Author interviews are hugely popular, and to-date I have interviewed over 700*. Here they all are, starting from the very first, back in June 2011, and then new ones posted when I get them. I wanted them to find another audience, so I hope you enjoy them.
* you can find the original interviews and much more on my 'everything writing' blog (http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com), including author spotlights, guest posts, book reviews, flash fiction or poetry - new items posted 6am UK time Monday to Saturday and writing exercises at 6pm very weekday.
Friday, 23 November 2012
Author interview no.426: Ian S Rutter (revisited)
in July 2012, I interviewed author Ian S Rutter for my WordPress blog. I hope you enjoy it...
Welcome to the four hundred and twenty-sixth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, biographers, agents, publishers and more. Today’s is with children's faery tale fantasy and horror author Ian S Rutter. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further.
Morgen: Hello, Ian. Please tell us something about yourself, where you’re based, and how you came to be a writer.
Ian: Hello Morgen. Thank you for this interview. Well, I'm a 40-year-old husband and father to three awesome kids, Solomon (6), Annalisa and Samantha both 20 months old. My own SAS team!
I live in two places, Southport, England and Shin Ying, Taiwan R.O.C
As a kid I was always reading; classics from John Wyndham, H.G. Wells, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R Tolkien, James Herbert and Enid Blyton. I would write my own stories, which were in the genres of the authors mentioned. Then my interests changed to technology. As I was growing up, I focused on and studied Computer Hardware and Network systems. Years later, after I was married and living in Taiwan, I decided to get my head down and write again.
In 2005, my wife was six months pregnant with Solomon, and I looked at her and thought 'What could I give as a gift to my son, when he's old enough?' Well, immediately I thought of what I use to do as a kid. I use to live in a village called Burbage, Derbyshire. At the top of the street was a wood, Grin Low Woods, and it was there I would go nearly every day and play with friends. If they couldn't come out I would play with my imaginary friends. It's those imaginary friends I have written about in my story. It's that story I wrote for my son.
Morgen: How lovely. I remember reading avidly as a youth but only writing for school… I’ve been making up for it these past few years though. :) What genre do you generally write and have you considered other genres?
Ian: I love lots of genres such as, science fiction, faery tale fantasy, horror, historical and action and adventure. I have personally focused on writing in the children's faery tale fantasy and horror genres. If there is another genre I would like to write for, it would be the historical genre. I have for a number of years, slowly been piecing together a novel based on a relative who fought in WWI. I think reading Catherine Cookson's novels got me motivated to do that.
Morgen: Historical is incredibly popular and agents have told me they want more of it (when I presented them with a chick lit). :) What have you had published to-date? Do you write under a pseudonym?
Ian: I write under my own name, Ian S. Rutter and on the 14th March of this year, I published my first e-book. It is the one I wrote for my son, called The Faeries of Birchover Wood – Book 1 – The Bad. It's taken some time. In-between writing that and publishing it, I have written 4 other books, all at various stages of editing and final draft, but then again, I don't think any story is truly finished.
Morgen: Absolutely. We could edit and edit but we just have to let them go into the big wide world and see how they get on. That’s the joy of eBooks, you can tweak forever after… maybe not a joy if you can’t let them go. :) Have you had any rejections? If so, how do you deal with them?
Ian: Yes! And plenty of them, but that's the name of the game. It was funny actually, as when I had finished my first draft of the faery book, I thought it was the bees knees, and so, like one who experiences first love (I think) I rushed off, running before walking and sent the copy off to an agent. (knowing of course that no-one would be foolish enough to reject it!) I think you can guess what I got! But you learn, and I did. After that, I read a book called 'On Writing' by Stephen King. Yes, the horror master. It's brilliant. It gives you the run down on writing and what to expect. It's part biography part 'Teach you how to write' book. It helped me to restructure my 'Master plan' to publishing.
Morgen: ‘On Writing’ is the mostly recommended book and every time it’s mentioned I say that I have it but haven’t read it and that I should (I really should). :) Have you won or been shortlisted in any competitions?
Ian: No. I have never entered any competitions to find out. It sounds terrible! Not really had the confidence to do that. Silly, I know, but I think I'll start doing that. It can only help me as a writer to get better. I have however been awarded two blog awards 1. The Versatile Blog Award and 2. The Inspiring Blog Award. I’ve been getting terrific feedback from a series of blog and video tutorials on how to make an ebook. It strips away all the jargon and helps the writer create an ebook without using Amazon's conversion system.
