Exclusive Interview with
When did you start writing?
When I was in what people in England call Year 6, which is fifth grade to Americans. There was a creative writing subject and I found it very enjoyable. I started writing with a view to publication in Year 9, after a visit to my school by a YA author.
What makes writing your passion?
It allows me an escape from what is a pretty unpleasant world at the moment.
How long have you been writing?
Over 20 years. It took me that long to get something published, mainly as life got in the way.
What was the feeling when you published your first book?
A feeling of real satisfaction and achievement, knowing that I’d gained a small spot of immortality. Then we went into lockdown just over a week later, so the joy didn’t last…
What’s the story behind your choice of characters?
It’s cliched I know, but I’ve had a long desire to write female characters who aren’t just damsels in distress or objects of sex appeal. They can get themselves out of situations on their own and maybe pull their partners out of the proverbial fire at the same time.
Sunita Kumar, having evolved over time, became a Traveller after I saw a group of people called Bargees in an episode of Call the Midwife and decided that there should be a space version of them. I’ve taken care to avoid clumsy stereotypes and hopefully provide a good depiction of an often-misunderstood group.
I have also made her ethnically Tamil i.e. with darker skin due to the whole Black Lives Matter movement and I wanted to have one of the darker-skinned Indian peoples represented – representation of Persons of Colour is a real issue in India as well as in the West.
What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?
The number of money-grubbing self-publishing firms out there. Fortunately, I found someone willing to take a chance with me at Breaking Rules Publishing.
How do you get over the “writer’s block”?
Go and do something else. It will clear eventually.
We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?
Remember Rome wasn’t built in a day. Try to do a little writing as often as you can and remember that it will take a lot of time to get good.
Also carry a notebook with you while you’re out to jot down any ideas.
If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?
Remember Rome wasn’t built in a day – nor was it burnt down in one. Try to do a little each day and remember that it will take a lot of time to get good.
Also carry a notebook with you while you’re out to note down any ideas.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?
What is the feeling when you get a good review?
Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?
Probably Alexander Carrington, who will appear in the second Tulyar novel 'Generation Ship'. He’s blond-haired and a practising Christian, but unlike me, he’s a cargo chief on a starship.
What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?
No, but it certainly can help draw the eye to the story.
Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?
I have an Instagram and Facebook page (Look up “Adam Carpenter Author”), although I don’t use Twitter as it’s now too toxic an environment. I’d be happy to have a chat if anyone’s interested.
How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?
I will let you know when the latter actually happens.
Who is your favorite author? Why?
Terry Pratchett. A man with a brilliant imagination, an excellent sense of humour and a strong willingness to play with the conventions of stories. The Discworld is a truly well-built setting as well.
What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?
The dream is to have my works adapted as a television series. I’ve not really thought about who I’d like to be as big as.
Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?
Yes, to add further material. I am planning a combined volume of the first four or five Tulyar short novels, which will have some extra linking material added.
If you could switch places with any author – who would that be?
What would you say to the “trolls” on the internet? We all know them – people who like to write awful reviews to books they’ve never read or didn’t like that much, just to annoy the author.
Use your energy on something more beneficial to society, please.
What would you say to your readers?
Thanks for reading and I hope you buy my next book. Tell your friends as well.
Share a bit about yourself – where do you live, are you married, do you have kids?
I’m a man in his 30s living in outer East London.
What is your day job if you have one?
I’m an administrator.
What are your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?
I’m among other things; a church bellringer, a railway enthusiast (the ship Tulyar is named after a famous British locomotive), a role-player and an amateur follower of elections. I do like to discuss politics a lot, although the environment there is getting completely unpleasant. History is also another area that I am interested in – I am currently reading Anthony Beevor’s excellent account of the Battle of Berlin.
Did you have a happy childhood?
Is there a particular experience that made you start writing?
For profit? The visit of the YA author to my school. Don't recall why I did so to begin with.
Do you have unpublished books? What are they about?
Yes. My first work from my teens was a science fiction horror called 'For We Are the Masters of Earth' that is arguably a reverse Terminator, where someone time travels into a robot ruled future.
There is also 'Welcome to Serconea', a genre combining low fantasy novel about immigration that was arguably a bit too niche for publication. Some of the material will be incorporated into the Tulyar universe.
What do you think should be improved in the education of our children? What do we lack?
Having not been in full time education for well over a decade, I’m not really qualified to comment… but stuff on practical life skills i.e. household budgeting and writing CVs should be on the curriculum.
If you were allowed 3 wishes – what would they be?
Infinite wishes! If that’s not allowed, then a secure income for the rest of my life, wisdom and a free pass for all the world’s railways.
What is your favorite music?
I’m very much into 80s music. It’s often stood the test of time very well.
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