Never interview a comedy writer and expect serious answers!

Boring Author Interviews Revisited
by 
Craig Zerf

 
What’s so great about your crap book? (Don’t want the boring details, a couple of lines is suffice!)
It’s shorter than the bible, cheaper than the Mona Lisa and funnier than the plague. 


What do you really think about erotica? Is it the low of the lows for writers?
I believe that perversion is simply another art form, albeit stickier than most. Surely no writer can sink lower than copywriting for a multinational?

Amazon.com | Amazon.UK

You’re (so far) the second to say that in these interviews, and it’s not something I’ve thought about until now, but I think you’re right.


If you didn’t have your book professionally edited: What made you
think you’re so perfect that you didn’t need to pay a professional?
Paid a pro!

Yawn, so basically you’re the same as all the rest of the authors on Amazon and
you’re the Next Best Thing. I don’t think so. Come on, tell me why should I
spend time reading YOUR book over more well-received authors?

Unlike most books available on
Amazon – mine has been completely re-mastered in full 2D. It contains a cast of
thousands and no expense has been spared. Must have done something right as it
was voted Best Read by BBC Radio 4!



Is there an author who inspires (perspires) you? Do you think you write better than them?
Is your aim to out-sell them?

Richard Bach…he wrote Jonathan Livingstone
Seagull back in the 70’s. I mean…it’s like 10 pages long and it sold over 40
million copies. Genius – lazy and wealthy. I’d love to outsell him.

In the writing world, have you ever regretted anything i.e written your own
review (or written a bad review on a competitor’s novel), argued on-line,
copied someone else’s idea?
Pretended that I was R.R.
Martin at a recent book fair. Wasn’t a problem until he actually arrived.

OMG! Bet that was awkward.

What qualifications do you have for writing in your genre? Many authors use their qualifications to show off their so-called talents i.e. crime writers are often coppers (police, for the non-Brits present) and the book becomes boringly technical. How have you managed to keep your knowledge low key? Or haven’t you bothered?

I drink whisky well. Very well.
In fact, some would say that I have a gift. This can be seen in most of my
writing…do I see that as showing off? No, probably not.



If I were to read your book would I have to scroll through lots of
acknowledgements saying how wonderful your book is before I got to the meat of
a story?

I put all the acknowledgements at the back
where they should be.

What part of the world do you come from? What do you think of your government?
Originally from South Africa but now I live in England. It is no
secret that the South African government both blows and sucks mightily.


If your book is set outside England would I understand your jargon? I mean,
fanny means lady front parts NOT backside, car hood is a car bonnet–everyone
knows that, right? Are British Englishisms/Americanisms/Australianisms etc
important in your book? It’s all about identity, isn’t it?
My books are set both in a mystical middle-earth type
environment as well as current day earth.
I make liberal use of Englishisms/Americanisms/Australianisms/Malopropisms and even solipsisms (although not so much of that last one).
Why that shitty title? Did you run out of ideas?
I built the title first and then I knew that the story would follow.

Your titles are, er, interesting. Plob? Really? I blame the whiskey.

If you were me (you know, perfect) and knew nothing about a
person and you were told to interview them, what’s the one question you would
ask? (answer it).

Q: If cloning were possible, how many versions of me would you invite to
your perfect dinner party?
A: Huh?
Two. Then I’d pour a single whiskey, hand you both two loaded guns and leave the room, locking the door on the way out. You’d be sure to shoot one another to get to the whiskey. Perfect.

How long did it take you to complete your book (from idea to publication)? If it took under a year to write: It didn’t take you long to write so does that mean it is poorly researched, edited and written on a whim? If it took over a year to write: Does that mean this book is boringly long and laborious to read?

Writing started on my book many, many years before I was even born. Some
might consider this over-researched…others may simply view it as an example of
Divine Providence.

You began in the womb. Now, that’s talent!

Do you have any bad habits, or stupid rituals you HAVE to do in order to write?
When opening my first bottle of
the day I always throw away the top. This prevents me from wimping out and
drinking anything less than necessary.

Ingenious!

Authors are usually labelled as ‘dreamers’ and ‘loners’. Have you been labelled as such? And what implications do you think that has on a writer?

Mark Twain once said, “Be good and you will
be lonely.”
I am never good – thus, I am
never lonely.

What do you think of social media (pick one answer):
1. Somewhere to advertise my book.
2. Somewhere to interact with other writers.
3. Somewhere to find information.
4. All of the above.

1, 2 and 3…but never 4.

 
Does ‘being a writer’ make you feel like an outsider with normal,
everyday people such as your family and friends?
My family do not know that I am a writer. I tell them that
I play the piano in a ‘House of ill repute.’ As for friends…well, I make up new
ones every day.
Describe your perfect death (in case I have to kill you)?
I am happy with any death…as long as it doesn’t involve a
ferret, a tub of axel grease and four pounds of English cheddar.

