This interview is reprinted from the one that I took part in for Jazzy Book Reviews during last week’s book / blog tour for my new book Lost In Plain Sight:
1. What would you consider to be your Kryptonite as an author?
Gin (even with tonic)…
2. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Just get it down, then stress about it. I still need to yell that sometimes at myself…
3. What book do you feel is under-appreciated? How about overrated?
Difficult. I have my opinions on books, but we’re all entitled to our opinions, right? I’m not too bothered if I’m in the minority or the majority.
4. Favorite childhood memory involving books?
Discovering Isaac Asimov, or as an only child trying to re-enact bits of the Lord Of The Rings in the back garden.
5. If you could dine with any literary character, who would it be and why?
See below about my fictional friend!
6. What fantastical fictional world would you want to live in (if any) given the chance?
That’s a tough one, but I’ll plump for the absurdities, wonder and awesomeness of the Discworld. But only if I could be head of the City Watch.
7. Did you want to be an author when you grew up?
Yes. Being a lawyer in the intervening period from not being grown up to being a bit more grown up has allowed me the privilege of having a go at it…
8. If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Me: creative; irreverent; obsessive
My wife when I asked her about me: stubborn; annoying; obsessive
All a question of perception, I’d say…
I’m not even going there with my nineteen-year-old twins, but grumpy would no doubt feature as one …
9. What is your most unusual writing quirk?
Writing while my Burmese cat drapes herself on the right side of my chest and sleeps. That causes problems of course: I need to choose a lot of words on the QWERTY side of the keyboard…
10. What’s one movie you like recommending to others?
Has to be Die Hard. Yippee-ki-yay!
11. If you could own any animal as a pet, what would it be?
Drogon from GOT’s looking good. I stopped being afraid of heights a while ago.
12. Have you ever met anyone famous?
13. What is the first book that made you cry?
The Colour of Magic (Terry Pratchett) made me cry with laughter. It was my first exposure to his extraordinary perspective on the world. (Bambi was the first movie that made me cry when I was a kid, and I vividly remember Gallipoli as a teenager…)
14. How long, on average, does it take you to write a book?
I’ve written two.
The novel, Lost In Plain Sight, took around two years or so to write; the collection of ultra-ultra-short stories much less time. I’m hoping for about twelve months for my next novel (currently in production at Chapter 4 [now 20]…).
15. How do you select the names of your characters?
They just come, probably from people around me, the media, whatever. It then takes a while to get comfortable with them if they’re major characters. My half-human character, Meyra, in LIPS started as Grace (too serene for what I wanted), then Miranda (too witchy) before settling on Meyra (Other, without being too odd). Sam Franklin came straightaway. And Pagoda? Well, that’s my cat’s name…
16. What creature do you consider your “spirit animal” to be?
A Giant Panda – they seem pretty chilled.
17. What are your top 5 favorite movies?
Favourite rather than best, I hasten to add:
Die Hard (see above)
18. If you were the last person on Earth, what would you do?
Find an iconic place to do a Charlton Heston impression and yell something iconic. Not the Statue of Liberty, he’s already done that. Mind you, it might take me a while to get to New York from Surrey.
19. What fictional character would you want to be friends with in real life?
Sam Vimes (from Discworld). Although, given my answer about where I ‘d want to live, I would want his job, so that might cause friction…
20. What book do you wish you had written?
I like the books I’ve written and am writing, but I love The Old Man And The Sea (Hemingway) for sheer bang for word-buck. The simplicity of the language, the timeless themes, the bleakness and the hope, all wrapped up in such a compact package. Awesome.
21. Tell us 10 fun facts about yourself!
My Joker wig is in a hat box in my wardrobe, just in case. I keep my other nine fun facts tied up in a purple bow next to it.
22. If you could live in any time period, what would it be and why?
Another wow question. Three immediate thoughts: in the 1920s, but only if I could be Bertie Wooster; mid-nineteenth century if I could invent something to get the industrial revolution going and be allowed to wear a stovepipe hat; as a 15th century explorer when anything was possible and there still might be dragons.
23. What is your favorite genre to read?
I love books that defy pigeon-holing. But if forced to choose, then it’s Fantasy. Or Thrillers (especially Noir). Probably Fantasy-thrillers. I need some humour in that, not just bleak and dark. If any Sci-fi comes along for the ride, then so much the better. And neo-Victorian, I like a bit of that. It’s very difficult. The Maltese Falcon’s Magic Blade Runner That’s Dreaming Of Electric Sheep. There. Perfect.
Check out Jazzy Book Reviews for a bunch of interesting stuff, including a blog and reviews: https://www.jazzybookreviews.com/2020/06/lost-in-plain-sight-by-alan-camrose.html
Alan Camrose writes books, this Blog and quizzes . His clones help him to find time to do all these things simultaneously. His coffee machine is set to intravenous. His golden retriever, Jasper, is set to Hungry Cute at all times. His cat – Pagoda – is like all cats, she doesn’t help him at all. Even though he is a certified cat-whisperer (more a cat-yeller). Pagoda rules the house with an iron claw. Alan lives with the rest of his family in Surrey. Please do visit him at his website: www.alancamrose.com