It´s been a while since I last posted an interview and would like to continue with F.J. Curlew; author of Political Thriller ‘To Retribution’:
– What did you want to be when you grew up?
I always wanted to be a vet. I can still remember being laughed at by my new headmaster, aged eleven, and told that, ‘Girls don’t do science.’ Crushed… devastated… totally turned off school!
-What is your favorite genre and what drew you to it?
To write, thrilleresque. I don’t know why but whenever I write it just seems to happen. There’s always a darkness…something, which is peculiar because I’m a soft and fluffy peace and lovey kind of person! I’ll read most genres just as long as what I’m reading is well written. I prefer something that makes me think, changes my perceptions.
– When did you start writing in a professional way?
Three years ago when I began the Open University’s creative writing course. It all suddenly became very serious and immensely enjoyable.
– Do you have a specific writing method or ritual? How many hours do you devote to writing every day?
I do find myself keeping to a routine(ish). Mornings are for huge dog walks. I am extremely fortunate to live in a very beautiful place with mile upon mile of beach and coastal trails. My best ‘writing’ thinking is done at these times. Just me and nature. Unfortunately I don’t always remember this thinking! Of course I say I will, but…heavy sigh!
After lunch I slink off to my writing corner. Piles of cushions, snoring dogs, annoying cat who thinks that the laptop is competition to her rightful place and should be a precariously-balanced-on-knee-top. I usually spend two or three hours actually writing but pretty much the whole day has me thinking about my writing, playing out scenarios, coming up with ideas.
-What part of writing do you enjoy most?
Being totally lost in something of my own making is quite magical. There’s also a great sense of achievement which has been instrumental in keeping me sane through very trying times.
-How do you develop your characters?
I take them for a walk in different scenarios, writing a monologue for them, seeing where they take me, if they have potential. It’s then up to the story. I don’t plan what’s going to happen to them. They take me there.
-Which of the characters in any of your books mean the most to you and why?
Suze from ‘To Retribution’, because she was put through hell but stood tall, fought against it and…well, that would be telling wouldn’t it?
-What are your aspirations as a writer and where do you see yourself in five years time?
Writing is what I do. I want to be successful, to be able to live off what I make through my books. In five years time is a very evocative phrase for me as I’ve just been given my five years free of cancer confirmation. To be alive is pretty damned good 🙂
-Which author has influenced your writing most?
There’s not a ‘one’. Several have helped me on my journey including, but not exclusive to, Ian Rankin, Andre Makine, Leif Davidsen, Steig Larsson.
-Hero or villain? Which character type do you find more interesting?
I couldn’t say that I prefer one over the other. It depends entirely on the story, the character.
Which popular fiction character would you like to be and why?
Skink from Carl Hiassen’s ‘Sick Puppy’. I was so pleased to see him continued into other books. I love his irreverence; how he stands up for justice, for the little man; how he has turned his back on everything we would call normal, necessary.
-What would you like to say to your readers?
Firstly, Thank you!
Secondly, grab life by the scruff and give it everything you’ve got.
A day of the year- Christmas
A favourite recipe-Spinach and cheese curry
A movie-Thelma and Louise
A song-Ouch…only one? ‘Hope’ by Quicksilver Messenger Service
A quote-‘I see God in birds and Satan in long words’, from the band, Brand New