Give me the first, middle and end line in your book.

  1. Plob
  2. Horgy stood up in front of the gathering. ‘Good people, I
    give you, Munge and Peasants Vegetable Industries.’
  3. With a
    stomach that felt full of lead and a heart that flopped in his chest like a
    stranded goldfish, Plob lurched nervously on down to meet with Death.

Craig Zerf, sober? No? Thought not…

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Wakey, wakey! Another boring author interview. Thank me later.

 Peter Englebright 
completes the boring interview challenge!

What’s so great about your crap book?
It’s different. It goes into strange places that I don’t think many other books or stories delve into. It’s perverse and absurd, and frankly not quite right.


What made you think you’re so perfect that you didn’t need to pay a professional to edit your book?
I write short to the point prose.  I don’t meander when I tell my story
so there doesn’t seem to be much need to tighten it up.  As far as I
can tell the writing and storytelling is as lean and minimalist as it
can be.  There is no bloat or boring subplots that need pruned.

Amazon.com | Amazon.UK

Yawn, so basically you’re the same as all the rest of the authors on
Amazon and you’re the Next Best Thing. I don’t think so. Come on, tell
me why should I spend time reading YOUR book over more well-received
authors?

The modest answer is to say there is no reason.  The arrogant answer is
to say that the vast majority of what everyone else writes is generic
genre fiction.  Stuff you’ve already read variations on far too many
times before.  I don’t promise a good book, but I highly doubt it will
be similar to much else you’ve ever read.

 

Is there an author who inspires (perspires) you?

Do you think you write better than them?  Is your aim to out-sell them?

Not really.  Clive Barker maybe, but I’ve probably not read anything by
him in over a decade.  Also I’ve only read two of his books – Cabal and
Coldheart Canyon.  Neither of which I thought was anything special. 
Also in my mind I’m not competing directly or indirectly with him.  I
don’t measure myself against him.  Yet that’s the only name that springs
to mind.  His films mean more to me, and they weren’t particularly good
either.

In the writing world, have you ever regretted anything i.e written your
own review (or written a bad review on a competitor’s novel), argued
on-line, copied someone else’s idea?
No.  I’ve done none of the above or anything else underhand.  There’s
no point.  If I have any regrets it’s not coming up with a title of my
own for my sixth book.  It’s a very minor regret but using an obscure
Nine Inch Nails song title was kind of lazy.  The Way Out Is Through is a
good title, it just isn’t mine.

What qualifications do you have for writing in your genre?
A weird imagination that goes into strange places, coupled with a decent grasp of fluid dream logic.
Awesome qualification, and a must have for writers!

If I were to read your book would I have to scroll through lots of
acknowledgements saying how wonderful your book is before I got to the
meat of a story?

No.  I don’t even understand the question.  Do books usually have pages of praise at the start?

 Yes, you’ve not encountered it? To my dearest mother, father, siblings, neighbour, cat… and then there are the reasons why you should buy the book: It’s a brilliant read, awesome characters, you won’t be able to put it down… argghhhhh!


Why that shitty title?

It’s not shitty.  It’s brilliant.  I laugh a little at it as it’s so
excessive and unreasonable.  If you don’t like the title then you won’t
like the book.
I don’t like the title. Or rather, I don’t really understand it. Is the book meant to be a black comedy or a non-fiction book?

How long did it take you to complete your book (from idea to publication)?
A little over two months.  Writing is funny in that it feels slow and
plodding but suddenly after only two or three months you’ve written a
whole book.  It sounds suspicious that I wrote it so quickly, and yet I
don’t feel I cut any corners.  I sacrificed nothing for speed.  It
doesn’t feel compromised at all, and I don’t believe it would have been a
significantly better book if I took a full year to write it.  Just
because I worked fast doesn’t mean I did a poor job.

It didn’t take you long to write so does that mean it is poorly researched, edited and written on a whim?
No.  I’m not sloppy.

Do you have any bad habits, or stupid rituals you HAVE to do in order to write?
No.
Sheesh, you’re so boring! Not even one tiny bad habit? Like you have to wear pink while writing? Or is that just me?

Authors are usually labelled as ‘dreamers’ and ‘loners’. Have you been
labelled as such? And what implications do you think that has on a
writer?

Yes, and I have no idea.
You’re really rolling with the ‘boring interview’ theme, ain’t you?


Describe your perfect death (in case I have to kill you)?
Massive heart attack or similar in my sleep.  I don’t want to see it coming.
That’s something I can arrange!

Give me the first, middle and end line in your book.
  1. Not everyone can play a clever girl.
  2. Once it was down I opened my mouth wide for him to look inside and see for himself that it was gone.
  3. It wasn’t an exaggeration when I said that it might be a masterpiece.

