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Interview with Brian Porter

What made you want to be a writer?
I suppose you could say I became a writer almost by chance. Having been in the Royal Air Force and then working in business for many years I became ill and was unable to pursue my regular career. I'd always had a talent for writing poetry and someone suggested I try my hand at it in a more serious way. I did, and was successful enough to be voted into the UK's Top 100 Poets in the Forward Press Awards three times in four years. I then saw a competitiion for short story writers, and though I'd never written a story before I entered, didn't win, but found I'd caught the writing bug. Amazingly, over a two year period, every short story I wrote was picked up by various publishers and appeared in various magazines, anthologies or e-zines. My novels followed in a sort of natural progression and I've been very lucky, once again, to find that every one of my works have been very quickly snapped up by publishes.

You won two awards in the Preditors and Editors Readers Poll 2008 (Best Thriller and Best Poet). This shows your skill for different genres. Do you think it's important for writers to try different genres? Why?
I wouldn't say it was a pre-requisite for writers to write in different genres, but I think it does help to have that extra string to one's bow, so to speak. It allows for recognition from a completely different set of readers and increases the writer's potential exposure to a wider audience. I'm sure, for example that those who read my thrillers are a totally seperate readership from those who read my poetry under the Juan Pablo Jalisco name, or those who read my childrens and Young Adult books under my Harry Porter pseudonym.

What do you enjoy writing most?
Without a doubt, my dark psychological thrillers. I enjoy researching every aspect of htose books, from the means to commit the foulest deeds to the police procedures and every other aspect of detail that gos to make up the complete novel. I find I receive enormous help from various professional bodies and individuals when I tell them I'm an author and it allows me to meet and intergrate with a whole new set of people for each book. I also love creating the fictional scenarios that show the darker side of human nature, and making them as believable as possible. The study of the psychology of crime, psychiatric practices, and forensics is also so fascintating and helps me in my various literary creations.

Your Thriller, A Study in Red: The Secret Journal of Jack the Ripper, deals with a very famous character. How did you research for this book?

I've been interested in the Jack the Ripper murders since I was about 18 years old, when I first read a book on the subject. that began a lifelong obsession with the crimes and I've never really lost my enthusiasm for studying and researching the Whitechapel Murders. To that end, I'm a member of The Whitechapel Society 1888, an organisation that studies not only the Ripper murders, but life and culture in Victorian and Edwardian London in general, and I subscribe to both The Jack the Ripper Forums and Casebook, Jack the Ripper, where so much information can be found, and new contacts made with fellow ripperologists. I suppose the short answer to your question, Jo, is that I've effectively been researching for this book for the last 38 years. I hope it shows in the finished product.

Thunderball Film LLC has recently acquired the motion picture/TV rights for this book. Did you imagine a film version when you were writing it?

The movie deal came completely out of the blue, a total surprise. I never dreamed of anything like this happening while I was writing the book. My only priority at that time was to do a good job on the book and hopefully one day find a publisher who would take responsibility for placing my work on public view. When Hollywood came knocking on the door, I must admit I was in shock for about a week. I think I'm still in shock to be honest as the movie compnay have just offered me a new deal which will see my next six novels, including the sequel to A Study in Red, being adapted for Motion Picture or TV. I signed the contract just this week.

You have written many books and received numerous awards. Any tips for more novice writers?
This is always a hard one to answer, Jo. A lot of writers out there are so desperate to see their work in print that they allow themselves to be taken in by vanity publishers who will charge them the earth to print (as opposed to publish) a book, and deliver absolutely nothing in terms of marketing or sales support. That is never a good option, so I'd always advise aspiring writers to stick with traditional publishers. You may receive hundreds of rejection slips, but if your work is of sufficient quality, then one day it will find the right publisher who will take it on. I hate to see people being ripped off and I would just say that if you believe in yourself and your work, don't ever give in, keep trying. An author should never have to pay to get their work published. That's the publisher's job. There is a publisher out there who will love your work. It's just a matter of finding the right one. I think self-belief and developing a thick skin when it comes to rejection are important 'skills' a writer needs to develop. Oh yes, one other thing is that an author must try to promote his/herself as much as possible nowadays, to become a 'brand'. People will buy a James Patterson book, for exanmple, simply becuase it has his name onthe ocver. That what I mean by 'becoming a brand'. Believe me, it works, so get out there and promote, promote, promote!

Where can people find out more about you and your books?

I'd love it if people would visit my various websites. They can be found at
* www.freewebs.com/brianlp/
* www.freewebs.com/astudynred/
* www.freewebs.com/juanpablojalisco/
* http://harry-porter.webs.com/
* http://legacy-of-the-ripper.com/
The Amazon page where the book an be found is at http://www.amazon.com/Study-Red-Secret-Journal-Ripper/dp/1554045274/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1239355927&sr=1-2

Anything else you'd like to add?

Just a big thank you to you Jo, for allowing me the opportunity to reach out and talk to your readers like this. It's been great to be able to talk about my work and hopefully, give a few aspiring fellow authors a little bit of inspiration along the way. Finally, if anyone would really like to know the full story of the genesis of A Study in Red, they can read about it in an article I wrote for The Journal of The Whitechapel Society 1888, called "Whodunnit - I Dunno" which can also be found online at http://ezinearticles.com/?id=1695052
There's also a video trailer for the movie/book on You Tube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=GB&hl=en-GB&v=aOFu11oaRXc or it can be seen at Thunderball Films' online screening room at www.thunderballfilms.com

7 comments:

  1. Brian is a fantastic artist and I find his method of writing interesting and entertaining.. His book captured the essence of Jack the ripper and I for think it's a must read!!
    Shay aka Papillon Casse

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  2. Awesome interview Brian. I will have to purchase your book. Its the type of reading I love.. E

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  3. Terrific interview, Brian, as are your books.

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  4. Fantastic Interview....I am motivated to get a copy of your book and read it now....n yes a very nice and useful advice to the young and novice writers..thanks

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  5. Thanks to those who've commented on the interview so far, and to Jo for taking the time to ask me to talk to her. I hope that anyone who buys the book after reading the interview thoroughly enjoys it and if as Parag says, my words have helped any aspiring writers then that makes me very happy indeed. My latest release, 'The Voice of Anton Bouchard' has just gone on sale at Amazon and is also doing very well.

    Have a great day everyone

    Brian
    Author, 'A Study in Red - The Secret Journal of Jack the Ripper'

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  6. The Brian story is as interesting as the stories he writes. Brian Porter provides a glimpse in the mirror and the image which shows is an inspiration to those who have ever picked up the pen.

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