Saturday, November 23, 2013

Author Interview – Owen Banner @OwenBanner

Location and life experiences can really influence writing, tell us where you grew up and where you now live? I grew up in Mandeville, a hillside community in Jamaica. As a little boy, I spoke Patwa and ate sugarcane and was the only little red-headed white boy in town. From there, my family moved to Manila, in the Philippines, which is as far from a small, hillside community as you can get. We moved there in the wake of a military coup, survived earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and the social heirarchy between indigenous Filipinos and the remnants of old Spanish gentry. We escaped kidnapping attempts and terrorist attacks by the Communist NPA and the Islamic radical Abu Sayaaf.  We also lived among beautiful, open-hearted people and ate their delicious food and shared in their warm hospitality. I’ve also lived in the Czech Republic and Australia and, now, Thailand, and maybe I’ll tell you a few stories from those places another time. I’m afraid this answer is getting quite long.

How did you develop your writing? From a combination of reading Romantic poetry, Stephen King, and Marvel Comic Books, writing rock lyrics, getting a Masters in Rhetoric, and living with and engaging people from cultures all over the world in conversation.

Where do you get your inspiration from? Struggle. I find the difficult questions, morally complicated decisions, and challenging life situations that we each deal with to be a major source of what keeps me writing. I want my readers to see themselves in my characters and ask themselves what they would have done in that situation or whether the essential question that Shirley is battling is something that resonates with them.

What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing? I think it depends on who you are. If you’re a marketer by nature, then writing might be difficult, because it requires solitude, taking you away from people. If you’re a writer, then marketing is going to be the hardest, because you just want to spend all your time writing and marketing feels like a distraction.

Do you plan to publish more books? Definitely. I have 7 projects on the backburners right now. At present, I am working on a novel that is closely connected to Hindsight. I can’t say much more, though. You’ll have to read Hindsight and tune into the blog to find out why.

What else do you do to make money, other than write? It is rare today for writers to be full time… I’m an exotic dancer. Just kidding, though some have called my dancing very exotic (okay, the word was “strange”, but it’s close enough). I actually work for a non-profit in Thailand.

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? Oh, that’s hard. The Philippines, Thailand, Ireland, Maine or Oregon, I could do any of those places. I once spent a few weeks on an island in Greece. Islands, beaches, ruins, warm people, good food–its got a lot that I’m looking for in a home.

How do you write – lap top, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk? I wrote Hindsight with pen and paper. I prefer it, because I feel more connected with the words. But now I have a permanent knot just above my knuckle from gripping the pen so hard in all those adrenaline fueled scenes. It also took me a lot longer, because I had to retype everything that I wrote. So, this time around, I’ve taken to writing it on the computer. I’ve bought this brilliant program called Scrivener, designed specifically for writing. It lets you create index cards for your characters, store research, and go into a composition mode which allows you to pick whatever background you want to write against. Those are just a few of the features. Anybody who does a lot of writing will tell you how blinding that white screen can get after an hour. So far, it’s been working beautifully.


Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre - Thriller

Rating – R

More details about the author

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