Friday, September 6, 2013

Trading Vincent Crow by D.C.J. Wardle

Hey all!  A new author interview is up and you should check it out!

D.C.J. Wardle is here to tell you about himself and his hilarious novel Trading Vincent Crow.

His book can be found by clicking the image above. It is on Amazon but will soon be available at Barnes and Noble as well.

D.C.J Wardle interview.

1) Who are you? What do you do?

I currently work as a Provincial Coordinator for an NGO. I am also a reluctant duck rearer, a devoted cat biscuit monitor, and an amateur Yincin enthusiast.

2) What is your writing process? Do you follow a regular routine?

These days at the weekend I’ll perch on the end of my cheap armchair, hoping I’ve reattached the chair’s feet sufficiently well this time to get through without further DIY needs. With my laptop on a coffee table I then let numerous cups of tea go cold whilst I try to expunge all the ideas and bits of plot that have been building up in my mind over the course of the week. Often these things have been playing out in my thoughts for a while, but getting the ideas down is the starting point. I then spend a lot of time agonizing over the phrasing so that I feel the humour comes out. For me this is a great way to write as I am not under any pressure from myself to produce copious words on a daily basis, and am able to enjoy the process rather than it becoming a burden.

3) What are the most important elements of good writing? According to you, what tools are must-haves for writers? 

For me personally, I’ve tried to develop a quite concise and self-contained style for my current books, which I think suits the type story and the way I want to tell it. I think that readers should feel the enthusiasm from the author as their narrative unfolds, and are pulled along by their energy.

4) What motivates you to write?

Being creative can be an end unto itself. I get a lot of satisfaction when I return to re-read a chapter after a little while and find that I’m still entertained by the way I told the story. For me, motivation needs to come from enjoyment. For example, I once had an evening job playing piano in a wine-bar. The monotony became a real chore after a while which impacted on my enjoyment of playing. I feel the same with writing. If I get to a point where I’m no longer delighting in what I’m creating it’s probably time to walk away for a while and come back later with some fresh inspiration.

5) Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it? 

I find going for a good long walk can help. (I believe this was a method to address the need to ponder that was also regularly employed in the early days by the Mr. Men). I’ve come with a number of ideas for sub-plots whilst wandering along the riverside or stomping through a bit of woodland.

6) Do you have any advice for other writers? 

I recall reading in the blurb to Jack Kerouac’s ‘On the road’ that a critic once commented: "That's not writing, it's typing". Fortunately for us, this didn’t seem to put him off. It shows even the most acclaimed of authors had their critics, and negative feedback from others should not discourage a creative process that you believe in.

7) What is the message in your book? What are your readers’ reactions to it?

Reviews of the book have often highlighted the ‘laugh out loud’ moments, the pace, and the wry British humour. Others have noted the recognizable situations, and that they’ve reflected on their own journey and social mobility. There are some key moments which invite the reader to ruminate a little on certain moralities and their own endeavours to find their place as they head in to the wider world. However, the style is designed to be light and entertaining so it’s not pushing any particular agenda or message.

8) Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it? 

I learned a little bit about Mexican revolutionaries. One of the characters is a fan of Emiliano Zapata so I had to read up on him. I also learned a bit more than most about the ground beetles that are indigenous to the British Isles. I needed something unique to a part of Britain that an obscure scientist would be studying, and eventually came across the Snowdon rainbow beetle. All of the horses at pony trekking stables belonging to the scientist’s wife were then named after different types of beetle, so I did end up in hours of ground beetle-related contemplation that might otherwise have passed me by.

9) What are your current / future projects? 

I have just submitted the sequel for Trading Vincent Crow to the publishers, and so anticipate that Vincent Crow: Export will be available early next year. I’m very pleased with the sequel, and really enjoyed writing it. My key characters of Vince and his nan were well established in the first book and so it was delight to throw them into new and exotic situations. This time they are taking on the Asian business world and trying to start up a chain of guesthouses. Inevitably chaos reigns from day one.

10) What book(s) / author(s) have influenced your life and writing?

Through my travels and work abroad I’ve generally delved into whatever books previous travelers have abandoned to lighten the load of their backpacks, and I’ve enjoyed the chance to experience a range of authors I wouldn’t otherwise have encountered. A long time ago when I worked in rural Cameroon I ended up reading most of the English Literature A-level syllabus as these seemed to be the only books I could find second hand in the local markets. By the end of my contract I was very tempted to go back to the UK and take the exam. It was a good way to broaden my reading as I’m sure if faced with a larger choice of novels I would be less likely to pick out Bronte or Dickens.

Some of my favourite books are from the Jeeves and Wooster series by P.G.Wodehouse. I also enjoyed some of Gerald Durrell’s books as he has a pleasant way of being entertained by peoples’ (and animals’) eccentricities without judging them.

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