Happy New Year everyone! In the first guest author interview of the year we welcome Paul Turner, you can read what he has to say below:
Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
I am a 48 year old Brit living in Central England. After almost 20 years working in the National Health Service as a psychiatric nurse, I left to focus on the internet business I had started with my wife. We build websites and offer a number of other internet services to businesses. I am married for the second time and have two children from my first marriage aged 21 and 16.
What first inspired you to start writing?
I have always had an ambition to write a novel. I had a heart attack in February which I am fully recovered from and active again, playing tennis and running around again but, with the stress of doing business in this awful economic climate, I wanted to try and find a less stressful direction for my life. I love writing, so thought it was worth having a go at that.
What author do you admire most and why?
That's a really difficult question, to pick just one, I mean. I think that Frederick Forsyth is very clever in the way he manages to take real world events and bring them into his fiction. His knowledge of world politics is amazing and he manages to turn such events into entertaining fiction that you can't put down.
If you could write anybody's biography, whose would it be?
I think it could be fun to write Boris Johnson's (London Mayor) because everything he does is hilarious, intentional or not.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
The way the story develops as you write. Although I plan in advance and have a rough idea of what the plot will be, I am not sure exactly where it will go. I have ideas while I am driving or doing other things and decide to add those to the story. I don't know the end before I get to it so it is like reading a book I haven't read before.
And the least?
The editing after the enjoyable period of letting everything flow from your mind to the keyboard.
What advice would you give new and aspiring authors?
I have just self-published my first novel. I am not sure that I have a massive amount of advice to give at this point. I would say, however, if you have the same ambition as me to write a first novel and you have some ideas, get writing! It is very very enjoyable and self-publishing is very easy these days. It doesn't have to cost you a lot of money.
What are you working on at the moment?
As I said, I have just published my first novel so, before I start thinking about my next one, I am working on getting word out about this one. I would like to be a full time author but the bills have to be paid, so sales are the focus at the moment.
Tell us about your latest work and how we can find out more.
I decided that it would make sense for me to write about a subject which I was familiar with for my first novel. In my 20 years as a psychiatric nurse, I worked with people who had been sexually abused and also with people who had committed sexual abuse. I was a little nervous about writing fiction on this subject and, after looking around on the internet to see what was already out there, I found very little in the way of fiction on this topic. Most was real life accounts from people who had suffered abuse.
I decided to have a go at it anyway and came up with a plot about Nathan aged 9 and Chloe aged 6 whose parents are killed in a car crash. They go to live with their mother's twin sister who was loving and caring. Her husband, however, is a social misfit brought up by a religously obsessed mother. He has married a woman to please her, but, he prefers men and, to the horror of Nathan, young boys.
It was difficult to write some of the scenes because I had to take care to avoid writing anything which could appeal to the wrong audience. I rewrote many of those scenes a few times before I was comfortable with them. The overall story flowed nicely, however, and reviews from those who have read the book have been very pleasing. It is called Lethal Guardian and is available at a number of places including Amazon, the iBooks store, Sony Books, Diesel e-books, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Smashwords (the site I used to self-publish). The book's website is www.lethalguardian.com where there is more information about the book and me, including a YouTube video interview with me about Lethal Guardian and links to the various places the book can be purchased from. A sample of the first few chapters is available at some of these sites.
Thanks to Paul for sharing his time with us, on Friday Michael Cargill takes his turn in the hot seat.