Think I’ve fallen into a coma…

Lions, witches, vampires, oh my, boring author interview alert

Boring Author Interviews Revisited 

with
Michael Andrews

 

CLICK TO BUY


What’s so great about your crap book?(Don’t want the boring details, a couple of lines is suffice!)
My latest book is so great because I use some of the old vampire myths, twist in some new ones and get shot of the lovey dovey crap from Twilight.  My  vampires don’t sparkle in the sun, they flame!
But I have been told by a reader that she is already in love with the  main character, who is a vamp.

What do you really think about erotica?
It’s hot, horny and fun. I use the genre as a release of writer’s block.
Really? That’s interesting because I like to read blood and guts horror in between writing my romcoms. I like to think it moves the mind from one place to another and restores concentration.

Is it the low of the lows for writers?
Absolutely not.  Some of the best  literature in history has been erotica.  Lady Chatterley’s Lover for instance.  However, there is a lot of dross out there, Fifty Shades for a starter,  but hey, that has made the author a crap load of money so who says crap doesn’t  sell?


If you didn’t have your book professionally edited: What made you think you’re
so perfect that you didn’t need to pay a professional?
Because I trust in my abilities as a  writer, and that of the proofers that I used who did it for the love of
reading, and to help me out.  Why pay  hundreds of pounds when you get it for the price of your book and a bottle of  wine?
You’re brave. I wouldn’t dare release a book without my editor’s permission!Yawn, so basically you’re the same as all the rest of the authors on Amazon and
you’re the Next Best Thing. I don’t think so. Come on, tell me why should I
spend time reading YOUR book over more well-received authors?

Everyone can play it safe and read  books by well known authors and then brag to their friends, “oh yeah, I read  War and Peace etc etc”.  Why not take a  risk and go for a book from an up and coming author, who’s gaining a reputation  y getting 4 and 5 star reviews.  Just think about being the first one in your group to say, “I read his book BEFORE  everyone else jumped on the bandwagon!”
Now there’s an excellent thought. Listen up, peeps!Is there an author who inspires (perspires) you?

Ever since Magician first came out, I  have followed Raymond E Feist.  I love the depth of characters and worlds that he creates.

Do you think you write better than them?
That is for other people to say, not me.  All I can do is write to the best of my own ability.

Is your aim to out-sell them?
That would be the ultimate dream, bearing in mind how successful he is.  My own ambition at the moment is to sell enough that I can give up the day job to write full time.  After that?  Yes, I would like to outsell him. Why not?

Why not indeed, and I’m sure you will one day, my friend.
 
In the writing world, have you ever regretted anything i.e written your own review (or written a bad review on a competitor’s novel), argued on-line, copied someone else’s idea?
I try to avoid getting into arguments online, especially in the KDP forums, but sometimes I just have to stop biting my tongue and join in.  I know that I can be very sarcastic and hard line in my opinions so I guess that some of the posts have been a little close to the bone.
I think those who are afraid of being themselves online and have the ‘yes sir/no sir’ attitude have narrow writing skills. But then there are those who shout off for the sake of it, and refuse to listen to others–they also have narrow writing skills. Lots of narrow people online! 


What qualifications do you have for writing in your genre?

I don’t have any qualifications for child physiology or for raising the dead. Can you do courses for that? Raising the dead I mean?  I was bullied at school, which plays a part in my first novel and my poetry collection so does that count?  
No, you need to complete the Raising the Dead exam on line at http://www.raisingthedeadwritersdegree-onlinecourse…

Many authors use their qualifications to show off their so-called talents i.e. crime writers are often coppers (police, for the non-Brits present) and the book becomes boringly technical. How have you managed to keep your knowledge low key? Or haven’t you bothered?
I just let it all flow.  I try to make my characters and storylines emotional and believable so I keep all the technical crap out of the way.  There are parts where I need to explain things, such as how a character got his abilities, but I try to keep it light and part of a flowing conversation.

If I were to read your book would I have to scroll through lots of acknowledgements saying how wonderful your book is before I got to the meat of a story?

I don’t believe in putting the review in my book.  I let my story do the talking for me.  That’s how much I believe in my stories.

What part of the world do you come from? 
Birmingham, England
Woo-woo! A fellow Midlander. 

What do you think of your government? 

They could be better, but they could be a hell of a lot worse.  They have done some decent things recently, such as introducing the same sex marriage act which I didn’t believe a conservative government would do, but would I vote for them?  Probably not.

If your book is set outside England would I understand your jargon? I mean, fanny means lady front parts NOT backside, car hood is a car bonnet–everyone knows that, right? Are British Englishisms/Americanisms/Australianisms etc important in your book? It’s all about identity, isn’t it?

Although my books are set in England, occasionally I find myself putting in some Americanisms, that I know I can get away with in England.  For instance, I use an elevator rather than a lift, and I’m not sure if a concessions stand is Americanised or English?
Never heard of it, so it must be American. Dont think we have those kind of bars/stands here, do we? Maybe in in Brum or London, but not in my little town.Why that shitty title? Did you run out of ideas?

