Please introduce yourself.
Hi Aurora. I’m Mick Canning, an English writer living in England, who writes and blogs especially about India.
- When did you start writing?
During my childhood I used to write short stories and poems that I would read aloud to my parents, and then submit to my junior school magazine. They were kind enough to publish a few of these, possibly to keep me quiet. And then I never stopped.
- What motivates you to write?
As the cliché goes, I write because I have to! There are so many stories and ideas milling around in my head that I want to share with other people. And now that I finally have a novel published, and can therefore claim to be an author, this urge seems to have increased rather than diminished.
- What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre?
I tend to write what is usually called ‘literature’, which sounds awfully grand and pompous, but really means no more than that it does not fit into any of the usual categories of fantasy or crime or what-have-you. It is probably due more than a little to my reading habits, which are frequently also ‘literature’. Not that I don’t read plenty of other genres, of course. Some crime, some fantasy, horror, humour, and plenty of non-fiction; mainly travel and history. I will write short stories in these other genres occasionally, too, but I feel my best work is usually ‘literature’. This probably sounds dreadfully pretentious!
- What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?
My goal? Always to finish the current work in progress, and to make as good a job of it as I am able. I have no particular wish to publish dozens of books, but I’d like the few that I do publish to be good! My dreams, well, if my writing can take me to India or Nepal, that would be good! I suspect that is not quite what the question means, though.
- Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it?
Oh, yes. I‘m sure every writer does. My method is to go for a walk, preferably on my own, in the countryside. Whatever the problem I have with my writing, be it not knowing where the plot is going, or how my characters will act in a situation, or even something about the geography or history of the setting, a walk will infallibly enable me to sort it out.
- What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors?
Write! Write! Write! And read! Read! Read! The more you read, and the more widely, the more you learn how writing works. And the more you write, the better you get at it. It really helps to get feedback from someone you trust, too.
- Please, tell us about your work.
So far, I have one self-published novel, ‘Making Friends with the Crocodile’. The title comes from an Indian proverb, and the story deals with the attitudes to and treatment of women in society, in this case specifically Rural India. It is told through the relationship between a mother and her daughter-in-law, and how a violent incident impacts upon them and the rest of the family. I wrote it in the first person, through the eyes of the older woman. And if that is not a real cheek coming from a western male writer, I don’t know what is! The book has been well received, though, even by Indian female reviewers, so perhaps I’ve succeeded in what I set out to do.
Otherwise, I have a large number of finished short stories, quite a few of them set in India, and am working on a couple of novels – one set in an Indian hill station, the other a rather over-ambitious one set in a time-scale of some four hundred years up until late Victorian times, and in England, India and Persia. I must be mad.
Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!!
It’s been my pleasure to be here, Aurora. Thank you very much for having me!
My blog is www.mickcanning.co
My author’s link: http://author.to/mickclink
The book is available as Kindle and Print-On-Demand Paperback on Amazon (the link takes you to the author page there), and also on Kobo as well as, in India, Pothi and Flipkart