Today, I’m featuring a little chat with my friend and PDMI colleague from the UK, Peter Wells. Peter’s the Marketing Director at PDMI now, but it was his words and perspective on life that brought him to our attention. You can find those at his blog, http://countingducks.wordpress.com/author/countingducks/?blogsub=confirming#subscribe-blog. And, you can find them in this interview. Welcome, Peter!
How long have you been writing? How did you get started?
I began writing seriously, or slightly seriously when I started my Blog. I’d written poetry at university and always been identified as slightly creative, but I’d never stuck at anything in a way which might say I was a painter, or writer or anything in that line.
You’re quite noted as a blogger. How did THAT get started?
I think my first post was actually about this very question. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of night and my head is full of musings and characters: you can’t shut the devils up. Finally, regardless of the hour, I rose from my bed and wrote my first post. To those who know me, the fact that I got up in the middle of the night, discovered a Blogging platform, and actually got the thing to work is a curiosity yet unexplained but I did. The rest is history, or a very small part of it anyway.
You and I have talked a little one on one about your ideas on the importance of blogging, but explain it a bit for visitors to PORTALS AND PATHWAYS. What’s the value of a blog to authors?
There are several hundred thousand books published every year, give or take a dozen, and the chances of an unknown coming to the notice of anyone but his wife and children and that bloke at the fish shop are quite small. Blogging in a thorough and professional manner, which means producing short works of fiction and ruminations on a regular basis, as well as commenting on other Blogs regularly, is a great way to introduce yourself to a world which might otherwise fail to notice your existence.
Is the bookstore as much of a dying animal in the UK as it is in the US? What are your thoughts on the seeming shift from brick and mortar bookstores to other modes of access?
Sadly I think it is. I studied English Literature at University, and I remember how much I enjoyed going down to the book shop and discovering new authors, and being able to feel and touch the text. Bookshops have an atmosphere all their own which a digital experience will never replace.
I know some of the story, but readers of this blog may not: How did you get involved with PDMI Publishing? What’s been your experience with PDMI thus far?
As I continued to Blog the numbers of ‘followers grew, and I spent more time looking out for other Blogs which might engage my interest. One of those Blogs was called “”Reader’s Alcove” which is written by Victoria Adams. She contacted me and asked me “If I had any manuscripts hidden away. I didn’t but her interest inspired me to produce one: hence the arrival of this book. As for my experience of PDMI Publishing–they are a bunch of crazy and talented individuals who each bring something amazing and really eye opening to the party whether they be from editing, illustrating, formatting anything else. I can truly say I would not be with anyone else, and I hope the feeling is mutual.
Do you have a daily writing routine? What is it?
With ‘Living Life Backwards’, I set myself the target of producing 1600 words a day, five days a week. There were to be no excuses and there never were any. I’ve now completed my second book and am working on my third but now I allow myself a casual target of 1000 words a day. I understand having three books out at the same time is the beginning of becoming a professional author, which I would like to be. Yes I do work as well, but every life has its inconveniences!
Do you have a favorite book? Particular favorite authors?
This is a hard one as you can imagine. The list is pretty long, but currently, despite the fact that I am a fickle and capricious fellow and these things keep changing, I’d say “The Great Gatsby’ is my current favorite. The book is only 55,000 words but so packed with content and character that is a far richer read than many books which are twice or three times its length in my opinion. Apart from the content, his writing style is simple but engaging and I always read it with enjoyment.
What attracts you most to a book you’ve never read?
That it somehow illuminates the wonders and contradictions of our life on this planet and with each other. It must have a metaphorical integrity and involve situations which I regard as credible. Having said that, discovering a new author who enriches your understanding of the world is like making a new best friend: your life is always the richer for having ‘met’ them.
What advice would you offer to new authors?
My advice to myself, and to any new or aspiring authors, or anyone with a dream is never to give up. The only way to ensure failure is to stop trying. The vast majority of those who have enough faith in themselves to work at what they do, and polish and refine their craft, and send their work out, regardless of the rejections, will arrive somewhere near the town of ‘Success.’ To live without a dream is to exist, and that will never be enough for me.