Welcome to my blog and thanks for joining us for a new instalment of the Creative Corner.
On Creative Corner, we chat with all kinds of creatives and today’s guest is an author!
Meet author Andy Palmer, whose novel, “Drowning – A Memoir” was published in July 2020. He’s currently a freelance writer and editor based in Penistone, between Barnsley and Sheffield, where he lives with his wife and two lovely daughters.
Drowning is Andy’s first book and covers his struggles with addiction and his coming of age.
Andy is currently working on a second memoir covering sobriety and getting his life back after addiction while simultaneously working on a novel.
He studied for his undergraduate degree at The University of Leeds and finally went on to get his PhD in English from The University of Lincoln. He has worked as an English teacher in secondary school and a lecturer in a university.
After getting to know Andy, you’ll have discovered a new author whose books you can anticipate adding to your book collection.
Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?
No. I’ve always loved words and stories but it wasn’t until I was in my late teens that I started to write. Poems at first then disparate diary entries. They were all very heavy, emotional, and not ready for an audience but they gave me great release and a creative outlet.
What was your favourite book as a kid?
The Faraway Tree collection was my favourite when I was quite young and then as an older child, I liked The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings. Then as a teenager, I loved The Pilgrim’s Progress.
Describe your writing process
Initial idea—flesh it out—write a rough draft—go back and fix it as many times as needed. This is pretty much it from articles to novels.
Describe yourself in 3 words
Loyal. Honest. Determined.
What do you think a writer needs to be a success?
A love of the written word and its ability to communicate. A determination to keep going at all odds. And a little bit of luck.
What are you currently working on?
A second memoir that follows on from Drowning covering my sobriety and getting my life back after addiction.
What has your experience with the publishing industry been like?
Frustrating. Nowadays you need an agent first as they’re the gatekeepers to big publishing houses. If you’re going to go to small publishers then you can often submit directly to them.
Over the course of a year querying agents, I had three who were interested but didn’t come to anything. So I sat on my book for a couple more years until self-publishing became so easy that I took the plunge and got my memoir out into the world.
How do you overcome writer’s block?
Just write through it. In fact, I just don’t allow the idea of it to exist. Sometimes you need a break — a walk, a bath, a read, a meal — and other times you just need to get on with it. If you really can’t move forward with a particular part then write a different bit of your novel/memoir/screenplay etc or just flesh out an idea for something else and come back to what you were working on before.
What advice do you have for the aspiring authors out there?
Get qualified for a career and earn money to live on first. Then write in and around that. Don’t pin all your hopes on writing as it more often than not will not give you a living.
Why should we buy your book “Drowning – A Memoir”?
For a memoir, it’s a genuine page-turner and a thrilling descent into dangerous addiction that reads like a novel. It isn’t myopic or all about me me me, but rather a narrative where the main character is me spiralling out of control. It isn’t full of introspection or comments from the present me but it lets the past speak for itself. In that sense, I think it’s a fairly unique memoir.
It doesn’t preach or give any answers but just shows the raw and ugly side of addiction as well as the bright light of recovery (briefly) at the end. If you want to know ‘how’ a regular young guy from a loving family who had no real issues ends up on the path of destruction then this is the book for you.
Please show your support by purchasing a copy of this author’s book, Drowning; which is also available in both the UK and the US. If you’re in other countries you can purchase the book through Amazon.
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