hold his mind in the face of the enemy and it was that face he had come to see.

His back was to the grove of trees that marked his destination. He had moved through it until he came out on the far side, looking once again on the open land around. Just in front of him he could see the smaller wooden cousin of the lithic structure he had been gazing on moments before. Where the stone had stood against weather and time, the wooden pillars had not. All that remained to mark the sacred place was a few sturmps that barely stood proud of the land.

Erik moved cautiously towards it. His stride was not the longest of his people, for he was not the largest, but he was fit and strong. As he walked forward he could see the shadowy figure within, and he knew that none of his people had kept their mind once approaching the Evil One; indeed many had lost their lives. He also knew that the Evil One had been an ever growing plague on his people. Erik Redmayne drew his sword and without hesitation or fear he walked forward.

The Evil One grinned, happy to see a new plaything, but he could sense this one was different; he could not reach into this mind; this mind was closed to him. It did not matter, once inside the barrier, this feeble being would have nowhere to hide.

The Evil One spoke to this insignificant fool in the vulgar tongue of the mortals. “So what have you come here for? Is it to mock me in my prison?”

Erik moved closer, “I have come to seal your fate.”

The Evil One laughed, he was amused at the arrogance, of this puny creature. “It will take more than one mortal with a feeble weapon. Surely even one such as you could not have failed to grasp the futility of fighting me alone?”

Erik did not like being mocked, but he decided to parley for the moment and look for a weakness. “I have seen the death you've wrought on my people, even trapped as you are, but I have not been idle. This sword was forged by our finest smith who called on Odin himself to help hone the blade.”

“Odin, really?” Said the Evil One incredulously. “You still cling to the your old Gods, even though they are abandoned by your people?”

“My people have not abandoned them; though others have.”

The Evil One smirked. “Your people; you talk of the petty tribe you led to this place. You brought them here only to get away from the new god your people have turned to?”

Erik just glared, and he knew the Evil One was right. He had led his people away to escape persecution. They had come to farm, and had been drawn to the area by the ancient religious monuments which they held in great respect.

The Evil One continued. “What about the doubt in the hearts of your followers. I've seen it in their minds; your gods are in decline. Even if you were to defeat me, they would still not survive in the hearts of men.”

“Only one of us shall see what comes to pass. I care not for the hearts of others; my gods live in my heart and the power of Odin is in my sword.”

“And do you believe the power of such a sword will protect you?”

Erik stood firm, “I do.”

“Then come closer and let us see how it performs. I will look forward to devouring your flesh and leaving your soul to see what a world I make. You will be trapped here, while I travel in my new realm of darkness.”

“I do not come to trade words with a servant of Loki, I am a Viking and my sword is in my hand.”

Moving forward Erik passed through a barrier; his eyes could not see it but his soul felt it close behind him.
***
If you are reading this and you write, in whatever genre, and are thinking “ooh, I’d like to do this” then you can… just email me and I’ll send you the questions. You complete them, I tweak them where appropriate (if necessary to reflect the blog ‘clean and light’ rating) and then they get posted. When that’s done, I email you with the link so you can share it with your corner of the literary world. And if you have a writing-related blog / podcast and would like to interview me… let me know.
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Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) :) on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are fortnightly episodes, usually released on Sundays, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.

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Thank you for taking the time to read this interview and leaving a comment - we are all very grateful.