Author Name: Geoff Le Pard
Genres: magical realism, mystery, relationship, thriller, comedy/coming of age, poetry, anthologies of short fiction, contemporary/ gritty urban and a memoir
Selected Books: Life Sentences (2022); The Art of Spirit Capture (2021); Booms and Busts (2020); Walking into Trouble (2020); Buster and Moo (2017). For more titles visit: geofflepard.com.
Bio: I started writing to entertain in 2006. I haven’t left the keyboard since. When I’m not churning out novels, I write some maudlin self-indulgent poetry, short fiction and blog, I walk the dog for mutual inspiration and most of my best ideas come out of these strolls. I also cook with passion if not precision.
What got you started as a writer? My wife suggested I join her at a summer school where she was taking a printing class. We ballroom danced in the morning and, in the afternoon, while she printed I took a creative writing class.
What is your writing routine? Mostly I start writing from about 4 pm, stop to cook dinner and begin again ending at any time between 9.30 pm and 1.00 am. I try and write daily
What route did you take to get your books published? I briefly flirted with approaching agents but thought better of it. I didn’t want to delay; I didn’t want to be told to make major revisions that I might well not agree with. Self-publishing is so straightforward these days I thought, why not go that route. Publishing has not been about kudos or sales but to stop myself tinkering with the latest book. Once it is published I leave it alone. Before that I’m always nibbling away at it.
What things do you do to promote your books? A bit on the blog I write. Occasional guest posts and pieces like this.
What is your favorite genre to read and why? Probably crime fiction. I like well plotted books with good characters and intriguing stories. After that it is comic fantasy.
Do you prefer to write dialogue or description? Dialogue
Have any of your characters ever surprised you? Did this change the plot of your book? Every time. It’s true they take over. If you let them into your subconscious they work away at you until you do what you’re told.
What is the most difficult thing you have accomplished in your life? Staying in the same job for thirty-five years—a quite extraordinary example of patience, determination and a supreme lack of imagining alternatives.
What three events or people have most influenced how you live your life? My wife is (and has been since we met in 1976) a constant source of guidance, surprise and ruthless criticism; being able to obtain a high quality and free education right through to my degree that allowed me to become a lawyer in the City of London just when the need for financial legal services exploded in the 1980s; and the example of my parents who combined humour, old fashioned manners, a love of literature and the spoken word, a deep affection, an utterly surreal take on some aspects of life, kindness and a love of cake and gardening.
What would you tell your younger self? Stop worrying and yes, your nose will always look too big.
Have you ever met up with a bear on a hike? If so, what did you do? If not, are you looking up what to do right now? I read A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson who has a section on human-ursus interfaces and what to do. My main take away was not to eat Snickers. The nearest bear to me right now is a small statue of my ursine hero Paddington at the station he is name after.
You’re locked in your local library for the night with no dinner. Thank goodness you have water, but you only have enough change to buy one item from the vending machine. Choices are limited to: Fudge Pop Tarts, Snickers or Doritos. Which would you choose and why? Doritos. Pop Tarts are merely jam that has not had the packaging removed; fudge can only be eaten with tea or coffee or my fillings rebel at the excess of sugar and Snickers remind me of Bryson’s advice.
What’s the largest number of people you’ve had in your kitchen at one time? We have had several parties here so we’ve squeezed in a fair number but probably something like the seventy-two teenagers.
Closing thoughts: Having lived to be three score years and five, I have reached a few tentative conclusions about living life well: try most everything once; look up more than down or you will buy too many shoes; outdoors is better than in so long as you wear the right clothing; instant coffee never gets any better; failure is a myth—it’s just another example of ‘not yet’; everything will be alright in the end and if it’s not yet alright, it’s not yet the end; and there’s good in everyone.
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