My guest today is author, Peter Best, please help me make him feel welcome.
Welcome Peter, Let’s start with you telling us a little about yourself including where you are from.
Peter Best was born in North Shields in the North East of England in the beginning of the sixties. Albeit the son of a shipyard worker, Peter was brought up in a mining community until the age of eight when for some reason or another somebody made the decision that the community should be uprooted and moved to a place called Cramlington New Town on the outskirts of Newcastle.
After his time in school he served an apprenticeship working mainly on building sites working as an electrician, which he hated by the way! However, as Peter always looks on the positive side of things, he was pleased he did, as it was on these building sites where he came across many different characters who he was pleased to call his friends. “Real people,” he called them. And so it turned out that many of these so called real people, and others of course, featured quite strongly in his novels.
Of course it was not just the people he met on the sites; Peter has over the years come across many different characters on his travels who have all played their part in working their way into his mind.
In 1996 he married for the second time to a young German girl and soon after moved to the south of England. Soon after that he upped sticks again and moved to Wiesbaden in Germany to help support his wife as she pushed at her career as a doctor.
Peter feel in love with the culture of his new surroundings, especially the culture of one of his neighbouring counties Bavaria. However as they say all good things come to an end and he moved back to England. It was at this time when his writing started to come together. Over the next few years Peter started to string together his thoughts and ideas for The Burden of Truth and its sequel. (The name remains a secret for now.)
He now lives with his wife and daughter in a small seaside town in Essex called Frinton on Sea. Frinton, along with its neighbouring town, Walton on the Naze, both feature in his novel, The Burden of Truth.
Can you Tell us about your books and how you got started.
As long as I can remember I have always had an interest in writing and I can always remember thinking I want to write a book. Whether it was just not having any time or just laziness I never got around to actually getting on and doing it. However at some point in time; I can’t remember when exactly I went to a Buddhist centre with my wife. It was here where I learned a little about this fantastic religion and then had an idea for a theme of a book. And so it was, not long after I started to format a plot around this idea and five years later The Burden of Truth came about.
What was your inspiration for your books?
In a way I get a great deal of inspiration for writing books from reading other books. Often when I am sitting in my reading chair next to the fire I get so engrossed in the story I’m reading dive right into the books and start living them as if I were right there at times. I’m quite sure many other readers do this also. Anyhow, the thing is for me when I finish the book and come up again this really wants me to put pen to paper and start writing, especially if it’s an exciting dramatic story. Of course I do get inspiration from other avenues as well. For instance I do tend to travel a great deal whenever I get the chance. Many of the places I have visited I have been fascinated with and quite often I will try and form a story around theses places.
How do you create your characters?
One of the best things about being a writer is writing characters; I just love it. But how do I create them? Well, often I base the characters on people I have met in real life. Ok, sometimes I might tone them up a little to bring them more into story, to make them sparkle a little more than what they do in real life. However there have been one or two that I have had to tone down a bit, like the New Yorker I met when I visited the city in springtime. To say he was larger than life would be quite apt in his case. Anyhow I am writing him into one of my novels I am working on at the moment and just had to calm him down a bit.
However one other thing I will say about creating characters is to get right into their heads. I try not to just think of how they look and act. I try to get right into thinking how they would think and what they would do in any of the situations they happen to find themselves in.
What challenges did you face as you wrote The Burden of Truth?
When I started to write The Burden of Truth I was met with many challenges to say the least. The story www.honeytraveler.com/buy-accutane/ starts off when Brent; the protagonist nearly loses his life of The Herald of Free Enterprise. Now I wanted to get this part of the story just right. I had done my research into the disaster itself but I wanted to have it first hand; I wanted to interview someone who was there at the time. No matter how hard I tried I found this impossible. However, as I said I carried out a great deal of research into this so I hope I have got it right.
Now this leads me onto the next challenge I had with my research. Throughout the story there are many references to Buddhism and the teachings of The Buddha. Again I wanted to get this just right so I interviewed many Buddhist order members to get this spot on. However, this too turned out not to be so easy. No matter what questions I asked I always seemed to get many different opinions and answers back. However once again after a great deal of research and even more interviews I am now confident I have got it right. But I bet in some quarters it may lead to some discussion.
What is your writing schedule like? Do you strive for a certain amount of words each day?
I haven’t really got a schedule. I just seem to write when I get the chance. Sometimes I can write for only half an hour or so, other times I can write for hours on end. However saying that, when the words are flowing I do tend to keep going as long as I can.
How do you cope with writer’s block?
Years ago I went to a writers seminar in London and the subject of writers block came up.
After various discussions, one general trend of thinking to overcome this was simply to write anything. Doesn’t matter what, just anything that comes into your head. Doesn’t have to be good, doesn’t have to be well written, doesn’t even matter about the spelling. Just write! However, we still must have some sort of subject. So the subject we were all given to scribble about was;
When I was young I used to……. Then just write. Just think of that sentence and write down whatever comes into your head. It’s amazing how this works for me. I just write a few sentences and soon enough the brain unclogs itself then off I go again.
Where do you write? Is there something you need in order to write (music, drinks)?
I tend to do most of my writing in my office. It’s nothing special really but it has everything I need; computer with the internet, coffee and a nice view other the fields when I need to look out of the window. However, there is one thing I do need to write and that is silence. I know other writers need music or some other distraction but not me I’m afraid.
What plans have you got for future books?
I have many plans for the future. However I have two projects I am working hard on. The first is the sequel to The Burden of Truth. I really need to get a move on with this as many people are asking me when it is due out. The thing is I did finish the first draft but in all honesty I did not think the plot was as strong as the first book so I have decided to re-write it. Another project I am working on is a crime story set in New York in the sixties. I’m absolutely loving this so far and I know I should be getting on the the sequel but the way things are going this maybe completed first.
Let’s just wait and see.
What is the hardest part of being an author?
I was asked this not so long ago and the answer I gave was trying to convince someone to buy my book for 99p/cents. So the answer to this, especially if you are an independent author is marketing your work. Not so easy as it looks and takes up a great deal of your time.
Lastly, can you describe the feeling when you saw your published book for the first time?
I always said when I first see my book in print I would open a bottle of champagne. However when that moment arrived it just didn’t feel right somehow so I simply went back into the cupboard.
However I did have a feeling of pride even though I told myself I shouldn’t have as obviously no one had bought a copy at that time. Anyhow, the feeling was there. It had taken me nearly five years to complete The Burden of Truth and in those five years I had worked very hard. It wasn’t just carrying out the vast amount of research, interviews etc; it was the frustration that went with if it.
Then of course there was the writing, the re-writing and when it was finished having to start again because it was not good enough. It really was very hard and then I thought, Yes I have done well, but now I guess it’s time for others to tell me if I have done well or not.
Thank you for being my guest today and good luck with future books.