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                                                            Author Spotlight  

                          Gutenberg World Library Foundation Newsletter     July 2018



Could you tell our readers a little bit about your writing journey?


I have been writing since I was about ten years old. I started by writing poems about family events then started constructing scenarios and characters for crime and mystery stories. My first significant writing was my adolescent angst poetry inspired by writers such as Dylan Thomas. I wrote my first novella at the age of 22 and buried it in my filing cabinet.


How many books do you currently have published?




What has been your favourite book to write so far? Why?


Sinkronisity because it was the first time I gave my imagination free flight. I sat down every day and just wrote whatever came into my head. Every time the narrative stalled I invented new characters and settings. The result was a complex interweaving of sub plots that horrified the Editor. I had to take the manuscript apart, divide it into three strands. Two of these became Sinkronisity and the third was the basis for Treuth.


Are you currently working on a book? Will this be your next release?


The sequel to Treuth is nearing completion. It will be titled Destuny. It has a cast of new characters but includes characters from both Sinkronisity and Treuth.


What do you enjoy most about writing?


Everything except marketing.


Which of your characters is your personal favorite? Why?


Vince Yaga (Sinkronisity, Treuth, Destuny) He is a Time Traveller who can journey anywhere in time, space and story.


So far, what has been your favorite scene to write?


Vince Yaga takes the Professors of Oldworthy University on a tour of the History of Alcoholic Beverages accompanied by the serial imbiber Old Rang.


What lessons have you learned since becoming a writer? Do you have any tips for new writers?


Regular writing sessions keep you attuned to your subconscious where there is a continuous flow of ideas. Write for an hour at the same time every day.


If you were to recommend your books to a stranger, which book would you advise them to start with? Why?


On Being A Writer. It introduces me and my approach to writing and it is free.


What are some of your favorite classic literature stories (books that may be found at http://www.gutenberg.org) you have read?


The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain


Are there any classic books (books that may be found at http://www.gutenberg.org) that you have read that you feel has made a big impact on your life? Why?


1984 by George Orwell. It proves that the future is a state of mind.


Do you have anything else you’d like to share with readers?


Readers who download a free copy of On Being A Writer will also be able to download a free copy of my short story collection Domestic Fracture.



On Being a Writer    

Practical advice on fiction writing; the tools and techniques of a working writer.

How did you come to write this book?

I set myself the task of running a wiki blog for two years where every single day I wrote personal reflections on the process of writing and my experience as a writer. 

What made you decide to publish the posts as a book?

Firstly the responses from beginning writers showed me the interest in the process of writing from a personal point of view. Secondly I wanted a non-fiction title to attract readers to my fiction titles.

How did these posts become a book?

At the end of the two years I simply organised and edited my posts to give them a greater sense of connection.

http:// https://tinyurl.com/ybgbgyrl


Inside the Author’s Mind



 What is your idea of perfect happiness?

I don’t believe it exists. The moment you think you have perfection it will change. True happiness lies in the ability to accept the moment, the joy and the sorrow then move on. 


What turns you on creatively?

Something indefinable that arises within.


Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

the, which, and.


What quality do you most admire in a man?



What quality do you most admire in a woman?



What is your greatest regret?

Not seizing the moment.


If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

Resistance to change.


What is your greatest fear?

Enclosure. Being buried alive. 


Which living person do you most admire?

Nelson Mandela.


What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?



If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be?

A better me.


What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Learning to talk to an audience.


What is the trait you most deplore in others?



What is your greatest extravagance?

Some days it is beer, others it is wine.


What is one thing you want to do before you die?

Live life to the full.


What is your favorite piece of music?

‘Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door’ by Bob Dylan.


What are some of your favorite curse words?

Oshit. Far Canal. 


What is your motto?

Not a day without a line.





Landscape is a novel about an art teacher who travels to the arid north west of Australia and the mountains of Nepal to rediscover himself through landscape painting. While his relationships end in divorce, regret, bitterness or death, his art achieves critical success. Neither art nor love, bring him a sense of fulfilment. His search for meaning takes him to India where he discovers a new dimension to his life.


My main character usually starts as a kind of alter ego of myself. As the story unfolds I allow him to grow through his experiences to become a person in his own right. He only emerges fully once I take him beyond the limits of my own experience. My minor characters are sometimes based on people I know but they develop according to the needs of the main character and the plot. They always develop attributes, which differentiate them from the original person. More often my minor characters spring directly from the plot and seem to arrive fully formed. I meet them and welcome them into my story.


Probably baby boomers, still in exploration mode - hopefully of both genders.


