Man at Desk


A short interview with myself

You seem uncomfortable, is everything ok? That is how you’re going to use one of your ten questions? I’m great, thanks, super comfortable talking to myself like this…

Ok, let’s start with the name then, why ‘The Novel Idealist’? Well, in short because I’m not a 62 year old ex professional American football player. A quick search of uncovered my name being shared with an ex American football pro and, short of waiting for that domain name to open up, I went for a pen name. I thought The Novel Idealist was a cool play on words – a novel writer full of ideas…To be honest, it just sounded like a cool name after a couple of beers, your expression suggests you disagree?

No, no, it’s… great. So when did you first know that you wanted to be a writer? I can’t really pin point it, it feels like something I’ve always known; I feel like I’ve written since I can remember. I have a vague recollection of being particularly smug getting two smiley face stickers for a piece of primary school English homework, and let me tell you, those stickers were gold dust back then. But it was the note that came with it, ‘really enjoyed reading this, thank you’, that really did it for me. I thrive off of that feeling that someone has enjoyed something I’ve written.

Was hoping for a shorter answer there… ok what’s the strangest thing you’ve ever written? Strangest… I’ve re-written a pantomime for Snow White, as part of a Christmas charity initiative in my ‘real job’, that was weird. Watching several highly paid lawyers jumping around in dwarf outfits and animal onesies acting out my dialogue... I still can’t believe that it wasn’t a dream.

Very weird. What’s your favourite book, or series? Hmm, tough one. I’m going to cheat and whittle it down to two. The Harry Potter books were the ones that really got me into reading when I was younger, loved them. I’m a huge fan of Dan Brown and his Robert Langdon series of books too, so I’ll go for those two.

Kind of defeating the object of the question, but ok. So what’s your thing - what do you like to write? All sorts, you name it I’ve probably tried it. I’ve dabbled in plays, I write personalised poetry quite a bit too, comedy sketches, I’ve just finished a sci-fi/thriller type novel too. My latest piece, self-published, was actually a travel diary of a disastrous recent trip to Rome. Check it out...

Sounds kind of interesting, what’s it about? Well, it was a bit of a cathartic piece about a solo trip I made to, you guessed it, Rome a couple of years, which was plagued by disaster after disaster. Rather than wallow in self-pity, I tried to find the funny side of the various ridiculous mishaps though, and put together a funny, I hope, narrative travel guide.

Ok some quick fire ones to finish – are you a pen and paper, or a laptop kind of guy? Pen and paper, all the way. Purest form of writing right, seeing the page fill up with your ideas? A major part of my process is writing something down physically before typing up - useful early editing tool too as you put pen to screen.

How do you get in the mood for writing, what get’s the juices flowing? Like anything, got to warm up first. I like to test myself with image prompts and write flash fiction. I actually started a 15 Minute Fiction Friday challenge a couple of years ago, encouraging other writers to get involved on social media.

Finally, one sentence this time, please, what does success as an author mean to you? Easy, if someone has enjoyed something I’ve written, I’ve done my job; success is doing that for as many people as I possibly can.