Warren Paul Glover [astrugwriter]
What did you first read? How did you begin to write? Who were the first to read what you wrote?
As a kid I read Tolkien, Dennis Wheatley, James Herbert, comic books - anything really. Angela Carter is my favourite author, though I also like Robert Graves, Mervyn Peake and David Lodge. In terms of writing, I dabbled in poetry and short stories in my early twenties before getting sucked into the world of work. Then I forgot about creative writing until a couple of years ago when I moved to Edinburgh. I was supposed to start a Masters in Global Health & Public Policy but whilst waiting for that to commence I enrolled on a poetry and short story course and a screenwriting course at Edinburgh University, and promptly pulled the plug on the Masters after deciding - discovering - that writing fiction was what I really wanted to do. The first people to read my stuff were members of my writing courses and members of the Edinburgh Writers' Club, where an early short story of mine was 'highly commended' by Edinburgh Poet Laureate Ron Butlin and I had to read it out in front of the club.
What is your favorite genre? Can you provide a link to a site where we can read some of your work or learn something about it?
As I've only been writing a couple of years I'm not sure that I can say I have a favourite genre; I'm still feeling my way. I've written drama, horror and comedy, and in screenwriting my two completed feature scripts are drama and dramedy, although I'm currently writing a romantic comedy.
Ether Books have published five of my short stories: http://www.etherbooks.com/ and Sentinel Literary Quarterly have published a couple of my short stories and poems: http://sentinelquarterly.com/january-march-2012/fiction-glover/
My blog also has some links to where my stuff has been published: http://astrugglingwriterwrites.blogspot.com.au/
What is your creative process like? What happens before sitting down to write?
It varies. Sometimes I sit down with a clear idea of the story. Other times I just have the opening sentence in mind and let the writing take me wherever. One story was sparked by a photograph, others from my life experiences. I've also experimented with story forms, so some stories started off as poems and some film scripts started off as short stories. Generally I procrastinate a lot, so will walk around for days or weeks with a story churning around in my mind before I find the courage to sit down and get the words out. With the romantic comedy script I'm currently writing, I spent a year talking it through with my producer, then wrote a treatment, then the first draft; so its been quite a painful process - like extracting teeth.
What type of reading inspires you to write?
Poetic writing. Scrumptious sentences. Provocative prose. Angela Carter, Carol Anne Duffy. Writing with a message.
What do you think are the basic ingredients of a story?
Strong characters, conflict.
What voice do you find most to your liking: first person or third person?
I've written in both, but probably third.
What well known writers do you admire most?
Angela Carter, David Lodge, Carol Anne Duffy.
What is required for a character to be believable? How do you create yours?
Depth. They need to be multi-layered and not as they seem.
Are you equally good at telling stories orally?
No, I wouldn't have thought so.
Deep down inside, who do you write for?
Me! But as I said to my producer in the job interview that got me the gig writing the rom-com script, I've lived a full life and have got lots of experiences to share and wisdom (!) to impart.
Is writing a form of personal therapy? Are internal conflicts a creative force?
Yes. I've written about two of the most traumatic events in my life, and both stories have been published. Out of conflict comes creativity, there's no doubt about that.
Does reader feed-back help you?
Yes. Although it might take a while before I fully appreciate the feedback. But you have to filter it. You can have contradictory feedback so you have to accept that which resonates with your inner doubts and discard that which you think is irrelevant or which just doesn't 'get' what you're trying to do.
Do you participate in competitions? Have you received any awards?
Yes. I've always felt that I wanted to test myself to gauge whether I was any good or not. I've won two short story competitions and screenwriting competitions.
Do you share rough drafts of your writings with someone whose opinion you trust?
When I first started out I set up a writers' group with people from my course (after our course had ended). I have sought views on the first draft of the romantic comedy feature I'm writing from writer and actor friends/contacts.
Do you believe you have already found "your voice" or is that something one is always searching for?
No, I'm still feeling my way into my writing and am not sure which genre or which mode of writing (screenplays, stage plays, stories, novel) I'm most suited to. I'm hoping I'll find this out soon-ish.
What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.?
Not enough! I'm still struggling with this one.
What do you surround yourself with in your work area in order to help your concentrate?
Books - thesaurus, text books. Whether I'm writing in the attic or at the dining room table I'll have a couple of books to hand. My dog Monty is also around, but he doesn't really help with my concentration.
Do you write on a computer? Do you print frequently? Do you correct on paper? What is your process?
Yes (except for poetry which I write longhand). I'll ideally correct on paper as its easier to spot mistakes in print than on the computer screen.
What are you working on now?
A romantic comedy feature script and a short play.
What do you recommend I do with all those things I wrote years ago but have never been able to bring myself to show anyone?
Revisit them with a fresh eye. Some might be more suited to a different medium.
Warren Paul Glover