From that I have had two authors successfully publish on Amazon first time, no rejection of file or formatting errors.
Also, since releasing my first ebook it has been getting great reviews. On Amazon and Goodreads. On Amazon, two authors who write for children. Alison Pensy who has written a trilogy wrote "If I had children of my own this would have been a great story to read to them before bed."
And Diane Mae Robinson 2012 winner of the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Emerging Artist Award for Literary Arts wrote "This is an incredible fantasy / adventure story. I was swept up into the adventure early in the story by the strong plot line and the strong characters of this other world. If you have never believed that magical creatures live in the forests, you will now."
Morgen: It doesn’t sound terrible at all. I find themed ones useful as it gets me writing something new and I still have it if I don’t get anywhere. You could enter my writing group’s H.E. Bates short story competition. :) Do you have an agent? Do you think they’re vital to an author’s success?
Ian: No agent, but I definitely think they increase an author's chance to get looked at. Publishers won't really look at you unless you have an agent. Also, having an agent tells you that your work is good enough to be professionally represented by someone who believes in you and your work. In the digital world it has totally changed that.
Morgen: It certainly has. Are your books available as eBooks? Were you involved in that process at all? Do you read eBooks or is it paper all the way?
Ian: Yes, my books are only available as a download. It was a natural progression, as my story was first available as a weekly audio podcast, last year. I was completely surprised at the reception I got for my story. From the first week to the last week, it had totalled nearly 20,000 downloads. So from that, I thought I have to do an eBook version of it.
During last year and the beginning of this year, the original story had been professionally edited. I then started to convert it to an eBook, I was involved in the whole process from start to finish. I used HTML, CSS code for all the formatting and images, then Calibre to convert it to eBook standard.
Morgen: That’s fantastic. Scott Siegler did the same thing and it worked for him too. I have a podcast maybe I should try it with one of my novels. :) How much of the marketing do you do for your published works or indeed for yourself as a ‘brand’?
Ian: I do everything. You have to when you are the author and publisher. It's not easy, but I use Facebook (a lot), Twitter (a few times a day), Google Plus (just started), LinkedIn (for contacts), Goodreads, Amazon Shelfari and my own website and blog.
Branding is funny, as I use to associate it to an object, such as: Pepsi, Jaguar or Burger King, but as I have been marketing I came to realise that people don't just buy a book for the story, they also buy the book because of the author. The author is the 'Brand.' That's what I am trying to do now.
Morgen: They do, we are, which why it surprises me whenever I see an author with a website named after their book rather than their name (OK so Harry Potter might be an exception). What happens when they write another book – build another website? It’s hard enough keeping one going… Do you have a favourite of your books or characters? If any of your books were made into films, who would you have as the leading actors?
Ian: LOL! That's difficult, because there are two books. 'The Faeries of Birchover Wood' has to be my favourite children's book, and for horror, it has to be 'Solomon's Temple' (no connection to my son)
The faeries is very visual and Solomon's Temple scares the heck out of me when I read it. That's based on my experiences of living in a haunted house for a few years, with a few imaginative scares thrown in.
Everyday I imagine the faery story being made into a film. One lead character of the faeries is an elder called Elder Perennial Swallowtail, and I have had only one person in-mind to play him from the moment I started to write it, that would be Liam Neeson. (everything he does I love)
For Solomon's Temple that's tricky but would like Christian Bale. He can bring tension to a character, and that story is no American high school ghost story.
Morgen: Great choices. Did you have any say in the titles / covers of your books? How important do you think they are?
Ian: Yes, as I do everything. If you had seen the original cover for the faeries story, you would of thought how terrible and amateurish it was. It was actually what I used at the beginning for the podcast downloads. Halfway through, I changed it and the owner or host of the website, Evo Terra said it was a lot better. When the eBook came along, I needed a better, more visually striking image. I came up with a few ideas, pasted them together and sent it to my sister who knows a few artists. They kindly gave me their professional advice, and what I have now is the result. (I hope you like it)
The importance cannot be overstated. As a reader, it's the first thing you will see, and some just won't read the blurb unless they like the cover. I believe the cover should be able to tell you a portion of the story without you having to open up the book or read the blurb.
