I met the wonderful Gareth L Powell at BristolCon, and then again at FantasyCon. He kindly agreed to answer some questions via email as I was too much of a bundle of nerves to actually ask face-to-face, and so I promptly took advantage of the opportunity and polled the Swindon FreeWriters for what they wanted to know from an award-winning author…
SFW: Thank you so much again for letting us be nosy! The Swindon Writers would like to know…what was your first piece of writing, and what’s been your most current?
G: I can’t remember my first piece of writing. I’ve been scribbling stories for as long as I can remember. My short story collection, The Last Reef (Elastic Press 2008) contains some of my first short stories to see publication. The title story was the first of mine to appear in Interzone.
My most recent novel is Macaque Attack, the final part of the Macaque trilogy (Solaris 2015), and my most recent short story is Ride The Blue Horse, which you can read online if you follow the link from my website: www.garethlpowell.com
SFW: Where do you write? What’s your set-up?
G: I write at home. The back room is my office, and I write while the kids are at school.
SFW: Do you write to any music/sound? If so, what?
G. Usually write to silence, but if I’m in the mood for music, it has to be something instrumental. Lyrics can be too distracting. Brian Eno’s ambient albums are a favourite.
SFW: What’s the book / piece of writing that you’re proudest of?
G. That’s like asking which of your children is your favourite. I am fond of all of them, although Ack-Ack Macaque (Solaris 2013) is the one I’m best known for, and the one that won the BSFA Award, so will always have a special place in my heart.
SFW: Who’s your favourite character to write?
G. The monkey (Ack-Ack) is tremendous fun, but I have to be careful to stop him completely dominating every scene he’s in.
SFW: What’s your favourite part of writing – what do you most enjoy about it?
G. I like it when I’m about two thirds of the way into a book and it’s flying along with its own momentum.
SFW: Thank you so much! We’re currently all finishing NaNoWriMo so wondering what questions to ask was a nice break from hating writing and wanting to quit…but then that seems to be a normal part of Nano!
G. Good luck with NaNoWriMo!