Welcome, Peter. Let’s learn more about you …
What is your genre? Why did you choose it?
The genre I love to work with is Suspense Thrillers. I love excitement and I love to keep the reader trying to guess what is going to happen next, or indeed how the characters are going to get out of a sticky situation. That is, if they do get out of their situation because they don’t always.
Do you work on more than one manuscript at a time?
When I was working on The Burden of Truth I only worked on that particular novel. However, at this moment in time I am working on two follow up novels at the same time. In addition to this I am working on a novel set in India about two young Buddhist monks which I’m very excited about.
Do you work with a writing/critique group?
Not in particular. Every now and again I will attend a writing seminar or something similar. I find these great because you can share your ideas with other writers and get some great feedback for your work. Also every month or so I meet up with some friends of mine (normally in the pub.) and discuss or trials and tribulations of our writing experiences.
Can you remember your first reading book?
Yes I can. It was in school when we all read and discussed in great detail a book titled, Shane by Jack Schaefer. Even though it seems like an awful long time ago I do remember this book as being the first one I looked at in great detail with my English teacher. It was this with book how I learnt more about story telling, such as plot structure, character building and a whole lot more.
Do you nibble on snacks while writing? If so, what is your chosen treat?
Not so much snacks but I do drink a lot of coffee when I write.
Tidy desk or a bombsite? Describe your writing area with us.
Ok, guilty! It’s a bombsite but I do know where everything is!!!
At the moment I am a self published author on Amazon. At this time I believe that self publishing is the right thing for me. However saying that, times change, situations change and it may be that I will change my mind and try to go mainstream one day.
However I must say I did try at one time to go down the traditional route to get published. As in, writing a book, finding an agent and then hopefully moving on to getting a publishing deal.
However, this seems to thwart with disappointment as I, like many other new authors have found out. Today it is very rare that a publisher will take the risk on new writers. “The costs are simply to great.” so I’ve been told.
Not only this but it can take years from a publisher to say, ”Yeah, let’s go for it.” to finally finding your book on a bookshelf. I know we all should be patient in these matters but it just takes too long. However, putting the time it takes factor to one side, another disadvantage for traditional publishing is the lack of control the author has. What I mean by this is the constraints a publisher as well as an agent puts onto the writer.
An example may be perhaps your story would have been chopped and changed, edited, re-edited to somewhat that does not come anything like what you set out to do.
This is one of the main reasons why I chose the self publishing route. When I set out to write The Burden of Truth, I wanted to send a message. If I were to lose control of my novel to the hands of a publisher I would feel I have not achieved what I set out to do if this message was lost.
However, I don’t want to sound too negative about traditional publishing as there are of course many great advantages of having a big team of experts helping you along your way. So saying that, if I were to get a publishing deal and the story was not changed too dramatically as to loose the context of the story I would certainly give it some great thought, without doubt. But lets just wait and see what happens for now.
Who would you say have been the three most influential authors in your reading/writing life?
This is actually quite a hard question to answer for me. I dare say many other authors could easily name their three authors in rapid succession but not me.
The reason being is that when I read, I read from a wide spectrum of authors and genres.
However if I was pushed I would say an American author going by the name of James Sheehan certainly would be up there. To me he writes his books just like book should be written. good strong plots with great characters. But the best part is he puts in twists where you don’t expect them.
Another one would be Alistair Maclean, I loved his book when I was young, simply for the adventure element.
And the third author, well I might just give this to Jeffery Archer. Ok sometimes he gets a bit of stick but I, like many others like his work a great deal. To me his novels are simply entertaining. They’ve all got great story-lines, great characters and interesting settings. When you think these are all the basics you need for a fantastic read.
What advice would you like to share with other writers/authors with regard to preparing a manuscript?
Plan ahead! Make some sort of a book plan before you start to write. Many authors simply sit down and start writing their novels only to find that it may well run out of steam and the plot falls down. By doing this you can put yourself in great danger and just might waste weeks if not months of work only to discard it all after finding out you can’t finish or round off a plot successfully.
I think if you ask most mainstream authors if they plan ahead, most of them will say they do. In fact most would probably say they might even spend up to six months or even longer working on plot, characters,settings etc before even writing their opening lines. Ok this might sound boring but it just might save you a great deal of time.
If the movie rights to your novels are purchased, who would you like to play your main characters?
Ok easy! For The Burden of Truth the main character is even described in the opening page that he looks like a young Al Pachino so that answers that one. Yes I know he’s not young anymore so I might have to have a re-think on that one.
Peter Canon, he’s a very well spoken man but very scruffy in the book; without a doubt he would be played by Bill Nighy, so long as he grows his hair long.
Now for Shanti, she’s one of my favourite characters in the story. When you read about her you will soon find out why everyone falls madly in love with her. A young, beautiful and very wise indian girl is Shanti, very calm and serene. So if I were to be the casting agent for my film I would be looking at someone like Indira Varmia. Ok I might have the same problem as Al Pachino but who cares, she’s beautiful.
Peter Best was born in the North East of England in the beginning of the sixties. Albeit the son of a shipyard worker, Peter was brought up in a mining community until the age of eight when for some reason or another somebody made the decision that the community should be uprooted and moved to a place called Cramlington on the outskirts of Newcastle.
After his time in school he served an apprenticeship working mainly on building sites working as an electrician, which he hated by the way! However, as Peter always looks on the positive side of things, he was pleased he did, as it was on these building sites where he came across many different characters who he was pleased to call his friends.
“Real people,” he called them. And so it turned out that many of these so called real people, and others of course, featured quite strongly in his novels. Of course it was not just the people he met on the sites; Peter has over the years come across many different characters on his travels who have all played their part in working their way into his mind.
In 1996 he married for the second time to a young German girl and soon after moved to the south of England. Soon after that he upped sticks again and moved to Wiesbaden in Germany to help support his wife as she pushed at her career as a doctor. Peter fell in love with the culture of his new surroundings, especially the culture of one of his neighbouring counties, Bavaria.
However as they say all good things come to an end and he moved back to England. It was at this time when his writing started to come together. Over the next few years Peter started to string together his thoughts and ideas for The Burden of Truth and it’s sequel. (The name remains a secret for now.)
He now lives with his wife and daughter in a small seaside town in Essex called Frinton on Sea.
Frinton, along with its neighbouring town, Walton on the Naze, both feature in his novel, The Burden of Truth.
On a cold day in March 1987, egocentric Brent Sandler makes the decision to change his life for the better. Years later he’s still not happy with his lot but not for the want of trying. Now he has hit rock bottom, penniless and in deep trouble. But little does he know his troubles are only starting as he discovers an awful tragedy unfolding. The problem is, he knows this tragedy is all down to him. Now he is determined to put things right.
Meanwhile in Bodhgaya India, Peter Canon has just made a discovery that will change his life forever. Now, like Brent, he must come to terms with his very own guilty secret of the past. Not only this, his life also is going to get worse as the woman he loves is slowly hunting him down. And when she finds him; questions are asked!
The Burden of Truth is the first installment of a three-part saga of how these two men are pulled apart and then drawn together as each man tries to fulfill his own quest for happiness. But they are soon to find out this quest is thwart with love as well as danger.