It plays out the final scene of the book. When I was thinking about my next project after finishing my first book, I had an idea for a series of books.  I have actually sat down and written out all eight titles and brief plot lines, as well as a series long plot.  This was just the first idea that came to my mind and I liked it so much, I stuck with it.
If you were me (you know, perfect) and knew nothing about a person and you were told to interview them, what’s the one question you would ask? (answer it).

If there was a movie made about your life, who would play you and why?  I’d probably say Matthew Horne as he isn’t a mile away from me in terms of looks and build, has a quirky sense of humour and is also able to play the role of someone who’s been bullied and has battled through.

How long did it take you to complete your book (from idea to publication)? If it took under a year to write: It didn’t take you long to write so does that mean it is poorly researched, edited and written on a whim?

It took me around nine months to write from idea to release.  I would say for a fictional novel around the 45000 word mark, this is more than enough time to properly research it.  I aim to write around 1000 words in a sitting, so I actually took far too long to write it.  My next book has a target release date of just five months.

 

Do you have any bad habits, or stupid rituals you HAVE to do in order to write?

I absolutely have to turn on my computer!! Other than that, I have to make sure that I don’t have anything interesting on the telly and make sure I am logged off all forums and websites,
otherwise I find myself getting distracted. For example, I’m doing this interview while my main character has someone pinned up against a wall by their throat.

I’m glad I can assist in this light distraction. Yikes!


Authors are usually labelled as ‘dreamers’ and ‘loners’. Have you been labelled as such?
A dreamer on occasions, but that is more when I am talking about how many books I am going to sell!!
 
And what implications do you think that has on a writer?
I think it’s fine.  If we are called a loner, it’s true as we have to secret ourselves away to write, and most people don’t want to know what we are writing about until it’s finished.

 

What do you think of social media:
Somewhere to interact with other writers.

Does ‘being a writer’ make you feel  like an outsider with normal, everyday people such as your family and friends?
Not really as most of my friends either have their own businesses or are computer programmers and the like.  So we all bore each other with our tales of woe.
 
Describe your perfect death (in case I have to kill you)?
Being dropped into a giant vat of beer, with no means of getting out.  I’d hate to drown but at least I’d be drunk by the time it happened!
Nice one.

Give me the first, middle and end line in your book.

  1. Lots of people say that when you die, or are about to, your whole life flashes
    before your eyes.
  2. “No vampire House currently rules in Britain, so it could be that they are trying
    to establish a base here?” Bill queried.
  3. With tears streaming down my cheeks, I whispered the name of the one vampire who I wished never to see again.  “Chlothar!”

Thanks for taking the time to answer my stoopid questions, Michael.

Can Bill Leviathan set me alight with this author interview?

 Boring Author Interview Revisited…

What do you really think about erotica? Is it the low of the lows for writers?
I’ve never read it, but I have often considered writing it. Especially after I “accidentally” got drunk by myself. If you can earn some off of it, who cares?

I agree, if you can earn and people enjoy ‘that sort of thing’ who cares, but I wish there was a classification for it. I picked up a book thinking it was a romance and, let’s just say, I’m still in shock! You can do rude things on a motorbike (and I’m not talking a little hanky-panky!)?
 
If you didn’t have your book professionally edited: What made you think you’re so perfect that you didn’t need to pay a professional?
I don’t think I’m perfect, but I do know I’m a cheap bastard. Apologies to anyone reading my book.

Is there an author who inspires (perspires) you? Do you think you write better than them? Is your aim to out-sell them?
Amazon | Smashwords

I like to see myself as the next borderline insane,
alcoholic author that Jim Thompson was. Being able to write truly
psychotic characters from the first person so convincingly takes quite a
special talent. I’m not there yet, and I don’t see myself writing
scripts for directors as renowned as Kubrick any time soon either. 

I don’t believe his books sold that well during his
lifetime, but he still made a living off of them. I can only dream if
selling that well.
What qualifications do you have for writing in your genre? Many authors use their qualifications to show off their so-called talents i.e.
crime writers are often coppers (police, for the non-Brits present) and
the book becomes boringly technical. How have you managed to keep your
knowledge low key? Or haven’t you bothered?
Set Me Alight involves a lonely bitter kid trying to become
a forest fire fighter. I know nothing of fire fighting, forests, or
“roughing it” beyond watching Suvivorman. However, the story is a very
technical portrayal of being lonely and bitter.
If I were to read your book would I have to scroll through
lots of acknowledgements saying how wonderful your book is before I got
to the meat of a story?
No


If your book is set outside England would I understand
your jargon? I mean, fanny means lady front parts NOT backside, car hood
is a car bonnet–everyone knows that, right? Are British
Englishisms/Americanisms/
Australianisms etc important in your book? It’s all about identity, isn’t it?
I’m American, but I don’t believe there are many
Americanisms in my book. Kind of hard to say though being an culturally
ignorant American and all.
I was told by one reader that my use of “carryout container” may be confusing as Brits call it “takeaway”.
I’ve not heard of a ‘carryout container’. Sounds a mouthful (pun intended). Why over complicate things? Takeaway is much simpler.
Why that shitty title? Did you run out of ideas?
I felt the title, Set Me Alight, was the only legitimately
well written thing I produced for this story. Gives a nice sense of
dread and defeat. Also, all my other ideas were terrible.

