Author Interview – Peter Bailey
How long have you been writing for and what made you start writing?
I wrote my first ‘story’ way back in March 2011, and story is in quotes because it was a completely factual report of a disastrous trip to Las Vegas – but written in a deliberately comic style loosely based on Dave Barry (And if you’ve never read Mr Barry, please do!) The review is still online at http://goo.gl/5nsvXk and has gathered over a hundred replies. Now this was very surprising , It had never occurred to me that anyone might be interested in what I had to say, and once the idea had formed there was no turning back. The review became a short story, later stories were printed online and in ‘real’ books – and then my first book “Walk In The Flesh”
Do you write for a living, or do you also do other work?
How did you get into being a professional writer, and how much effort did it take to be able to write full time?
Well the more whimsical parts of the Internet define a professional writer as an amateur that didn’t quit, so I guess that makes me a professional, and I got into it because it was something I wanted more than anything else. As for “how much effort?” the answer is I’m still not sure, it’s been just three weeks since I finished work – and so far so good – but ask me again in a year and I’ll give you a more comprehensive answer.
Were you always good at telling stories, or has it come to you as an adult?
I was always good at telling stores, it just never occurred to me that many people would be interested in them
Were you good at English in school?
NO! with extra exclamation marks !! My spelling was (and still is) horrible and sentence construction was approached with blunt instruments to knock the words into place
What advice would you give someone who wants to be a writer?
If it’s something you have to do – then do it. If you’re in it for fame and fortune then can I suggest panning for gold.
What is the most useful advice you’ve been given?
Edit, then edit with extra editing and a side order of professional third party proofreading
How do you deal with the stranger reviews?
I try and rise above them, but launching a book is a bit like launching a boat. The first few waves (or bad reviews) make a lot more impact than the same review after several years. Like points on a graph a bad review early on skews the result much more than the same thing after a hundred sample points.
Who do you write for?
Me. I think it was Steven Spielberg that said during the making the first Indiana Jones film the highlight of every day was seeing the daily rushes – because he couldn’t wait to see what happened next. Even though he had directed every single minute.
And that’s me, I think I know where each chapter is going, but sometimes the words have a life of their own and things take an unexpected turn, and that’s wonderful to see
What sort of things do you write?
Horror, sometimes its horror with sci-fi, sometimes just horror. But if I were a stick of rock then horror would be written all the way through.
What do you have in the drawer? (i.e. what have you written but not yet published)
I’ve got several completed short stories, that I’ve never submitted for publication because with a little tender care they will one day grow into fully fledged novels (including one that starts out with a minor car accident and winds up in an H.P.Lovecraft universe.)
Describe your writing process, what, where, when and how please?
I start with notes, lots and lots of notes. Sometimes scraps of dialogue, sometimes plot details (this phase can go for months) When I think I’ve got a mental picture of the plot, characterizations and scenes then I start to write, and I start at sentence one of chapter one and head towards the meticulously planned ending. As for ‘where’, the answer is everywhere. I’ve written on overnight flights (have you tried sleeping on a plane? ) in hospital beds and by the side of a pool. The brain never stops, so it might as well be put to a good cause