Morgen: It should absolutely. :) What are you working on at the moment / next?
Ian: A ton of stuff!! The sequel to the faery book. Re-editing Solomon's Temple. Getting the faery book 1 ready, for Smashwords so it can be distributed through the other digital channels.
I didn't do that first, as I am signed up for Amazon KDP programme. I did that as an experiment and the results are interesting. On my blog I have the results that have even surprised some authors that have seen my figures. They are very good. (I've been told) Now it makes me wish I didn't sign up for KDP. You have greater control over the price when you are not in the KDP programme. (that's life!) But, after the 90-day contract has finished I will not be signing again (interesting!)
Morgen: Three months goes so quickly that I don’t think signing up with KDP does any harm (some people may disagree with me). I’ll probably do it with my first novel (my third novel but the one that’s almost ready). Do you manage to write every day? Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?
Ian: At the moment yes. I first try and write up an article for my blog. I have set it up so that as soon as a new article I have written is finished, it gets posted to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google Plus, then I write something for Goodreads or Shelfari, such as a review of a book, that again automatically gets posted to Facebook and Twitter. After a thousand cups of tea, I get down to writing or editing one of my stories and after that, if I have time, some reading. (phew!!)
Morgen: :) Do you plot your stories or do you just get an idea and run with it?
Ian: Both. I usually write the end of the story first so I have a path or a conclusion to get to. It also motivates me to finish the story. I have been playing with a story map, or mind map. I have notes and sheets of paper stuck together. It looks like a treasure map with a twisty path flowing through it.
If I get an idea, I will always run with it. It's just too dangerous not to, in-case it turns into something that ends up being your next book. I think if you could look inside my head, you would see a huge messy playground of adventures!
Morgen: :) I think most writers’ brains would be scary… mine would be really dark. Do you have a method for creating your characters, their names and what do you think makes them believable?
Ian: Good question. For the boy in the faery book is my son, so that was easy! For the names of the faeries, it was more difficult, but wonderfully challenging. I thought, 'What do they represent?' The answer to me was simply nature. The characters in my story help and heal, so for me they had to have names of flowers and herbs, or a mixture of both. As an example, Cowl Monkshood is a faery that has no love for anyone and has been poisoned by his own jealousy of others. Cowl Monkshood is also a poisonous herb that has been used on the tips of arrow heads. It''s also known as Wolfsbane. Another is Zeal White Oak, courageous, physically fit and helpful, the actual herb helps with internal problems, provides B12 and is the strongest natural astringent herb available. Yes, I had some names when I was a kid, but not as many as I have now. All the names have followed that principle. Find a flower or herb, look at its properties and try and make a character from that name. Not easy! (Why can't I make life easy for once)
Morgen: Because you want to do a good job. Do you write any non-fiction, poetry or short stories?
Ian: The only non-fiction I have written would be the WW1 novel (still in the creation process) You could say also, a paper I wrote at college about Joseph Mallord William Turner, the English romantic landscape painter. I love his work. My favourite piece is 'The Fighting Tameraire' in which I have a large print. (just love it!) But that is probably as far as I go with non-fiction.
I have been working on some short stories. It presents a set of skills that help you to hone in on story telling. You are forced to create a scene quicker than in a 50,000 plus word novel. Helps you get to the guts of the story.
I really admire short story writers. In-fact, as I spend my time between England and Taiwan, recently there has been a new pop singer called Anthony Neely. He's half American and half Taiwanese. He released a single called 'Awakening', or translated from Chinese, 'Wake up'. It's a beautiful song, and I found it quite sad when I first listened to it. He sings it in Chinese but the video inspired me to write a short story about a man living on this planet, alone. It's called 'Noah's Ark'
Poetry – (Don't go there!!) Sorry, I leave that to my dad. I'm terrible at it.
Again, I admire anyone who can write poetry, even if it's a silly few words that rhyme together. I had to get my dad to write the poem that is at the beginning of the faery book.
Morgen: I write more short stories than anything else but I’m with you on the poetry… I say I don’t ‘get it’ and write as little of it as possible, but then I don’t read or study it so no motivation. Do you do a lot of editing or do you find that as time goes on your writing is more fully-formed?