I started writing poetry when I was about twelve years old. I have never been anywhere without a pen and notebook since. I realised at an early age that I was addicted to writing. It is part of my process of finding meaning. As well as fiction I do a lot of reflective journal writing. The most significant point for me was about ten years ago when I resolved to spend a minimum of one hour writing every morning before breakfast. That was when seven unfinished novels and a script came to fruition in about three years.


I write religiously every morning for at least and hour and I write impulsively in stolen moments and spaces as often as I can.


In modern fiction: Peter Carey, Salman Rushdie, AS Byatt and Jack Kerouac.
In fantasy: JRR Tolkein and Frank Herbert.
In satire: Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett.


Only one? I could die happy if I’d written ‘On The Road’, ‘Midnight’s Children’ or ‘The Lord of the Rings’. Since they are taken it is the masterpiece still percolating in my unconscious.


Not very well. Mostly through social media such as Twitter and Facebook. I also have two websites, a writer’s notebook at wikispaces and a blog.


It doesn’t reject you.


Submit relentlessly to traditional publishers and agents because the feedback you get will be invaluable. Rejection doesn’t necessarily mean your work is no good. You don’t get a lot of useful feedback through self-publishing. Don’t do it until you are sure your work is good enough and significant other people agree with you. Once you begin publishing on kindle, be meticulous with your formatting and proofing.

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How do authors use social media sites?

In the last 18 months, the number of authors who can be found on Twitter and Facebook has boomed. The gap between authors and their fans has shortened dramatically, allowing instant responses to work and strengthening the relationship between both parties. With this in mind we asked a self-published author to describe how he manages his social media profiles and whether or not it has influenced his writing.

Stephen Faulds is the Australian self-published author of the e-book Landscape. Here are his responses to our social media questions.

Self-publishing involves a lot of self-promotion – how do you balance your writing and social networking?

With difficulty. I begrudge the time I have to spend promoting my work. My twitter activity has almost reached addiction levels and my writing output has decreased significantly since I became self-published.

Do you feel that social media (like Twitter always being ‘on’) detracts from your work or even your creativity?

It most definitely detracts from output but it has other advantages. It does stimulate creativity and facilitate networking. The trick is to shut it down when it really is time to get back to writing. I sometimes tweet my frustration as #twitteraddictsanonymous.

Do you feel it is important for self-publishers to interact with their readers - are authors who don’t embrace technology and social media jeopardising themselves?

Whatever works best for you. I love interacting with readers but it can be time consuming. I am sure there are a lot of writers who do very well without any direct communication with readers. Of course for the mega successful it becomes impracticable.
How do you feel the author’s role has changed in the last 10 years?
We no longer see publishers and agents as the final arbiters. We have begun to take responsibility for our work. We need to become increasingly adept at editing our own manuscripts and selecting our target audience.

Do you have a bit of a persona as an author that you project to your readers through using social media, or is it all one and the same?
I try to be real. I write in a variety of genres so I guess that makes me a bit schizoid.

Would you change anything about the self-publishing process?
Yes. I would develop amazingly simple and effective software compatible with every font and format so we can just upload our manuscripts as they are.

Your e-book Landscape is a travel novel; do you think that blogging has changed the way people perceive this genre?
I didn't consciously write Landscape as a travel novel. I love travelling and it is a bonus to be able to set my novels in fascinating places. It is interesting to be able to connect back to those places through the social media network. I think it forces writers to be authentic. No matter how well you research a place you haven't visited, you won't fool anyone who has been there.

What tips would you give to someone who was considering publishing their own work?
Proofread, proofread, proofread and get others to proofread for you. I am currently preparing a fifteen-year-old manuscript for e-publishing. I am amazed at how much proofing and editing it has required.

Could you talk us through the process of having your own web page?
I took the easy way and used templates from my site hosts. I chose colours and fonts that appealed to me and I chose layouts that were accessible rather than interactive. My aim was to offer as many samples of my writing, photography and artwork as I could. I offer samples of just about everything, including work in progress. I include links to my publications as well as my Facebook and blog pages. I have friends who are brilliant website designers and some time in the future I will commission one of them to create a dynamic, interactive site for me. That will probably be when I get to the stage of having more traffic than I can cope with.

How did you go about designing it/ getting someone to do it – and how do you choose what to put on there?
I took the easy way and used templates from my site hosts. I chose colours and fonts that appealed to me and I chose layouts that were accessible rather than interactive. My aim was to offer as many samples of my writing, photography and artwork as I could. I offer samples of just about everything, including work in progress. I include links to my publications as well as my Facebook and blog pages. I have friends who are brilliant website designers and some time in the future I will commission one of them to create a dynamic, interactive site for me. That will probably be when I get to the stage of having more traffic than I can cope with.

