Tuesday, May 20, 2014
AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Peter John
1. When/why did you decide to become a writer?
I was bitten by the writing bug when I was 14. I earned a break-time detention and tasked with writing a short story when I failed to hand in a homework assignment.
2. What authors inspired you when you were younger? What books do you enjoy reading today?
Prominently in my memory is Piers Anthony and his Xanth series. Terry Pratchett's Discworld was and still is on my reading list. I also enjoyed authors such as James Herbert and Jack Giles.
3. What was the inspiration behind your novel Dead Medium?
My mother is a very enthusiastic believer in medium-ship and her stories about the séance’s and spiritual readings she experienced over the years definitely contributed to my inspiration. Initially it was going to be a short story about the reversal of the concept of a medium. After writing a few pages, I realised that there was much more I could do with the theme, and the character of May Elizabeth Trump, and begun to structure it as a novel.
4. Why choose to center the story around a bad-tempered elderly woman of all characters?
I wanted the main character to be a stringent sceptic so that she would be forced to change her views to some degree otherwise she would have to stop believing in herself. I also wanted the character to soften during the course of the book in a mild, Scrooge like fashion.
5. Will we see another novel of this sort or featuring the same characters?
I am currently working on a spin-off sequel called Just Medium, which focuses on one of the supporting characters and their experiences as a living medium.
6. You were first published as a poet. What is it that you enjoy about poetry?
I have always had difficult expressing my emotions directly, but through poetry I find I can portray my feeling rather effectively. I also enjoy the process of telling a story with rhythm and in a limited number of words.
7. If someone were to make you choose, would you choose to write only poetry or novels and why?
I love writing poetry but I have been severely stung by the story bug and would, regrettably, turn my back on poetry before story writing if the situation should arise. With stories and novels I can delve far deeper into a concept and the characters involved, and that sense of intimacy would be very difficult to give up.
8. Were any of the characters based on real people?
May Elizabeth Trump is the amalgamation of several people and generally not on their best days either. Margaret, however, was born through the influence of my mother alone. Margaret's encompassing heart and her addiction to all things sweet are taken directly from my mother.
9. What other genres would you like to try your hand at?
My first attempt at a novel was a MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) based science fiction story about the evolution of gaming in a world addicted to virtual reality. It was poorly written but the concept is something I wish to visit again.
10. What author (dead or alive) would you love to collaborate with?
Without a doubt, Piers Anthony.
11. Do you, personally, believe in ghosts? If yes, have you ever had any paranormal experiences?
I like to consider myself a hopeful sceptic. I would love to believe but, as yet, I have not experienced anything that would solidify such a faith.
12. Can you please tell the readers a little about your work aside from Dead Medium?
I do a lot of work with The Indie Collaboration, publishing themed anthologies. We currently have four editions available which are free to download on Smashwords, iTunes, Kobo and Nook.
13. Where do you see yourself and your career in the next ten years?
I see myself in pretty much the same situation I am in right now but I am always being told I should have more confidence in myself. Where I would hope to be, however, is in a position where I can write full-time. I would love a little garden office where I could spend a few hours everyday in peace and tranquillity while hammering away at a keyboard.
14. If you were to find yourself in a situation like May's, what would you do?
Probably the exact same thing. I would help, though begrudgingly; I wouldn't be able to just stand aside.
15. Thank you for participating in the interview! Can you please leave the readers with three things that may surprise them about you?
Three things? Okay, here goes.
No.1: I am one of four siblings and each of us have inherited an interest in the various talents of our grandfather. William Giles was a gifted musician, artist, performer and storyteller.
No.2: There are probably more photographs of me in Japan than there are in my own home.
No.3: I was once awoken by a German Shepard (The breed of dog not the job title) licking my exposed armpit. It is an experience I wish never to suffer again.
Find Peter John online via:
Official site (site includes purchase links to his various works)
Dead Medium Facebook page