author of The Floods series
Ten (Not In The Slightest Bit) Terrifying Questions
1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?
Ealing London, Ealing London and Ealing London – mostly – apart from boarding school in Yorkshire.
2. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty. And why?
At 12 – Less shy. At 18 – Much, much less shy. At 30 – Divorced from my second wife (It took another 25 years) And why? I would have thought that was pretty obvious!
3. What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?
That I would live forever.
4. What were three works of art – book or painting or piece of music, etc – you can now say, had a great effect on you and influenced your own development as a writer?
I didn’t know there were meant to be three. However they are all called The Goon Show.
5. Considering the innumerable artistic avenues open to you, why did you choose to write a novel?
6. Please tell us about your latest novel…
7. What do you hope people take away with them after reading your work?
An overwhelming desire to buy ALL my other books and visit Belgium.
8. Whom do you most admire in the realm of writing and why?
John Updike and Roald Dahl – because they wrote brilliantly – pity they’re both dead.
9. Many artists set themselves very ambitious goals. What are yours?
See question 3.
10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?
For goodness sake just get on with it. (you have now had more writer training than I had)
Colin, thank you giving us thirty seconds of your time, a thimbleful of bile and none of your attention.
About the Contributor
While still in his twenties, John Purcell opened a second-hand bookshop in Mosman, Sydney, in which he sat for ten years reading, ranting and writing. Since then he has written, under a pseudonym, a series of very successful novels, interviewed hundreds of writers about their work, appeared at writers’ festivals, on TV (most bizarrely in comedian Luke McGregor’s documentary Luke Warm Sex) and has been featured in prominent newspapers and magazines. Now, as the Director of Books at booktopia.com.au, Australia’s largest online bookseller, he supports Australian writing in all its forms. He lives in Sydney with his wife, two children, three dogs, five cats, unnumbered gold fish and his overlarge book collection. His novel, The Girl on the Page, will be published by HarperCollins Australia in October, 2018.