Q&A with @JohnKnockAuthor #Author of, The Wolfman Of Auchtermuchty #Indie #Scottish #Horror #Debut

page _ Independent
The Wolfman Of Auchtermuchty by John Knock

Q&A:

Q) For the readers, can you talk us through your background and the synopsis of your new novel?

A) I’m a new writer. I’m a Scottish writer in the sense that my work is set in Scotland and it has a scots accent, or several of them in fact. Genre wise, its hybrid mixing comedy, horror and crime. I grew up in Fife, hence why I started with this novel but I’ve lived in lots of places across Scotland and I’m drawing on this when I’m writing.

The Wolfman of Auchtermuchty has a whole cast of characters. It slips in time between the present day and twenty years ago, always through the characters’ eyes. Craig Miller is a tabloid journalist, who left Fife after his mother’s disappearance, a still unsolved case in which he and his father were both suspected. He hopes to write a sensational piece about wolf sightings to re-start his career. His return opens up old secrets with his friends and a conspiracy that he helped to start.

Meantime, DS Jimmy Melville has found a finger and this points to a missing planning officer. He starts to investigate the case with the help of PC Shirley Stevenson while trying to keep his IBS under control. However, as the body parts start turning up on the eve of a royal visit, the possibility of a creature, perhaps a rabid dog, could create a panic.

Dr Susannah Martin is trying to write her new work but gets distracted by a handsome student, who has some interesting theories that challenge her own. When Craig Miller turns up the doorstep, she could literally lose her head.

A group of school friends need to decide who they can trust and what secrets to keep as an old curse starts to reap its revenge.

Q) Can you talk us through the journey from idea to writing to publication?

A) It has been like a slow-moving boulder that took a long time to get momentum. There’s a difference between the early stages of writing – I wrote the prologue years ago – and put it all together. Re-writing, changing bits and making it all link up. It took me a while to find my voice. Now the boulder is rolling along, ideas and dialogue just keep rushing at me. Ideas for plots and situations I could always get. Getting the characters right took a little longer. Now I have them cueing up and I really want to get on with the next novel.
I would just keep re-writing so having a deadline was essential. It means I have to deliver.
Editing is more difficult. I needed to take time and make sure the formatting is correct, to proof read. Next time, I’m going to hand this over to someone else.
After Wolfman it will get easier because I have a voice, a style to match the characters and ideas.

Q) What are your favourite authors and recommended reads?

A) I like writing that makes you think and I like books that feel that the writer is talking to you or letting the characters talk to you. Irvine Welsh, Christopher Brookmyre and the late Iain Banks all did this in very different ways. I have to rate Welsh’s The Acid House. I love it. His characters talk to you and each have their own voice. If you haven’t read it, do so. I just laughed out loud. Brookmyre’s One Fine Day in the Middle of the Night is when he found his voice. Complicity is really powerful. You could start with Espedair Street if you want to get into Banks.
I would also have to say A History of the World in 101/2 Chapters by Julian Barnes and of course Lanark by Alasdair Gray, probably the most interesting use of the novel as an artefact.

Q) What were your childhood/teenage favourite reads?

A) I loved Roger Lancelyn Green’s adaptions of the Greek and Norse myths as a kid. Ian Serraillier’s The Silver Sword and Holms’ I am David were beautifully crafted. Then I got into sci-fi, Clarke and Aznimov. I really enjoyed the scope of possibilities. As an older teen, I read fantasy for a while but I just can’t get into it now. I find them too formulaic. Except for Pratchett, he was really creative. He started off spoofing the genre and ended up really dealing with concerns about our own world. If anyone can suggest a well written fantasy novel that does something different, I’ll give it a go.

Q) What has been your favourite moment of being a published author?

A) That I’ve done it. The book is out there and now I can start a relationship with my readers. I look forward to their view and feedback. I also look forward to speaking to other authors. I find those who talk about the writing process the most interesting. My test reader said she laughed out loud and believed in the characters, so I’m looking to see what others get from it.

Q) Who has been your source of support/encouragement, throughout the writing process?

A) My wife.
She is the one who nagged me and kept me on task. My friend Jim also helped to kick start it. It’s good to have people with faith in you.
Listening to other authors talk about their work. Lee Child is great, he cares about his audience, his readership. Mark Billington’s A Stab in the Dark, is an excellent podcast. Listening to them really helped as I brought the whole thing together.
My father said to me years ago that he always thought I’d be a writer. It just took me a long time to find my voice. Funny thing is I’m now saying this about my own son and I’m not the only one.

*Thank you for taking part in the Q&A on my blog, I wish you every success with your writing career.

author
John Knock
Author links:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JohnKnockAuthor
Facbook: https://www.facebook.com/JohnKnockAuthor
Website : under construction

Q&A with @writinblues Richard Wall #Author of, Fat Man Blues #Debut #Indie #Blues

cover
Fat Man Blues by Richard Wall

Q&A:

Q) For the readers, can you talk us through your background and the synopsis of your new novel?