If I didn’t look at the cover first, I’d say it sounded like a romance. But with that cover, it sounds like a horror story.

Authors are usually labelled as ‘dreamers’ and ‘loners’. Have you been labelled as such? And what implications do you think that has on a writer?

I have been labeled as a loner before. I’d say I self
describe as a loner more than people call me one. It has a certain
pathetic, romantic quality, you know? If you’re a loner you’re always
taking on the world by yourself, never relying on anyone else. There’s a
level of pride to it. Though, if that’s how you feel about being called
a loner, you probably aren’t a real ‘loner’ to being with.

If you rely on someone else nothing would get done, is my analogy.
I imagine a lot of writers get the label as most of what they do is done in solitude, especially for self-published authors.
True. But they must enjoy that ‘loneliness’ or they’d take up another occupation, surely?
Does ‘being a writer’ make you feel like an outsider with normal, everyday people such as your family and friends?
No, but I also like to think I’m not a pretentious asshole.
I’m saying nuffin.
Describe your perfect death (in case I have to kill you)?
Autoerotic self-asphyxiation. I’ll be guaranteed to make the news that way.
Thought you said you’d never read erotica? Hmmm

Give me the first, middle and end line in your book.
  1. It’s so God damned cold in here.
  2. Kevin must have gotten it in his mind that I wanted to listen to him speak.
  3. Now, time to sort through all these documents.

Thanks Bill, in answer to my own question in the title… no.

Salo Maa Neco is as interesting as his Grandad’s old Y-fronts and just as smelly (probably)

 It’s another Boring Author Interview! 

What’s so great about your crap book? 

Hey,
Toots, did you just call my book ‘crap’? ‘My name is Cinnamon’ isn’t
crap. It’s almost literature. It’s the story of two boys growing up in
Istanbul. There’s a subtle sexual undercurrent for the grubbier of
readers and there’s romance for the sops. There’s a giggle or two along
the way, some Istanbul exotic for the fat and lazy armchair travelers,
and only the hardest arses of readers won’t cry somewhere between the
first and last page. Even men like to shed a little tear while reading a
book. Don’t tell anyone I told you that. What’s so great about My name
is Cinnamon? I write to the reader’s emotions.  

Amazon.UK | Amazon.com

Toots? Toots?! Hope I got you back with the y-front title.


What do you really think about erotica? Is it the low of lows for writers?
The
low of lows for writers is the Dan-Brown-written-for-dimwits genre.
Like McBurgers, white bread and SqueezyJet, most of the pap in the ‘Top
10 Bestsellers’ isn’t worth the money or the physical effort to consume
it. Erotica on the other hand stokes the reader’s imagination. Surely
that’s what separates literature from McBooks. (And, by the way, how
cool is an eBook device for hiding what you’re reading? No cover to give
away your grubby little secret. You can say you’re reading Peter
Hopkirk’s The Great Game which is awfully intellectual when really
you’re really reading Madam Chirac’s 69 Lacey Romps in Paris. Or Harry
Potter.) Look, I work in an awfully proper school and so I’m expected to
be awfully proper. But who is? I escape into my eBooks and, if
anything, they look at me and think, how awfully modern.  

If
you didn’t have your book professionally edited, what makes you think
you’re so perfect that you didn’t need to pay a professional? 
I
may not be a perfect bastard but I am a very pedantic one. No one
except my mother is pickier than me. Maybe my primary school teacher who
still writes to correct the occasional error in my blog is pickier.
I’ve read, re-read, edited, and re-edited my books. Each took over three
years from conception to birth, baby. Like sex. Slower is better. I’ve
had no complaints. By the way, it’s an art. What one person thinks is
perfection, others may not. What tickles one fancy… we’re still
talking about my books, aren’t we? 

You’re still in contact with your primary school teacher? Wow. But yes, I agree, perfecting books takes time and the more time the better it will be (get it out of your head and onto a computer should be the fastest part of writing).