Ian: At first, I was editing and editing everything all the time. I started to think that my work was rubbish! (you never know, it might be!) On the faery book, I was on my 6th edit!! Then I read an interview of Ernest Hemingway (please, I'm no way in his league) it's what he said that inspired me. He said, 'I rewrote the ending of Farewell to Arms, the last page of it, 39 times before I was satisfied.' Now, I don't care how many times I re-write!
I am finding the more I write the more it seems to be what I want, but I can say that, usually I'll leave a finished manuscript for about six weeks. Do something completely different. Come back to the story and I can see what needs improving. (probably the lot!)
Morgen: It’s all about practice and second opinions. Once someone else has been through it and you’ve made the changes you agree on, it must be nearly there (I’m hoping so anyway). Do you have to do much research?
Ian: A lot, probably too much. I love travelling, so writing gives me a chance to go out and find things out. For book 2 of the faeries, I need to go to a few places, I know I can Google it but what an excuse to go for a drive! I've always been into research.
Morgen: Online will always only be 2D, seeing something in the flesh will get you the atmosphere, smells etc. What point of view do you find most to your liking: first person or third person? Have you ever tried second person?
Ian: Solomon's Temple is first person, and it was incredibly natural to write it that way. I wrote it without thinking what POV I should use. My wife wants me to re-write it as third-person, but I'm not sure. The faery books are all third-person. I have never thought about second-person. I don't think I'm that skilful. But, I can see most of my stories being third-person.
Morgen: Third person is more flexible but it depends on what story you want to tell – having a mostly singular character person will have the reader there with them in a more intimate way in first person. Do you have pieces of work that you think will never see light of day?
Ian: Loads! Especially when I was fourteen. It is terrible! Makes me cringe. Mind you, people might think that when they read the faery book or the horror book, I'm finishing off. Again, when I was fourteen, I wrote a story about an Alien coming to Earth and hunted people. If you read it now, well I wouldn't let you, but a couple of years later, Predator the film came out. I kicked myself, but I think the script is still better than my story.
Morgen: It probably had dozens of people working on it who’d been professionals for years. There have been plenty of stories in a similar vein so no reason why you can buff yours and do something with it. Romeo & Juliet = West Side Story. What’s your favourite / least favourite aspect of your writing life? Has anything surprised you?
Ian: That's a tough one. Favourite is having the opportunity to get what's inside my head down on paper. I would probably scream if I had to use the old typewriter, because the amount of mistakes I make typing, I would probably have had to invest in my own paper making company if I did it the old way.
I love my imagination. My wife says I never stop talking and it's great that my son is like that.
Least favourite, the time it takes to write a story. I know that's stupid, but I have tried voice software to speed it up, forget it. Just type. Also, if I am on a roll and I see it's 1 a.m or so, I kick myself as I have to go to bed. I like things done now or before, and writing you can't do that, you can only go as fast as your fingers let you.
Surprising thing is that I like writing, as I was completely rubbish at English at school. I think it's because I marvel at watching my dad string words together and create a poem.
Morgen: I’m with you on those – the creation process vs lack of time. What advice would you give aspiring writers?
Ian: Don't think you are no good, as I use to think that. A self-defeating attitude can only destroy one thing, your soul. Turn 'I can't' into 'I can' The difference may only be one letter, but that change, that difference makes an even greater change in your conscious and subconscious mind. It can motivate you or degrade you.
Brian Tracy put it so well, 'Quitting is an insidious habit. It grows so slowly that one is unaware of it's enticements until it's deeply ingrained and it cuts off all hope of success and great achievements.'
Don't let that happen. First, believe in yourself, then keep at it. Keep writing, reading, tell yourself stories (people will look at you.) just don't stop. And one thing I am big on, keep dreaming. It was the one thing that got me into more trouble at school than anything else, I was one BIG day dreamer!
Morgen: :) If you could invite three people from any era to dinner, who would you choose and what would you cook (or hide the takeaway containers)?
Ian: That's an awesome question.
Morgen: Thank you, it’s a relatively recent addition. :)
Ian: One – (This is probably corny but here goes) Clive Staples Lewis. I adore his Narnia stories. I read them at least once every year.
Two – Alan Turing. What a genius. I love computers. I wish there was more that this country would do to show appreciation for what he had done in the battle of WWII.
Three – Robert Donat. Can't get enough of his portray of Richard Hannay in 1935 Thirty Nine Steps. That's so awesome!
