About Philip A. Oldfield:
I was born in Cambridge, England. When I was eight years old, I spent a few years living in Connecticut, USA. I read Geography at the University of Exeter and live with my partner and co-editor in the city. I have four adult children, some have children of their own.
I have been writing since my teenage years. When my youngest left home in 2012 I committed to write full-time. Since I have published a full-length novel (Blood Relationships), a novella (My Dream Mother) and short stories (Flash Fiction 25). I have recently completed another novel (The Lying Truth).
If you wish to contact me, you can via my website, twitter or linkedin. Thank you.
What inspires you to write?
At the age of eleven, whilst in an English class, the teacher led a discussion on the First World War. Afterwards, we were asked to write a poem. I found that I was able to readily generate emotions, imagine events and conjure words from the ether. The teacher was effervescent in his personal feedback, which has motivated me to write poetry and fiction, ever since.
Tell us about your writing process.
I use A3 size paper for outline concepts. I take the central ideas as circles. From there, I lasso outline characters and events and scatter them on the page creating a swirl of connections and questions, yet to be answered, and draw them all together into a growing semblance of a whole.
Next, I map an overall storyboard, in broad terms, frame by frame, allowing parallel storylines to flow left to right over the course of time and events. In the final process, I gather the papier mâché of ideas and consider which I feel are best suited to potential chapters in the novel.
Thereafter, I focus on two core activities: research and writing. I allow the words of the story, the characters and how they feel and behave to grow and change, as they will, when they talk back to
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I listen to my characters and feel their emotions and thoughts. When they meet challenging circumstances I accompany them on their journey and feel the heights and depths of what they are going through.
What advice would you give other writers?
Write until your heart bleeds. This was the mantra I penned for myself and have pinned to my cork board on the wall adjacent to my desk. The sentiment still resonates. I imagine it always will. Deeply.
Do you love to or long to play with words, to roll them across paper, to suspend them in space in orbit around your mind, to listen to how they sound and feel and to do battle in the cut and thrust of crafting them on to the screen? I do. I love to write and I write every day. Here are my 10 writing tips.
1. See people
2. Feel empathy
3. Read and watch
4. Observe the animate and the inanimate
5. Follow your first thoughts
6. Draft your storyboard on A3 paper
7. Vary how you write
8. Allow characters and scenes to speak to you
9. If you talk and express with your hands, use hands free dictation software
10. Re-read and edit final drafts several times and listen to the play back on your computer
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I would love to secure a literary agent and publisher. Getting noticed is a mountain to climb. I had excellent feedback from those literary agents who could give the time on my first novel, Blood Relationships. Words used to describe the book were: outstanding, interesting high concept novel, good characterization, writing is very engaging. However, they all said they were looking for commercial fiction and the manuscript was more a niche medical/psychological thriller. I have published the book on Amazon, Kobo and Nook and had some brilliant reviews via the UK.
Getting noticed in a global market is… well you can guess how difficult it it. I am not disheartened. I know I am a good writer. One USA reader of Blood Relationships sent me a message saying she had read the book in one sitting. I was impressed (it’s over 124,000 words long) and said I wrote like Sebastian Faulks, that she loved the way I had blended science with the arts and history.
With my new book, The Lying Truth, I will approach literary agents again. This novel is 79,000 words long and is a lighter thriller read. I live in hope it will get known and am a great believer in serendipity.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Both e-books and paperbacks have a joint future. The road to market will, I believe side with those writers who have written a good unique story and also have the marketing networks to get them in front of readers. I am still learning the latter.
What genres do you write?: Women’s Fiction, Thrillers and Suspense, Romance, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Medical Thrillers
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.