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Paul Reed Interview

Posted on 26 March 2004. © Copyright 2004-2018 WriteWords
A longer version of this interview is available to WriteWords Full and Community Members.
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WriteWords talks to novelist Paul Reed, whose debut novel, The One, has attracted blinding reviews (including here on WW). Published by Mercat Press, also one of our recent interviews.

Tell us something about your background.

I've had my first novel published. It's called The One and it came out in October 2003. I've also written a piece for a magazine, The Point. I have written a few shorts but these were really just for fun and practice so they've not been published. I am currently working on a sequel to The One.

Who are your favourite writers and why?

Undoubtedly Irvine Welsh and anything from the Clocktower press— Duncan McLean, Gordon Legge, Alison Kermack, etc. They all write in a style that hits home. It's real life to me. Irvine Welsh especially because he comes from the same housing scheme [Muirhouse] that I've lived in all my days.

How did you get your publisher?

I'd been sending out a badly written synopsis and sample chapters and I was getting nowhere. My aunt had a word with her friend Quintin Jardine the crime writer who's an old family friend. He asked to see the manuscript and after reading it thought it was brilliant. He'd just been talking to Seán Costello and Tom Johnston from Mercat Press and they were looking for a distinctive new work for their first shot at publishing fiction. Quintin showed them The One and they loved it and made me an offer.

What was your breathrough moment?

Getting a novel published less than two years after I was sectioned in a psychiatric hospital. I'd been given the diagnosis of schizophrenia and decided I would use it as a springboard rather than let it beat me.

What's the worst thing about writing?

The nerves before a reading. It can be terrifying. It's all about controlling yourself in the end.

And the best?

The lifestyle. I work sometimes lying in bed! I get up when I want to. Also the buzz you get after you've done a reading. It's an intense high after conquering all that fear and still doing a good job. The fact that all those people are there to see you and listen to your work. It's brilliant and I love them all!



A longer version of this interview is available to WriteWords Full and Community Members.
Click here to learn more about becoming a member.






Comments by other Members



Zigeroon at 13:11 on 07 April 2004  Report this post

Inspirational in turning a negative into a huge positive and great advice to keep feeding the positive inputs to enable one to face down that negative unpublished void.

Andrew


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