Question 1: Who are you and what have you written?
I’m Rob Gregson, a skilled producer of origami frogs. Sadly, the paper frog market is no longer what it was, so I also have a day job that involves running a small consultancy business. Since I’m my own boss, I allow myself an unreasonable amount of time off to write comic novels / light-hearted adventures. My most recently published was ‘The Written World – a two-part fantasy comprising ‘Unreliable Histories’ and ‘The Endless Land.’ My most recently written book (still being edited) is ‘The Other Book of the Dead.’
Question 2: If you had to paint a portrait of any author who would it be?
I’m terrible at painting. It would have to be someone who’d been cremated. That would be the only way I’d have a chance of getting it to look right.
My mind wanders. If I’m driving, sitting on the train, mowing the lawn, attending some boring conference or engaged in any number of other activities that require little conscious thought, I tend to start exploring ‘what ifs.’ Little scenarios ensue, and then I’ll start populating them with characters. It doesn’t take so very long before my head’s full of places and conversations. If I don’t write them down, I think I’d probably become dangerous. The word ‘spree’ might well be used. Believe me; it’s safer for everyone if I write.
Kwestion 4: Where do you write? Do you have a shed like Roald Dahl, or a special room away from the other people in your house? Personally I write in my pyjamas.
I write in a little office room at the top of the stairs. I’m still hoping to move to a draughty garret somewhere, because that’s how it’s supposed to be done. By a curious coincidence, I’m currently building a shed that will be shaped exactly like Roald Dahl, but I have no plans to write in it. I don’t own a set of pyjamas.
Question 5: What is the most interesting thing you have learned recently?
North Korea signed up to the Paris climate change agreement. They’re mocking Donald Trump for pulling out. (You’ve got to wonder whether your policies might be a bit iffy if North Korea can claim the moral high ground.)
Question 6: Have you experienced what psychologists call “The ultimate experience”? Which is the frame of mind when you are writing and everything is flowing perfectly and the creative buzz is so great you lose track of time.
Thanks for the clarification. For a moment, I thought we were straying into some very personal territory. And no. Some days are more productive than others but it’s generally quite a slog. There are times when I’ll write and write, but then I’ll come back to it a day or two later and find I’m having to change big chunks of it. So much of ‘writing’ is actually editing; applying a kind of quality control. It’s not all about that first stage of getting the ideas down on the page.
Question 7: Last question: Are you happy as a writer?
No. I’ll be happy once I’m recognised as the most prodigiously talented writer of my age and weight. To do that, of course, I’ll inevitably need to develop a prodigious writing talent, so I’m not holding my breath.