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Author Interviews

Quick links on this page:

introduction - author interviews - become an interviewee

Introduction

On this page, you will find author, writer and publisher interviews, presented in video format. The interviews are conducted with a variety of experts from the literary world, covering a wide variety of topics; from writing, to education, to publishing and more.

The videos are presented in a candid manner, using natural conversation to impart lots of tips and advice, based on the real-life experience of the interviewees.

Below each video is a brief description of the topics covered in the interview.

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Interviews

Allen Ashley, Interviewed by Chris Fielden

A conversation with Allen Ashley, award-winning author, editor, poet, musician, teacher and President Elect of the British Fantasy Society.

In this interview, we discuss Allen's extensive experience in different areas of writing.

We talk in depth about the sci-fi and fantasy genres. We also discuss poetry, music journalism, football journalism, bands, editing, critiquing, the British Fantasy Society, short story competition judging, common mistakes writers make, Ray Bradbury's writing challenges, the use of 'deus ex machina' (a Latin phrase that loosely translates into English as 'god from the machine', which means: an unexpected power or event saving a seemingly hopeless situation, especially as a contrived plot device in a play or novel, a famous example of which is: In The War of the Worlds the invading Martians, undefeated by human weapons, conquer Earth, only to be slain by bacteria), world building, tropes / clichés and much more.

Additional questions were supplied by Amanda Jane Davies, Antonio Salix, Dave Langdale, Derek McMillan, Eileen Baldwin, John Notley, Lesley Anne Truchet, Michael Rumsey, Nancy Mandi and Paul Mastaglio, members of the Authors of the Flash Fiction Writing Challenge Facebook group.

You can find out more about Allen on his website and on Twitter.

The music in this video is taken from the song 'Doodlebug' by Little Villains.

Total running time: 1 hour 2 minutes

Interview recorded: 22nd June 2020

This is quite a long interview, so here are some extra details meaning you can skip to the bits that are of most interest to you should you wish to:

  • 0 to 10 mins: intro about Allen's background
  • 10 to 20 mins: questions from Chris about writing, teaching, the British Fantasy Society, running / being a member of a writing group, judging short story competitions (particularly the BFS contest) and writing in the sci-fi, fantasy and horror genres
  • 20 to 54 mins: questions from other writers about sci-fi, fantasy, poetry, football journalism and music / music journalism
  • 51 to 56 mins: about Echoes from an Expired Earth, Allen's poetry collection released by Demain Publishing
  • 56 to 62 mins: final pearls of wisdom

 

Consuelo Rivera-Fuentes, Interviewed by Chris Fielden

A conversation with Consuelo Rivera-Fuentes, a Chilean-British writer and academic who is the founder, Managing Director & CEO of Victorina Press.

In this interview, we discuss Consuelo's experience in the world of academia and independent publishing.

We talk about the publishing industry, agents, the importance of diversity in publishing, the challenges faced by authors from disadvantaged and minority backgrounds, the principles of bibliodiveristy (including details of A Manifesto for Independent Publishing by Susan Hawthorne published by Spinifex in 2014), the problems arising from 'sameness' within the publishing industry (everyone looking for the next Harry Potter, for example) what a publisher looks for in a manuscript, the craft of writing, how much input an author gets when producing a book, the pros and cons of running a family business and much more.

Additional questions were supplied by Gail Wareham-Everett, Lesley Anne Truchet, Mary Fox, Michael Rumsey and Sarah Mosedale, members of the Authors of the Flash Fiction Writing Challenge Facebook group.

You can find out more about Consuelo on the Victorina Press website and Twitter.

The music in this video is taken from the song 'Doodlebug' by Little Villains.

Total running time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Interview recorded: 2nd July 2020

This is another lengthy interview, so here are some extra details allowing you to skip to the bits that are of most interest to you:

  • 0 to 12 mins: intro about Consuelo's background and how she became a publisher
  • 12 to 32 mins: the principles of bibliodiversity and the ethos of Victorina Press
  • 32 to 44 mins: what it's like running a family business and how Consuelo envisions the future of Victorina Press
  • 44 to 66 mins: questions from other writers about agents -vs- direct submissions, ensuring writers who are underrepresented due to their ethnicity, disability or other social factors are considered fairly, what a publisher looks for in a manuscript and managing a personal balance between publishing and writing
  • 66 to 70 mins: final pearls of wisdom

 

Christopher Fielden, Interviewed by Sophie Lloyd-Owen from Victorina Press: Part 1

Victorina Press are an independent publisher based in the UK who follow the principles of bibliodiversity. They published my short story collection, Book of the Bloodless Volume 1: Alternative Afterlives.

Recently, VP started making videos of writers performing readings of their work. They also conduct author interviews to sit alongside the story performances. After releasing a video of me reading my story, 'Death of a Superhero', Sophie Lloyd-Owen and Jorge Vasquez from Victorina Press put this interview together.

It turned out to be so epic and crammed full of interesting chat that we had to present it in 2 parts. This is part 1.

In it, Sophie and I discuss writing, publishing, short stories, the appeal of different genres (particularly hum0rous fantasy), influential authors of the fantasy, horror and sci-fi genres, horror films, the importance of bibiodiversity, literary influences, large publishers vs small publishers, making mythical creatures real, childhood experiences shaping stories and how running a successful blog / website can help authors gain exposure for their fiction writing.

Total running time: 30 minutes

Interview recorded: 5th May 2020

 

Christopher Fielden, Interviewed by Sophie Lloyd-Owen from Victorina Press: Part 2

This is the second half of me being interviewed by Sophie Lloyd-Owen from Victorina Press. You can see the first half above.

