Thursday, 20 December 2018

Interview with the author of "Fireburn" Apple Gidley

A great interview with Apple Gidley.
Check out Gidley's latest work, 'Fireburn'
in the links below

  • What is your favourite genre to write? Why?
Historical fiction marries two favourite subjects - English and history. I believe in order to understand the present and welcome the future we must know our past, the good and the bad.
Then it is fascinating to weave fact into fiction and make an enjoyable story for people to read and maybe learn a little something about a place or era about which they knew only a little.
  • What kinds of sources do you take inspiration from?
History, in that if a certain country or period interests me I want to learn more, and then the characters start appearing.
Events can trigger a book. That’s how Fireburn came into being. I attended the annual celebration of Transfer from Denmark to the US of the Danish West Indies in 1917 and the speeches got me wondering what it would have been like to live in what is now the US Virgin Islands back in the 1800's. Research lead me to an actual rebellion known as ‘Fireburn’ and so a book was born!
I am an inveterate eavesdropper and snippets of conversation, maybe on a plane or a train, can get my imagination running away with me. The number of innocent people sitting around me at an airport who have had dire circumstances written into their lives without knowing a thing about it is truly terrifying.
  • Do you model characters after real people?
No, not consciously. I think most of my characters are an amalgam of people met around the world and over the years.
  • What does you editing process look like? Do you allow others to read your writing?
I edit in entirely the wrong way, apparently. I edit as I write, then edit the previous day’s words again before starting to write each morning. Then I leave it alone until a full read through when I edit again. After that I send the MS out to a group of trusted readers and wait, in terror, until their comments start to come in. If I’m lucky they all say similar things. I have a mix of British and American, men and women readers so think I get a pretty good cross section. All are wonderfully gentle but very certain in their criticisms, for which I am truly grateful.
  • Do you take criticism hard or do you have a thick skin? Have you ever received criticisms that you felt were unjustified or too harsh? Are you your worst critic?
I take criticism pretty well. I certainly take editing well. A good editor makes a writer a better writer, and I am always learning. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and as writers I think we have to accept we can’t please everyone. I think it important to remember fiction is make believe! As long as the basic facts are correct - dates, places, real people if using them - then I think a little leeway should be granted.
  • Have you ever written something you didn’t like, but felt necessary for the overall story?
Yes. I have written some cruel bedroom scenes, and I’ve written dialogue that turned my stomach. I think as long as violence, crudity or ugly words are not gratuitous and move the story along, either in plot, pace or scene setting, then they are important.
Some of the dialogue in Fireburn is without doubt sexist and racist but it describes a time in history and so lends legitimacy to a period.
  • What would be your advice for aspiring authors?
Read, then write! And read and write some more.
For more information on author Apple Gidley, click here.
To purchase 'Fireburn' click here.