Friday, 24 October 2014

Interview with JW Hicks, author of Rats

Which work most influenced you when growing up?

In my last year of primary school my wonderful teacher, Miss Coles, read aloud The Wind in the Willows. I loved it then and still love it now. Brown, the ferret in Rats is a close relation of Kenneth Grahame’s Ratty.

Where do you write?

At present I write in a room with a good view of the sky. Living at the top of a hill, my sky is high, wide and handsome. Today it’s cloudy but not flat-dull, just a patchwork of grey clouds ranging from dove to near charcoal. I watch as they thin, exposing hazy blue streaks when just an hour ago they had thickened to an indigo frown. Day moods and stormy night moods are stored in my memory, ready to add texture to my prose.

Who or what had the biggest influence on your creative life?

After taking early retirement from teaching I took evening classes in Creative Writing run by Cardiff University. There I met the inspirational tutors who encouraged me to venture from short stories into the scary territory of full fledged novel writing.

How far are you influenced by other media, such as music or fine art?

Music, definitely. Most of my better ideas are sparked by music. I have a radio in every room – yes, every room, and a disc player close to where I write. I hear a lyric, a fragment of tune, a thrilling chord-run in a classical piece, and visualise a character, feeling him or her and knowing something of their lives.

Do you have a phrase that you most overuse?

Not so much a phrase but I have to be cautious with but, that and the ever recurring so.

Which writers do you enjoy?

Jane Austen and Terry Pratchett.

Describe your work and what attracts you to it?

I write speculative fiction; conjuring other worlds in which I can let my imagination fly.

What makes you laugh?

The disc world novels of Pratchett.

Do you have a guilty reading pleasure?

Anything by Lee Child.

Why did you decide to be an indie author?

For the freedom it bestows.

Which book has impressed you most this year?

My Memories of a Future Life by Roz Morris.

Would you share what you’re working on next?

Though my daughter insists I should concentrate on a sequel to Rats, I’m busy constructing the colony planet of Nataverra where humans must forge an alliance with indigenes to forestall an invasion.

What’s the best way of spending a Sunday morning?

Waking early, drinking oolong tea and composing the alien landscape of Nataverra.

Read two reviews of Rats by JW Hicks here.

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