Saturday, November 30, 2013

Author Interview – AFN Clarke

Can we expect any more books from you in the future? I’ve written seven books to date and never stop writing.  I already have at least another seven in my head ready to be written. Once they are published, there will no doubt be another seven following on from those. The only way I will stop writing is when I stop breathing.

Have you developed a specific writing style? I write in what is called a “stream of consciousness” style, but my own particular form of this discipline. I do not write a detailed story or plot before starting a novel. I have the entire book in my head, which is to say the overall story line, places, and characters. As I start to write the story tells itself, situations develop and the characters experience those situations and because of who they are, react in a certain way.  So they take on their own identity and “spirit” so to speak, and because of that even I can sometimes be surprised at the direction a book can take.  But I believe being true to the characters gives my books an immediacy and depth, that is important and that readers respond to. I hope as a result, that my books breathe and expand and take unexpected twists and turns like life does.

What contributes to making a writer successful? Luck is a huge part of being successful – being in the right place at the right time can make or break a career and you see it time and time again.  But so is hard work and perseverance – not giving up when most people would, going that extra mile when the whole world thinks you are nuts. For me being a success as a writer also depends on the state of my own psyche, my own emotional health and wellbeing and standing up for and trusting my instincts as a result. Every time I have gone against my deepest instincts I have suffered for it.  But I can only trust my instincts when I am in a good place within myself.  I also think that having a strong support person or persons can make all the difference in the world. Writing may be a primarily solitary activity but success is not solitary – and it’s an important distinction to make.

What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life? I have been fortunate and lucky enough to win awards, accomplish everything I have set out to do, and have best selling books as well. But the most cherished things in my life are my children and grandchildren. Whether it is my accomplishment is for others to judge, but they are all successful, happy, intelligent, compassionate and vibrant human beings and that is an accomplishment in itself.

What do you do to unwind and relax? I’ve always been very active physically so contrary to a lot of people who love to be still and lie on the beach and do nothing in order to unwind, I need to do something – aerobatics, go sailing and become one with the wind and the waves, ride a motorbike on an open highway and open up the throttle, or even just get up and make a fool of myself dancing myself silly to some ageing rock band’s greatest hits!

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Genre – Autobiography / Biography & Memoir

Rating – 18+

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