Featuring – Stewart Bint
Author Interview Time!
J.B. Taylor – What inspires you?
Stewart Bint – Inspiration for the actual storylines and books is very different from the inspiration I need to knuckle down and write every day.
A variety of sources provides the inspiration for the books, and have included reading an article on the Chernobyl disaster, Twitter bullying and harassment, and it was a walk in Cranford Park in London that inspired Timeshaft. In fact, that features as a scene in the book, with my wife, father-in-law, son when he was 4-months old, and me all getting a little cameo role of that real-life incident.
And my new book, The Jigsaw And The Fan, was inspired by memories of reading the news on radio and hosting radio current affairs and ‘phone-in shows during the bitter UK miners’ strike in 1984/85.
But what inspires me to write each day is a different [pan of potatoes altogether. Sometimes I’m full of beans and raring to go, which is no problem. Other days I am too easily distracted by the coffee machine and biscuit tin, and have to tell myself: “No dinner or glass of wine until you’ve finished this chapter/scene.” That definitely inspires me!
J.B. Taylor – What’s your favorite book?
Stewart Bint – The Hound Of The Baskervilles, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
J.B. Taylor – If you were asked to unload a 747 full of jelly beans, what would you do?
Stewart Bint – One of two things. Open the cargo doors and and run like hell to avoid the cascading avalanche. Or invite thousands of people to a book signing at the plane, and ask them to help themselves to as many jelly beans as they like, after they’ve bought the book.
J.B. Taylor – Where do you like to write?
Stewart Bint – My office at home. I work from home at all three of my writing roles – my novels, magazine column, and Public Relations writing. My office overlooks my garden and two fields, which is idyllic.
J.B. Taylor – Which Harry Potter house would you belong to?
Stewart Bint – Well, I think I should be in Slytherin, but I follow the Hogwarts Sorting Hat on Twitter, and they put me in Gryffindor
J.B. Taylor – What is your favorite word?
Stewart Bint – Splendiferous
J.B. Taylor – What is your least favorite word?
Stewart Bint – Obnoxious. Because it describes exactly what it is.
J.B. Taylor – What was the first story you ever wrote, and what happened to that story?
Stewart Bint – Depends whether you mean my first story EVER, or first professionally published story.
First ever was a Doctor Who story when I was seven, just weeks after the programme started in 1963. I wrote it in a little blue notebook, which I dumped many, many years ago.
First pro story was called Malfunction, and was published on the Smashwords website. While it is a completely stand-alone novella, it is actually the entire opening chapter of my best known full-length novel, Timeshaft.
J.B. Taylor – Tell us about your process: Pen, paper, word processor, human sacrifice … how do you write?
Stewart Bint – Word processor all the way. My handwriting is almost unreadable, even for me. Also, I can get the words down much faster through a keyboard, before that perfect phrase disappears into the ether.
J.B. Taylor – What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made as a writer?
Stewart Bint – Being too afraid of failure for so long, that I didn’t attempt to edit anything and offer it to publishers. I continued to write, but just put everything in in the cupboard, until a friend convinced me to go for publication. Shoulda done it years ago. D’Oh.
J.B. Taylor – What else are you working on?
Stewart Bint – A novel called To Rise Again, which is set on the island of Jersey. Alternate chapters in the 1980s and the German occupation during World War 2. It was inspired by a visit to the island’s German underground hospital during my honeymoon.
J.B. Taylor – In a perfect world where you could cast your book for a movie, who would you pick for your main characters?
Stewart Bint – The characters of Timeshaft lend themselves perfectly to certain actors. In fact, I actually wrote the main character, Ashday’s Child, with Donald Sutherland in mind. Former Doctor Who star Jenna Coleman for his sidekick, Caitlin Lang; Jennifer Lawrence for Nadia Reeder, and relative newcomer Jack O’Connell for Phillip Oatridge.
J.B. Taylor – When you complete a story, do you let it go? Or do you like to stop and think about what your characters might be up to, what they might be doing?
Stewart Bint – Definitely let my characters ago. However, at some point I may consider writing a sequel to Timeshaft, which means I will need to think about Ashday’s Child again. The other three main characters won’t be in his story – this one will just be him.
I sometimes do think about the central character in my parnormal/horror novel, In Shadows Waiting, because it was written in the first person, so I somehow got under his skin a little more than I have with other characters. In the book he is 18 years old…although the prologue sees him reminiscing at 50. I suppose I’d like to know how he fared up to life after the catastrophic events in the story. Judging from the prologue, not too well, I’d guess.
J.B. Taylor – Are you a panster or an outliner?
Stewart Bint – Panster, I suppose. I could never work like Frederick Forsyth, for example. He undertakes meticulous research, and mentally writes the story before starting to put any words down. Then he goes into what he calls “purdah” and spends upwards of a month bashing out the tale almost word for word what is in his mind.
Why wouldn’t that work for me? Mainly because my characters frequently ignore me and go off on a tangent doing their own things. So muggins here simply watches what they do and acts as a reporter.
With Timeshaft, a relatively minor character suddenly said something towards the end of the book that changed the whole premise by which the main character had lived his life…and actually sets up the final scene, for what could be the lead-in to a sequel.
But I knew exactly how In Shadows Waiting would turn out, and didn’t let myself get sidetracked.
My new one – The Jigsaw And the Fan…well, as it’s social satire, I knew what I wanted to say, and I wrote the final chapter after I’d done the first two. Then it was simply getting the two ends to meet, but there were several nice little diversions for me along the way.
The author has released a new book.
Here is the buy link