Stephen Robert Faulds [stephenfaulds]
What did you first read? How did you begin to write? Who were the first to read what you wrote?
My love of reading began with Enid Blyton's 'Famous Five' and 'Secret Seven'. I went on to Phantom comics and the Illustrated Classics. My father joined a book club when I was about twelve and I began to devour the children's titles then read the 'Senior Fiction' he bought for himself.
I began writing poetry about things that happened to me when I was in Primary School. From about the age of twelve, my teachers began to take an interest in my writing.
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?
I love good writing in any genre. I write literary fiction, satirical fantasy, nature fantasy and for children of various age groups.
My main website:
My amazon page:
What is your creative process like? What happens before sitting down to write?
I never go anywhere without a notebook and pen. I jot down ideas continuously.
For many years I only sat down to write when I was inspired. Now, I write at the same time every day - an hour before breakfast. The routine stimulates my productivity. It's like turning on a tap. Whenever I find extra time or stolen minutes, I can usually be just as prolific.
What type of reading inspires you to write?
Poetic writing with strong visual imagery. My first inspiration to write was the poetry of Dylan Thomas.
JRR Tolkein, TH White, Salman Rushdie, Peter Carey, AS Byatt, Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, Richard Adams and William Horwood have all inspired me at different times. My inspiration is nothing if not eclectic.
What do you think are the basic ingredients of a story?
The basic ingredients of a story are an intriguing exposition, engaging characters and something to make the reader care about what happens next.
What voice do you find most to your liking: first person or third person?
I rarely, consciously select a point of view. Point of view is part of the story when it arises in my mind. I write the story the way it comes to me. Sometimes I write in multiple points of view.
What well known writers do you admire most?
As above. the writers I admire are the ones that engage me as a reader.
Dylan Thomas, JRR Tolkein, TH White, Salman Rushdie, Peter Carey, AS Byatt, Jack Kerouac, Arundhati Roy, Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, Richard Adams and William Horwood. I am sure there will be more.
What is required for a character to be believable? How do you create yours?
You have to be fascinated by your own characters. If you arenít, no one else will be. They must be multi-dimensional and have a history, which is not necessarily told but informs the characterís motivation.
My characters arrive visually, usually saying or doing something that shows me who they are.
Are you equally good at telling stories orally?
Yes. I am a teacher and I tells stories to my students every day.
Deep down inside, who do you write for?
I write for the most intelligent and sensitive readers in the universe.
Is writing a form of personal therapy? Are internal conflicts a creative force?
I am a compulsive writer. Journal writing is the most therapeutic form of writing but I suspect fiction does fulfil a healing function.
Does reader feed-back help you?
Immensely. I love to hear how I am read. I am fascinated by reviews.
Do you participate in competitions? Have you received any awards?
Awards? What are they?
Do you share rough drafts of your writings with someone whose opinion you trust?
Rarely. I prefer to wait until I am happy with a manuscript before I share it. Of course that is usually well before it is ready for publication. I tend to show script drafts earlier. Dramaturgy is invaluable.
Do you believe you have already found "your voice" or is that something one is always searching for?
I am a writer of many voices. If there is a perfect voice out there, somewhere Ö I still haven't found what I'm looking for.
What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.?
I write every morning before breakfast. On school days, that means getting up at five am. I write at any other opportunity I am given. I have only vague ideas about deadlines and rarely meet them. I often switch projects and that delays completion. When I come back to something after a break I usually make better progress.
What do you surround yourself with in your work area in order to help your concentrate?
In my study, I surround myself with books, magazines, pictures, stones, leaves, seashells, seeds, memorabilia, empty beer bottles and piles of paper. I feel at home here and write productively but I can never find anything.
Do you write on a computer? Do you print frequently? Do you correct on paper? What is your process?
In my early years of writing I wrote everything by hand. Once I discovered the word processor I typed from my hand written drafts. The process of proofing, editing and rewriting on the word processor gradually drew me into writing direct to the computer. I would often print out drafts to work on by hand but now I rarely print until I am ready to submit and I write direct to the computer ninety percent of the time.
What sites do you frequent on-line to share experiences or information?
I am a regular user, you might say addict of Twitter, Facebook, my own websites and blogs, wikispaces and yahoo email.
What has been your experience with publishers?
Publishers rarely have your interests at heart. Their bottom line is their own profit margin. I have been fortunate to receive quite a lot of feedback from editors with many of my rejections. You donít always get this but when you do it is invaluable. The worst thing publishers can do is to keep you on hold with false expectations. I have held manuscripts for a long as eighteen months, engaged in redrafting consultation, before ultimately being rejected. Donít save yourself for anyone - until the contract is signed. Even then, consider the sequel yours until it is paid for. Some of the big publishers havenít yet worked out how to handle the e-book revolution. I donít submit to anyone who expects a writer to sign over all electronic rights in return for a hard copy publication.
What are you working on now?
As of February 2012 I am working on sequels to two of my novels SINKRONISITY and AN EVENTFUL YEAR IN THE LIFE HISTORY OF NORBETT THICKLE and a play about Krishnamurti, which will be performed in India.
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. Some of them, you will keep as a record of your journey, many you will discard and there may be a few that can be developed into something better. Most of us don't have anything brilliant that we haven't used.
Stephen Robert Faulds