Andy Wallis [niblet]
What did you first read? How did you begin to write? Who were the first to read what you wrote?
One of the first books I read as a child was "Pond Life." This Ladybird book was the start of my fascination with what lurks beneath the waters surface.
I first felt the desire to write when I had an unusual, and unseasonal capture of a 14kg Spanish mackerel in my home waters of the Indian Ocean. This was the first newspaper article I'd written, and I was amazed for my picture to make front cover of 'The West Australian Newspaper.' As well as winning a monthly prize for the feature article... this was a very encouraging beginning!
Readers of The West Australian Newspaper.
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 fishing, with a strong penchant toward non-fiction carp fishing literature.
The majority of my recent writings can be found on my carp fishing blog at: http://www.carpfishingblog.com/
What is your creative process like? What happens before sitting down to write?
My creative process is best described as a series of intermittent explosions of verbiage. I can go for months without writing a word, then on a whim I can sit and write virtually an entire chapter. The words flow without effort to the paper, sometimes as if I were channeling... its weird. I am very undisciplined with my writing and editing I'm afraid.
What type of reading inspires you to write?
Factual accounts of fishing adventures, traveling abroad to fish for specimen carp, and carp fishing nostalgia.
What do you think are the basic ingredients of a story?
A beginning, a middle bit, and an end! Just kidding. It can't be boring as the reader will switch off and probably not finish it. It pays to write with honesty, cut out the b.s. and get to the point in as fewer words as possible.
What voice do you find most to your liking: first person or third person?
The majority of my current writing is autobiographical, so I guess its in the first person.
What well known writers do you admire most?
Without doubt Ernest Hemingway, and English fishing icon Richard 'Dick' Walker.
What is required for a character to be believable? How do you create yours?
I don't write any fiction, though it may seem that way at times!
Are you equally good at telling stories orally?
Yes, Gemini's are renowned for their ability to chatter.
Deep down inside, who do you write for?
Myself. The cathartic process of writing helps me feel less depressed. It helps to un-clutter a chaos of thoughts an memories, to put them in some kind of order.
Is writing a form of personal therapy? Are internal conflicts a creative force?
Yes, definitely. As I answered in the previous question writing is very much a catharsis for my troubled mind. I've purged my thoughts and feelings on paper more than in any other way.
The driving force is to ultimately have an autobiography that makes sense chronologically. As well as it being an interesting read for fellow fishermen, I hope?
Does reader feed-back help you?
Yes, very much so. I receive a lot of very positive emails and comments on my blog, which are like fuel to my fire.
Do you participate in competitions? Have you received any awards?
To date my published works and accolades are few, but what I have written has been received well.
My greatest literary accomplishments to date have been winning a fish of the month prize for a feature article in a local newspaper, being the 'roving reporter' and columnist for the West Australian coarse Anglers Club newsletter and magazine for several years, becoming a blog writer for the 2010 World Carp Classic website, and having a series of three articles published in 2010 in the prestigious carp fishing magazine 'Carpworld.'
Do you share rough drafts of your writings with someone whose opinion you trust?
Generally no, though my wife and best fishing buddy have read a few of my earlier draft chapters to my book.
Do you believe you have already found "your voice" or is that something one is always searching for?
The flag I wave is one that I found in 1986, and have been writing about on carp forums since about 1999-2000. I'm a very passionate carp angler, now living in an an extremely 'anti-carp' country. This gives me plenty to write about and 'voice' my opinions (for whatever they are worth in the grand scheme of things).
What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.?
In truth, I have no writing discipline, no routine and no schedule. I write sporadically when I 'feel' it is write to do so... I don't want to write inane rubbish.
My goal is to one day finish the book I started in 2006.
What do you surround yourself with in your work area in order to help your concentrate?
Either, complete silence, as I'm easily distracted. Or, loud heavy metal through my headphones when there is any noise from my neighbourhood. Not ideal, but it works for me.
Do you write on a computer? Do you print frequently? Do you correct on paper? What is your process?
I write on either my desktop Mac or Netbook, then backup to an external hard drive, as well as to a CDRW disc to be safe.
All my editing is done on the Mac. I've tried not to edit as I go, which tends to slow the flow of words. Spelling and grammar can be corrected at the end of a chapter, but I find is hard not to tweak each paragraph as I go. The latter is not the most productive habit to develop.
What sites do you frequent on-line to share experiences or information?
Niblet's Carp Fishing Blog: http://www.carpfishingblog.com/
Australian Freshwater Angling: http://anglers.proboards.com/index.cgi?
Carp Forum: http://www.carpforum.co.uk/Shared/Forums.asp
Thinking Carp: http://www.thinkingcarp.co.uk/
What has been your experience with publishers?
Either my material hasn't complied with editorial guidelines, or they want my work for free... mentioning no names!!!
What are you working on now?
When I'm not writing on my blog: http://www.carpfishingblog.com/ I try hard to keep at my book. Motivating myself to add content to this long-term work is hard at times, and there are many interruptions. It's an autobiographical piece with its core in fishing and travel, with a humourus thread to tie it all together. Hopefully???
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?
Read them again objectively. If its still relevant, then let others read it and decide. "Don't get paralyzed by perfection"... as the saying goes!