One of the first people I followed on Twitter was @21stCscribe AKA Marc Nash. He’s a great Tweeter and he’s also an author! We had a little chat – here’s how it turned out.
What do you like most about writing? That creativity, bringing together metaphors, images, characters, ideas and language in such a way as to communicate and prompt emotion in a reader you don’t know and can’t see. But I also like the journey it takes me and what I learn about myself from writing any particular book. What do you dislike (if anything)? I’m really not sure there is anything other than the lack of sleep when I’m on a writing ‘bender’. But that’s a price I’m prepared to pay.
What inspires you to write? Absolutely anything. I once got off a bus and saw an abandoned shoe on the grass verge. Two hours later I’d written a flash story about it. Standing in the queue in Sainsburys and examining someone’s shopping trolley and their clothes and I got a story from imagining what that combination may have said about a person. I commute on the London Underground and get loads of things just by studying people. Anyone who blots out the world behind their I-Pod is missing so much!
Do you find time to read, if so what are you reading at the moment? My commute is a straight 40 minute journey and another 40 minutes home. That’s when I read. At the moment I’m reading Mark Danielewski’s “House Of Leaves” which has all sorts of typographical innovations (mirror writing, upside down text, etc) and at 700 pages demands that I get a seat to read otherwise I’m bumping into people when I turn the book upside down or sideways!
Which author(s) has/have had the biggest influence on your writing? I don’t think any influence my writing because I see myself as writing books that aren’t really out there in the bookshops. That’s not to say I don’t have lots of favourite writers, Kafka, Don Dellillo, Jonathan Lethem, William Burroughs, Dubravka Ugresic, David Peace, David Mitchell, Jeanette Winterson.
If you weren’t a writer, what would you be doing? Everyone tells me even now that I should become a teacher! Managing my kids’ football team was enough for me handling large groups of kids though…
What do you think are your strengths and weaknesses? A tendency to push the boat out too far in my writing is both my strength and my weakness. It depends on the tastes of the reader!
What are you working on at the moment? A comedy Sci-Fi novel that is sort of “The Terminator” meets “Attack The Block”. Only the guy coming back from the future to assassinate the ‘mother’ of the future, is an emasculated man, a real weed since that’s what all the men are in that future society. He has to carry out his mission on a tough Council estate…
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers? Trust your own creative vision because you will get a lot of conflicting advice. And always ask yourself why you’re writing what you’re writing in the way that you’re writing it. I think those are really important answers to have, even if it’s only by the end of the writing process rather than the beginning.
What’s been your proudest moment? In my personal life it’s been things to do with my children. Professionally, it’s any time I come off stage from a reading and know from the audience reaction that I did a good job. Nothing beats that.
What would you say to your sixteen-year-old self if you could offer one word of advice or inspiration? You’re not going to make it as either a professional footballer or darts player.
You can find Marc here: Marc Nash’s Kindle Store