A) I grew up in a small market town in rural Herefordshire, England At age 18 I left to join the Royal Navy. After 22 years in the submarine service and having travelled extensively, I now live and write in rural Worcestershire.
My first short story, “Evel Knievel and The Fat Elvis Diner” (available on Kindle), was soon followed by “Five Pairs of Shorts” a collection of ten short stories, and another short story called ‘Hank Williams’ Cadillac’.
My stories reflect my life-long fascination with the dark underbelly of American culture, be it tales of the Wild West, or of the simmering menace of the Deep South, or the poetry of Charles Bukowski, or the writing of Langston Hughes, or the music of Charley Patton, Son House, Johnny Cash, or Tom Waits.

I’m also a self-confessed Delta Blues music anorak. A few years ago I embarked on a pilgrimage to the USA to visit the Deep South, where a bizarre encounter in Clarksdale, Mississippi inspired me to write my début novel, Fat Man Blues.

“Hobo John” is an English blues enthusiast on a pilgrimage to present-day Mississippi. One night in Clarksdale he meets the mysterious Fat Man, who offers him the chance to see the real blues of the 1930s. Unable to refuse, Hobo John embarks on a journey through the afterlife in the company of Travellin’ Man, an old blues guitarist who shows him the sights, sounds and everyday life in the Mississippi Delta. Along the way, the Englishman discovers the harsh realities behind his romantic notion of the music he loves and the true price of the deal that he has made.

Q) Can you talk us through the journey from idea to writing to publication?

A) The idea began after the bizarre encounter in a Juke Joint. My friend (who was with me) said later, “That scene in the bar would make a great opening to a story.” I began writing, and with a little embellishment turned the encounter into Chapter One of the novel.
Writing took place during spare time away from my real job and home commitments. I’m not a planner, and so each writing segment would begin by reading the previous chapter and then continuing the story where I left off – when I get in the “writing zone” (my words) I see the action playing out like a hologram just in front of my eyes.
All in all it took about three years from start to finish.

Having completed the eBook version, I uploaded to Kindle and slowly people started buying it. I managed to secure an agent, but so far a traditional publishing deal is proving elusive. After a few more weeks of swearing and frustration I managed to design and create a cover, sort out the formatting and get a paperback version ready to upload to Createspace. Receiving the proof copy, and actually holding in my hand the result of three years work was immensely satisfying.
Marketing Fat Man Blues has proved to be harder work than writing it. As a self-published author, the onus is on you to not only get the book “out there” and noticed, but to keep it there. Social media has been invaluable for this. I began with Twitter and then FaceBook a little later.

I contacted local radio stations and secured interviews, and my agent approached BBC6 Radio Presenter Cerys Matthews, who mentioned the book on her show (and subsequently invited me as her guest to a music festival she organises in N Wales). Along this journey I have connected with and met some amazing people who have unselfishly assisted me with making my book known.
Two years from first publication, sales remain steady but I’m always looking for new ways to market it, even if it’s just slipping the title into conversation every now and then.
It’s all good.

Q) What are your favourite authors and recommended reads?

A) Favourite authors are established writers Andrew Vachss, James Lee Burke, and Langston Hughes. My favourite new writer is Ran Walker – check him out on Amazon.
I can recommend any books from the above authors, but one of my favourite ever novels is “Lonesome Dove” by Larry McMurtry. Breathtaking.

Q) What were your childhood/teenage favourite reads?

A) As a child I would read anything and everything I could get my hands on. Spike Milligan was a favourite author, and at one time I had every one of his novels and poetry collections.
One book which stands out from my childhood (and which I still have) is Wild Trek by Jim Kjelgaard.

Q) What has been your favourite moment of being a published author?

A) I’ve had several favourite moments: I was extremely proud when the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, Mississippi, offered to stock Fat Man Blues in their gift shop. I was equally proud to receive a photograph of Rita King posing with my book (Rita King is the daughter of blues legend BB King). Meeting, and becoming friends with musicians Tone Tanner and Garrington T Jones, who very generously invited me to read from Fat Man Blues during one of their gigs. Another high-point was giving a talk about my book at Upton Blues Festival in 2017, and being introduced on stage by local blues legend Trevor ‘Babajack’ Steger.

Q) Who has been your source of support/encouragement, throughout the writing process?

A) None of this would have happened if it hadn’t been for my wife, Barbara.

author
Richard Wall
Author links:
Twitter @writinblues
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Wall/100012790451828
RWall Website: https://richardwall.org/

*Thank you for taking part in the Q&A on my blog, I wish you every success with your writing career.