A: Hi. I'm Cleveland W. Gibson. It's my real name and my writing name too.
I live in the Cotswolds in the UK and love the countryside. I've nearly finished my current book (a YA 'House of the Skull Drum) which I've set in the Cotswolds. Interwoven into the book there is Romans culture, the mystic East and the fascination of real English folklore.
Q2: Please explain how you came to be a writer, what inspired you to write your book(s) and how long it took.
A: I never intended to be a writer but being born in Colonial India with several more than interesting family members gave me writing-fuel or experience. I've brought some of the Orient into my book called the 'House of the Skull Drum' yet kept in the aspirations of the characters who strive to do better in life or solve problems. The book in its present form took over two years, as it was always on the back burner. ( I am a full time carer).Now my book needs slight revision and a final polish. All takes times. I have an editor in mind though.
Q3: What did you enjoy most about creating this book?
A. I think the characters I introduced through out the book gave me lots of fun. The rural guy who teamed up with a native America because they had a common bond, the deaf girl who could lip read and the Mercat who told lies. All had a reason for their actions , whether they were good or bad.
Q4: What facets of your life, both personal and professional, are woven into your book, if any?
A. In India I've seen many strange sights and decided to exploit the Indian Rope Trick by introducing it into my book. Also an Indian who speaks simple concise English who is normally blind but not when in the fantasy world within my book.
Ian Fleming, James Bond creator, lived in the next village to me and I tried to create some of the excitement found in his books. A car that flies, so what. I decided to use something different. I know a fair amount of country myths and have sprinkled them here and there within my book for fun, of course. There is the Corbie and the Tilly Bone Black Unicorn, and, of course, the lying Mercat. Plus things that go bump in the night.
Q5. How did you get published?
A. By accident. I saw an advert for a science fiction story and submitted my first one. It was rejected but the editor wanted to read more of my work. The next two stories I sent him made front cover stories.
Q6: Did you have any surprises or hiccups along the way during the book writing and/or publishing process?
A. Yes. I tried joining a writers' group but it didn't work out as I was the only person in my area. People who I spoke to gave me poor advice so I made my own notes as I went along. Then I borrowed the use of a computer and went on the web. It was a pivotal moment as I joined various web sites and met other writers. My family have met writers who have come to visit me . I've met poets and writers who remind me of characters I've created in my books. I've become good friends with many editors along the way.
Q7: What one thing did you wish you'd known before you started this project?
A.I wish I'd started earlier than I did. For more than ten years I was a Road Race Director and ran myself. That was when I should have started writing. Exercise and writing seem to go together. At seven in the morning there is nothing better than running through fields with a head filled with ideas that needed to be written down. I wasn't writing then so lots of ideas escaped. I wish I had them back again.
Q8: You're a fly on the wall when readers are discussing your book. What would you hope to hear them say about it?
A. I'd hope to hear them say how much the characters had them guessing, how they experienced the fears young children have away from their parents, and how much credit few give to children who struggle to do the best for their family. Children may be young but often they show us adults how to improve our community spirit. I'd hope they'd pick up those sentiments and talk about them .
Q9: Tell us one thing about you that most people don't know or would surprise them.
A. Perhaps the fact that I also write poetry, some in the style of James Joyce. Phew. I'm new but already have had a poem award by www.celj.org
for my poem 'St George's Day. The local Newspaper,'Evening Advertiser' has published about nine of my poems so far. I also have framed poetry on the internet for sale. Search for ' Only Tonight.' I've a poem in an anthology in the top ten hardback best sellers list.
Q10: What single piece of advice would you give new authors?
A. It is not enough to write. A new author must read work far better than he can write for the uplifting and learning process.
Q11: Share a short summary of a typical day in your life with us please.
A. As a full time carer life is hard. Besides juggling with caring duties, I have to snatch sleep during the day, do all those chores around the house and cook, decorate and gardening, etc. They all take time and I'm bursting to have a session on my computer. Going out to a pub is a bonus. We try to do that at the weekend.
Q12: Describe where you do most of your writing. What would I see if I was sitting beside you?
A. I've learnt to write straight into my computer which lodges in the spare bedroom. I also write in my diary, filling up blank spaces. And use masses of paper for notes on what I read or come across b chance. If you sat by me you might see me stop and listen to a piece of music or break off to read from a book as I did research. Then , of course, in come those e-mails that need answering.
Q13: What's your motto or favourite quote you like to live by?
A. Jumping to conclusions is like playing with damp gunpowder: both likely to go off in the wrong direction.
Q14: Is there anything else you'd like to share with us in closing such as your website, an imminent book launch or what you're working on presently?
A. I plan to have a website, publish poetry and finish off my novel 'House of the Skull Drum.'
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