Welcome to Clubhouse Chat page. Those of you who are not a member won’t be aware that the location of the Clubhouse is shrouded in mystery. The only way to visit it is via membership or an invite to the tearoom. Every few days, I’ll be sharing a conversation with all sorts of writers and authors at different levels of their writing careers. Over tea and cakes, or maybe a glass of something stronger, I shall be chatting with my guest about their work in progress, or latest book release.
Today, we’re here to celebrate the launch of Defeating the Black Worm, by horror writer, Paul Flewitt The horror book is part of the Short Sharp Shock collection published Demain Publishing. Welcome to the tearoom, Paul.
Thank you for the welcome and invite, Paula.
Let me start by asking you did you try to be more original when writing this book, or deliver what you felt the readers wanted?
For me, every book and story is different. In fact, Black Worm wasn’t written with publishing in mind at all. I started writing it to understand a difficult situation that I was going through a while ago. I began having issues with anxiety and panic around the time my father was diagnosed with cancer. It really hit me hard, so I started writing a story to understand the anxiety as I’d never had issues with mental health before. It built up and actually became a very good story in its own right. I re-read it after about a year and felt it was more than good enough to release, so I turned it into a proper story. Its still very raw, and it’s also a bloody bleak read. It is enjoyable though, and definitely works with the rest of my output. Did I worry that it might be a little too personal? Yes, but I felt that it was a risk worth taking. It definitely isn’t a self-help book. It isn’t a triumphant book which details how I overcame my issues, because that battle is still being fought. Is a dispatch from the abyss that I found myself in at that time, turned I to a horror story. I hope people enjoy it.
Did you feel energised or exhausted after writing this book?
I always feel tired after finishing a project. It always takes me a bit of time to recharge afterwards. This one was no different. I always put a lot of effort in, and that means it’s often exhausting.
Do you want each of your books to stand alone, or are you building a body of work that are interconnected?
Whether that be a theme, a set of characters, a setting, etc. Explain more for our readers.
I have stories which stand alone, and I have ones that will tie in. I’m currently writing a trilogy, and I’m writing a sequel to my debut novel. I don’t feel the need to tie everything I write together though. Some stories are just their own thing.
How do you balance your demands on the reader with taking care of your readers? In the book did you spell everything out so your reader just had to read it, or did you rely on their emotional response to your words?
I credit readers with intelligence. I don’t spell out every little thing, and I hope the reader catches nuance. As a reader myself, I hate being talked down to or having my intelligence questioned in a book. I write to that ethic and allow the reader to work it out for themselves. I’m also a big believer that a book is just as much what the reader makes of it as it is what the writer intends, so I’m not going to beat them over the head with my intention. Let then interpret things in their way, and then it belongs to them.
Do you hope your book will deliver you literary success and how will this look to you?
All I ever ask is that those who read my stuff enjoy it. I don’t chase fads and fashions. I just write stories that I want to read and hope enough people agree. For me, success is telling a good story. If anything follows that, then it’s a nice bonus.
Was there anything you edited out of this book, you wanted to keep in, but you knew it would be a better book by cutting it?
No. I think everything that was in the first draft ended up in the final cut.
How long did you spend researching this book’s subject matter, or was it a book you had already planned?
Obviously, given that I was going through anxiety at the time, I was researching that anyway. A bit of that ended up in the story. Aside from that, I don’t really research. Even with the dark stuff like demonology and magic, I only use truth in very broad strokes. I don’t feel the need to be hyper-realistic, only believable.
What was the hardest scene to write in the book?
I don’t think there was one with Black Worm. Everything flowed really nicely and came out in a bit of a flood. The hardest decision I had to make with this one was whether to release it or not. Obviously, I made that decision… eventually.
How will you cope with bad reviews on this book?
I’m very philosophical about bad reviews. You can’t please everyone all the time. If the reviewer has a good point and is constructive then I’ll take it on board. If they just didn’t like the story, then I can’t help that. In that case, I’ll just shrug and move on.
What’s the one thing you would give up to become a better writer?
Time. It seems an obvious remark, but the only thing you can do to be a better writer is to keep at it, keep developing and keep writing. I take on board comments from my editor, and I take constructive critique on board. Its a process that never ends, and there are no short cuts. So, I’ll give my time.
Thank you for joining me in the tearoom, Paul. Let us wish you lots of wonderful sales with your book.
To find out more about Paul’s work click on the links below:
Amazon Paul Flewitt’s author page:
If you want to find out more about Clubhouse Members’ Books, don’t forget to check out the Clubhouse Bookshops, too.