Saturday, 16 September 2017

Diana talks to... Phillip.D.Curwood

Hello Phillip. It is really lovely to meet you. Thank you for agreeing to chat like this. I hope I have come up with some unusual questions for you!

First things first I am sure there is a question that you have always longed to be asked. Now is the chance. Ask your own question and answer it!

Q. Where do you see yourself in ten years time?
A. On the bestseller list, and maybe one of my novels adapted for film or TV.

What is the genre you are best known for?
The genre I’ve been writing has classic leanings toward Bronte-style Paranormal Romance/ Horror, although my latest work will venture more into Sci fi fantasy.

If your latest book Lytefoot was adapted into a TV show or a film, who would you like to play the lead role?

The characters I created for this particular book were people that I actually knew, so really, and have no idea who’d play one of the five protagonists, Steven Runcombe. However, the actress Brenda Blethyn would be fitting as the guardian, Suzanne Bentley.

What made you choose this genre?
For years I’ve had a profound interest in the paranormal. My curiosity grew after living in a haunted house for 13-years of my life and witnessing things that would indeed frighten the faint-hearted.

How do you get ideas for plots and characters?
The character, Arabella, in my debut novel – Arabella: A Picture of Beauty - came to me quite by accident when I stumbled across a beautiful 17th-century portrait of a Lady Jane Smijth, attributed to a Sir Godfrey Kneller. Other characters are taken from my life, or off the TV.
Plots are inspired by music I listen to.

Favourite picture or work of art?
John Constable to me is the demigod of art. The landscapes he paints elicits feelings of euphoria in me and really is beyond the realm of the living.

If, as a one off, (and you could guarantee publication!)  you could write anything you wanted, is there another genre you would love to work with and do you already have a budding plot line in mind?
The novel I’m writing at this moment in time is one that I’ve always wanted to put down on paper... if there is such a thing these days. The genre is a Sci fi fantasy romance set in the years 2017 and 1973 and will be a heartfelt story, heavily laden with nostalgia from that period.

Was becoming a writer a conscious decision or something that you drifted into (or even something so compelling that it could not be denied?) How old were you when you first started to write seriously.
Basically, I’ve always wanted to be a writer since a very young age, but love and life got in the way, until recently.

Marmite? Love it or hate it?
Love it, love it, love it!

Do you have any rituals and routines when writing? Your favourite cup for example or ‘that’ piece of music...??
Before I even think about writing, I have to eat an apple... then make a huge mug of Americano – black, no sugar. If I don’t, my writing goes asunder.

I promise I won’t tell them the answer to this, but when you are writing, who is more important, your family or your characters?
My family comes first. And as a carer for my severely disabled daughter, she is more important to me than the books I write. (Total respect. DMM.)

Other than writing full time, what would be your dream job?
Ooh! Archaeologist. Besides myself, I love old things.

Coffee or tea?Red or white?
Black Americano coffee. Earl Grey tea. I don’t drink alcohol and haven’t done so in 30-years.

How much of your work is planned before you start? Do you have a full draft or let it find its way?
Stories are mostly inspired by the music I listen to. From there, whatever transpires does so as if I’m watching a film in my head.

If you had free choice over the font your book is printed in, what font/fonts would you choose?
I love the smooth flow of a Freestyle Script any day.

Imagine that you could get hold of any original source document. What would it be?
The only original source I know comes from a bottle.

Have any of your characters ever shocked you and gone off on their own adventure leaving you scratching your head??? If so how did you cope with that!?
Like most writers, I don’t have full control over my story, or the characters within it. More often than not, it will head in a direction of its own device, which leads to many frustrating moments.

How much research do you do and do you ever go on research trips?
For my latest novel, soon to be released, I did indeed go on a research trip to Helmsley in North Yorkshire. However, being a keen rambler, my feet have trodden the York Moors on many occasions this past 30 years.There is much to inspire up north!

Fiction authors have to contend with real characters invading our stories. Are there any ‘real’ characters you have been tempted to prematurely kill off or ignore because you just don’t like them or they spoil the plot?
I love all my characters, so bottom line – No.

Are you prepared to go away from the known facts for the sake of the story and if so how do you get around this?
That would be a dangerous thing for a writer to do unless he is well researched and confident enough.

Do you find that the lines between fact and fiction sometimes become blurred?

Have you ever totally hated or fallen in love with one of your characters?
This has been a secret of mine for a while now, but I have indeed fallen for one of my female characters, although I’m not saying which one... and before you say it; no, it’s not Arabella.

What do you enjoy reading for pleasure?
Classic literature - Jane Austen. H.G Wells. The Brontes. Charles Dickens... and last but not least, the great modern writer, Dan Brown.

What drink would you recommend drinking whilst reading your latest book?
Coffee or Earl Grey tea.
Last but not least... favourite author?
Dan Brown... I have all his works to date. He’s such an inspiring, thought provoking scribe.

About Lytefoot:

To absolve himself of his guilt, the famous crime author, Nathan Rothwell, recorded an admission on a smartphone before his death, of what really took place the night his sister and Lytefoot hall’s estate manager were murdered; his obsessive love for the ghost of the beautiful heiress, Lady Arabella Lytefoot, and his struggle coming to terms with a dark entity, so twisted by rage and jealousy because of his love for her, that he could reach out and harm those in the material world.

A year later, the phone, which was never wiped after forensics, falls into the hands of a 21-year-old trainee police officer, Steven Runcombe, after the 8-month long investigation concluded Nathan Rothwell, even in death, was still guilty of the crimes of murder.

Heeding Nathan’s story though, gave Steve a curious thirst for the supernatural, especially after also discovering his close friend, Rob Slatterley, had witnessed the smiling spectre of his girlfriend, not long after her funeral.

Armed with borrowed ghost hunting equipment and the dead author's smartphone, Steve, Rob, along with two other reluctant friends, head over to Lytefoot Park to seek the truth about the afterlife, while trying to uncover more of Nathan Rothwell’s story.

However, what they didn’t envisage, was the danger they’d put themselves in, the minute they entered the quaint Suffolk village of Thydon le Marsh, which led over to Lytefoot's encompassing 400-acre estate.

But the more they discovered, the more the park and village seemed a foreboding place to the four youngsters. A place where the shades of the past reveal themselves in unusual ways, and where reality ceased to exist long ago.

Buy Phillip's books here... they are worth it!!

© Diana Milne January 2017 © (Phillip.D.Curwood)

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