Wednesday, September 11, 2019



Woulda, coulda, shoulda. How many times have you either heard those three words or used them yourself? I know I have. After Monday night's game between the Houston Texans and the New Orleans Saints, I know I did several times during that game. Wow! What a nail biter that was. I was in the dome and everywhere around me, people were yelling out instructions for the players, coaches, and referees. Still, those three words come to haunt us. This brings me to my next author's interview and his book WHAT IFS. I hope you enjoy learning about author Paddy Bostock and his book.


The chance meeting with Gabi in Queen Mary’s Garden, Regent’s Park, is only the start of a series of unworldly events for aspiring writer James Cockburn, which will involve him first in a murder investigation and treasure hunt in St Ives, Cornwall, and then in the increasingly frenetic machinations of politicians and mobsters in both the human dimension and fairyland.


What inspired you to start writing and tell us more about your new book release What Ifs?
Initially, it was for a bit of fun after the day job, but later it developed into a vehicle for my interest in the human condition. What Ifs is an example of that. To begin with, it was mainly romance but, of its own accord, it spread into broader concerns. Also, I wanted to push the boundaries of reality and fantasy—hence the title.

How long have you been writing?

Since school, if you count bits of poems and songs, but in the novel, form going on twenty years.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Somewhere in the back of my mind, yes. However, my dad reckoned I’d never make a living at it, and he was dead right. Anyway, what I really wanted was to play soccer for Liverpool or be a Beatle.

What advice would you give a new writer, someone just starting out?

Don’t give up the day job. As for the writing, enjoy it, be daring, and avoid the temptation to follow existing genres. The market’s chock full of those.

How do you handle writer’s block?

Mercifully I don’t get it.

What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?

I’m not one for value judgments, so I’m not entirely sure what “good” writing is. If it means what literary critics say it is or what gets taught in universities I’d be suspicious. My most important criterion is whether it works in achieving its goal or not, and the final arbiter here is the writer.  

What comes first, the plot or characters?
I guess the characters and their initial situation. Plots seem to develop from there.

How do you come up with the titles to your books?
Through serendipity

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I’m not sure I do even now. If people ask me what I do, I always say “I write things.” If they show any interest, which is rarely, I tell them what I write. But by then they’ve normally changed the subject.

Describe your writing space.

A little room at the top of the house overlooking a canal. On the bed next to me there’s our Italian greyhound, Cindy, who helps me out with spelling.

What time of the day do you usually write?

Evenings between six and eight.

Describe a typical writing day.

Get up late, eat at Starbucks and walk Cindy with my wife Dani, struggle with The Guardian crossword, snack, write.

 What is the most difficult part about writing for you?

Judging its credibility. Several times recently I’ve abandoned projects because they were just not doable. Otherwise, it’s thinking of the next book.  I haven’t got one on the go I get twitchy.

What is your work schedule like when you are writing?

I like to do a decent chunk every day, somewhere between five hundred and a thousand words. However, if I come to a point I know will need further thought, often when I’m asleep, I leave it to the next day. No good forcing yourself.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

I like to raise a laugh every now and again if possible. Once things get too serious, I get bored.

Do you hear from your readers much? What do they say?

Apart from a couple, never. However, I guess that’s because I don’t do social media. The couple say, “Well done,” which I like.

How do you do research for your books?

What are the tools of the trade?
A computer.

What does success mean to you? What is the definition of success?

Success means being satisfied in my own head that what I’ve done makes any kind of sense and with luck will get published. It has nothing to do with my being given prizes or interviewed on telly or suchlike.

Is writing your full-time career? Or, would you like it to be?

It’s all I do these days, although I’ve never thought of it as work, let alone a career.

When you’re writing an emotionally draining (or sexy, or sad, etc) scene, how do you get in the mood?

By trying to get myself inside the heads of the characters involved and write through them. I don’t do sex scenes because I loathe the ones I read. They are a notoriously dodgy territory.