This blog is for all writers, published or not, that want to connect with other writers and who want to improve their craft.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Author Interview with Andrew Toynbee

1. Why do you write?
I write because I can't help myself.  I feel compelled to write at every available opportunity.  Ideas are constantly springing up in my head and writing is the only way to get them out of there to leave me room to think.  It's also a way of sharing my ideas with the world.

2. How many books have you written?
'A Construct of Angels' is my debut novel.  I have two others that I have yet to finish, but this book was the one that received the big push.  I have two sequel novels planned.

3. What inspired you to write your (latest) book?
The flood of Vampire, werewolf and other related supernatural novels got me wondering if I couldn't write something within the same genre - but I wanted to make it different, with no Vampires or werewolves in it at all.

4. What is your favorite genre to read?
I used to be a straight-down-the road science fiction reader, but Stephen Donaldson and Julian May drew me towards high fantasy stories.  My second attempt at a novel was a high fantasy work. This continues to be my favourite genre as it is so unrestriced compared to urban or sci fi - absolutely nything can happen.

5. Is your writing style at all influenced by those of your favorite authors?
E.E. 'Doc' Smith, Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke were a huge influence on me and inspired me to begin my first attempt at a novel.  As I've mentioned, Stephen Donaldson was a big influence on me later.  I hoped to bring some of the wonder and huge scale of The Land that appears in 'The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant' to my fantasy work.

6. Which is your favorite book that you’ve written?
It would have to be the one I've just completed - 'A Construct of Angels'.

7. What is your opinion of the art of writing?
It's a way to share ideas that endures in the mind of the reader.  I still have flashes of scenes and dialogue from books I've read decades ago.

8. What advice would you give someone who is just beginning their own novel?
Don't stop the writing process.  Write steadily and write a little every day, but don't feel horribly guilty if you miss one day.  Just pick it up the following day.  Persist, have a definite ending in mind, but be flexible if you think of a better one.  And don't hate what you write down the first time through.  Once you have the full story down, you can always go back over and improve it.

9. Do you have any funny and / or interesting stories about how you’ve come up with plots or characters?
My novel was never designed to be set in York.  The original story was set in Edinburgh, with the angel falling into a female body, who would eventually fall in love with a male paramedic.  But when the collaboration with my friend produced two completely diverging ideas, we broke apart to write separately; hers in a post-apocalyptic future Edinburgh, mine in a contemporary York.  This time the paramedic was female and the angel fell into a male body.  I think the story improved as a result, because it also shifted from third person to first person (female) narration and I have received a lot of positive feedback from my female readers. 

10. Coke or Pepsi?
Coke.  I keep trying Pepsi, but always end up back at Coke.

You can get A Construct of Angels on Amazon for Kindle, connect with Andrew on Goodreads and his blog.

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