Today I meet Paul White.
J.B. Taylor – What inspires you?
Paul White – Wow, what an interesting opening question. There are so many things that kick start my imagination. A picture, a smell, a sound, a partly overheard conversation, clips from a film, a scene from a television drama.
One of my favorite sources is the radio, I listen to Radio four, a BBC station it has wonderful interviews covering a myriad of topics from the arts to medicine and world affairs. I often listen to this station when I am driving and, besides the road, there is nothing else to distract you from listening. It is surprising how many ideas can come out of a twenty minute drive!
J.B. Taylor – What’s your favorite book?
Paul White – Another unanswerable question! I have so many books I love and all for different reasons.
I will give you two. I read both when I was a young man and both have stayed with me over the ensuing years, so I take that resonation to be a sign that they are special books.
The first is ‘Down by the Dockside’ written by Deirdre Cash under her pseudonym Criena Rohan. It is about a plucky, literate girl who grows up in poverty in Port Melbourne during the Depression, marries a sailor during the war and loses him in a fight at Christmas in 1946, teaches dance and consorts with the criminals her childhood pals have become, it’s a lively and endearing tale of Australia in the 1930s and 1940s.
The second is Do Not Go Gentle by David MacCuish.
The book focuses on Norman MacLeod, growing up in the tough Depression-era town of Butte, Montana.
After his father succumbs to a mining-related disease, young Norman leaves school and also begins working in the copper mines. Following the death of his closest friend in a mine accident and the moving of his mother and sister to relatives back East, Norman enlists in the Marines.
The book follows MacLeod through boot camp, life on and off base, and then to the South Pacific where MacLeod and his fellow Marines face both their fears and the Japanese.
On leave in the U.S., Norm visits the wife of a killed comrade, and begins a relationship with her. Filled with gritty scenes and no-holds-barred dialog,
I think Do Not Go Gentle is a minor classic in the field of novels about men at war and the effect it has on families and communities.
Ok, so that was longwinded, but you asked!
J.B. Taylor – If you were asked to unload a 747 full of jelly beans, what would you do?
Paul White – Park it up and slowly eat my way through the contents!
J.B. Taylor – Where do you like to write?
Paul White – Anywhere I can get my head down and concentrate without too many interruptions. I have an office at home, but a café, hotel lobby or gardens can be good too.
J.B. Taylor – Which Harry Potter house would you belong to?
Paul White – Never read Harry Potter, not seen the films either…am I the only one?
J.B. Taylor – What is your favorite word?
Paul White – That changes frequently, however at the moment it is however. However, that may change soon!
J.B. Taylor – What is your least favorite word?
Paul White – Hate. It is overused in general conversation and rarely is its true definition realized by the speaker. In writing however, (did you see what I just did there!) there are no bad words, just words.
J.B. Taylor – What was the first story you ever wrote, and what happened to that story?
Paul White – My first true story, a proper one with a beginning, middle & end, is Miriam’s
Hex. There is a long back story about how I have come to resurrect Miriam’s Hex from a dusty box in the loft and have published it as an eBook novelette.
The story of how that happened is included in a special edition of Miriam’s Hex, which is ONLY available directly from me…if you like would a copy just click on the link above!
J.B. Taylor – Tell us about your process: Pen, paper, word processor, human sacrifice … how do you write?
Paul White – Generally, I use a PC or Laptop and type directly into a word document.
But for making notes and writing ideas down I scribble into small pocket sized notebooks. I have several of these scattered about the house, the cars and in lots of jacket pockets.
Occasionally a notebook has been washed and tumble dried. Not good!
J.B. Taylor – What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made as a writer?
Paul White – Besides becoming a writer!
Paul White – Rushing out a book with over excitement and thinking that was it. You soon learn to take more care, get it edited correctly, re-write and tweak. Over and again if necessary. Doing things right pays dividends in the end.
J.B. Taylor – What else are you working on?
Paul White – I have a number of projects. There are three main ones. One of those I need to complete before…two of them I need to complete…in fact all three need to be completed before the others!
But…let me highlight the novel I am working on. It is called ‘Floyd’.
Floyd is an escaped psychopath, a fugitive out on a mission of vengeance, against all those who were involved in having committed.
It is a thriller/slasher/ blood and gore story, BUT with human and emotional elements woven in between the main events, rather like sutures pulling a wound closed!
J.B. Taylor – In a perfect world where you could cast your book for a movie, who would you pick for your main characters?
Paul White – I would love one of my books to become a movie, or my short stories a TV drama series, what a nice dream.
In that ideal world, I would love to use unknown people, maybe ones who have never acted before. Members of the public like you and I.
Imagine walking up to someone in the street, who catches your eye and asking if they would like the leading role in a new Hollywood or Pinewood movie! Wouldn’t that be fantastic?
J.B. Taylor – When you complete a story, do you let it go? Or do you like to stop and think about what your characters might be up to, what they might be doing?
Paul White – I used to just let it go, put it to bed as they say. (Whomever ‘they’ are?)
But now I leave it for a while, weeks, maybe a month or two. Then I return and read the work, making critical notes. That’s when the real nitty-gritty work starts.
J.B. Taylor – Are you a panster or an outliner?
Paul White – Oh, most definitely a panster! I write from the heart, from gut feelings with only the roughest skeleton of a premise. The story and the characters evolve with me, sometimes in spite of me, as the book progresses.
It is not until I am half, or more of the way through, do I lay out some formal course to the conclusion and, I only do that, because the second half of a book is far harder to write than the first.
Maybe I should write the end before the start next time around. Do you think that might work?
You can check out Paul’s books HERE
or, if you want to know more about the author, visit his website HERE