EB Pollock is a new author, with a debut novel, Tricks of the Trade, due to be published mid Janaury of 2018.
He was a lawyer for the previous eight and a half years both domestically and internationally, but has decided to go in a different direction, with less stress and more creativity. He is currently working as a teacher of English, traveling throughout Europe, taking the holidays and free time to write more books and short stories. He is an avid rugby fan, enjoys leaning new languages (Spanish is the current one he is working on), and meeting people, because all people have interesting stories to tell.
His personal blogs can be found at euanbpollock.com. The Shakin’ Steps blog details the journey of someone who has no experience in the writing or publishing business and what he learns, for any person who has written a book or wants to write a book but has no idea where to start; the Life and Times blog deals with life around us, in particular the economic inequality of life and how that affects the rest of society.
Featured Author: EB Pollock Interview
- How long have you been writing?
- What/who inspired you to be a writer?
- What genre do you prefer to write in?
- Describe your writing process. What comes first–character or plot? Do you “pants” it or outline?
- What is your daily routine as a writer?
- Are there any software tools, resources, or websites you often use while writing?
- What are some of your biggest challenges you feel like you have to overcome in your writing career?
- Do you prefer short stories or full-length novels in your writing?
- Can you give some us some insight into your story in Beautiful Lies, Painful Truths Vol. I ?
- What advice can you give other writers?
LHP: How long have you been writing?
EB Pollock: I’ve been writing since I was a child. So my mother tells me. She still has my early efforts, including a 12 page opus full of barbarians and wizards. More recently, I’ve seriously begun writing since March 2017, when I took a break from being a lawyer, a break I’m still enjoying at the moment! Since then, I’ve managed to have a short story, The Forgiveness Booths, published in an anthology by LHP, and my debut novel, a murder-mystery called Tricks of the Trade, appears on 19 January 2018. Back to top >>>
LHP: What genre do you prefer to write in?
EB Pollock: I always like murder-mysteries, so that’s the genre of my debut novel, Tricks of the Trade. But I also love thrillers, particularly the Rebus series by Ian Rankin and the books of Chris Brookmyre. And sci-fi, and fantasy. So yeah, quite a few. If the writing thing takes off, I’ll be trying to write in all of these genres. One thing I’m not short on is ideas (as opposed to time, my most precious commodity).
Back to top >>>
LHP: What/who inspired you to be a writer?
EB Pollock: I could quote a long list of authors who inspired me, but to be honest, the books I’ve read more than any other belong to Terry Pratchett. The Discworld series was a major inspiration to me, tackling the world’s problems with devastating irony and humour, and involving fantastic plots. I’ve since been consumed by Iain M. Banks and his Culture series, with The Player of Games as the standout. One of my favourite books of all time, perhaps because it’s so easy to see the parallels between his created society and our own! Honourable mentions also to Neil Gaiman, Christopher Brookmyre and Ian Rankin. Back to top >>>
LHP: Describe your writing process. What comes first–character or plot? Do you “pants” it or outline?
EB Pollock: For the murder-mysteries, I actually find the first thing that comes is the twist, the solution to the locked-room mystery problem you’re about to create. Thereafter comes a basic outline of a plot, and then characters, with the character complexity giving further ideas for the plot, and the plot generally further developing complexity of character. Having said all that, with the debut novel Tricks of the Trade, I did just sit down and write. And then re-write. Seemingly ad nauseum. I definitely followed more of a plan with the second one, which is in rough first draft stage.
Back to top >>>
LHP: What is your daily/weekly routine as a writer?
EB Pollock: My daily routine, regarding writing, involves putting aside about an hour for writing. Fortunately my full time job leaves me alone during non-working hours, and I’ve no children as of yet, so I get a bit of time to write properly. I try to do it in the morning, shortly after I get up, as I find that’s when my head is clearest. I work late hours, finishing up mostly about 9 30 at night, so there’s not much writing done when I get home! Back to top >>>
LHP: Are there any software tools, resources, or websites you use often while writing?
EB Pollock: I don’t really use any software tools or websites while writing. I’ve heard people talk about Scrivener and a few others, but to be honest, I doubt I’m at that stage yet. If I hit my stride and get the series I’m currently writing off the ground, then it may be time to start investing. But at the moment, to be honest, I’ve got through the publishing of one short story (“The Forgiveness Booths“, in the anthology Beautiful Lies, Painful Truths), one book (my debut novel, Tricks of the Trade) and the writing of a second without really needing anything else. Perhaps in time though. Back to top >>>
LHP: What are some of your biggest challenges you feel like you have to overcome in your writing career?
EB Pollock: The biggest challenge is getting the time to write. Life has many other things to do, and it’s all too easy to put off writing, particularly when you’re feeling a bit low. I find a routine helps, so in my mornings I find an hour to write, always with a cup of liquorice tea (don’t ask) and porridge. The other thing that helps is enjoying what you’re doing. I find writing great fun, and if someone was willing to pay me to do it 9-5, I wouldn’t hesitate. Back to top >>>
LHP: Do set word counts or other goals?
EB Pollock: I have a minimum number of words, which is 1000. I do this always because I find that once the rough first draft is complete, it’s far easier to go back and figure out what you want to say in those parts you found tougher to write. But for that to work, it’s crucial to finish that rough first draft. I normally write somewhere between 1500-2000 a day which, when I’m aiming for a 80’000 word novel, means that after 40-50 odd days, my rough first draft is in place. Even if parts are dross, it’s done, ready for polishing. Back to top >>>
LHP: How much time is spent on “the business of writing”, queries, seeking an agent or publisher, marketing/sales?
EB Pollock: A lot. Or at least that’s the way it seems. I thought writing would be just about, well, writing. Turns out it’s not. To be honest, marketing is by far and away the hardest part for me, and it also seems to take up the most amount of time. I’m not very good at it, and I don’t like it. Time might fly when you’re having fun, but sadly the inverse is also true – that’s probably why marketing seems to take up so much of my time! Back to top >>>
LHP: Do you prefer short stories or full length novels in your writing?
EB Pollock: I prefer writing full length novels, but that’s probably because that’s what I always read growing up. MY first one, Tricks of the Trade, is being published on 19 January, so in about two weeks. I’m only beginning to appreciate the art form that is the short story, and having a go at writing my own – like “The Forgiveness Booths“, appearing in LHP’s very own Beautiful Lies, Painful Truths anthology! It’s nice to have to get the points of your story across quickly and clearly. It lets you get straight to the heart of the matter. But I still prefer full-length novels, though, at least at the moment.
Back to top >>>
LHP: Can you give some us some insight into your story?
EB Pollock: My story in Beautiful Lies, Painful Truths is called “The Forgiveness Booths.” The theme is straightforward, that forgiveness is not something that is easy to achieve. I think forgiveness is difficult, and you have to have strength of character to do it, every day. But the return for that effort is to strengthen your own character, something for which there is no shortcut. The story is all about using an invention to forgive easily, and the consequences of that. Back to top >>>
LHP: What advice can you give other writers?
EB Pollock: Write. Review. Redraft. And finish it. Whatever it is, finish it. Someone told me that one, and it’s the best advice I could ever have had. Don’t spend time wondering whether it’s worthwhile, don’t listen to any internal voice telling you it’s nonsense, just get it finished. Then make it better. Then put it out there, and see what happens.
Back to top >>>