They would get Lasagne because everyone says I'm really good at making it. (unless they are all good liars!)
Morgen: Yum. Is there a word, phrase or quote you like?
Ian: Fall down seven times, get up eight times. – Japanese proverb.
Morgen: I love that. Are you involved in anything else writing-related other than actual writing or marketing of your writing?
Ian: Not really. I have a cousin who is doing his Ph.D in marketing, so every so often, he will send me a paper to read and correct. As he is Taiwanese and his papers need to be in English, occasionally he needs help. Also, a friend wrote a book and had it printed, now he wants that as an eBook, so I'm helping him with that.
Morgen: That’s very generous of you considering how you battle for time already. What do you do when you’re not writing?
Ian: Daydreaming, photography, reading (a lot), walking, drawing and painting. I love listening to music, audio books, and spending as much time with my kids.
Morgen: Are there any writing-related websites and / or books that you find useful?
Ian: Yes, I am on Goodreads.com and Shelfari.com Books – Stephen Kings 'On Writing'. And if you get stuck on how to improve your English (I'm always). Then I always have at the side of me 'Write Every Time (Or Is That 'RIGHT'?) Cool ways to Improve Your English' by Lottie Stride. Excellent and funny book on English.
Morgen: Are you on any forums or networking sites? If so, how valuable do you find them?
Ian: Yes, I am on Kindleboards, but I haven't used it as mush as some have, but it is very good. LinkedIn is amazing for contacts. Facebook.com/isrutter for social networking. I even run a small group called Authors. Anyone is happy to join. I'm on Twitter.com but I still can't work out if that really works. And Google Plus.
Value, erm, I think Facebook has been tremendous value as people have been either 'Liking' my links related to my faery book, or commenting on it. Looking at what others are doing, I think it's also to do with the numbers. How many FB friends you have. The more you have, the more will join an event, etc. But, Facebook is no1 in my book so far. I'm just starting on Google Plus.
Morgen: I’m only starting with G+ too. I add friends and accept friendships but need to do more (some!) announcements. It’s a time thing again but it’s still going to be hitting a different audience to everywhere else. What do you think the future holds for a writer?
Ian: More coffee! (sorry) I think if done right, the doors of opportunities will open wider due to the sudden popularity of the eBook reader. It's amazing that the first idea of the eBook was in 1947! Anyway, the traditional publishers are still using a draconian system, from my point of view. You look at physical books and their counterparts. Some eBooks from the big six are much greater in price. The indie publisher really has the advantage here, but not the marketing clout of the big six. I think that as an indie publisher you are in a much better position. You can act quicker, market faster, design, format and publish far faster than the traditional publishers. With those tools you have the advantage and should take every opportunity that's given to you to use them.
I use to whinge every time I saw a celebrity book come out. Now, I just don't bother. Focus that energy on yourself. The future looks good, but you need to find that ledge so you can stand out a bit more than the other writers.
Morgen: I think publishers are cottoning on to new ways of thinking and how important eBooks are. I’d heard there are less celebrity books being published because people are getting fed up with them. 60-year old eBooks… wow. Where can we find out about you and your work?
Ian: Okay, you can pop over to http://www.iansrutter.co.uk/blog. There you will see the results I got from Amazon on a three-day free download. Articles and soon some tutorials on eBook creation and formatting.
You can find my book on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk as well as my Facebook page mentioned before. If you like audio then you go over to Podiobooks.com and listen to my story that I gave away. (I still cringe when I hear my own voice!)
Morgen: Oh dear. :) Is there anything else you’d like to mention?
Ian: (I won't give you my Oscar speech) To anyone who has gotten this far, please don't give up. My story is out there. It's been a long time coming (not again) but I did it, and I am doing it again with two more. YOU can do it also. Just one step at a time. (I'm a freak because I think I'm a human octopus) I try and do lots of things at the same time, but that's how I work.
It's true that everyone has a story. See it through.
If anyone is not sure on the eBook formatting or how to get started, just send me an email to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org I'll be happy to help. I have done in the past, and I'll always do it, I enjoy doing it.
Morgen: Thank you, Ian. I think like most things, it’s the fear of the unknown. I kept putting off creating eBooks because of the daunting 70+ page Smashwords style guide but it’s only so long because it’s so in depth / user friendly. And then there were a few weeks between going with Smashwords and Amazon which was unnecessary as they’re so similar. Is there anything you’d like to ask me?
