Brad Fleming is thriller writer! I seem to have a lot of thriller writer friends lately. Brad and Joe McCoubrey are two of my new favourites. This post is to help Brad celebrate the release of his new book called Role of Dishonour. Here is the party details on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/#!/events/455967957775042/.
As part of the celebrations, Brad agreed to an interview for my blog. So, without wasting any more time here it is.
I will squeeze this in quickly though. Here is a video for Role of Dishonour: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwwJbaldN-s&feature=youtu.be
What advice would I give to a new writer?
Be methodical. Be thorough. Once you have decided on the main theme of your book, take a notebook and enter the bull points of your story in headline form. Don’t worry, this can be changed at any time, and probably will be as fresh ideas occur to you. Next include short pen-pictures of your principal characters—brief description of appearance, traits, etc. This too can be added to or changed as the story takes shape. It doesn’t do to have your hero’s hair-colour change from black to brown halfway through. You see this sort of thing surprisingly often in movies. Someone is seen entering a building wearing a hat and re-emerges bareheaded. Research everything thoroughly. In your early writings it’s probably best to concentrate on places and things that are known and familiar to you. That reduces the risk of simple mistakes likely to irritate the reader. It goes without saying that your writing should be sound grammatically. Sadly, there are too many books out there where that isn’t the case. Have your book checked by someone who will correct those irritating little mistakes and, hopefully, delete the major blunders.
Is routine important?
It certainly helps. All writers are different. Some will dash of 5,000 words every day without fail until their tale is told. Others will toil to produce 1,000 words in a week. When I was in journalism every day brought its own deadline—sometimes a lot more than one. Most authors aren’t under that kind of pressure. Many have proper jobs, are part-time writers and have the luxury of taking time off when they feel so inclined. There will be days when the creative juices work overtime and your fingers dance over the keyboard. Make the most of them. On the barren days when the right words won’t come it’s okay to take the dog for a walk or the wife shopping.
Do you read other people’s writing?
All the time. Reading good authors is the best way to learn to write properly.
Where do your ideas come from?
All over the place. There are potential plot themes all around us. My morning newspaper will usually produce about three. These can be changed, adapted and fleshed out to make either a story, or part of one. Today for instance. There was a short report of a woman in England whose cat went missing six years ago. She and her family decided to move to a town twenty miles away. While they were being shown round their prospective new home a cat entered from the back garden. You’ve guessed it, the elderly house owner had been looking after it since it turned up as a stray years before. Owner and cat recognised each other immediately and have now been re-united.
What is your biggest time-waster?
Me! I enjoy writing, but there are so many other things I like as well. Since I took early retirement from my last proper day job, I’ve written two novels and four short stories. That isn’t a lot, but then I’ve travelled a fair bit of the world, remarried, acquired a dog, entertained my grandchildren, indulged in a little genteel sports, listened to lots of music, watched a little television, eaten and drunk far too much and caught up on lots of books I missed first time around. There are a great many ways of wasting time—thank God.
Who would you like to collaborate with (living or dead)?
Like most writers, when it comes right down to it, I suppose I’m a bit of a lone wolf. An old friend from my newspaper days, Joe McCoubrey and I bounce ideas around and delight in finding errors in the other’s work. When I used to publish more blogs than I tend to do nowadays, I did a couple of spoof interviews with two of the most famous authors the world has known. One was based on a three-minute phone call to Heaven for a chat with the old Bard of Avon himself, William Shakespeare; the other a face-to-face interview with my favourite author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes. They were great fun and seemed to go down well with readers.
I suppose it’s only fair to slip in a little plug for my book Role of Dishonour which is being released by Master Koda Select Publishing on Amazon Kindle today (October 18). I think it’s a decent yarn about love and life and death in Ireland during the Troubles. It’s a serious subject I know, but, like the country itself, there’s a sprinkling of love and laughter and the occasional tear along the way