30 March, 2018

#Interview with Alan Moore, #Author of Bitten

About the Book:

Born in Surbiton, Surrey in 1944, Alan Moore lives in Barnes with his wife, Amber.  They have two daughters and a son, who between them have two boys and two girls.  Alan was educated at Oundle School in Northamptonshire and at London University, where, as an external student, he obtained a BA degree in English.  Thereafter, for 25 years, he single-handedly ran his own book publishing company, which at one stage was producing up to twenty titles a year.  Rather late in life, he is now publishing his own book.  An avid collector of books and classical LP records, he plays the piano and sketches. 

An Interview:

When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer/ a storyteller? 
The realisation came to me in my teens.  Like a lot of people, I aspired to be an author, but in reality found it much harder to write than I had imagined.  I use to regularly write a few hundred words on a piece of paper, which I would then throw in the bin. 

What inspires you to write?
Having for 25 years been a publisher who produced books for a whole range of writers, I wanted to see if I could   complete a book and become an author after all (at the age of 74).

How did you come up with the idea for your current story?
Mosquitoes just love me.  Whenever I go on holiday to France or  Italy the nasty little creatures never leave me alone.  So while I've sat there many times surveying the large red spots on my legs and arms,  I've often wondered what it  would be like if mosquitoes launched a mass attack on humans.  

Are there some stories tucked away in some drawer that was written before and never saw the light of the day?  
No.  They've all been thrown away.

Tell us about your writing process.
I try to write 400-500 words a day.  But  I never succeed.  And on most occasions what I do write ends up in the bin. 

What is your favorite scene in the book? Why?  
That's too difficult to answer.  I have a lot of favourite scenes but I don't prefer any particular scene over all the rest.

Did any of your characters inherit some of your own quirks?
No, not intentionally.

What is your most interesting writing quirk?
I'm not sure it's interesting, but my main quirk, if you could call it that, is  spending a large amount of time gesticulating and swearing at the computer screen.

Do you read? Who are your favourite authors and how have they influenced your writing style?  
Yes, I read a great deal.  I have lots of favourite authors, including Charles Dickens, Winston Churchill and Hilary Mantel.  My main influence at the moment is Robert Harris.  He has a direct no-nonsense approach that I try to imitate.

What is the best piece of advice you have received, as a writer, till date?  
Not to take myself too seriously.

How do you spend your free time? Do you have a favorite place to go and unwind?
I watch old films - starring Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Claud Rains, Humphrey Bogart, Errol Flynn, etc.  I listen to music - mainly Bach.  I sketch, particularly when I am abroad.  I work in my study, which has a view of assorted trees, a reserve and (in winter) the River Thames.

Can you share with us something off your bucket list?
I'd like to visit the parts of Italy that I haven't been to yet.  I'd like to have at least another two grandchildren.  My wife and I are celebrating our golden annivsersary next year.  I'd like us to reach our diamond anniversary, if possible.

What do you have in store next for your readers?
A third-person account, with flashbacks, of some of the remarkable things I've done in my life, particularly in my twenties, plus some of the extraordinary people I've met.  It will be both poignant and funny.

About the Book:
In the not-too-distant future, Italy is in disarray. It has voted to leave the EU in an attempt to regain control of its laws, finances and commerce. Even so, the country's economy is shrinking and its national debt rising. There is a marked escalation, too, in unemployment, bank loans and immigration. Production and service companies are in difficulty. The only thriving business areas are the black market and organised crime. There is discontent and protest on all sides. In Florence, the local Mafia boss, more accustomed to gunrunning and trading in plutonium, is involved in organising a silent auction for the sale of one of the world's most valuable lost paintings - a sixteenth-century masterpiece, which was appropriated in World War II by Stalin's Trophy Brigade. A British art expert is set to buy the picture on behalf of his client, a South American billionaire - yet surprisingly two Italian undercover intelligence agents, acting as antique dealers, submit the winning bid. All the while, human beings continue to harm the Earth by destroying land, sea, air, animals and trees. Global climate change, polluting the atmosphere, depleting the ozone layer: these are some of man's crimes against Nature. But time is running out. Nature has lost patience with humans. Unless something is done immediately to reverse the destruction of the ecosystem, Nature will retaliate by deploying the terrifying forces at her command. And as a first step in wreaking her revenge, she instigates a reign of terror by the deadliest creature on Earth.

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