Good day Wordy Wednesday fans. Another Wednesday another author to quiz, another brain to poke about in. Today it's rather a joy as I've known this author (via the medium of twitter) for quite some time and I've read a fair bit of his writing, so I know something you might not, he is a great write with a very dark, warped view of things, a creepy, disconcerting view of the world, but I'm leaping ahead, allow me to introduce Oliver Clarke, and let us ask him to tell us about himself and his books
I'm in my early 40s (just) and am married with a young son. We live in Sussex with and an overweight cat. At night, when a story grips me, I write. Genre is a tough one for me to pin down, but most of my work has an element of crime or horror in it. I've published 2 novels to date, the first 'Sunliner' is a mix of 50s noir and sci fi, the second 'One Night' is a more traditional romantic thriller about a young woman who meets a bad boy on the run.
Aside from the novels I've written a bunch of short stories, including 5 about a plucky cat. That series ('A Cat Called Hope') started life as a bit of a joke, because people kept telling me I never wrote anything nice, but has ended up being my most successful work by far. I've sold more copies of those than everything else but together (a few times over) and the first book in the series is now available in French too ('Un Chat Nomme Espoir'!)
Do you have another job or are you a full time author? If you do something else (international spy?) what is it and do you like it?
My "real" job is very dull, I'm a project manager for a big high street bank, specialising in telephony based projects. Most of the time I like it, I work with some great people and delivering something new is always satisfying.
When did you start writing?
As a child, I still remember the first short story I wrote for a school project when I was about 10 - it was a sci fi tale of an astronaut who crash lands on a planet inhabited by vicious robots. Through my teens, twenties and thirties I kept at it but never really managed to finish anything. My new year's resolution at the start of 2012 (the year I turned 39) was to stop pissing about and make it happen. The result was Sunliner, which I wrote in about 6 weeks and published in the February.
What 3 things are guaranteed to make you smile?
My son telling me about the latest crazy invention he's dreamed up
That thing where you take photos of 2 people who look alike but reverse the name captions underneath - a fan of Private Eye no doubt then!
Early Adam Sandler films
Do you have any pets? If yes, what, and do they help or hinder the writing process?
We have a cat, Venus, who is fairly saggy and lazy. I don't think she either helps or hinders my writing, but she is good company and very chatty.
Who is your favourite author? Do they influence your writing or are they a total break from the sort of thing you write?
Stephen King, without hesitation. I've struggled a bit with his more recent stuff, but I LOVED his books as a teenager and he has been a massive influence on me.Oh I totally agree, weirdly for an author I think his early stuff was better, proper fear inducing stories.
Which book(s) are you reading at the moment?
I generally have a few books on the go and flit between them - at the moment those are 'A Princess of Mars' by Edgar Rice Burrough, 'Shogun' by James Clavell and 'Alone in Berlin' by Hans Fallada
Where do you do most of your writing?
Anywhere I can! I used Google Drive which gives me real flexibility. Most of 'Sunliner' was written on my phone whilst walking to work and then edited at the dining room table in the evening. Writing books on your phone, what a world we live in
Tell us about the character that you've written that you like the most - no spoilers!
Tough choice, as there are a few I really like. The most popular with readers is Marx, the feline protagonist of the 'Cat Called Hope' books, who I think of as being a bit like a moggy version of Jack Bauer (he does the right thing no matter how hard it is).
My own fave is probably JJ, the villain in Sunliner. Writing someone utterly evil is great fun and really cathartic!
What is your favourite biscuit?
Custard Cream, no competition
Tea or Coffee?
Tea. I like coffee but only drink one cup a day compared to about 5 or 6 cups of tea
In the film of your life who would play you? (why)
I'd like to say Bradley Cooper, but that's probably wishful thinking. I genuinely don't know!
If you could genetically cross an animal and a vegetable, what would you pick and why? I like the idea of a potato and a sloth...could you get a lazier creature? (my soul mate)
My cat crossed with any vegetable would be lazier (trust me).
How about an onion crossed with a 3 legged puppy for when you need a good cry?
Here's the link to Oliver's Amazon UK page
It is VERY IMPORTANT to note that there is someone else called Oliver Clarke who publishes on Amazon. He writes dirty books and is not me! (I'm sensible enough to publish my dirty books under a pseudonym ;)) This made me laugh!
And here's a link to One Night, which is probably my most accessible book (and is only 99p at the moment!)
Massive thanks to Olly, and do check out his books, they are ...well good is the wrong word...fascinating maybe, creepy definitely and if you read Camera Phone v1 don't do it alone ...oh same for Doorbell, actually maybe read them all in a friendly spot ....
Do follow Olly on twitter, (I'm on Twitter too you know!) and pop over to Facebook to like my page and have a natter.