10 questions: PJ (Philip) Whiteley, author of The Rooms We Never Enter

Hi all

Today's Unbound Publishing author discussing their new/upcoming book in a ten question style is PJ (Philip) Whiteley. So, let's get straight to it! 

1. Who are you and what’s your book about?

PJ (Philip) Whiteley. The Rooms We Never Enter is a contemporary drama, a romance with some comedy, so maybe a rom-com, discuss. It’s set mostly in Leeds, and features the on-off relationship between a successful entrepreneur and a single mum on minimum wage.

 PJ (Philip) Whiteley. Photo credit: Ben Bowles

PJ (Philip) Whiteley. Photo credit: Ben Bowles

2. Why should folk read your book?

I’ve been told it’s sweet, funny with some depth. It questions the extent to which gender roles have changed substantially in modern Britain, though it isn’t an issues-led book; the relationship is always centre stage. Both characters have been unlucky in love and yearn for someone who will care for them.

3. What’s the appeal of your book?

I think that there is humour in the exchanges, and drama in the clash of cultures. There are twists that I think will be unexpected, and some changes of fortunes for the two main characters. I hope the reader will be rooting for them. I think the insecurities of an apparently successful man may surprise some readers.

4Sounds great! Where/when can I get hold of a copy?  

When I reach target in the crowdfunding campaign! I’m past half way, so I hope that this will be by the end of 2018.

5. Describe a typical writing day, or at least a typical day with some writing in it:

I’m a full-time writer, so my typical day is writing from around 8.30 in the morning til 5 in the afternoon, and sometimes a little in the evening, though I often take a long lunch break. I do paid-for commissions in non-fiction – business writing – and I spend as much time on fiction as I can.           

6. Pick one book about writing. What it is and why have you chosen it?

George Orwell’s Collected Essays contains timeless advice, including the famous one about the English language. He taught me most of what I needed to know to become a professional writer.

7. Pick three books that have influenced or inspired you as a writer:

As mentioned, Collected Essays & Journalism by George Orwell. I was also inspired by Pratt of the Argus by David Nobbs and Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby, as styles I could emulate; I acknowledge I’m never going to approach the genius of my three favourite books (see below), with all due respect to David and Nick.

8. Pick three desert island books - works you couldn’t live without:

This is an easy question, because for years I have referred to the ‘holy trinity’ – three books of unsurpassable beauty and genius that they belong in a separate category: 100 Years of Solitude and Chronicle of a Death Foretold, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and The Plague by Albert Camus. Why does no one attempt books like these anymore?

9. Any words of writing wisdom?

Draw upon your personal experiences, and tap into your emotions. Craft is not enough. There is too much non-fiction in many modern novels.

10. Let’s make a movie of your book. Give me the high-concept pitch:

This is Bridget Jones meets Fever Pitch; two complex and likeable characters yearn for each other in a funny and subtle romcom after meeting near a football stadium. But can their love conquer the social divide? (John Simm and Angela Griffin are both from Leeds, and would be perfect for the roles. So casting is easy)

Social media contacts:

Twitter: @Felipewh

Facebook: PJ Whiteley author page https://www.facebook.com/PJWhiteleyauthor/?modal=admin_todo_tour

Unbound URL: https://unbound.com/books/rooms-we-never-enter/

Previous publications:

Close of Play, Urbane Publications, 2015.

Marching on Together, Urbane Publications, 2017, with a cover commendation by Louis de Bernières

Massive thanks to PJ for playing along! As he says, The Rooms We Never Enter is currently crowdfunding via Unbound, so please check out the book on Unbound's website and consider pledging to make this book a reality. 

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