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Interview with Simon Marshland

When did you start your writing career?

I suppose I’ve been writing most of my life. Even as a child I would get bursts of literary energy, scribbling short stories and recording events that lasted a week to a month before spluttering away to doze somewhere at the back of my mind. Then for no particular reason some subject or event would set me thinking again and the urge to write would surface once more for another brief period. As I grew older the periods grew longer and I wrote an increasing number of articles, commentaries, odes and better short stories, which eventually led to my first book.

You’ve moved around a lot over the years visiting many countries. How has this affected your writing?

All writers need imagination, the more vivid the better and the ability to observe even subconsciously, but they also need as much life experience as possible. Here I have been very fortunate in spending a lot of my life travelling around the World, meeting different peoples, taking part in their customs, seeing and merging into their way of life has been immensely valuable to me as an individual as well as a writer.

What genre do you write and why?

I don’t have a particular genre, which is a mistake. Most successful writers find their literary niche and stick with it.  Building a growing market of readers addicted to their books be they who dunnits, thrillers, historical romances or sagas. While I let an admittedly undisciplined mind find subjects that intrigue me at the time then feel compelled to write about them.

Tell us a bit about your latest book.

It was the age-old question, why am I here; what is the purpose of my life and where if anywhere will it lead that caused me to write Private Lives. Those interested in the subject can find my article Viewpoint at http://bookmarket.ning.com/profile/SimonMarshland but a book needs a story and hopefully Private Lives provides a good one. Below is a brief synopsis

From an ordinary childhood Charlie Parker rises almost accidentally to become chairman of one of the worlds biggest banking conglomerates. Private Lives tells Charlie’s extraordinary story on the way to success, his meeting with his great love Samantha and their lives together, along with continual flashbacks to two previous lives he refuses to acknowledge, dismissing them as mental aberrations. But try as he might to ignore them he finds himself living more and more in the past first as a rifleman fighting Napoleon’s armies in Spain, then later as a young 1939 Oxford undergraduate forced to leave his studies to become a fighter pilot in the Battle of Britain until the final dramatic climax of his own life draws the book to conclusion. This is a story of love and laughter, heartache and sorrow that transcends centuries to a joining of the many threads in final understanding. 

You’ve also experimented with children fiction in the past. Do you think you’ll change genre again in the future?

As I explained in my previous answer, a change of genre is always on the cards for me.

How do you promote your writing?

Those who have been fortunate enough to be published by one of the large publishing companies can leave the promotion details to them, confining themselves to book signing and whatever activities their publisher suggests.  But like most authors who lack this luxury I have to find my own way, relying largely on the Internet to get my book across to the public. I think it essential to be listed on Amazon, Barns& Noble and Books-a-Million and to become a member of the many writers sites such as Book Marketing, Bookplace, Bookblogs Published Authors etc as possible. To join Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, AuthorsNet, Goodreads and to try to write at least two Blogs a week. I also used Premium Promotional Services who do a very good job at a reasonable price.

Have you ever had writers block? How did you overcome it?

Most writes suffer from this dread disease every once in a while and I’ve found the one golden rule is never to sit around waiting for inspiration. Forget about the problem, go away and write something else, be it an article, a letter or a shopping list. Anything to take your mind off the piece you have the block about. Don’t worry, your subconscious will continue working for you so that when you sit down a couple of hours or a day or even a week later to try again, nine times out of ten the words will flow easily once more.

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

My home site is http://www.simonmarshland.blogspot.com and you’ll find me at writer’s sites some of which I’ve mentioned before I’ve also been around a while now and the spiders have done their work so whatever gaps are left you’ll probably find on Google.

Anything else you would like to add?

I hope some of the tips above will prove useful to new authors and if I can be of any further help writers are welcome to contact me at marshland6@googlemail.com

Books by Simon Marshland:

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