1. I am definitely a plotter. I need to have at least a general idea where my characters are going and how they get there. What happens along the way slides to some extent into the realm of the panster.
2. Hard to say what actually comes first, character or plot? An idea for a story takes root and then things evolve from there. Who a character is as a representative human being, say the protagonist, can determine where his or her choices lead. Plot will put obstacles in the way. Occasionally a setting will fire up the imagination, and I’ll want to see something dramatic take place there. That requires characters. Plot develops from that.
3. At present I am close to completing a first draft of a novel. Although the setting is similar in places to that in a previous work of fiction, and with a few themes overlapping, this represents a completely new direction. It is not part of a series.
4. Greek mythology plays a significant role in underpinning my plots. Knowing the myths helps readers grasp what is going on in the background. Allusions to art, literature, philosophy, and religion serve a similar function. Bars and cafés are preferred places for relevant dialogue.
5. I sit down to write every day. I try to come away from the desk having achieved at least a workable page. Frequently what comes of my effort amounts to no more than a paragraph, but one I am satisfied with. Having coffee out or nursing a beer in a pub can lead to observations that connect to themes I’m developing. It could be a bearded face or the shape of a table leg or a tune playing in the background.
6. You can find me at the following: email@example.com; reedstirlingwrites.com; Reed Stirling at BWL Publishing
7. Favourite authors: Among contemporary writers, John Banville, Ian McEwan, and Richard Dawkins
Among twentieth century authors: James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, Ernest Hemmingway, Lawrence Durrell, John Fowles, and there’s always Shakespeare to fall back on.