Malcolm began writing magazine articles for cycling and triathlon magazines. Some years later he turned his hand to fiction. Initially he began the makings of a novel, but this proved a long haul. He then focussed on short stories and finally flash fiction. One win in a flash competition spurred him on. Recently he has returned to writing his novel.
What inspired you to start writing this book?
To begin with I joined a writing course, which turned out to be a critique group. The tutor suggested we start by thinking of a character that we could then continue as a novel. Initially I chose a male character but I soon realised that I was the character! I then focussed on a female character and Miranda became my leading lady. Whilst we share several life experiences, writing from a female point of view is a vastly different proposition.
Tell us the story of your book’s current title. Was it easy to find, or did it take forever?
When I complete the first draft (not too far away) I’m hoping that I can focus on a suitable title; currently my working title is ‘Miranda.’
Describe your dream book cover.
Colourful; I suspect Miranda will feature on the cover, possibly alongside a man.
If your book had a soundtrack, what are some songs that would be on it?
‘Hotel California,’ ‘First Cut is the Deepest,’ ‘Heatwave,’ ‘Heroes,’ and Miranda’s favourite song, ‘If I Could Turn Back Time.’
What books are you reading (for research or comfort) as you continue the writing process?
Currently The Book of Beginnings by Sally Page; After the Funeral by Tessa Hadley; and Normal Rules Don’t Apply by Kate Atkinson.
What other professions have you worked in? What’s something about you that your readers wouldn’t know?
I spent just over forty years working in the rail industry, initially in civil engineering and then later focusing on rail projects, sponsorship, and project management.
Who/what made you want to write? Was there a particular person, or particular writers/works/art forms that influenced you?
At work I produced countless reports, which called for accuracy and the numbers had to add up! I decided that I wanted to write something that didn’t rely on every number being correct where I could be free to write stories that focussed on characters and how they reacted with one another.
Where is your favorite place to write?
In the spare bedroom / study at home.
Do you have any writing rituals?
Not really, I write when I feel like it, or if something has lodged itself in my brain and I need to scribble it down on paper or maybe write on the laptop. When writing on paper, I prefer a pen with purple ink. To me this seems more creative than a basic black or blue biro.
What is one thing you hope readers take away from reading your book? How do you envision your perfect reader?
I hope they enjoy the book; that they can possibly see something of themselves in how my characters react. I envision my readership to be mainly female. I tend to read mostly female writers, see above.
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