What’s Join Us all about?
Join Us is about a romance between an out-of-work IT worker (Paul) and a Kensington socialite (Eliza), brought together by her scheming father. It explores the comedy that comes from the early stages of an unlikely relationship as well as the class divide that’s still alive and well in London. If I’m being honest, the idea for the character of Paul came from a friend of mine, handily also called Paul, whose flat somehow became labelled as a brothel and features a door bell that plays novelty hits from the 90s. But while the comedy is a strong part of the book, I also wanted to give the characters warmth and emotion, which balances the dafter parts of the story. For all other insight I’m afraid you’ll have to read it.
What compels you to write?
For me, writing comes from boredom. I wouldn’t feel compelled to write if I had a job that was busy and stressful all year round – I simply wouldn’t want to use up what little spare time I’d have with writing. I know this goes against the traditional author’s stance of having a hunger for writing so deep that it needs to be fed 24/7, but having time allows me to think and be inspired. Besides, some of the world’s greatest inventions were borne from boredom – the Rubik’s Cube for example.
What’s the best thing about being a writer?
From a purely selfish side, it’s the ability to create conversations that always go the way you want them to go, with all your points made without interruption or someone being funnier or more clever than you. Writing also gives me the chance to play out entire scenes or situations that I could never be a part of, and discover how those situations would develop if I was making all the decisions. Working alone, I can also have the room as warm as I like.
What’s your advice for aspiring writers?
As an aspiring writer myself, the only advice I can give is to sit down and write. Like skiing or camel riding, writing is one of those odd activities that it’s impossible to predict how good you are until you do it. And the worse you think you’ll be at writing, the bigger the delight when you discover that you can actually do it.
How do you deal with writer’s block?
I guess the common answer is to go for a walk or think about something else for a while, but for me, I have to write through writer’s block. The process of getting words on the screen is its own release. They may be some of the worst phrases ever written, but they slowly allow the brain to kick back into gear and create writing to be proud of. If that fails I just get drunk.
What are you currently working on?
I’m chewing over an novel that explores positive vs negative thinking. Which is better? Which makes you a happier person? Which gives the better outcome? It’s still at the ‘How the hell am I going to make this entertaining?’ stage, but I like the idea of comparing the two different attitudes to life and whether each one makes a blind bit of difference.