Fabian Black [fabian71]
What did you first read? How did you begin to write? Who were the first to read what you wrote?
I learned to read with Janet and John books at school. Janet and John as characters were all clean and neat and called their parents 'mummy' and 'daddy.' I was a scruffy working class kid from a poor background and it was a miracle I learned to read because there was nothing in those books for me to equate with. Janet and John were the creations of a middle class education system. In fact most kids books at that time were written by middle class people, such as Enid Blyton. I loved her stories at the time and read them avidly, but in retrospect they were riddled with prejudice. The working class kids were always portrayed as being a bit thick and ignorant, there was nothing positive for kids like me to relate to. I think the prevalent middle class literature of those days put me off trying to write stories of my own because I didn't feel I was of 'the right' class. I loved reading comics, comics were okay for plebs, I devoured them. I think a lot of my humour was inspired by the reading of comics. I still have a schoolboy sense of humour, I adore puns and double entendre.
I didn't really begin to write until I was in my late thirties. I had a monumental nervous breakdown and writing was the only way I could express my feelings.
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?
My favourite genre is gay fiction. I love reading and writing M/M romance fiction. My type of fiction might also be seen as a genre within a genre, as I write M/M discipline fiction. It's very entertaining.
My website is: http://www.fabianblackromance.com
What is your creative process like? What happens before sitting down to write?
The first thing I do every morning is turn my computer on. I find that I work best if I get washed and dressed and do at least a modicum of housework before actually sitting down at the computer to write.
What voice do you find most to your liking: first person or third person?
I tend to use first person quite a lot and I think I do so because I'm a bit of a frustrated actor. I'm too shy to ever get up on stage and adopt and act out a role, so I create characters and act out their lives via the written word. I become the character I'm writing. I do use third person, my more mainstream, literary, stories tend to have a third person voice.
Are you equally good at telling stories orally?
No, not at all. Me, the person, is vastly different to me, the writer. I cannot tell a good story or relate a joke, I'm hopeless. I have to write it out.
Deep down inside, who do you write for?
I write for me. I feel that my writing is the only thing I really own, it's the only thing that has ever allowed me to explore who I am, what I think and feel.
Is writing a form of personal therapy? Are internal conflicts a creative force?
In my case, my early forays into writing were definitely a form of personal therapy. I had a mental breakdown and writing was a way of trying to make sense of the mess in my mind. I had to get the words out of my head, give them a hard form, so that I could begin to unravel what they meant. I then began to use some of my experiences as a basis for fiction, and I found that very helpful. I could take an unresolved issue, a source of personal pain and inflict it on a character and then move them through it to a point of resolve.
Internal conflicts are definitely a force, but I'm not sure whether the force is always a creative one in a positive sense. Internal conflicts can lead to destructiveness.
Do you believe you have already found "your voice" or is that something one is always searching for?
No, I don't think I have totally found my voice. I think I'm still struggling in that respect. Maybe I'll never find it.
Do you write on a computer? Do you print frequently? Do you correct on paper? What is your process?
I work on a laptop and no I don't print out often. I correct on screen. I often scribble notes by hand as I watch television, but I have carpal tunnel syndrome and I find holding a pen or pencil to be very painful. My writing is very poor so I prefer to type.
What has been your experience with publishers?
Terrible. Lol. I have had no success with publishers at all.
What are you working on now?
I wrote a lot of stories online over a number of years and it suddenly struck me that if the web crashed I would have nothing to show for all my labours. I also realised that most of what I'd written was actually only in draft form. So, I set out to re-draft to re-write and improve and also to turn my words into hard copy...something I could hold in my hand. That's what I'm working on.
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?
Blow off the dust, re-work them, create a web page, publish them, even if for your eyes only because seeing your work out there encourages you to keep writing and trying to get better.