Hello! This week we welcome Peter Taylor-Gooby to the Author of the Week spotlight. Peter has released many books, shall we see what he's been up to?
Hi, Peter, welcome to your interview, shall we take a look at the books you've written first?
Hi Elizabeth, there's rather a lot, which can be found on Amazon, but I'll give you my latest or the interview will be a list of books!
The Baby Auction
So, let's start with you telling me a little about yourself, because we are all nosey!
I live in Canterbury and am lucky enough to have a garden in these grim, glum times. Three children and one dear grand-daughter, sadly all locked down far from me. I enjoy walking in the East Kent countryside and riding my bike. In my day-job I’m an academic working on poverty and inequality. I’ve become increasingly convinced that the statistics I deal in much of the time can only go so far in bringing the reality of these issues home to people. That’s why I write novels.
Yes, Covid-19 has taken the world by storm, very worrying times indeed Peter, what got you into writing?
I’ve always wanted to write, but the desire has become stronger over time and now I write novels.
What’s the main thing you love and hate about writing?
I love those moments when something new, something only you feel you understand, comes to you. I don’t know where it comes from but you feel you must make it real on paper. I don’t hate the work that comes next, the checking and rewriting and correcting, but I don’t like it either.
There is something magical is watching a book come to life. Who is the worst villain you’ve ever written, and why?
Makepeace, the populist Home Secretary in Blood Ties. He despises ordinary people and knows that his anti-immigrant policies pander to racism and force refugees into the hands of people-traffickers. He’s as bad as the profiteers who exploit forced labour.
He sounds a rather elitist jerk! What is next on your list to write/publish?
I don’t really know. I’ve got 10,000 words of a satire on racism but I’m also thinking about green issues and how they impact on our lives – and the challenge of course is always to make this into real stories about real people.
I am sure you will find a way, who is your favourite author, and why?
Kazuo Ishiguro, because you immediately feel for his characters, they almost become part of you, and I have no idea how he does it.
Who encouraged you the most to write?
I had some brilliant teachers at school, but really it’s that voice at the back of my head that keeps flooding my mind with scenes and telling me I have to write them down.
That pesky voice, don't you want to swat it sometimes? Are you as avid a reader as a writer?
I read, as I write, in bursts. When I’m wrapped up in reading a novel I want to get to the last page, I don’t know why because I’m enjoying reading it, and finishing it will bring that to an end. There are so many good writers around now it’s a rich time for the happy reader.
What’s your favourite genre?
I don’t know. I read all sorts of contemporary fiction and just now I’m working through Raymond Chandler. He’s sexist and racist, but he writes so well and I can’t forget about Marlowe.
Do you listen to music when you write?
I like peace. Sometimes I write in a shed in the garden. Natural sounds – birdsong, the wind - don’t distract but music or voices always do.
Maybe because they interrupt the voice in your head? If you could interview any famous author who would it be and why?
Toni Morrison – her work is so moving.
Tell me a secret that none of your fans know!
I once climbed up Mount Ngauruhoe in New Zealand (Mount Doom in the film of The Lord of the Rings). When I got near the top I discovered my boot soles were melting. No one had told me that it was an active volcano. I left rapidly and have a permanent aversion to volcanoes.
I'm sorry I'm laughing so hard! Tell me what your main character would say about you.
That’s Ritchie. Maybe “Thank you for creating me”, but I don’t think he would. He’d give me a nod and plunge into his next attempt to succeed at something worthwhile. If only he’d listen I’m sure I could give him some good advice.
Finally, any words of advice?
To whom? To writers, I’d say: do what you enjoy but don’t forget all the hard work of checking and rewriting and sorting out the typos. To readers, I’d say “Enjoy yourselves!” That’s the point, isn’t it?
Thank you, Peter, for talking with me today, it was such a pleasure! Especially during these hard times, to keep up with Peter and see if he's overcome his aversion to volcanos, please find Peter at:
Authors email: P.F.Taylor-Gooby@kent.ac.uk
Disclaimer. The opinions and views expressed in the article are the interviewees and may differ from the interviewer/general public. The works and images published here may be subject to the Authors copyright, please do not copy the images or claim them as your own.