Ian: Oh yes! What motivates you? And, if you had to start over again, what would you do first to get noticed?
Morgen: I live and breathe writing (and left my job in March to do more of it) so it doesn’t take much to motivate me (although having 100 emails a day motivates me to keep on top of them). :) I’d probably have started this blog earlier, left my job earlier, got lodgers in earlier. My mantra at the moment is that I should have done ‘x’ earlier (because I’m usually posting everything on my blog as it’s due to go up rather than getting ahead but that’s due in the main to the email swamp) but I’m just glad I’m here doing it. I’m sure so many people put off writing the book that’s inside them until they retire then are under pressure to write as much as they can as quickly as they can… once they get hooked anyway. Thank you, Ian.
I then invited Ian to include an extract of his writing…
Cowl Monkshood fluttered down close to Solomon and looked at him carefully. With inspecting eyes he said to Solomon, "Er, yes. You will do nicely," he then fluttered to one side of Solomon and said to all three of them. "Follow me. We must go past the tree and deeper into the wood. Follow me, follow me."
Solomon, Dave and Sarah turned and walked closer to the tree, doing exactly what Cowl Monkshood told them to do. Solomon was in front, with Sarah in the middle and then Dave behind. Solomon was fiddling with his little stone that was in his pocket. It felt a little warmer than normal and seemed to be glowing. Glowing so much, that some of the light started to briefly shine through the tightly woven strands that made up his pocket of his pants.
Sarah saw it first, "What's that?" pointing at the beams of red and yellow light that were just about penetrating Solomon's pants and coat.
Dave saw it as well and moved forward.
As he did, Cowl Monkshood fluttered over to Solomon and in between Sarah and Dave. "It's nothing. It's nothing!" Cowl Monkshood said in a hissing tone, while trying to keep Solomon separated from his parents. He was now slowing edging Solomon closer to the tree.
Just then, another light came through the wood. It was Caitlin!
She saw what was happening and flew as fast as she could to Dave and Sarah. Seeing Caitlin got Cowl Monkshood worried.
I then invited Ian to include a synopsis and this is from ‘New Family - New Life - Ancient Evil’…
When eight year old Solomon and his family move to Birchover village, they never realised that the move would change their whole world forever!
After befriending the faeries of Birchover Wood, and being told of a terrible evil monster that's imprisoned under the oldest tree in the wood, Solomon wants to show his parents his new friends.
A few days after a terrible storm that damages the old tree, all the faery elders are worried of the great danger that faces them.
Solomon convinces his parents to go into the wood.
As they venture into the woodland, a faery appears and takes hold of Solomon. Using magic, he transports the two of them to the monster, imprisoned under the tree.
Immediately, the monster takes possession of Solomon and with magic, it leaves its prison.
Taken over by the evil, Solomon destroys the tree. He rises out through the hole and in to the fresh air of the wood.
Facing an army of dragons, boggarts, faeries and other mythical creatures that have been summoned to fight. They must destroy the evil inside Solomon, but also save him before it is to late.
Born in Stockport but had a smashing childhood in the village of Burbage, Buxton, England, daydreaming was Ian's no.1 pastime. Still daydreaming as he was growing up, he thought it was a dream when he met his wife. But, it was no daydream. She slapped him out of it and they got married, and have three fantastical kids!
Now they all live in Taiwan, occasionally flying over by faery class to England, where Ian can take his kids to meet his childhood friends.
Inspired by the birth of his son, Ian decided to write stories based on his childhood faery friends, and the fist book, The Faeries of Birchover Wood was released as an eBook on the 14th March 2012, by the weekend it reach no 18 in the top 100 charts. Ian loves his family, travelling and is now working on the sequel.
If you are reading this and you write, in whatever genre, and are thinking “ooh, I’d like to do this” then you can… just email me and I’ll send you the questions. You complete them, I tweak them where appropriate (if necessary to reflect the blog ‘clean and light’ rating) and then they get posted. When that’s done, I email you with the link so you can share it with your corner of the literary world. And if you have a writing-related blog / podcast and would like to interview me… let me know.
Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) :) on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are weekly episodes, usually released Monday mornings UK time, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.