Welcome to my guest page. Here, every few days, I’ll be sharing a conversation, over tea and cakes, or maybe a glass of something stronger, if they are not driving, with a friend about their work in progress, or latest book release. I’ll be talking to all sort of writers and authors at different levels of their writing careers.
Today I’m welcome Gregg to the Clubhouse Tearoom. Welcome Gregg.
Hey Paula, will this be like Mastermind? Do I have to have a specialised subject for the double points round? Okay, my subject is Samantha Fox. Two lumps please! Fire away…
Not at all. I’m sorry but my questions are about your writing only. 😂 First I would like to ask you when you first begun your writing journey what drew you to your chosen genre?
My heart has always been sci-fi. Always will be. But I enjoy just trying to come up with an ending to most things, books, movies, songs. I can sit and watch a movie and wonder what happened to Kevin when he grew up. Does he still stay cation at 38 years old while his parents go on holiday? What is on page 47 of the Presidents book and will Nicholas cage deliver another stunning performance? Does Roland ever get to blow his Horn of Eld? What happens if you cross Ready player One with Armada? These questions keep me up at night.
What writing elements do you think is your strongest points, and what would you like to do better?
I have loads of ideas all the time, give me a start I can usually think up a catchy ending. That is a great thing to have in your toolbox don’t you reckon? The only problem with my toolbox though, is that it lacks the basics, all I have is a big hammer. I have no fine screwdrivers or those little tweezers needed to pull out those crappy grammar splinters.
Tell us a little about latest writing project. Is it a new idea, or one you have been mulling over for some time?
The big one is a follow up to Wardenclyffe. Did I mention I have that one out? I had such a laugh writing that one, I really want to just wrap all my other ideas up and get down to some good old Carry On capers with Swarley Paxmore. Maybe have him go on another mad cap adventure to save the world. I am sitting on a sci-fi space opera I also want to add another 50,000 words or so.
How many unfinished projects do you have on your computer?
Every file I have on my PC needs another 10,000 words at least!
Do you write a synopsis first or write the first chapter? If you only write short stories, do you plan your story or let the characters lead you?
I ask myself a stupid question like- “what if the MC was to wake up in the middle of a bar fight?” Then I check the story criteria and turn it into a Horror/love story/drama. No planning. No scope. No ending. I IS A PANSTER!!!!!!
Choosing only five of your favourite authors. Can you list them in order 1 begin the top of your list and say how have they influenced your writing?
A GUY CALLED MUSKIE (never published but he writes some awesome Prose)
I really enjoy a build-up story, and King just sucks me in every time. James Herbert does it by the numbers with stories like The Rats and The Dark, and that one with the dog? But King just knocks them out the park with excruciating anticipation. Koontz was the one that showed me you could swap genres, adding sci fi to horror like Lightning or crime to fantasy like Odd Thomas and Watchers. Haldeman brought realism into sci fi, his Forever war campaign was brilliant and simple, but kept me rooting for the poor bastard of a hero all the way to the end… But Muskie, fuck me that guy showed me how to just close the rule book and just write what the hell you want. He was cockadoodle batshit crazy and I just wish he would get his work out there. If you ever find his short story Bump Slithers- drop me a line, because I want to read that one again.
When reading your work through do you ever find that your daily mood swings are reflected in your writing?
HAHA! My mood swings are what keep me going when I write.
Were any of your characters inspired by real people?
No. When I revived Swarley Paxmore I tried to give him a Flashman kind of feel. Something that reminded me of Terry Thomas from those magnificent men in their flying machines. I wanted nostalgia. I wanted Un PC. I wanted the kind of 60s cad from the gentlemen’s club.
What did you learn when writing your book? In writing it, how much research did you do?
Can I ask the audience on this one…
Is there anything about you your readers might be surprised to find out?
I actually read folks work and review. It’s the one thing I promised myself I would do, even if others don’t. …I also like Taylor Swifts music.
Did you uncover things about yourself while writing your books and stories…whether that be a long forgotten memory, a positive experience etc.
I wrote a heartfelt story For Zombie Pirate Publishing Titled PHUKET TATTOO called ‘I’ve been everywhere man’. Dredged up some memories from my time in the British Army. That was a bit heavy, but my missus loved it. My folks – not so much.
How do you select the names of your characters? & do you know everything about them before you start writing their story?
Swarley Paxmore was a character Muskie and I wrote about years ago. We had an Idea about this guy from the start, but I never really felt like he was my character until I found him again, sobered him up and sent hm on a new mission. Muskie lay some fine groundwork for him in the early days, while I set the frantic scenes. I lost all those little stores but one- I’ll keep that gem locked away until I get back in contact with Muskie. Only then will we both unleash Lord Muskatache to the world.
Thank you for the chat, Gregg.
Cheers for the chat and coffee, Paula. Fingers crossed I get some traction on Swarley Paxmore and Wardenclyffe 2 : Swarleys Dilema!