Self Interview

What were you like at school?
Mostly I was ok. I had interests in History, Science and Languages. I took part in the sports lessons because I had to and I was not good. I did enjoy school at the time but I think that I had rosy tinted spectacles on as I now realise that I was very introverted. With regards to academic acheivements, as time went on I dipped dramatically in languages and was finding learning difficult. I scraped enough O’levels to get a career.

Were you good at English?
I liked to think that I was but like my language skills, I seemed to dip when it came to exams.
I retook English in sixth form as it was a requirement getting a job. In the sixth form, we had to do book reviews, look at a situation from two views and write a layman’s guide to something we were interested in. at that time I kept fish, so I did that.
I did like reading though.

What are your ambitions for your writing career?
To be read, enjoyed and to be perfectly honest; spoken of..

Which writers inspire you?
I have read widely. When I was young I read Treasure Island and Robinson Crusoe. I loved Roald Dahl. As time went on I read Alexander Solzhentzyin and George Orwell. I liked Jack Higgins, Alistair Maclean, Wibur Smith.
Now more recently I am inspired by 2 authors I know Lee Hall and Dane Cobain
So, what have you written?
I am a very new author.
In 2006 I co-authored an article for a professional magazine about sharing good practice.
I have just written a poetry book “Mild Musings May Mitigate My Mentality” which is a collection of poems I have written over the past 6-8 years.

Where can we buy it?
At present it is available on Amazon and also via Kindle


What are you working on at the minute?
I am working on another poetry book at present. I also have some plans for an extension of a play or a novel based on the short play I read.I am also working on some song lyrics with a jazz musician I know and aim to see where it goes.
What’s it about?
My poems are based mostly on what I see around me or conversations I have had with others. I like health, psychology and comedy so these are in my writing.
In song writing, happiness, sadness, new or old love seems to be the pre-eminent themes.

What genre are your books?
My book idea is based around comedy and revenge.

What draws you to this genre?

I like watching plays and comedy.
How much research do you do?
well at present, watching and reading comedy. I will then research some of the situations, legal, financial that are linked to the scenarios.

When did you decide to become a writer?
well I have been scribbling for years but just recently had a limerick plant itself in my head.Then another and before long poems started to appear on the page.
I shared a few with friends and then I went to an open mic event. I found that instead of singing or playing a guitar, I was able to ‘orate’ a few poems. This stimulated me to write more. I was seen by another performer who attended a spoken word event and via the links there I started to write more

Why do you write?
Simply because I love it!

What made you decide to sit down and start something?
I just was inspired by the moment

Do you write full-time or part-time?
I write very part-time. Often when I am sitting in a pub, listening to music.
Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
as above but sometimes I am able to sit down for an hour or so.
Where do your ideas come from?
Mainly from my life as a nurse, parent or a child. Sometimes a song triggers a memory or just an observation or conversation.
Do you work to an outline or plot, or do you prefer to just see where an idea takes you?
I like an idea and just run with it. I am a quick writer of poems and then I just alter or perfect them later

What is the hardest thing about writing?
The self-pressure to conform or worry about other people’s thoughts and views. I should be less self-critical

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
Part of it is based on fact. I had to disguise the actual events because of commitments I’d given.
What is the easiest thing about writing?
it can be a great escape and a way to organise thoughts and feelings.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?
From start to finish for my book it has taken 5 months. I had written a lot of poems and was still writing. I had to learn what to include and what to leave out. Rereads, proofreading and editing, cover selection and then, of course, there’s the publishing.
Do you ever get writer’s Block?
sometimes I sit down and just have no inspiration. I log into the internet for a prompt and that has helped.

Do you proofread/edit all your books or do you get someone to do that for you?
I have done all for this book myself

Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?
No! I prefer to do edit it immediately. Every evening I go through what I’ve accomplished that day, editing and checking. Then I like to have a few read-throughs when the whole work is finished, so that apart from commas, apostrophes and the like all’s ready for the proofing. Once it’s back I go through all again. With this book I have added a poem and removed a few!

Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
A very important role. I spent a long time designing it and then suddenly had an idea which my family helped with which made it look more attractive for sale.

How are you publishing this book and why?
I published for the Kindle and Createspace is doing the paperback. I preferred to do it all myself, and in that way control all the pricing..
What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?
The advantage for me was I have no initial financial outlay and I have learned through the process.

How do you market your books?
So far through word of mouth, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I also will be making better use of my blog.

What do you do to get book reviews?
I will ask for readers to post reviews on Goodreads, Amazon and other social media

What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
As this is new for me any review will show that I have readers. I will improve my writing based on any I get- both good and bad.

What’s your views on social media for marketing?
I hope that it will help. Some of my fellow writers have a large following.

Did you get interviewed by local press/radio for your book launch?
No but I expect that the people in the pub will be interested. Maybe that is an avenue to explore as I have friends who make a podcast.

Do you think that giving books away free works and why?
It worked for one of my fellow writers as he went to no1 in the horror charts.
I will look at it in the future.
How do you relax?
I like to watch TV, take part in quizzes and watch local bands.

What is your favourite motivational phrase?
What doesn’t hurt you won’t kill you!

What is your favourite positive saying?
Just go for it!

What is your favourite book and why?
At the moment I like 1984 and Animal Farm. Having read Animal Farm at school I think it was perfectly complemented by 1984 as so much has come true!!

What is your favourite quote?
It’s easier to quote poets than to read them. ~Allison Barrows

What advice would you give to your younger self?
Take more risks and man up.!! You are liked!!!!

Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
George Orwell- to congratulate him on his insight.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Do what your heart tells you to do.

Author: Joe Campling

Joseph Campling lives in Buckinghamshire, and is married with adult children. He trained as a both a General and Mental Health Nurse in the South East of the United Kingdom in the mid 1980’s and has worked in various roles over the past 30 years. His first authored article in 2007 was jointly written about the need to share positive research based practice amongst care teams locally which was then published in a professional journal. He published “Mild Musings May Mitigate My Mentality” which was his first collection of poems in 2018. He has subsequently published MERRING or is it MRS GREN? Having written sporadically over the years (usually for friends and family) he has been writing more consistently over the past two years and has begun to recite his poetry at various Open Mic nights and Spoken Word events. He is often found ‘scribbling’ and then performing what he has just written. He recently has also been collaborating with a jazz composer by writing lyrics which have been put to music. His interests include watching live music, trying to play the guitar (still project in progress) and quizzing. He also likes to watch TV; mostly factual documentaries, comedy and quiz shows He also needs to read more and swears that he will do so very soon as he has a pile of books to read. He also ‘hangs out’ with members of the local drama club although he has no plans to act but is partial to the odd pint of orange juice and lemonade!! He follows rugby and can sometimes be found cheering his team on (London Irish) whether they win or lose.

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