Hello, please introduce yourself.
Hi, My name is Raymond Walker and I am a writer. I write under a few aliases as well as my own name so some of you may know me as “Ray T Walker”, Maeve O’Connell, Robert Anderson, June Rutherford and Elijah Plane but most of my books are written under my own name; Raymond Walker.
1. When did you start writing?
I started writing, way back in the mists of time, the seventies, little more than a child, I was raised on a farm in the middle of nowhere and there was little to do other than work study and read. A village lay close by; Peninver (Pro peneever) and it was there I attended school. As is the case with most writers they were raised a reader. I started reading for myself at a rather young age but no more so than many others. I was no savant, rather just a young boy with little other to do than read.
I remember reading Alan Garner’s, “Weirdstone of Brisingammen, Jack London’s “Call of the wild” and White Fang” My very first of the, sagas, “Njals saga”, “Lord of the Rings”, “Watership down” when I was barely into double figures.
I started writing in my teens but most of the tales told were not worthy of notice. A country boy from a farm in the middle of nowhere, I had to travel across the country to College and ended up in the capital. Beautiful, filled with history, the site of the new renaissance, the Athens of the North, I was only Fifteen when I picked up sticks and headed east. University took up some time, but I think that I learned more from the people and streets of Edinburgh than I did from my tutors. I was studying Polymer Process Technology under some of the luminaries of the age but the ancient hoariness, the Gothic spires and dreadful history of Scotland’s capital seeped into my lonely country bones. Already imbued with a taste for the “Horror” story, the dark and unusual, the environment, the dark wynds, the overwhelming mystery, could not help but fuel my taste for the macabre.
I qualified with no problem but was disappointed with the course even as I was studying it. Science was never to be for me I thought at the time.
Whilst in Edinburgh I found “The Science Fiction bookshop” and met some cool people and through them I started working for the magazine “Uncanny Tales” part time, whilst still studying Polymer process technology and later, Mechanical engineering.
My first published story “A Shiver” appeared in “Astounding stories, Amazing Tales” and “Wondrous Tales” in 1980. In 82’ “Nut Brown Eyes” was published as a novella and serialized in “Uncanny Tales”. A version of the same tale appeared later in the noted mystery magazine; “Tales of mystery and imagination”. I wrote for many mag’s at the time and was regularly published but only earned a little. Married, and then with children I put writing aside and looked to earn a living and so entered the business world. The less said about that the better.
2. What motivates you to write?
I have very little motivation to write. I enjoy the creation of something new and original but have not the impetus of those wishing to “make it” or “write the great novel” rather I just like telling a good tale that others appreciate. Generally I write because it is in my nature to do so. (be glad of a short answer) The idea sits in my head, it hatches and I try to write it. Sometimes that is easily done, at others it is a dreadful misery and I do not get it right.
3. What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre?
I am never drawn to genres, I always think; that is to my detriment. My very first novel, as you may expect, was a tale of the unexpected. “Nut Brown Eyes” a narrative tale set around the wild woods of Northern Scotland. My Second “My Peculiar Guinevere” a fantastical historical piece done in snippets of each of the characters lives. I have written historical fact, historical fiction, fantasy, contemporary romance, faerie tales, generic fantasy, Ghost stories, Science fiction, horror and even political comment over the years. Genre matters little to me. I always think that a good story will be a good story wither it is of birds in the sky or dragons in the mist. I have never found a genre I do not enjoy reading in.
There are some genres I prefer more than others, as Is the case with all readers but I have read fantasy that has fascinated me, Erotica, that has aroused me, Science fiction that sent me in deep stasis, thinking, others that have bid me soar.
Crime fiction that has assaulted my senses, Philosophy that has made me understand a little more of what I am and so on. I shall pause there, I may be assaulting your senses and ability to be bothered listening to me for much longer. Lol- but I have much more to say. I shall just finish his by saying that there is little difference between Hard Sci-fi and a bodice ripper. The good writer will tell the tale well no matter what it is; the bad……..
4. What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?
Many of my peers have ambitions. once I also had the same dream, the great writer, the bestseller, the Nobel prize (lol), writing the perfect novel. To be honest, I am aware of my abilities, I am a good writer (not great) many enjoy my tales, and hopefully always will. I look to make each one better than the one before. I sell a few books here and there. I no longer look forward to the bestseller, the great book. I keep writing because it is now a habit like smoking or drinking, it courses through my blood and I suspect that it will until my blood and internal organs are replaced with formaldehyde. Something that I suspect will happen in the not too distant future.
5. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it?
I have never suffered from writers block, I cannot imagine anyone so afflicted. I have a large ring bound book into which I place ideas for new books, new stories, short or long, That book is not only filled but there are many other sheets of paper, folded and added with outlines and Ideas I will not live long enough to tell. It does not really matter wither your struggle is writing the next tale or deciding which tale to write next. Just get on with it. Others may disagree. The big thing is telling what tale you wish others to read. As often you will get this wrong. I know I have, Often.
Those that I wish others to read, may one day be written but I suspect that I will complete few of them, and perhaps not even the ones that I wish to before my demise.
Each day I come up with ideas for new books, still untold. Some I will write, others will die with me. I hope however, to tell many more tales over the years remaining to me.
6. What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors?
To new Authors I would offer only two pieces of advice; Learn your trade.
Write short pieces first, write for newspapers, magazines, periodicals and even business papers. With a little ability and a great deal of reading even the most mundane of us can become great writers.
The Second piece of advice, I know, Seems to contradict the first. Spend time writing your best work, let the world pass by and do not rush. Wait for the right words at the right time. When those words are not coming, write something else. On Facebook, an article, a newspaper story, for the printed press, a column, a contradictory piece, a short tale for a magazine. It is difficult to make your living as a writer. You need to be hard-working, capable and clever. Of Course your cool novel may suddenly make you rich but In my experience it rarely does. So you spread yourself and work and if willing to put the effort in and talented enough (and I am not that good) you make a living.
Then you have the time to wait and see if people like your books.
Some will. Some will not. No book is wonderful to everyone.
7. Please, tell us about your work.
I enjoy writing, even when it is difficult and you review what you have just produced and decide that it is terrible, unworthy of what you imagined when you set out to write whatever, whichever tale you imagined.
Yet the opposite also applies.
I recently started putting together a collection of tales and realized that it was a little short. So I thought to add a tale from a little read book to complete the collection. This tale I found delightful, well written and approaching wondrous. So I know that I can produce a great work.
Thank you very much for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here. Please come back anytime!
Connect with Raymond:
Main author site; www.raytwalker.com
The new Novel website; http://sheweptblacktears.yolasite.com/
Another author site; http://www.raytwalker.wixsite.com/raymond-walker
Online Presence for the Wondrous Tales and Mercurial Tales magazines (under construction though visible); www.mercurialtales.com
For Horror tales only go to; http://raynayday.weebly.com
For Fantasy Tales only go to; http://raymondwalker.weebly.com
To read my blog go to; http://www.raytwalker.wixsite.com/stories
Amazon Authors page go to; https://www.amazon.co.uk/Raymond-Walker/e/B002CB59VA/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1