Tell us something unexpected about yourself!
I´m an aficionado of motorsports, mostly Formula One. The interest started in the 60s, upon arriving in the UK. Before that, I liked motorbikes in Guyana. I was still in my teens. I also loved athletics, boxing, and cricket. Never owned a motorcycle, although the temptation was there to save for one. But instead I made the decision to go England, with the expectation of bettering my life. In hindsight, I´m glad I didn´t, for I was wild in those days, and a show-off. Forty years, I was able to own a sports car – a BMW Z4.
I still follow F1 on TV. Attended a few.
For years, I did cars games on PS3. But that´s another tale.
What novels affected you the most growing up?
As a kid, I wasn’t big on reading literature, except comic books. Apart from school books, the first book I remember reading was Lady Chatterley´s Lover. I only read the dirty parts! DHL turned out to be one of the authors I enjoyed reading. And funny enough I never bothered to reread his LCL.
When I began learning to write stories was after reaching the UK. My whole attitude to reading changed, reading fiction and non-fiction.
Where did the idea for your current book come from?
The stories were written at a time when there were social, economic and political upheavals around the globe. There were much hope and expectation from my friends and me. I was a big dreamer in those days, trying to be a part of the change or the expectancy of it. The stories are a conglomeration of events that I witnessed and the act of distorting them to my liking. And so the stories are products of that era in my life and actual events witnessed at close hand, and a deliberate effort to “distort” (fictionalized) them for my purpose, of which the themes are an indication of what I mean.
Do you think there’s any way you could ever run out of ideas for books?
I don´t think so, for there is so much about which I would love to write. The problem is that I am not easily satisfied with what I write, and I lose time in rewriting and rewriting! Being much older doesn’t make the situation better. I stopped writing in 1977, taking time off to study. Looking back, that was a mistake: not continuing to write. But definitely, there´s so much to write about, no shortness of ideas.
What is your routine for writing and has this method changed over the span of your career?
As a young man, I wrote in the morning and later during the night. But since a year now, I write in the morning up to noon, and spend the rest of the day reading and having walks and occasionally meeting a friend or two for lunch.
How important is marketing and social media for you?
I would say imperative, especially if you haven’t made a name for yourself. But I loathe the amount of time that is required to reach potential readers for one´s book(s). It steals precious writing and reading time! Lol But that´s the way it is, in the world of self-publishing.
What advice would you have for other writers?
What comes first to mind is to read, read, read! Write regularly, on anything. Keep a diary or notebook. I kept one for writing, even when I traveled abroad on holidays. I began writing long letters to girls friends, describing sceneries, and social events, and the like. I developed an interest in psychology and philosophy. I helped me in my younger years. Later on, I studied mental health and psychotherapy and worked many years as a mental health counselor.
What are you reading now?
Trying to finish A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James; the Goldfinch by DonnaTartt (just started it), and At The Existentialists Café by Sarah Bakewell (hoping start it soon).
What’s your next step?
Currently, I`m rewriting a novella. A sort of amorous encounter with a Swedish feminist and a young West Indian would-be writer. Set in the 70s. I had submitted it then to a traditional publisher. But although the editor liked it, I was asked to add more characters. It was considered too short to publish. But I didn’t take the advice.