Today I welcome Pete Sortwell to the blog as he releases his latest book, So Low So High, which is already accumulating fabulous reviews. Here’s Pete to tell us a little more about it.
Can you describe your novel in one sentence?
‘Not a Whodunit it but a Willhedie’
Who is your favourite character and why?
I’m not sure if I can pick just one from all time. Although the one that jumped into my head from this year is Eddie Flynn from Steve Cavanagh’s The Defence. He stands out because of his history and how he seems to have been able to turn his life around while still keeping onto what some might call defects of character. Although they’re just transferable skills really. I’m a big fan of how people can turn things around and make better of themselves when at times they’ve been heading towards jail or worse, so Eddie fits the bill.
Which authors have been your main inspirations?
My favourite authors are Danny King and Sue Townsend. In that order. I’m aware that both aren’t serious crime writers. What stands out from them is the voice of the storyteller. The style in which they write is like someone is telling you a story in a pub and to me that’s what it’s all about. Writing is just a format for telling a story. Of course you have to be entertaining and keep people guessing throughout a book, but while they’re doing that it’s always nice for people just to enjoy the journey. These two have nailed it for me and I suspect if I had never come across, particularly Danny’s work, then I would never have written So Low. I know a lot of people don’t like crime/comedy cross overs, and in the main I agree most are terrible, but if done carefully then they can work and Danny really proves that.
How does your writing process work; confusion and paper flying everywhere or calm and ordered?
When I start a book (which I have done a lot of this year) it’s just a word document. It generally doesn’t even have a name. As I work on a computer there isn’t any real, physical mess but if you took me back fifty years to when there wasn’t a compact little box to hide everything in, the house would be a tip, I’d be blaming people for stealing my paper, when really I’d just forgotten where I put it. The desk would never be tidied and my notepad would be at work when I needed it most. I normally write a book from beginning to end though, which I find easier. When I do it like this the ending comes to me at some point, I’ll sketch that out and stick it at the end of the document and then add to it as I go along.
This year though, I’ve not got close to finishing much. I released the fourth father diary in January and since then I’ve been busy trying out new stuff and working with an editor of one of the big publishers, trying to find something that fits with her imprint. So although I’ve started an awful lot of stuff, getting close to writing ‘the end’ is starting to become a distant memory. I shouldn’t moan though, one day I’ll get to finish all the stuff I’ve started and as a bonus I won’t have to put too much brain power in at the time as I’ve already done it.
What is your guilty pleasure when writing? (Chocolate, wine, coffee…)
Vaping. I’m always fogging out the lounge or office. To the annoyance of anyone that has to share the space with me. Although when I’m at home I can write late and then do it as much as I like because everyone is in bed and barring once, I’ve not set the smoke alarm off yet.
Please share your blurb with us.
Simon Brewster is a doomed man. If he doesn’t change his ways, he’ll never see middle, let alone old age.
He knows that most people generally don’t drink white cider for breakfast, don’t use the aisle of Tesco as a toilet and don’t steal from their family and friends.
At School the careers adviser never suggested stealing Edam balls and legs of lamb as a job and his doctor has never prescribed crack cocaine or heroin. Simon still does these things though and the worst part is, he doesn’t know anymore than you do why he continues doing it.
He’s seen his parents on their knees, crying, begging him to stop; he’s been arrested by his former best mate; he’s been hospitalized, all as a result of drug and alcohol abuse. It’s just not enough to make him stop.
Simon lies to everyone, including himself. The truth is, he has no more idea why he does the things he does than you do. What he needs is a way out. But if such a thing exists, Simon hasn’t had much luck finding it. He’s powerless, his life is unmanageable to the point of insanity.
This is the story of Simon Brewster’s last year using class ‘A’ drugs. Join him as he crashes his way through police cells, courtrooms and display cabinets. One way or another, Simon will stop using drugs. But can he overcome his addictions before his addictions destroy him?
Thanks Pete, sounds very intriguing! You can buy So Low So High here.
Pete is 35 and lives with his wife, Lucie, and their pet sofa, Jeff. He’s been writing for just under six years and they’ve been pretty eventful; well, more eventful than he thought sitting on Jeff, typing would be anyway.
Author of comedy e-books ‘The Village Idiot Reviews’, ‘The Office Idiot Reviews’ and ‘The Idiot Government Reviews’, ‘More Village idiot Reviews.’ These books sell more than he ever thought they would, and he’s hooked. ‘Dating in the Dark’ is Pete’s first self-published novel.
In December 2013 Pete hit the top 100 UK kindle chart with two of his books. The Village Idiot Reviews and Dating in the Dark: sometimes love just pretends to be blind.
In January 2014 he hit #16 in the overall Kindle Chart.