Wednesday, January 20, 2016

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: Simon P. Clark

If you have not read Simon P. Clark's new book Tell the Story to Its End, then you are REALLY missing out. Angel was fortunate enough to interview Mr. Clark and he is an awesome person and brilliant writer. 

INTERVIEW CONDUCTED BY:
ANGEL

1. What was your original plan for this book?

I don't know if I had a plan. I had an idea, which is not quite the same, and I had part of a story I wanted to tell. The idea for Eren (which is the name of the book in the UK) came a long time ago, and was originally about a girl who goes to her uncle's house. It was set in the past - the Victorian era, probably - and the girl was going to discover the monster in the attic in a similar way to Oli. Something in the story didn't quite work, but the idea stuck. Years later when I decided to try again, I changed the setting and the main character, but a lot of the other things were kept.

2. Will there be a sequel to this book?

I'm not planning a sequel, though I have been 'expanding' the world by writing short stories and publishing them on erentales.com. I have a vague plan to write two more books that are about stories and storytelling, and eventually those books and this one will make a kind of 'Stories Trilogy', even though they'll all be very different. My next book, though, is not a sequel.

3. What is your favorite short story that you have ever read?

Great question - I think a lot of time people skip over short stories and forget how hard they are to get right. Philip Pullman wrote a really good short story called Clockwork, or All Wound Up. It's a story about how stories work and it's very clever and very well plotted. The first time I read it I remember being shocked by how it all fitted together so perfectly. 

4. How many other books have you written? How many have been published?

Eren/Tell The Story was my first published book, though I'd published a couple of short stories before that. I've written a couple of books before this one, but I think of those as practice books, and I don't want anyone to read them now. They were a great way to improve my writing, to see how pacing and dialogue should work. 

5. What is your favorite book of all time? Favorite author?

I always answer this the same way: Skellig, by David Almond. In a lot of ways my book is a response to his. He's probably my favourite author, though there are a lot of others who come close.

6. How long did it take you to write Tell the Story to Its End?

Ah, this is a hard question to answer! Even when I'd finished, there was so much editing, and changes to be made. A couple of years from start to finish? But as I said above, the idea came a long time before that. 

7. What was the hardest part about writing this book?

Trying to keep it exciting while still writing about ideas and dreams. Pacing - making sure lots of things happen throughout the whole story - can be tricky, trying to stop the book being boring or too rushed. it helped to have other people read it and tell me if they thought certain chapters were dull.

8. What do you think about our blog?

Love it - I'm a big fan of bloggers and the work they do. It's such a new and exciting part of publishing - just like having direct contact with readers. 

9. Any advice for young writers?

The obvious ones: read a lot and keep writing! Being around other writers is also really helpful, whether it's online or through a local group. I hated - hated! - showing my work to other people, but it's one of the best ways to improve. I also think telling other people you're writing is a big and important step. Don't think of yourself as a 'aspiring' writer - decide that you're a writer, that you're going to take it seriously, and get down to it. 

10. Any other interesting facts/info to share about yourself?

I do not like celery. I like dogs. I do not like having wet socks. I like reading and writing in train stations. They make the best people watching spots.

Thank you so much Mr. Clark for allowing me to interview you! 

**You can find more information about Simon P. Clark and his writings at his website