Those writers (usually those blinded to a publisher) who are on a contract to write several books a year can’t be turning out quality books. Anyway, back to the questions…

Why should I spend time reading YOUR book over more well received authors? 
My
bookshelves are filled with unheard of authors. Who are those ‘more
well received’ authors? Do you mean the ones with the correct number of
syllables in their pseudo-names? They who write to a formula of 95,000
words and 20 chapters and mentioning sex in the first page? The ones who
write books for the train or plane ride? The ones who are puppets for
the publishing companies? I’m glad you asked, Toots. You should read my
book because it’ll make you think and feel. The Look Inside feature is
the eReader’s best tool now. Forget reviews. Forget Waterstones’ ‘best
seller’ list. Read the first 5% of any McBook if you can and then read
the first 5% of My name is Cinnamon. Try it Toots. Dip your fingers in
and wiggle them around. I think you’ll like it. I’m sure you’ll want
more.

Panting…
Is there an author who you inspire / perspire to be like? 
(I think you mean aspire but, as you pointed out, I’m not a professional editor.)  
Smart arse.

Do you think you write better than them? Is your aim to out sell them? 

Yes,
no, and yes. Joanne Harris writes artfully. Chocolat, Blackberry Wine,
Gentlemen and Players… These are literary works of art. I write at
least as well as her and yes, I want to outsell her. I want to sell so
many books that, like her, I can quit my day job. I liked John Irving’s
earlier books but after a while the bears, wrestling, New England and
boyhood sexual encounters with aggressive older women began to feel
done. 

In
the writing world have you ever regretted anything, i.e. written your
own review or written a bad review for a competitor, argued online,
copied someone else’s idea.
 
Yes.
I’ve regretted not being more ruthless. I’ve not done any of these
things you mention. I was busy angsting over apostrophes and split
infinitives and the feel of slicing a person’s throat with a very sharp
knife. One of my books (Survivors) begins with an Ebola pandemic. I’ve
not had the ruthlessness to exploit that by diving into chatrooms to
comment about the current African tragedy and then shamelessly promoting
‘Survivors’. The big publishers wouldn’t hesitate. They probably even
start such outbreaks to sell books they’ve had written by their drones
and bots.

That’s the trouble with being a writer, we’re not natural at selling. Time to push ourselves? Those on the Amazon/Goodreads forums won’t agree though.
What
qualifications do you have for writing in your genre? Many authors use
their qualifications to show off their talents and the book becomes
boring. How have you avoided this? 
I’m
a Teacher and a Psychologist (yes, Toots, they’re both proper nouns so
leave the capitals where they are). Er, OK, (presses the undone button) I study abnormal behaviour. I work
with sexual deviants and adventurers and criminals. I’m their father and
counsellor and parole officer. I watch their eyes and I smell them and I
see the way they scratch themselves. I know what they’re thinking and
who they’re thinking it about. I know who they want to kill and who they
want to caress and seduce and tie up with lace and who they want to
string up with rope.

Not a primary school teacher, then!
If I were to read your book would I have to scroll through lots of acknowledgements? Or recommendations?
No,
Toots. My books and I are not American. I trust my reader to appreciate
my first few paragraphs and then I trust my writing to seduce the
reader. I do understand that the McPublishers think readers have to be
told what they like. I don’t.


Is your book set outside England? Would I understand the jargon? 
I’m
from neither American nor Britain so I know to be careful with our
English language. There are no footpaths, piss or fannies in My name is
Cinnamon
. It’s set in Istanbul and so there are some Turkish bits but,
fret not Toots, these are explained when necessary. I think we’re all
getting a little too precious about the trans-Atlantic divide. Perhaps
the Americans and Brits ought to understand that the English language is
now owned and operated by quite a few more people than just them. I
first really understood this back in high school when I suddenly
understood the caption: Minnie Mouse was speaking to Mickey Mouse. She
said, “Kiss me Mick.”

Nope, it’s sailed over my head.
I’d like to say that the English language is owed by Britain, only parts of it has been adopted by other countries and moulded into their family (country ideals) making it neither wrong or right but just ‘the way it is’. It’s made the language richer, stranger, frustrating at times but a lot more fun!

Why that shitty title? Did you run out of ideas?
The
story is told by Tarsin. That’s his name. It’s also the Turkish word
for cinnamon. “It used to be a spice more valuable than gold. Now they
sprinkle me on cappuccinos. Everyone in Istanbul knows about change.” I
thought it was a better title than, Fifty Shades of Bad Grammar or And
to think I saw it all on Mulberry Street. Oh and by the way, my
imagination won’t ever run out of ideas. 
If
you were me (you know, perfect) and knew nothing about  a person and
you were told to interview them, what’s the one question you would ask,
and answer it.
 
Is
there any question you wouldn’t want me to ask you? I’d hate it if you
asked if my book is in any way autobiographical. Yes, it is. Throughout
the whole book I’m there as a little bit of this character and little
bit of that one. I did that. I said that. I saw that. I ate that. I felt
that fear. I lusted after that. And I cried just like that.  

