Indie Collaboration Author Interview 1 – HALLOWEEN- Alan Hardy

Some of you may have seen the post titled “Indie Collaboration Presents.”

This is a collection of short stories by some of the most talented indie authors around. Tales from Dark Places is the first of these offerings, hopefully to  be followed by a few more. To celebrate its release I have interviewed some of the authors…

Welcome to Alan Hardy

Please tell us a little about yourself. I’m a director of an English language school for foreign students. Married, with one daughter. Poetry pamphlets: Wasted Leaves, 1996; I Went With Her, 2007. I’ve had poems published in such magazines as  Orbis, Iota, The Interpreter’s House, Poetry Nottingham, Poetry Salzburg Review, Poetry Cornwall, and others. I have now written five novels. I would describe them as surreal novels exploring the nature of relationships, romantic and sexual, and Britain’s class-system, with liberal use of comedy and satire,  creating original and riveting settings full of humour, romance, sex and adventure.

Please tell us about the story you are offering for the Indie Collaboration anthology? It’s the tale of a guy who realises he’s being pursued/held back by a mysterious figure/shape/presence. He’s physically held back in the sense that his coat gets caught up somewhere, or he trips up on a table-leg, etc. He becomes convinced that this means he’s being prevented from progressing further into life i.e. that he’s going to die. He decides to tempt fate by daring the Grim Reaper to do his worst…and He does…

Is this your normal genre? Tell us a little about your other works. Not really, generally my writing is satirical/humorous/a bit outrageous.

Do you find shorter stories more difficult to write than a novel/novella? No, not really. I’m also a poet, so am used to chiselling away at shorter pieces, paring down the words to create conciseness and shape at the same time.

Research can be important in world-building, how much do you need to do for your books? Do you enjoy this aspect of creating a novel and what are your favourite resources? I don’t do that much research, as my work tends to be a bit surreal, so the authenticity can be a bit eccentric, if you get my point.

In what formats are your other books available? E-book.

Do you self-edit? If so why is that the case? Do you believe a book suffers without being professionally edited? It needs to be done properly, and that needs another person to cast an objective eye over things.

How important is a high quality cover to you? That’s important. We judge people initially by their faces, and books by their covers (initially)

What are your opinions about authors commenting on reviews? Do you mean commenting, for example, on the bad reviews they might have received? They shouldn’t comment at all really, whether on favourable or unfavourable reviews. I used to review poetry quite a lot once, and didn’t expect the originators of the pieces under review to get too hot under the collar about what I said…although I never wanted to hurt anybody.

Do you listen to music or watch TV whilst you write? No.

What experiences can a book provide that a movie or video game cannot? All of them give full rein to the imagination, but books don’t have to be as precise as the others in drawing the framework/background that holds that fantasy. So, a book can be much more wide-sweeping in what it conjures up in terms of setting/atmosphere/etc.

What advice would you give new writers? Don’t give up, and be prepared always to re-write.

What are your best marketing/networking tips? Bond with other writers, even if you’re not the tree-hugging type. They are experiencing the same things as you, and you’ll learn a lot from them.

Most authors also like to read, what books do you enjoy? History books. Always been into that.

Can you give us a silly fact about yourself? I’ve been a teacher all my life, and yet am, socially, not at all gregarious, in fact something of an anti-social old git.

Book links, website/blog and author links:

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