Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Kerry Wilkinson, bestselling e-author answers some Quick Fire Questions


Kerry Wilkinson, sports journalist and self-published crime writer has become the most popular author in the Kindle charts after selling more than 250,000 e-books in six months.

 
He told futurebook (http://futurebook.net/content/reader-first-approach-writing-and-self-publishing): “Ultimately, I'm a kid from a council estate in Somerset. I grew up reading those thin Doctor Who paperbacks which were almost entirely written by Terrance Dicks. I love books, I collect them.
There is no way I should be able to compete with a massive major publisher - let alone beat them. How have I done it? I'm not sure I really know. I can only ever continue to act on instinct. After all, I'm a reader first.”

We were thrilled when Kerry said he had time in his manic schedule to answer a few Quick Fire Questions on Strictly Writing.


1. Who is you favourite Doctor from Doctor Who and why?
- I always like whoever the current guy is so, at the moment, Matt Smith.

2. Where do you write?
- Pretty much everywhere. Sometimes, if I'm on a day off, I'll use my netbook in bed and write through the morning. I mainly write on the sofa at home, but I also write on my lunchbreak at work, I've written on trains and on planes, everywhere really.

3. Best writing snack?
- I don't think anyone can function creatively without biscuits (cookies for our American chums). I have, in the past, nicked out the supermarket before settling down to work because the house has been devoid of sugar-based snacks. I'm also a fan of a good old fashioned biscuit tin. There's something endearingly British about all that crumbly crap you end up with at the bottom.

4. Soundtrack (if so, what) or peace and quiet?
- I pretty much need the house to be silent but I'm also a walking hypocrite because I can write on a train, etc, where it isn't quiet at all. The ideal soundtrack is the noise of the ice cream man pulling up outside our house. I always move quickest when I'm trying to find my shoes and some money to get out the door before he pulls away. Then I can settle back on to the sofa with a bonus ice cream to aid my creative process.

5. Which book/writer has/had any major influence on you?
- I don't know really. I don't particularly follow individuals. I read more comics and sci-fi stuff than I do prose fiction. Through that, you could say Ed Brubaker or Brian Bendis but I've read some really great stuff. People are missing out big-time if they don't think comics can tell good stories. Things like Y: The Last Man, Ex Machina, The Walking Dead, Preacher, Supreme Power, Blankets and many many others. Comics teach you about plotting too because they rely on finishing on a belting cilffhanger every 20-odd pages. If they don't do that, people don't buy the next issue, which means the writer has to stop telling his story.

6. What are you reading right now?
- Chris Jericho's first autobiography. It is very funny and very good. I just finished the Alan Partridge autobiography for the third time. It's the funniest book I've ever read. I think I could read it over and over and not get bored.

7. Has (and how) ‘overnight success’ affected your ordinary daily life?
- Basically, not at all. I'm still the same person I was a year ago. I just now have better excuses for not tidying up around the house. "I've been writing all day" garners more sympathy than "I've been on the PlayStation all day".

8. Laptop or paper?
- What's this paper you speak of?

9. Where do the ideas come from?
- The broad ideas usually come from small stories which you might stumble across in a newspaper or on the radio news or something like that. Sometimes it will just be one line that will sets your imagination off. The whole of book two, Vigilante, was born out of a throwaway line at the bottom of a much wider newspaper feature. The funny thing was, someone left a review saying that certain part of the book was "unrealistic" when it was the only part based on fact! I think people are very quick to call things "unrealistic" because real life will always be stranger at some point. Think of things like the David Kelly saga, or the Stockport saline story. That's far "better" in a story sense than most things you could make up.
A lot of the character stuff comes from incidents I've seen over the years or people I've met, although not necesarily directly. Again, sometimes you might see the startings of an event in real life, then you reimagine them with your characters.

11.The best advice you could give to an aspiring writer?
- Not even a writer, just anyone who wants to do something creative: Do it because you want to. I never feel pressured to write. I only keep going because I have something left to say and pads of unused ideas. It's why I never have writer's block. I've never once sat around wondering what happens next.

12. What would you have liked Q.10 to have been?
- I prefer to think of question 10 as like those 11 days in 1752 when Britain jumped from 2 September to 14 September because the country switched to the Gregorian calendar.
Kerry's website/blog is here: Kerry Wilkinson.com  and you can read the openings of Kerry's first three books,  'Locked In', 'Vigilante', and 'The Woman in Black' on Amazon.  Look out for the fourth and fifth books in the Jessica Daniels' series, 'Think of the Children' and 'Playing with Fire' which will be out later this year.

6 comments:

Fionnuala said...

Great q&a - thanks Kerry for popping by and giving us an insight into your writing life. Well done on your success and long may it continue.

Roderic Vincent said...

Great answers, Kerry, especially No.11, as I set here forcing myself to write today.

Susie Nott-Bower said...

Kerry, yours is such an inspiring story. Thanks for visiting Strictly. :)
Susiex

Gillian McDade said...

Writing in bed and on the sofa is good! Thanks for being on Strictly and best wishes for the future, Kerry.

Karen said...

Inspiring stuff!

I'm not sure what 'paper' is either.

Erin said...

Great answers, Kerry, especially No.11, as I set here forcing myself to write today.