Who do you follow on Twitter, and do you have any examples of authors who are really good at self-branding?
I follow lots of writers and readers but I also follow tweeters in a variety of other interest areas such as photography, football, wine, music etc. I love getting into sequences of personal interaction with other tweeters. Two good self-branding authors I follow are Eden Baylee and Joanna Penn.

Stephen’s work can be found on his website  http://www.stephenfaulds.com.

Charlotte Chase09 October 2011

Interview with Stephen Robert Faulds


 What did you first read? How did you begin to write? Who were the first to read what you wrote?

My love of reading began with Enid Blyton's 'Famous Five' and 'Secret Seven'. I went on to Phantom comics and the Illustrated Classics. My father joined a book club when I was about twelve and I began to devour the children's titles then read the 'Senior Fiction' he bought for himself.
I began writing poetry about things that happened to me when I was in Primary School. From about the age of twelve, my teachers began to take an interest in my writing.

What is your favorite genre? 

I love good writing in any genre. I write literary fiction, satirical fantasy, nature fantasy and for children of various age groups.

Can you provide a link to a site where we can read some of your work or learn something about it?

My main website:

My amazon page

: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_2/192-9449199-2629365?_encoding=UTF8&search-alias=digital-text&field-author=Stephen%20Faulds

What is your creative process like? What happens before sitting down to write?

I never go anywhere without a notebook and pen. I jot down ideas continuously.
For many years I only sat down to write when I was inspired. Now, I write at the same time every day - an hour before breakfast. The routine stimulates my productivity. It's like turning on a tap. Whenever I find extra time or stolen minutes, I can usually be just as prolific.

What type of reading inspires you to write?

Poetic writing with strong visual imagery. My first inspiration to write was the poetry of Dylan Thomas. JRR Tolkein, TH White, Salman Rushdie, Peter Carey, AS Byatt, Douglas Adams, Arundhati Roy, Terry Pratchett, Richard Adams and William Horwood have all inspired me at different times. My inspiration is nothing if not eclectic.
What do you think are the basic ingredients of a story?

The basic ingredients of a story are an intriguing exposition, engaging characters and something to make the reader care about what happens next.

What voice do you find most to your liking: first person or third person?

I rarely, consciously select a point of view. Point of view is part of the story when it arises in my mind. I write the story the way it comes to me. Sometimes I write in multiple points of view.

What well known writers do you admire most?

As above. the writers I admire are the ones that engage me as a reader.
Dylan Thomas, JRR Tolkein, TH White, Salman Rushdie, Peter Carey, AS Byatt, Jack Kerouac, Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, Richard Adams and William Horwood. I am sure there will be more.

What is required for a character to be believable? How do you create yours?

You have to be fascinated by your own characters. If you aren’t, no one else will be. They must be multi-dimensional and have a history, which is not necessarily told but informs the character’s motivation.
My characters arrive visually, usually saying or doing something that shows me who they are.

Are you equally good at telling stories orally?

Yes. I am a teacher and I tell stories to my students every day.

Deep down inside, who do you write for?

I write for the most intelligent and sensitive readers in the universe.

Is writing a form of personal therapy? Are internal conflicts a creative force?

I am a compulsive writer. Journal writing is the most therapeutic form of writing but I suspect fiction does fulfil a healing function.

Does reader feed-back help you?

Immensely. I love to hear how I am read. I am fascinated by reviews.

Do you participate in competitions? Have you received any awards?

Awards? What are they?

Do you share rough drafts of your writings with someone whose opinion you trust?

Rarely. I prefer to wait until I am happy with a manuscript before I share it. Of course that is usually well before it is ready for publication. I tend to show script drafts earlier. Dramaturgy is invaluable.

Do you believe you have already found "your voice" or is that something one is always searching for?

I am a writer of many voices. If there is a perfect voice out there, somewhere … I still haven't found what I'm looking for.

What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.?

I write every morning before breakfast. On school days, that means getting up at five am. I write at any other opportunity I am given. I have only vague ideas about deadlines and rarely meet them. I often switch projects and that delays completion. When I come back to something after a break I usually make better progress.

What do you surround yourself with in your work area in order to help your concentrate?

In my study, I surround myself with books, magazines, pictures, stones, leaves, seashells, seeds, memorabilia, empty beer bottles and piles of paper. I feel at home here and write productively but I can never find anything.

