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Saturday, December 1, 2012

Author Interview: Lord David Prosser

Today I am pleased to present to you all the thirty-sixth in a series of Author Interviews. Recently I sat down with a true Jeeves and Wooster fan, Lord David Prosser, and our conversation went something like this:

Paul:  I like to start my interviews by asking if you have any writing rituals?
Lord David:  I have to write everything in pen first and then leave it a day before typing it into the computer and make any changes I thought of.

Paul:  What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors? Why?
Lord David:  I like mysteries and love the books of Harlen Coben because he writes with humor. Dick Francis, Sue Grafton, Terry Pratchett and John Grisham are all favorites. My main favorite was the writer of Brother Cadfael who wrote The Quartet, The Brothers of Gwynedd as Edith Pargeter. I'm finding some indie writers are coming more to the fore these days too.

Paul:  If someone had the power to step into your creative mind what would they see?
Lord David:  Ha, probably a disorganized jumble. My mind never stops since I pick up on characters traits when I'm out and about.

Paul:  Do you have a favorite character in each of your series, aside from the lead? If so, which one and why?
Lord David:  Definitely Oscar the cat because he appears in all the books and it's hard to make out how we really feel about each other.

Paul:  In all the years you’ve been publishing your work, what is the biggest mistake you made that you could share so others can avoid making it?
Lord David:  Firstly by not writing romance novels since it's the most popular genre and usually sells well. Probably my biggest mistake was not having more patience and not writing to enough agents. Those who have agents often find a publisher easier.

Paul:  How do you find the time to write?
Lord David:  Time is something I have a lot of since I retired. Since my wife has cancer we send a lot of time in, so given the muse I'd have time to write encyclopedias.

Paul:  What is one thing you hope I do not tell the readers?
Lord David:  Probably that Oscar died on 1st October at 18 years old and I cried. Like a baby. (But not for as long and not for the same reasons).

Paul:  If you are self-published, what led to you going your own way?
Lord David:  I was rejected by two publishers and had no patience to write to more. I had an author friend who suggested offering the book to a Society or publishing it myself. I decided to go for the latter option. (She did suggest the content was worthwhile or I wouldn't have bothered).

Paul:  Do you plot your stories or do you just get an idea and run with it?
Lord David:  I just hit on one particular point and start writing to see how it comes out. It if seems okay I flesh it out when I type it up but I've never been able to plan the books on boards as some do, like planning a battle.

Paul:  Do you do a lot of editing or do you find that as time goes on your writing is more fully-formed?
Lord David:  I do quite a bit as I type it in and then send it to a proof reader and then an editor.

Paul:  Do you have to do much research for your stories?
Lord David:  No research at all as most of the stories revolve around the village/villagers and the surrounding area.

Paul:  What is your most recent book? Tell us a little about it
Lord David:  The last book, More Barsetshire Diary, is a sequel to the first. Lady Julia volunteered me to help a character known as Dreaded Edna become a Councillor so part of the story revolves around my progress and getting to know Edna a little better. I also have another job to do for which I was also volunteered which is a large part of the storyline.

Paul:  What inspired you to write this book?
Lord David:  I was asked by a reader how Edna had got on and decided it should be answered by creating more of a story around Edna herself.

Paul:  Do you have any pieces of work that will never see the light of day?
Lord David:  I started a fourth book as a sequel to The Queen's Envoy because I enjoyed writing it and readers have liked it. But since my wife was diagnosed last year I haven't been able to write. I've perhaps added one chapter in twelve months and haven't got round to typing it up. Some people have asked me to make Oscar's Blog into a book and he's had some very faithful followers (more than me). But I'm just not sure it would make a book.

Paul:  How much marketing do you do for your published works or for your ‘brand’?
Lord David:  A LOT! I create news articles which I post online. I send messages to local newspapers and local radio stations. I tweet more than a flock of birds, I Facebook, I blog and I Gather.

Paul:  What’s your favorite / least favorite aspect of your writing life? Has anything surprised you?
Lord David:  Least favorite must be the constant marketing and the amount of time spent sitting at the computer. My biggest/nicest surprise was when buying something on eBay, I was asked by the seller if I was the same person as the writer whose book he'd just finished. I offered to sign it if he sent it to me. I'm constantly surprised at the generosity of other writers who take time to tweet for me, or offer interviews or even allow me to interview them.

Paul:  What do you do when you’re not writing? Do you have any hobbies or party tricks?
Lord David:  I'm so boring. I collect coins from the days before we [Great Britain] became Decimal; when it looked like money and not something put together for a game of monopoly or something. It's doubtful there are many people who know the beauty of our old currency or even what strange currency we've used from time to time.

Paul: Well, thank you, Lord David. I don’t believe I’ve ever interviewed a real Lord before!
Lord David:  Thank you for interviewing me, Paul. Or should I say it was a grilling. I hope your blog readers haven't nodded off yet.

About Lord David Prosser: David Prosser born 1951 worked for many years as a Local Government Officer before taking early retirement due to health problems. Finding it difficult to talk to people as a result of the illness he found himself in the situation of being housebound most of the time.In an effort to prove to himself he still had a value he started writing books to entertain.

Often heard are the words, life begins at 40. David is trying to show that life can get a kick-start at 60 too. He chose that age to sit and write his first novel, My Barsetshire Diary, a fictional look at the life of the gentry.

Book 2 which is also in diary form is a prequel telling of the days between gaining his title and the first book, when he performed the duties of an unofficial envoy to Her Majesty. Book 3 The imaginatively titled More Barsetshire Diary soon followed.

Lord David's Blog: Lord David's Page
Lord David on Twitter: @davidmfprosser
Lord David on Facebook: Lord David
Lord David's latest book: My Barsetshire Diary (Amazon)

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  1. Paul, thanks for this very interesting interview with Lord David Prosser! Lord David, coin collecting is interesting, not boring, especially since the ones you collect are from a time when coins actually carried weight (literally and figuratively).

  2. Just saw this interview with my friend, Lord David. I have learned new things about his writing here. Thanks for sharing this informative interview.