How long did it take to complete your book? If it took over a year, is it boring and laborious to read? 
It
took about three years to complete. It took about 3 weeks to write the
first draft and then it was left to mature. After a few months it reeked
like an old cheese so I refined it and put it away again. Then it stank
so I rewrote here and there. That stench matured into an possibly
acceptable Roquefort-esque odour and after several more rewrites that
odour became the gentle sweet fragrance of a ripe baby camembert. I
wouldn’t inflict boring and laborious on anyone, least of all me.  
Any bad habits or rituals you HAVE to do in order to write? 
We
are what we eat. My writing comes from my food and drink: chocolate of
course, red wine that’s made and bottled just up the hill from where I
write, and really tasty coffee made in a French press. Pistachios too
but they have to be in a brown paper bag and eaten outdoors, near the
ocean, while talking with your childhood friend.

Sounds heavenly. Want a lodger? 

Authors
are often labelled as dreamers and loners. Have you been labelled as
such? What implications does this have on your writing?
 
Did
you just read my name-tag? I’ve travelled the world, mostly on my own,
thinking and dreaming all the way. This doesn’t have implications for my
writing. It is my writing. My name is Cinnamon is all about a little
boy who thinks he cures the world of loneliness and maybe he does it
with a very sharp knife. Again and again. Or maybe he was just a 
dreamer and a loner. 
What do you think of social media?
It’s
a lot like sex. It’s can be good. It can be bad. You shouldn’t let it
take over your life. And don’t do it with family members. Or animals. 

Describe your perfect death.
If
it’s someone I like, the perfect death is to die while asleep. The
heart stops, the dream ends, you stay warm under the duvet.
If
it’s someone I hate, it has to be very slow and agonising. Funny you
ask because my next book has twenty murders and the killer hates every
one of his victims. He doesn’t just want to kill them, he needs them to
suffer. Drowning, eventually, in a dark, rat-infested storm water drain.
Eaten over several days by eagles. A good sharp knife is hard to beat.
It’s precise and tactile and simple. Guns jam up and poisoning can go
badly wrong but it’s very difficult to kill badly with a beautifully
sharp knife. Don’t you think? They have to know they’re dying. They have
to know why they’re dying. They have to fear death. It’s no good if
they’re expecting seventy virgins or eternal peace. They have to believe
in flames. They have to know its inevitable and most of all they have
to know who’s holding the beautifully sharp knife.

Hmm,
what about severing a limb or extracting an organ, and keeping the
victim alive to suffer for a while longer by having him eat his own
flesh and drink his own blood?

Well, you did ask.
Er, I meant your death. But I don’t think my stomach could face the answer!
Give me the first, middle and end line in your book. 
First:
This is the story of Esref, an intelligent, handsome, warm-hearted
little boy who lived in Istanbul and who changed the world.

Middle:
‘And the best stories often have hidden messages that sometimes only
the story teller knows and everyone else just has to guess.’

Last: He was and still is ‘canim’, my life.

Thanks for answering my questions and scaring me witless with your answers! 

Do all author interviews have to be boring? Er, yes…

Next in line for the Boring Author Interview Revisited is…
Peter Morin

What do you really think about erotica? Is it the low of the lows for writers?
Remember that Budweiser is the #1 selling beer in the world. That only means that people who drink Budweiser have no idea what good beer is.


BN | Amazon | Smash | iTunes

I personally don’t see the point of erotica when so much real sex is available via more engrossing media. Although you can’t do Skype sex on an airplane. (Note: I am not speaking out of personal experience.)
That’s not what I’ve heard…


What qualifications do you have for writing in your genre?
Many authors use their qualifications to show off their so-called talents i.e. crime writers are often coppers (police, for the non-Brits present) and the book becomes boringly technical. How have you managed to keep your knowledge low key? Or haven’t you bothered?
As everyone knows, lawyers never show off. That’s a ridiculous notion. We are sober, restrained and never lie. I have the special honor of being both a lawyer and ex-politician, so I am even more exemplary.


Diary of a Small Fish has a lot of legal mumbo jumbo in it. The greatest compliment I have been paid is from those who said they knew nothing about law and hated politics, but they enjoyed the book, because it was all explained so simply.


What part of the world do you come from? What do you think of your government?
I am from Boston, which is why I write about politics. Because politics in Boston is a spectator contact sport. I respect our system of government, but it is irretrievably crippled and incapable of effective operation, in any of its many iterations. I despise most politicians because they’re too stupid, greedy or ambitious to recognize this inescapable fact.


Why that shitty title? Did you run out of ideas?
It was supposed to be DAIRY of a Small Fish. I misspelled it, the cover artist didn’t pick it up, and I was too cheap to fix it.
Ha! ‘Diary’ has a better ring to it than ‘dairy’, I must admit–grudgingly

Authors are usually labelled as ‘dreamers’ and ‘loners’. Have you been labelled as such? And what implications do you think that has on a writer?
I am neither a dreamer nor a loner, but if I were, and someone called me that, I’d beat the shit out of them and brag to my friends about it.
There was something circulating on Facebook about heaps of shit in Boston…


What do you think of social media (pick one answer):
1. Somewhere to advertise my book.
2. Somewhere to interact with other writers.
3. Somewhere to find information.
4. All of the above.