In this video, we talk about writing craft, the importance of editing, short story collections,  themes, audio books, market research, fantasy, humour, characters, comedy and lots of other lovely stuff.

Total running time: 27 minutes

Interview recorded: 5th May 2020

 

Rajib Das , Interviewed by Chris Fielden

A conversation with English fiction writer Rajib Das from Assam in India who launched Twist & Twain, an online literary magazine for emerging writers.

In this interview, we discuss Rajib's experience of running a magazine and the Indian publishing industry.

We talk about being a writer, Rajib's decision to publish Twist & Twain in English, how his magazine fits into the publishing industry in India, magazines paying their authors, running short story competitions, giving new writers a fair chance and much more.

Additional questions were supplied by Gail Wareham-Everett, Lesley Anne Truchet, and Michael Rumsey, members of the Authors of the Flash Fiction Writing Challenge Facebook group.

You can find out more about Rajib on the Twist & Twain website and Twitter.

The music in this video is taken from the song 'Doodlebug' by Little Villains.

Total running time: 25 minutes

Interview recorded: 2nd August 2020

Here are some extra details allowing you to skip to the bits that are of most interest to you:

  • 0 to 5 mins: intro about Rajib's background and why he started Twist & Twain
  • 5 to 10 mins: the publishing industry in India
  • 10 to 14 mins: the challenges of launching a magazine, paying authors, giving new / emerging writers a fair chance and running a short story competition
  • 14 to 19 mins: questions from other writers about the different types of magazine submission topics, Rajib's readers are and where they are from and how Rajib divides his time between the magazine and other activities (working, writing etc.)
  • 19 to 26 mins: final pearls of wisdom

 

Steve Tuffin, Interviewed by Chris Fielden

A conversation with Steve Tuffin, Associate Lecturer with the Open University and Academic Instructor / Writer in Residence at New College, Swindon.

In this interview, we discuss Steve’s inspirational journey from being a builder and mental health aftercare worker, to being diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis, to becoming a writer and creative writing tutor.

This video was recorded during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, so we go on to chat about how the situation has affected teachers, students, colleges and universities, and how they're adapting to cope.

We also talk about creative writing courses, the importance of understanding the craft of writing, Steve's student success stories, the benefits of writing (beyond becoming a publisher author), dealing with rejection, Shakespeare, spoken word events, short story competitions and more.

Additional questions were supplied by Annemarie Allan, Isabel Flynn, Klaus Gehling, Mary Fox and Paul Mastaglio, members of the Authors of the Flash Fiction Writing Challenge Facebook group.

You can find out more about Steve on his website and on Twitter.

The music in this video is taken from the song 'Doodlebug' by Little Villains.

Total running time: 1 hour 3 minutes

Interview recorded: 26th May 2020

Because this is quite a long interview, here are some extra details so you can skip to the bits that are of most interest to you should you wish to:

  • 0 to 12 mins: intro about Steve's background
  • 12 to 21 mins: discussing the craft of writing
  • 21 to 34 mins: questions from Chris about teaching and the impact of COVID-19 on education
  • 34 to 51 mins: questions from other writers about the art of teaching and more
  • 51 to 59 mins: discussing competitions and spoken word events
  • 59 to 63 mins: final pearls of wisdom

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Become An Interviewee

If you'd like to be considered as an interviewee, please contact me and provide the following details with your pitch:

  • A concise biography, explaining your area of expertise in the writing and publishing world
  • The topics we could discuss that might be of interest to my audience (primarily writers of various levels of capability - beginner through to expert)
  • Details of any interviews you have undertaken before

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Leave your comments

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Comments:

Your comments:

Khutso K
Greetings...

Khutso here, from South Africa. I'm a writer and releasing my first eBook. It is a non-fiction guidebook. Knowledge oriented. Growing in South Africa as a black kid, we were never given enough knowledge on self education. So my book, The Conscious Mind, establishes that kind of phase and teaches people the knowledge they never had before. I'd love to discuss the importance of the book, where I'm coming from, how I want my book to change someone's life and building consciousness throughout life.

I have done one interview at a local radio station called Madibeng FM. Thank you.

Chris Fielden
Hi Khutso. Thank you for your message. And congratulations on publishing your book.

The interviews I publish are not advertorial. So, if I were to interview you, the interview would focus on the publishing industry in South Africa and your experiences of it. I'm sure your book would get mentioned in the interview, but I'd prefer it not to be the main focus.

A couple of questions:

  • Who is publishing your book?
  • Please can you send me a link to your publisher's website?

I'll look forward to hearing from you :-)

Glen D
Am currently thirty five minutes into your talk with Steve Tuffin. Had intended to just check out the opening comments and more than half an hour later here I still am. It just flows so well - what with his humor and personal anecdotes and the rapport between you two. I've got it playing still as I'm writing this. Steve's responding now to Mary Fox's question. Brilliant! You two should get together again in the future. Thanks so much for offering this up Chris.

Glen D
UPDATE!

OK, just this moment finished watching all 62 minutes of your  'fine chat' with Steve Tuffin and I am presently sitting at my computer virtually applauding.

Even at the 35 minute mark I wanted to walk away - having other things to do! - but the entertaining banter  held me in place like glue. Parts of it had me in stitches as well - like when Steve spoke about his students 'not being able to get a word in' and of course the bit about Lenny and Linda in the phone box.

Brilliant! Absolutely loved this. You two make a great double act. Would tune in anytime again you're both 'on'.

Chris Fielden
Thanks very much, Glen.

Steve is a total legend. As you can imagine, he's a great guy to go and enjoy a pint in the pub with. Of course, you'd lose an entire day or two chatting... but it would be fun!

Glad you enjoyed it. Maybe I should plan a second interview with Steve... :-)