Thursday, 14 March 2013

Interview: R. E. Palmer

You can find R. E. Palmer on twitter @R_E_Palmer or on his site (here). His debut novel Sky is going down a storm with eleven five-star reviews and multiple four-star reviews. You can buy it (here).

Me: Tell us a little about yourself.
R. E. Palmer: I'm married with two kids (12 and 17). I used to be a computer programmer until I decided to leave and train to become an Alexander Technique teacher. I've always been interested in sport and hold a 2nd degree karate black belt, I'm a cricket coach, and recently became an athletics coach. Since an early age I loved to read and grew up with the books of Arthur C. Clarke, Tolkien and John Wyndham. Readers familiar with their work will see their influence in SKY.

Me:  Have you always wanted to write? When did it all start?
R. E. Palmer: I wrote a number of short stories in my late teens and early twenties, before work and family took up all my time. I've written three non-fiction books over the last ten years, but always wanted to write fiction. I had a number of failed attempts - see my comment below in advice - but finally completed my first novel last year!

Me: What inspired you to write your most recent novel?
R. E. Palmer: My daughter - and dog. My daughter likes to write and we discuss ideas for stories when walking the dog. We came up with a story involving dreams and how they might cross over into the real world, and funny enough, the concept for SKY came as I was falling asleep one night. I get most of my ideas during the bit between consciousness and sleep - hence the opening line to SKY.

Me: What does your writing space look like? Is there music, coffee, food?
R. E. Palmer: It usually looks like the inside of a Costa Coffee - so there is coffee. I find it difficult to write at home, although sometimes I sit up well past midnight and get down a 1000 or so words. And yes, there is always music. My iPod goes everywhere with me and I listen to all sorts, but mainly The Cocteau Twins, Lana Del Rey, Kate Bush and The Pierces. But if I'm writing a scary scene, I put on Pendulum.

Me: Are you planning on releasing anything new in the year ahead?
R. E. Palmer: I'm currently working on a sequel to SKY. It's called Stargazers - for reasons that will become obvious. I'm around 15% into the draft and hope to have it ready by June 2013. I've also got two more projects in the pipeline - Noah's Ark is set in the future and has a dystopian theme, the other is called Psiren Song and is an urban fantasy.

Me: Where do you hope your writing will take you?
R. E. Palmer: Well I hope it will put me up there with J.K. Rowling :0) No seriously, it's a very, very competitive world out there, but if I can write a few books that people enjoy reading, then I'll be happy. It will always be more of a hobby than a career I think. But one that is immensely enjoyable and rewarding - if a little frustrating at times!

Me: Any advice for fellow writers?
R. E. Palmer: Work out a structure before you start. I wasted six months on a book before I came to the realisation it wasn't going to work. But if you have a structure, you know the purpose of each scene and where it needs to lead the reader next.

Quick-fire questions:

Me: Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings?
R. E. Palmer: LOTR  - I do like HP, but it's no Middle Earth :0)
Me: Fast food or a home-cooked meal?
R. E. Palmer: Home-cooked - mine!
Me: Outdoors or indoors?
R. E. Palmer: Outdoors - even if I'm writing I prefer to be outside.
Me: Computer or cell/mobile?
R. E. Palmer: Computer - my mobile is ancient and can't do much.

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