Today we have author Gervase Shorter joining us. He has 3 books that we will show you, and also answered a few questions for us.
Kindle Edition: 355 KB
Publisher: Amazon.com; 2 edition (September 7, 2011)
Purchase at Amazon
Kindle Edition: 345 KB
Publisher: Amazon.com; 2 edition (September 6, 2011)
Purchase at Amazon
Kindle Edition: 414 KB
Publisher: Amazon; 2 edition (September 7, 2011)
Purchase at Amazon
Who or what inspires your writing?
It´s all a question of finding a story I think I´ll enjoy telling. If I can find a plot that turns me on then, bit by bit, the characters, the episodes, the backgrounds all fall into place.
When did you know you would be a writer?
I retired very early and then found I had nothing to do. I´d inherited the handwritten memoirs of my great grandfather and I thought: he wasn't a famous person. He didn't do anything really spectacular but I´m interested in the account of his life because he was my mother´s grandfather and the period he lived in isn't so remote as to be difficult to imagine or so close as to be practically current events. Then I thought: my great grandchildren might enjoy memoirs written by me. So I wrote them and after that friends persuaded me to try my hand at fiction and that´s how I got started.
How long did it take you to write your first novel?
Not very long. I think the first draft took a couple of months but I spent quite a bit of time tinkering about with it afterwards. Actually, no matter how often I do it, I can never read anything I've written without wanting to make a few changes.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Developing the plot. I´m not very good at thinking up good plots and I tend to change the story as I go along and then I have to go back and correct all the inconsistencies.
Do you have any writing rituals?
Not really but I get distracted by any kind of interruption or noise. I love listening to classical music, particularly works by early nineteenth century composers whose music you don´t hear very often but even that distracts me too much when I´m trying to write.
Have you written anything else?
I've started another thriller to be called ‘Old Money’ but it´s only at a very early stage.
Any advice to aspiring writers?
Write what you enjoy writing and then see how it works with an audience. Get your friends to read what you've written and try to develop a hide like a rhino so you don´t hit the roof when they rubbish the bits you´re most proud of.
Who are your favorite Authors?
What a question! I suppose Russian novelists first of all and then Proust and Stendhal but there are many, many others – Patrick O’Brian, Patrick Leigh Fermor …
What are your favorite books, or which book has impacted you the most?
I suppose just lately Casanova´s ‘History of My Life’ (in twelve volumes). A brilliant raconteur, highly cultured – he wrote about twenty books and could dash off an elegant sonnet at a moment´s notice – charming to everyone (not just women) and a likeable person who simply adored women (and was frequently taken for a ride by them). At the same time he was living off his wits from his winnings at cards and various deceptions that he describes quite candidly. One day he would be buying himself English carriages and horses, giving banquets for his friends and jewels for his girls and then the next day he´d have lost everything at cards and was pawning his underwear. And he met the most interesting people, Frederick and Catherine the Great, for example. I really felt I was losing an old friend when I finished volume twelve and there was no more to read.
What are you currently reading?
I´m reading ‘The Sugar Barons’ by Matthew Parker, a fascinating account of sugar plantations in the West Indies, their owners (who at one point were the world´s richest people) and the slaves who worked on them.
How do readers find out more about you?
I´m going to have a website pretty soon but you can find some information about me on my amazon.com and smashwords.com author pages.
Fiction is story telling, entertainment – so it´s got to be entertaining in order to be successful. In my opinion writers like James Joyce may have produced great literature but it´s unreadable and therefore no good as entertainment. On the other hand there have been authors who use a tiny vocabulary of short words that a child can understand. I´m aiming somewhere between these two extremes: I´m hoping my reader will be willing to invest a little effort, but not too much. Another thing: I haven´t lived in an English speaking country for over thirty years so readers will find my English has a sort of sixties flavor to it.