Welcome to Modern Breeze Talk Show. I’m Arpan Ghosh, today’s moderator of the talk show. We are very glad to have Mr. Andy Redsmith among us in this Talk Show. We’re welcoming Mr. Andy Redsmith in the Modern Breeze Talk Show. So, let’s start it.
A long time ago in a galaxy not that far away, Andy Redsmith was born. He grew up in Liverpool and Runcorn, went to university in Salford, and has lived in Manchester ever since. He says the people there are great, but we don’t talk about football.
He worked in the computing industry for long enough to remember ALGOL (a language that’s not quite as dead as Latin, but well on the way.) Over the years in IT he has worked with some very clever people and some complete weirdos; none of whom bear any resemblance to the characters in his writing. Honest.
He has a wonderful wife, a great son, and a loft full of old Marvel comics. He says he’ll get round to selling them eventually. That’s the comics, not the family.
Andy writes novels which mix fantasy, crime and comedy. His first novel BREAKING THE LORE was published in July 2019. The follow up KNOW YOUR RITES came out in July 2109. Both are published by Canelo Digital Publishing.
When did you first considered yourself as a ‘Writer’?
The short answer: when Breaking The Lore was published. I looked at it and went “Wow. I’m author.” And I was absolutely stunned by the thought. I still am.
The long answer: I have always written; I used to write short stories and poetry when I was in school (a LONG time ago!) My two best subjects were English and Maths. I chose to go down the Maths route, because I wanted to work in the computing industry, and writing got pushed into the background. Over the years my time got taken up by job, family, house and all the other sort of ‘life’ stuff and I abandoned writing completely. Then, a few years back, I had some spare time (long story), and I thought “why don’t you write that novel you always intended to but never got round to?” So I did. When it was finished, I reckoned it was wonderful, and I sent it off to some agents and publishers. I got nowhere. Because, of course, it wasn’t wonderful. Looking back I can see how rough it was and how much needed to be improved. As a first attempt it was OK, but not good enough to be published. However, it was a very useful way to learn about the process of writing and the amount of effort it takes. So when I wrote Breaking The Lore I knew how to write a novel properly, and produced a much better book. And that brings us back to the short answer above.
What is the most surprising thing you discovered while writing your book?
That creating a novel isn’t the solitary, do-it-on-your-own job people think it is. The actual writing is, but there’s more to it than that. You need people who will beta read, criticise, and tell you when things aren’t working. And you have to be prepared to listen to them.
Can you share with us something about the book that isn’t in the blurb?
The most common advice given to writers is “write about what you know.” So I decided to create a policeman dealing with an invasion of magical creatures, two things I know nothing about! But the story is set in the suburb of Manchester where I live (Didsbury), and I’ve used real places in the area as inspiration for some of the events in the book. The picture on the cover which looks like a spider’s web is actually a map of Didsbury.
What is the key / theme or message in the book?
It’s a comedy book featuring supernatural beings and various crazy events so, on the face of it, it’s just silliness. But there is a theme hidden beneath the jokes: that people who are different from yourself are not always a threat and can actually make a valuable contribution.
What is the significance of your title?
The first book is called ‘Breaking the Lore’. Why? Well, there’s crime in there. And there’s folk lore. So it’s a terrible pun on the phrase ‘breaking the law’, but it works! It’s also partly inspired by the classic Judas Priest song ‘Breaking the Law’, which is what I’d like to have played over the end credits when the book is made into a film. (Steven Spielberg: you know where to find me!) Book 2 is called ‘Know your Rites’, which is basically continuing in the same vein, and subsequent titles will doubtless be equally bad puns.
Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with your readers about?
I’m currently working on book 3, which continues the adventures of Inspector Paris and his motley crew of magical misfits. I’m also working on the first novel I wrote (the one I talked about in the first question in this interview), trying to get it into a fit state to be published (this time!) It’s another mix of genres, this time a dystopian sci-fi comedy. Watch this space.
What message do you want to give your readers?
I hope you find my books entertaining and funny. But, even if you don’t, I’d still love to hear what you think.
What tips you would like to give to aspiring writers?
Join a writing group. I talked earlier about getting feed back and criticism, and a writing group is a great place to do that. Pick the right one though: if you are serious about wanting to get better as a writer, there is no point being in a group where everyone says “oh that’s amazing, just like always.” (There are groups like that!) You need people who will tell you when things need to be changed or rewritten.
Also, be prepared for a long haul. You will get rejections, everyone does. You’ve got to keep going.
And finally: write what you want to write rather than trying to copy the latest trend. If what you’re writing doesn’t entertain and interest you, it isn’t going to appeal to anyone else.
How much time did you took to complete writing this book?
Breaking The Lore was written over several years, during the free time I had from my job. (Which was not very much!) Know Your Rites was written in six months, time which was dedicated to just writing. Book 3 is taking a bit longer than that one, for various reasons.
Who is your favourite author?
I don’t think I could pick only one. I read things from a variety of genres (which is probably why I write in a variety of genres too.) I like Iain Banks, Douglas Adams, Isaac Asimov, Terry Pratchett, George Orwell and numerous other people. I’m also a big Marvel fan.
We thank Mr. Andy Redsmith for enlightening our Talk-Show. It was a nice conversation with you. Hope to see you again in this Talk Show.
Disclaimer: It’s an interview taken through email. The Credit of all answers goes to Mr. Andy Redsmith. The answer and the bio portion are not edited or written by Modern Breeze.
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