Today’s interview is with Harry Colfer.
|1) What is your author name and in what state do you live (or country if not in the US)?|
Hi Vincent, my name is… no hold on, my pseudonym is Harry Colfer. I am a paramedic working in Brisbane, Australia, and because I have fictionalised my experiences I feel it’s only healthy to maintain a certain degree of anonymity.
2) What is the title of your newest book and what is the genre?
I have just released my first novel, Dead Regular, which is a murder mystery. It features a paramedic called Jono, who has already been the subject of 20 short stories in the humorous Ambo Tales from the Frontline series.
3) What is the book about?
Well, Jono is a little, how should I put it… jaded with his role? No, perhaps disaffected is a better word. He really wants to love his job, but he can’t cope with the overbearing management. However, when several of the regular time-wasting patients turn up dead he won’t ignore the mounting body count. He’s convinced that someone has taken it upon themselves to clean up the city, but nobody else seems to care. It’s full of dark ambo humour with an equal measure of suspense!
4) Where did you come up with the idea?
[ Laughs ] You just need to talk to any paramedic about regular patients, you’ll get the picture! I have to say that it was an interesting mental exercise to come up with several non-suspicious ways of killing people, in a fictional context, of course!
5) How long did it take you to write it?
I was advised by my wife back in 2012 to write a book as a way of dealing with my work-related stresses. It took me two-and-a-half years to finish the first draft and then about six years of editing, re-writing and dithering about the risks of publishing. Even though it is a fictional story, ambulance services worldwide are ‘risk averse’ when it comes to any publication that could be perceived as a less than positive portrayal. I am still nervous about releasing Dead Regular, but in the words of Tom Cruise in the dubbed version of Risky Business, sometimes you just gotta say what the F-Hell.
6) Did you learn anything from the project?
Writing’s the easy part! ‘Killing your darlings’ and editing over and over again can be so hard and very tedious, but it’s essential to produce a story you’re happy to let others read. And I guess that’s what it’s all about.
7) Do you have an author website and/or blog? How about a book video?
You can find my website at www.harrycolfer.com and I’m not sure what a book video is… so, I guess I don’t have one. I would like to produce audiobook versions of my short stories and eventually the novel, but I’ll have to find some time to work on that.
8) Do you have any success tips to pass on to fellow authors? How about any great editors/cover artists?
You’ll have to ask me that one again in a few months! If success is simply measured by getting my book published, then find yourself a partner who’s a great alpha reader and not afraid to tell you when you’ve written a pile of rubbish. Also, look into Scrivener as a writing tool, ProWritingAid for grammar, BetaBooks for beta reading and Vellum as publishing software. And find yourself a group of supportive friends who can keep you motivated! Oh, and I did the cover art, but as my wife will point out, it was her idea!
9) What genres do you like to read? Are you open to reading new authors and reviewing their work?
Crime, thrillers, mystery, humour, action and adventure, science fiction. I tend to devour a book in a feeding frenzy and so I have to have some spare time to allow myself the indulgence. Although I have my favourites, I’m always open to reading new authors and if you expect others to read your drafts, you have to be open to reviewing other peoples’ manuscripts. It’s part of networking.
10) What is your favorite book of all time and why?
That’s a difficult one. I have never liked all-time-favourite lists as my tastes are so eclectic and are likely to change with the weather or time of day. If pushed for an answer right now, Blood Works by Michael Connelly comes to mind, but that’s probably because I’m in the middle of the Bosch TV series!
11) Fun Question: Do you have any pets? If so, what kind?
No. My wife has a dog which apparently I’m very fond of, but I’m less than convinced. I do have wild king parrots that will feed from my hand, but I don’t think they count as pets.
12) Fun Question 2: Do you own an electronic reading device? If so, what kind and how do you like it?
An iPad. Although a Kindle is cool, the added functionality of an iPad blows it out of the water. I can read books on my iPad and also write them and it rarely leaves my side!
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