I’m deviating:
5. An effective procrastination tool.

Procrastination is the MOST important work of the day for a writer, I have you know!


Give me the first, middle and end line in your book.

  1. I used to play an obscene amount of golf at the exclusive Hyannisport Club.
  2. “My take is your golf partner is singing like Maria Callas.”
  3. I’m not holding my breath.

Thank you Pete, it’s been a pleasure. But so’s sleeping. Zzzzzz…

Richard Murray’s Killing the Dead (and me) with this BORING interview

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Boring Author Interviews Revisited…

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Amazon.UK | Amazon.com

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What’s so great about your crap book? (Don’t want the boring details, a couple of lines is suffice!)
A serial killer free to do as he pleases in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. No boring morality, just fun… for him at least.

What do you really think about erotica? 
I don’t really read it. 
Bet you’re one of those secret readers who hides an erotica title inside a literary novel.

Is it the low of the lows for writers? 
I think it is a genre that sells and sells well. It’s no different than any other genre.
Told ya!

If you didn’t have your book professionally edited: What made you think you’re so perfect that you didn’t need to pay a professional?
I had my mother edit it since she at least is university educated and will do it for free.

Oh-oh, mums are biased. At least, mine is, and loves everything I do.

Yawn, so basically you’re the same as all the rest of the authors on Amazon and you’re the Next Best Thing. I don’t think so. Come on, tell me why should I spend time reading YOUR book over more well-received authors?
Well because I slaved over that book darn it! Or perhaps because it is a little bit different from the rest. Serial Killer in an apocalypse, what’s not to love?
I must admit, it does sound interesting.

Is there an author who inspires (perspires) you?
No one in particular.

Do you think you write better than them? 
Nope I am still learning and happy to improve.

Is your aim to out-sell them? 
No.
You’re too nice. You should wanna out-sell every damn writer out there!

In the writing world, have you ever regretted anything i.e written your own review (or written a bad review on a competitor’s novel), argued on-line, copied someone else’s idea? 
No, I have enough of my own ideas to keep me going for years. I don’t see the point of writing my own review and I would avoid reviewing competitors work because… well they are competitors so it wouldn’t be unbiased.

What qualifications do you have for writing in your genre?
Nope, nothing more than a love or stories.
Emotions of the heart–maybe the best qualification of all!

If I were to read your book would I have to scroll through lots of acknowledgements saying how wonderful your book is before I got to the meat of a story? 
No. Straight into the story and the book ends the same way… am I supposed to acknowledge someone?
Your poor mum who has to edit your frigging book for free! Sheesh!

What part of the world do you come from?  
England
Where all the best writers come from…

Why that shitty title? 
I felt it was appropriate for a book about zombies.
Not very original though, is it?

Did you run out of ideas?

Nope, still plenty of those. 
Just, unfortunately, shitty ones.  

How long did it take you to complete your book (from idea to publication)? 
Somewhere short of three months and a stupendous amount of hours.

If it took under a year to write: It didn’t take you long to write so does that mean it is poorly researched, edited and written on a whim? 

Not at all. My first work is 40k words long. With my average wpm typing skills and the number of hours I spent working on it, I should have had approx 400k words or more so a great deal of my time was spent trying to make it accurate and as error free as possible. 

Do you have any bad habits, or stupid rituals you HAVE to do in order to write? 
I have to be fairly distraction free. Usually sat alone with my computer, cup of coffee, maps, reference documents, character sheets open on one half of my monitor and my main doc open on the other. Some classical music or even the three hour recording of thunderstorms playing. Anything other than that and I will struggle.
Hang on, three-hour recording of thunderstorms? Now, I wonder where people outside of Blighty get the impression that England is full of eccentrics? 

Authors are usually labelled as ‘dreamers’ and ‘loners’. Have you been labelled as such? And what implications do you think that has on a writer? 
Yes I have often been labelled a dreamer and I am a loner by nature. The implication for me is that I struggle with dialogue and character interaction. Perhaps that is reflected in the main character of my work.

Does ‘being a writer’ make you feel like an outsider with normal, everyday people such as your family and friends? 

I have found that it is harder now. I want to talk about writing, about my newest work or reviews. I want to dissect parts of the story and I fear that I am boring the hell out of them.
I get where you’re coming from. Just as well there are lots of writing forums around where we can take it in turns to bore one another.

Describe your perfect death (in case I have to kill you)?

Standing on the Earth as the sun explodes and engulfs the world… likely in a billion or so years from now. I am happy to wait.



Thank you Richard. Now go and buy your mother some flowers, tight git.