Author – Lee Hall
Guys! I finally interviewed our fellow blogger brethren Lee Hall. I have wanted to do this for a while, and I finally got my shit together.
I’ve reviewed 2 of his 4 books previously which you can find here, and there will be a review for my 500th follower special! So keep your eyeballs peeled for that!
So without further ado!
Q1. You say you’re a rock and roll man. Tell us about the rock and rollers that inspired you to create.
Well, music is a huge part of my life, rock music is just one of the many genres I listen to. My number one go-to band is the Foo Fighters, Dave Grohl is not only a musician but a craftsman and pretty much the spirit animal of rock and roll, man.
Guns n’ Roses were a huge influence when I was younger along with Green Day, Bon Jovi, Nickelback, The Goo Goo dolls and The Offspring but you’ll find a huge array of other stuff on my playlists like Lady Gaga, Lady Antebellum, Pink, Meatloaf, Daughtry, Take That and the Zac Brown Band.
I near enough drive every day so that gives me a bunch of time to not only listen but to think about how the hell I’m going to write myself out of the next story I’ve got myself in. Sometimes to do that I need some serious tunes.
Q2. If you could write a book with anyone, in the fashion of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s “Good Omens,” for example, who would be your top choice?
Without doubt my choice would be Stephen King who is most probably the greatest American storyteller of a generation. I think our genres match and he would do the depraved horror stuff while I do the characters.
Q3. Can you remember the first time you tried to spin a yarn? If you can what was it about?
Way back when I’ll happily admit the kid version of me was a pathological liar. I still suffer from exaggeration syndrome (I mean who doesn’t spice up a story?). My lying days are very much over though and didn’t last that long, my old man pulled me to one side and told me that pretty epic story about the wolf and the lying phase was over… My efforts for that sort of thing are now channeled into creating stories.
Q4. What are your main motivations to write?
My top motivation is the desire to immerse others into stories like I have been immersed. That sounds kind of vague or deep, but there are books out there that have a way of totally immersing a reader to a point where they forget everything surrounding them, it’s sort of a floating feeling, I’ve only had such feeling on a few occasions, that feeling is what I chase when writing.
Q5. What is the best compliment you’ve ever received in regards to your work?
Earlier this year the pantomime play I wrote received a standing ovation after one of the performances. That was a quite a moment, for a little while it was as if somebody was cutting onions nearby because my eyes were watering.
The best compliments I have received (for my books) are in the form of some pretty epic reviews, a couple which you have left!
Q6. Which character is your favourite to write from any of your books?
My books have a tendency to make supporting characters seem better than the main characters. This is apparent in both Open Evening and Darke Blood so I shall have to provide you with two characters.
Twister and Caitlyn; both of which carry the ‘badass trait’ along with having an interesting history. It sure would be awesome if these two characters met… truth is they will, in the Darke Blood sequel! I shall say no more…
Q7. What do you feel is your primary goal in life?
Life goals tend to evolve and change with the person. Right now for me it’s to tell stories and get better at it. Where it will lead is up to luck, fate and how hard one works.
Q8. You are a well-established blogger, what was your reasoning for sharing your thoughts through this medium?
Well thank you. Blogging is a great way of speaking without being interrupted, it is also a great way to gain more attention, followers and a readership. You also get to meet some likeminded fellow bloggers and learn from them.
Some years ago, when I decided to take this stuff seriously I read a self-help book which had some great advice about getting published and building a following by starting a blog. So that’s where it began.
Successful blogging is an art form and to write something with broad appeal, takes time to master; something I am learning constantly.
Q9. Who are your favourite authors to read, and do you have a favourite book?
My mount Rushmore of authors consists of Arthur Conan Doyle, Michael Crichton, Stephen King and Joss Whedon (he technically isn’t an author but his writing has shaped mine).
And as for favorite book; The Lost World by Conan Doyle and where I first had my real immersive experience.
Q10. Your work is very character orientated which makes for good reading. What kind of characters are the most entertaining to read? How do you make a publish-worthy character?
I enjoy a character that develops during the course of a story; I think it’s important to convey the fact that first impressions aren’t everything and the story itself has an effect on every character. The perceived coward becoming the unsung hero is a trope that draws me in. I also have a lot of time for the ordinary person who stands for something extra ordinary.
I find some of my characters by giving them a basis that is taken from a real person; whether that be myself in part or someone I have known or know. Even if it is something as a behavioral trait that I have adapted or what someone has said to me in the past; in essence that’s what makes them real just with the fictional volume turned all the way up and the name changed (that’s important, especially to avoid lawsuits).
Kurt Wiseman (The Teleporter) is probably the closest persona to my own I have ever created but I don’t need a super power to learn what responsibility of power is. And I know when to stop with the booze, most of the time, but in between tequila’s is where my downfall emerges.
Q11. What is your strangest writing quirk?
My strangest writing quirk would be that I very rarely plan what I write. There are writers out there who lay out chapters with spreadsheets and tables, for me that’s way too rigid and constricting. Most readers will want to take on a story for the fact they don’t know where it will go, I like to do that with the writing process also.
I will normally have a few core characters, a story concept, setting and probably the finish. I didn’t even have that (a finish) for Darke Blood hence the struggle to draft it but some argue its my best work.
A true creative writer will be able to take a basic concept, some characters and ride the words to find the rest. That process hasn’t let me down yet.
Q12. What is the best advice you can give to unpublished authors?
If you really want this then put in the time and know that you will have homework for the rest of your life (but that’s a good thing right?). Busy people get things done!
When I first started taking this whole deal seriously I would come home from work at around 4:30pm and write every weekday evening until 9:30pm. I clocked up some serious hours and words, pretty much destroying my laptop’s keyboard. To begin with I would produce probably 30 minutes worth of good readable stuff in that time . That was six years ago. And now when I write for 30 minutes, I get 30 minutes worth of good readable stuff. That leaves a whole lot more time to read which is just as important to writing.
Study the stories you love whether its books, cinema or television. Tap into why you love them and channel that into your own work.
Writing is a craft that cannot be taught. However you can be taught language, plot, theme, punctuation, spelling and grammar, but nobody can teach someone else to write, that is something you must find within yourself. And you can only find that by writing.