© 2013 Clive Eaton
Author Bio - Oblequante, an English poet
I am an English, London-based writer of fiction and verse, a day-job editor with a big news agency. I have always worked with words. I studied law, but that was a mistake. My first job was as a production assistant in a publishing firm. I walked out of that job because it bored me. I drifted into small-time advertising copywriting and wasted a few years writing small time ads for small time clients with small time minds. I got fired a couple of times and left one job after the boss's labrador took a leak on my leg. I then slid into journalism after a night drinking with an editor in a Fleet Street pub who happened to be a friend of a friend. You could say the job cost me half a bucket of beer. The interview, though neither my boss-to-be nor I knew it was an interview at the time, took place in The Punch Tavern. As a newbie reporter with an American-owned wire service, I wrote about all sorts of financial stuff including sugar, coffee, cocoa and oil prices. I know my way up and down the crack spread from tar oil to jet fuel and spend endless hours hanging around glitzy hotel lobbies in Geneva and Vienna pursuing oil ministers from The Organization of Oil Producing Countries. O happy days! I loved that job. Writing about coffee politics was a dream. Murky stuff coffee. I then went legit and joined a big-time wire agency. The news room stuffed full of big shot ex-reporters and soooooo hushed. Shhhhh! I can still hear that quiet almost two decades on. Meanwhile, I was writing away on my own stuff in a shadowy sort of way, never quiet getting it right, probably because the day job was getting in the way, or so I always liked to think. In truth, I was so out of touch I didn't even exist. To become a creative bum in a London gutter would have entailed several promotions. But any born creative person will tell you that if it is in you there is nothing you can do about it. And so I kept on fooling around with foolish stories and verses. The bosses never rumbled me, even though I have had a few printer malfunctions when various novels and short stories spewed out of company printers - to my horror. I have done my 10,000 hours apprenticeship. In fact I may have served about three apprenticeships. Late developer, right?
What do you do to relax when you are not writing?
I am never not writing. Every breath is directed towards being ready to receive, to be in the word-fall - to receive THAT line, THAT verse, THAT story.
Who or what, inspired you to become a writer?
I can't remember.
What or who inspired you to write your current novel?
Hunter S. Jones. She suggested it. I resisted. She persisted. I resisted more strongly. She persisted patiently. I surrendered grumpily and wrote about 9,000 words, including some verses. I surrendered in part because I knew from reading her Fables of the Construction that she has the green fairy in her writerly soul.
Tell us three interesting facts about your book which are not covered in the synopsis.
1) September Ends is a novella. OK it is 55,000 words, but it is still a novella because it is, a pumped up novella.
2) I wrote my part of the story in ink, real ink, with a fountain pen. I have all the scribbles. I wrote them mostly on trains in and out of London. The poetry was all written in ink in motion, at about 100 mph. Trains feature in September Ends, too.
3) When I embarked on the collaboration which led to SEPTEMBER ENDS my head told me it would work. When the end of the story revealed itself to me I knew with absolute certainty IN MY HEART that the story would work.
What research did you need to do for this book?
I found this aspect of the collaboration a sheer joy because I learnt much about the topography, flora and fauna, mores, history, culture and economy of the American south. I was especially taken to learn about Cherokee spiritualism, The Trail of Tears and to read some Cherokee poetry, to which I have a natural affinity being myself a nature boy by instinct. Oh and I will have you know, I am now proud to be a 'Tennessee Squire' and look forward to one day visiting the home of some fine drinking products. I may even have to write a verse to celebrate the occasion.
Are any elements/characters of your story based on real life experiences or people you've met/known?
Tell us a little about your current work-in-progress
Two of the characters in September Ends are knocking on the door, demanding their stories be written up.
What process did you adopt from inception through to the finished book?
Hunter S. Jones has already described how we created September Ends via a flurry of emails. I did 9,000 words. She added about 30,000 to that. While she was writing I was following along doing a writing editing. This added more words. We then did a second edit to tighten things up.
What do you need (or not need) around you while writing?
It is more about what is going on inside the being that what is around in the environment. In general, I prefer to write creatively in the mornings and edit later in the day. The former involves instinctive spontaneity, while the later requires spider-eyes intellect.
What prompted you to self-publish your current book?
