Monday, 27 October 2008

Oscar Peebles

What inspired you to write Toast & Jam?

The advertisement Bridge House ran in Writers’ Forum magazine. All that was needed was a Christmas/Children’s flavour added to some thoughts that were going around in my head at the time, mixed with my usual metaphysical current, and Toast & Jam was born for a Christmas Pud of a story.

What other material do you normally write?

Inspirational stuff; Essays and comments, if something stirs me enough; and a record of personal events. I should love to be part of some kind of global expedition, as the writer of its story. I should like to write it in situ, perhaps sending back in installments for publication: perhaps posting a blog for interested parties back home. The world is not a secret any more: I should like to help it get to know itself better.

What made you become a writer?

I love writing. I have always written. At primary school my stories were read out in assembly, and I got through to Grammar School on the back of my writing. Jack London’s White Fang inspired me to want to have a go myself, but only lately have I succumbed to the being published bug in any serious way. So, now, I’m into editing…a process I find I like just as much as writing. I get a buzz out of whittling. And I am trying now to hone my writing into something more fulfilling, more proficient, more interesting and exciting than just banging out words onto paper. I love the art of writing, of fashioning a sentence, of playing with words.

Which writers do you admire?

Ah, now you’re asking! Writers who take me on down a fast and interesting path. Those who tell a good story…I want to be entertained. I cut my reading teeth on Denis Wheatley, then devoured Alistair MacLean, Hammond Innes, Desmond Bagley, Arthur Hailey, Dick Francis, T.H. White, Roald Dahl, Bryce Courtney, John Grisham, Michael Crichton, Martina Cole, Nicci French, Colleen McCulloch, Susan Howatch, Michelle Magorian to name but an incredible few. James, Rendell, Cornwall, Wesley, Forsyth, Hodgson Burnett. So many, many others. Names well-known, and others: unsung literary heroes, but thumping good reads. Bring ‘em on! I love them all. I could read for the Olympics. I love the story.

Tell us something about your writing routine.

It begins when the inspiration strikes, then swallows me up until it’s finished. I write from the hip, on the spur of the moment: while the energy is still alive and unique. That way it remains fresh (even if in need of editing), because you’ve captured the moment. And each story comes with its own pseudonym: I love that. Everything is written longhand, and then it is all typed up. Then it is left for a week or two to simmer. Then brought back for de-fragmenting.

Do you have a favourite place for writing?

Yes…in my head! Then curled up in a chair, and transferred as fast as my fingers will allow into empty hard-back books…I just love the blank, lined page! I’m a sucker for pads and pens! I can’t walk past a stationery shop without stopping to ogle! I have to stop myself from buying. I find the inspiration flows far better through pen and paper, and I enjoy the hands-on process. Lucky me; I love writing!

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