View Full Version : Paul Mann

Eternal Press
September 25th, 2008, 08:28 PM
Thank you, Paul Mann, for agreeing to an interview. We’re pleased to have you with us.

EP: When did you seriously sit down, and say to yourself, I’m going to write a novel?

Paul: I have never had to confront that question, I have only ever written short stories like Spam. I’m a slow writer and even a short story takes me ages, so the thought of having to produce fifty thousand words for a novel would freak me out. Although I have almost completed a twenty thousand word long short story. I guess you could call it a novella.

EP: What do you find the most difficult to write? Dialogue? Back story?
Paul: I find it quite difficult to write good dialogue. Recently, I was asked to write a short play. I adapted one of my short stories and discovered I had to think of actors delivering lines. Thinking that way helped my dialogue. Now when I write a story, I try to imagine my characters as actors.

EP: Have you ever found that you didn’t like your Hero or your Heroine? If so, what did you do to change that?

Paul: I don’t ever like or dislike my main characters. I think they all need to evolve the way we do through life. In Spam, my main character Edwin starts out as a bit of a drip, but I hope through the course of the story he matures and becomes a more complex, likeable character.

EP: If you were to start again, with the knowledge you have now, what would be the first thing you do?

Paul: Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but a waste of time ruminating on. When I started, my reasons for writing were different to what motivates me at present. I have only just started writing seriously (about three years), and don’t have much hindsight to draw on.

EP: Do you have the support of friends and family? Meaning, do they understand when you are writing that you cannot be disturbed? Or do you have friends that think since you’re home, you don’t work?

Paul: Before I began to write seriously, I painted and taught art for thirty years, so my family has always supported me. They are quite familiar with me working from home on various artistic pursuits. My friends are generally artists and also have no problem with the way I work. However acquaintances outside the artistic field rarely think what I do is work. On the other hand I don’t regard what they often do as genuine work either.

EP: What was the biggest hurtle you had to overcome in your career?

Paul: Getting published. Over two years of rejection notes for numerous short stories I sent out was a pain. However I have read that all writers have suffered in this respect, so I guess I just had to pay my dues like everyone else.

EP: What genre do you write? Do you write more than one, if so, what?

Paul: I don’t think about fitting a particular genre when I sit down to write. I tend to just go were ever an idea takes me. I like to call what I write ‘speculative fiction.’ When others read my stories they refer to them as horror, so I guess my genre is horror.

EP: How do you research for your books?

Paul: I use the internet to search out subjects I’m unfamiliar with, and then I do a lot of reading, both fiction and non-fiction.

EP: How do you develop your characters?

Paul: My characters tend to develop as I write. They fill out to fit the drama of the situation I imagine for them. I constantly observe and take note of people and their behavior. I did this in the past when finding subjects to populate my paintings, and I continue to do the same with my writing.

EP: Are any of your characters a person you’d like to be? If so which one?

Paul: Most of my characters are usually involved in some pretty hair-raising adventures, so I would prefer to leave them in my imagination, rather than try and emulate them in real life. I prefer a more sedate lifestyle.

EP: Who inspired you to write?

Paul: When my daughter fell ill and had to return home, and I discovered she was allergic to the smell of oil and turpentine, I switched my attention to the less odorous endeavor of writing. I started writing poetry to go with my paintings, and after a while the poetry developed into prose and eventually short stories. Reading authors such as; Stephen King, Raymond Chandler, Peter Temple and Shane Maloney inspire me to write better.

EP: What is the most humorous writing experience you’ve ever had?

Paul: Having to call the fire brigade when my fingers jammed between the keys of an old Olivetti— No just kidding.

EP: If a new writer came to you for advice what would you tell them?

Paul: Write and read as much and as regularly as you can, is the only advice that counts.

EP: Do you have a book coming out? If so what? Do you have a web site? Do you have a blog? My space?

Paul: Spam is my first short story to be published by EP. I hope readers enjoy it. I hope EP will be interested in publishing my next.
I have no web site, blog or My Space page as yet.

Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. Good luck with your writing. Check out Paul's books at: http://www.eternalpress.ca/Mann.html