We are living in a golden age of creativity where all sorts of creative talents may express themselves if they have the energy and drive so to do. Being a part of this is superly-uberly-massivly-meggerly >>> E.X.C.I.T.I.N.G. <<<
What were the three biggest challenges you faced when writing your book?
1) Working out whether we were writing with the angels or the demons. Ask me and I will tell you what the cultural philosophy of the story is. There is one. I would not have been able to contribute to the story were there not. And for the record, the story is with the angels, morally speaking.
2) Dealing the technical issues of whizzing hundreds of ideas back and forth across an ocean. Formatting, files and keeping track of the latest version.
3) Life getting in the way of creative spiral.
Every author seems to suffer with writer's block at some point. How do you overcome it?
Go for a swim. Go to sleep. Go for a walk.
What single piece of advice would you give to any aspiring writer?
What genre does your book fall into?
Contemporary literary romance with poetic content. Possibly also experimental literature or literary fiction.
How did you get interested in this particular genre?
I didn't. I did the writing first then thought about the genre. I'm not really interested in genres at all. They are meaningless to me for the most part. The only question for me about any story is: does it have a beating heart?
You as a reader
Which three authors have inspired you most and why?
1) Thomas Hardy because he is very English and because the moment he could he abandoned novel writing and graduated to poetry, his true destiny and the most exciting form of writing there is IMHO.
3) Vasily Grossman.
What was your favourite book as a child?
Robinson Crusoe. I still love it. I now love it because it reminds me of the joy and wonder of reading wonderful story when I was a kid. I am a kid again when I think about it or re-read it.
What is the best book you have read in the last 12 months?
Tortilla Flat - because of its good natured wit.
What was the last book you recommended to a friend and why did you recommend it?
Life and Fate - Vasily Gorssman because it is full of wisdom about how we are and because the author refers to 'the poetry of prose' and because of the 'two large bullfinches' near the end and because the author says the best we can hope for in life is random kindness and because of his description of Krymov's dog. And because of some especially harrowing insights into some of the worst things human beings have ever done.
Kindle (or e reader) or paperback and why?
I love my kindle, but I also love dusty old books and illuminated manuscripts. Above all it is the story, stupid. All the matters is the story, not the way it is delivered and not the writer.
Hollywood is calling
You have had the call from Hollywood and they want your opinion on who should play the leading roles in the film based on your story. Who would you choose and why?
I would prefer to see completely new actors make their names in the roles. I would be against having banked names. I would prefer fresh talent on the up. I would be against A list actors, because it would just be another job to them. I would want someone for whom it was an absolutely pivotal moment in their lives, a rising star, not some red giant of an ego. Bugger them.
The film of your book is going to need a soundtrack. Which musician(s) would you want to write and play it?
Because there is a poetry in the story my focus would be on the human voice. And because half the story is set in rural Georgia and Tennessee and the other half is largely set in rural Cornwall in England, I would tend to use a Natural soundtrack, birdsong and variations on it. The music of insects and waterfalls. There is also a Cherokee thread in the story. I might be tempted to use native American music. And because the poet Jack O. Savage has performed with the mighty Muse rock group and because they are from Cornwall, I might approach them. That said, there is an ethereal romanticism to the story, a great sadness to it, especially in the second half perhaps, so Muse may not be right. Whip-poor-Will/Loons/nightingales - the soundtrack of Nature would be best. Music of place. The Natural music of Georgia and Tennessee and Cornwall.
Drink - Fursty Ferret beer, brewed in Dorset, England
Food - the curry I had the other night in the Bengal Sage,
Holiday destination - Italy
TV programme - live soccer
Film - Barry Lyndon or any other Kubric film
Method of travel - slow boat
Sport - writing
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Author Feedback/Comments - Many thanks
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Sometimes when you believe it’s the end, it’s only the beginning.
September Ends is a contemporary romance with erotic and supernatural elements bound together by poetry. It reveals the intricate web of passion and desire which entangles Liz Snow, Pete Hendrix and Jack O. Savage. The story is told through Liz Snow’s diary, Jack O. Savage’s poetry, and from letters sent across the Atlantic. Traveling throughout the lushness of a summertime in Tennessee and Georgia, September Ends journeys into the elegance of London’s West End and is finally settled in the countryside of Cornwall, England, a decade later.
September Ends is a story of sin, redemption and salvation through love because love happens when we least expect it.
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