Welcome to Clubhouse Chat page. Those of you who are not a member won’t be aware that the location of the Clubhouse is shrouded in mystery. The only way to visit it is via membership or an invite to the tearoom. Every few days, I’ll be sharing a conversation with all sort of writers and authors at different levels of their writing careers. Over tea and cakes, or maybe a glass of something stronger, I shall be chatting with my guest about their work in progress, or latest book release.
Today I’m chatting to Peter Foote. Welcome to the tearoom Peter.
Many thanks for the invite Paula, I got turned around on my way here, I really should have listened to your directions better. Thankfully I came across a young child walking a cow to the market who pointed in the right direction, a strange child though, head in the clouds…
I’m just so pleased you managed to find your way here, Peter. The village on the outskirts can be rather tricky when it comes to strangers in the area. ☺️ Now we have our drinks let’s start by asking you, what is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
– Well Paula that really depends on the day. You see my real life job is in the trades with rotating night and day shifts, finding a set time to write is impossible for me. So when I do get to write, I try and fit it into the morning. My old brain is a bit sharper then and the house is usually quiet. Saying that, some of my best story brainstorming has happened late at night when I’m tired.
Do you write a synopsis first? Do you plan your story or write it out in full letting the characters lead you?
– The vast majority of my output is short fiction and that mostly has to do with the limits on my free time, but I’m sure you understand that better than most. So when I do sit down to “properly” write, I usually have a barebones plot. I like to think of it as signposts, I need to get from A to B, but how I do that can be left up to the moment. bumps and all.
Is there anything about you your readers might be surprised to find out?
– “Don’t say you’re an open book, don’t say you’re…” Sorry, my mind wandered for a second. While I studied archaeology in university, I ended up in the trades which did surprise some people, myself included. To some, if you work with your hands that means you can’t create with your words, I like to challenge that outlook.
Tell us a little about latest writing project. Is it a new idea, or one you have been mulling over for some time?
– Latest project… There are so many. I’m known for my short fiction, so my output is different from a novelist, saying that there are something I’d like to mention. My very first novella was published in October 2020 called “Boulders over the Bermuda Triangle” and it’s part three in the first season of Engen Books “Slipstreamers”. Equal parts Doctor Who and Tomb Raider for a Young Adult audience, this shared universe follows the dimension hopping adventures of archaeologist Cassidy Cane. I was a bit timid when I saw the casting call for Slipstreamers, writing in a shared universe with other established authors, but I’m glad I threw my hat into the ring
How long on average does it take you to write a story?
– How long is a piece of string would be easier to answer. I can write a drabble (100 word story) in an hour or three days depending on how much I need to cut. Short stories can take anywhere from 1-3 weeks, the confidence level in my idea being the deciding factor
When you first begun your writing journey what drew you to your chosen genre?
– My writing grew out of my passion for playing Dungeons & Dragons as a teenager. I loved imagining living in a fantasy realm where good struggled against evil, that “might wasn’t right”, and how simple people could make a difference. A lot of those themes came with me when I started writing stories
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
– I have the rough outline for a romantic mystery set in the 1930’s featuring a female Protagonist struggling against male stubbornness. This is well outside of my normal “Holy Trinity” (Horror, Science Fiction, & Fantasy), so if it ever does see the light of day, I’d consider a pen name.
What was your hardest scene to write?
– The second to last scene in my first ever published short story. I had just ended a seven year toxic relationship and due to my nature I didn’t feel like I could talk to anyone about my feelings about it, so I started writing. “The silence between moons” chronicled a lonely woodsman who entered into a relationship with a shifter. For three nights around the full moon a enchanted she-wolf took human form and stayed with the woodsman, and for a while that was enough, until he wanted more. As you might have guessed, things didn’t end well, but I found a way to begin healing and I realized my stories might have an audience
When reading your work through do you ever find that your daily mood swings are reflected in your writing?
– Very much so. I’m a brooder by nature so I have to be very mindful of my mental energy before I start working on a project that requires something more light-hearted. I tried to trick myself by using music to change my mood, but after a lifetime of solitude trying to write with noise just distracts me. So, if I’m not in the right frame of mind for my WIP, I either wait or putter on another project until the winds change.
What writing elements do you think is your strongest points, and what would you like to do better?
– A lot of my stories revolve around loss of some kind, either physical, emotional, or spiritual and my readers have mentioned that these themes always grab them. So I guess, theme would be my strong point, it’s the technical side of writing that is my struggle. I have a learning disability, I can see words out of order, that has been a challenge since elementary school. Combined with no formal writing training, my grammar and tenses leave a lot to be desired.
Yep, I know the feeling, Peter about worrying about grammar and tenses. It’s the reason I’m not brave enough to self-published. Thank you for a wonderful chat. Now when you’re ready to leave, Brutus will run you home. It will save you a long walk through the deep dark woods late at night. 😊
If you want to find out more about Clubhouse Member’s Books don’t forget to check out the Clubhouse Bookshops too.