Part of the pleasure of having had crowdfunded a book via Unbound Publishing (my noir novel East of England has just - at the time of writing - been funded, and will be in print and digital form all too soon) is the sense of community with other writers who are going through - or have gone through - a crowdfunding journey themselves. So, it's interesting to explore others' approaches to their writing and their work. Hence this series of short interviews!
Today's Unbound author is Sue Clark, whose comic novel Note To Boy demands your attention. Here's Sue to explain more:
1. Who are you and what’s your book about?
I’m Sue Clark and I’m a recent escapee from the world of PR and journalism. I’ve also done a bit a TV and radio scriptwriting in my time. My comic fiction Note to Boy tells what happens when the worlds of an elderly former fashion diva and a teenager from a sink estate collide.
2. Why should folk read your book?
It’s funny and, without being heavy-handed about it, reminds us that people who are often written off – the crabby old and the surly young – may have hidden depths, with tales to tell and adventures to be had. And did I mention it’s funny?
3. What’s the appeal of your book?
It touches on real issues like loneliness and bullying but in an entertaining way, and features the crazy 1960s – and who doesn’t love a bit of Swinging London nostalgia?
4. Sounds great! Where/when can I get hold of a copy?
Note to Boy is with the crowdfunding publisher Unbound now and will be available just as soon as the funding target is reached. We just have to encourage a few more lovely people to support it and pledge for a personalised and reasonably priced first edition copy. Hint hint!
5. Describe a typical writing day, or at least a typical day with some writing in it:
Having given up the nine-to-five a few years ago to concentrate on novel writing, I fight against having a typical day, although I do try to write something every day, no matter how short. And when the mood is on me, or a deadline looms, I’m up at sparrow’s fart to tap away and may still be there at midnight, a glass of something chilled at my elbow. I’ll even pull an all-nighter if needed, although don’t talk to me the following day. I’d like to be a writer of regular habits but it doesn’t seem to happen.
6. Pick one book about writing. What it is and why have you chosen it?
Easy. On Writing by Stephen King. Why? Because (unlike some authors of ‘how to’ books) he is a prolific and highly successful writer himself and his advice is wise and down-to-earth. What it boils down to (if I may be so bold as to summarise) is: stop with the excuses, park your bum on the seat and just bloody write.
7. Pick three books that have influenced or inspired you as a writer:
Now this, and the next question, is unfair! But I’ll close my eyes and stick a pin in a few. Kate Atkinson, Life After Life: a virtuoso performance that, in a parallel universe, I would have written. PG Wodehouse, Right Ho, Jeeves (or any of his Jeeves books): anyone who can make you laugh out loud through wordplay alone gets my vote. Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: hilarious from the first deadpan lines onwards.
8. Pick three desert island books – works you couldn’t live without:
Barbara Kingsolver, The Lacuna: a perfect novel in my view. Philip Roth, The Plot Against America: the book we could be living in at the moment. Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: the book I read as a child that first made me want to write.
9. Any words of writing wisdom?
Firstly, be prepared to work really hard, especially on the re-writing, and re-re-writing, and the re-re-re-writing. You get the picture. And second, what Stephen King (almost) said: stop with the excuses, apply bum to seat and just bloody write.
10. Let’s make a movie of your book. Give me the high-concept pitch:
Eloise wants her celebrity life back. Bradley, for now, will settle for a safe place to sleep and a warm coat. Thrown together, the incompatible pair join forces to try to avenge a wrong, but will the plan succeed before Eloise’s growing confusion ruins everything, and can Bradley really be trusted?
Social media contacts:
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/sue.clark.18400
Twitter – @sueclarkauthor
Unbound URL – where first edition copies of Note to Boy can be pre-ordered – https://unbound.com/books/note-to-boy
Bits of nonsense for various BBC radio and TV sketch shows including Three of a Kind, Alas Smith and Jones, Weekending, and The News Huddlines. Bits of more serious stuff for newspapers and magazines.
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