Do you write on a computer? Do you print frequently? Do you correct on paper? What is your process?

In my early years of writing I wrote everything by hand. Once I discovered the word processor I typed from my hand written drafts. The process of proofing, editing and rewriting on the word processor gradually drew me into writing direct to the computer. I would often print out drafts to work on by hand but now I rarely print until I am ready to submit and I write direct to the computer ninety percent of the time. 

What sites do you frequent on-line to share experiences or information?

I am a regular user, you might say addict of Twitter, Facebook, my own websites and blogs, wikispaces and email. 

What has been your experience with publishers?

Publishers rarely have your interests at heart. Their bottom line is their own profit margin. I have been fortunate to receive quite a lot of feedback from editors with many of my rejections. You don’t always get this but when you do it is invaluable. The worst thing publishers can do is to keep you on hold with false expectations. I have held manuscripts for a long as eighteen months, engaged in redrafting consultation, before ultimately being rejected. Don’t save yourself for anyone - until the contract is signed. Even then, consider the sequel yours until it is paid for. Some of the big publishers haven’t yet worked out how to handle the e-book revolution. I don’t submit to anyone who expects a writer to sign over all electronic rights in return for a hard copy publication.

What are you working on now?

As of February 2012 I am working on sequels to two of my novels SINKRONISITY and AN EVENTFUL YEAR IN THE LIFE HISTORY OF NORBETT THICKLEand a play about Krishnamurti, which will be performed in India.

What do you recommend I do with all those things I wrote years ago but have never been able to bring myself to show anyone?

Read them again. Some of them, you will keep as a record of your journey, many you will discard and there may be a few that can be developed into something better. Most of us don't have anything brilliant that we haven't used.






So, what exactly do you write?


I write fiction in a variety of genres including satirical science fiction, adult literary fiction, fantasy, young adult fiction, children’s stories and stage scripts.


How would you describe yourself in a short third person bio?


Stephen Faulds is an English Teacher whose real job is getting up at 5.00am to write novels before he goes to school. He loves teaching but his real mission in life is to write.


What made you initially want to write? Has your motivation changed since then?


At the age of twelve I started writing poems to document events in my life. Before long I was writing to make sense of life and that has been the driving motivation since. I don’t understand things until I write them down.


What do you think is the most important part of writing?


The fifth draft.


What is your favourite part of writing?


Those moments when I am writing on the crest of a wave of inspiration. Second to that, the final draft when I am ready to let someone else read it.


Tell us an interesting fact about you.


I tried several times to give up writing but I eventually realized I am addicted to it.


Do you have a day-job, (other than writing)?


I am a High School English teacher. I was a Drama teacher for many years.


Are you an indie author, or did you get your work published the 'traditional' way?


I am self-published through amazon and smashwords. I tried for many years to find a publisher who believed in my work. Now I no longer seek publishers. I seek readers.


Tell us a little about your novel, ‘Ian's Story’.


A disturbing split narrative tale about the human spirit versus the power of shame, despair and grief.

A former pastor, working as a social worker in an institution for emotionally disturbed adolescents and caring for his wife who suffers from bipolar disorder. An unrequited infatuation for a young occupational therapist leads him to violate his own moral boundaries with disastrous but liberating consequences. 


Which projects are you working on at the moment?


A stage play about an Australian business man meeting the ghost of Indian philosopher J Krishnamurti in a New Delhi bar.

Sequels to my novels Sinkronisity and An Eventful Year in the Life History of Norbett Thickle.


How do you come up with the titles for your books? And do you have the final title before completing your book, or after?


Every novel is different. Some of my working titles have survived, others have been replaced at the very moment of publication.


How has writing changed your life?


It has taken me on some interesting vicarious journeys.


Where do you get inspiration for writing from? Do you listen to music whilst writing or have a 'writing cave'?


Inspiration has some direct entry point at the top of my head. I don’t know where it comes from or why.


Is there a particular form, style or genre that you'd like to have a go at writing? Why?


Screenplay, because it translates into something very big.


Favourite book and/or author(s)?


Salman Rushdie, Peter Carey, JRR Tokein, Terry Pratchett, TH White, Jack Kerouac, Douglas Adams, William Horwood, AS Byatt and Arundhati Roy.


Do you think it's necessary to have a degree (of any sort) in order to be a successful author?


Henry Lawson certainly didn’t. No, of course not. Writers should learn from the university of life and the works of great writers.


What would you say to those who want to become a writer? Any advice?


In the words of another writer: ‘Never, ever, ever, ever, ever give up.’ If you do then there is no other advice that will help.