Stuart Park is smart, funny, talented and just amazing. I recently had the privilege of speaking with him and it was a pleasure. We laughed and he told me about his life and his writing. He is passionate about what he does and that is always something that I love to hear. He is new to creative writing so I’m asking that you all support and show some amazing love to this incredibly talented man. Buy his books, leave a review, make friends with him and share share share! You won’t be sorry you did. Please welcome Stuart to Roadie Notes…
1. How old were you when you first wrote your first story?
I write every day for work, but that’s more technical writing. This is the first time I’ve done any creative writing since school – that’s a fairly long time ago now.
2. How many books have you written?
So far I’ve written Marked, and contributed a short story for ‘The Black Room Manuscripts – volume two’ anthology called ‘Oranges Are Orange’.
3. Anything you won’t write about?
I think anything can be tackled, if it’s done in the right way. I haven’t really considered if I have limits. But that’s the beauty of the written word, you can create anything, talk to anyone and go anywhere. I guess it comes down to personal beliefs and comfort zones and how willing you are to breach those.
4. Tell me about you. Age (if you don’t mind answering), married, kids, do you have another job etc…
The grand age of 41.
I only have one job and it’s not writing books. Writing is something done for the sheer pleasure of it, not because I have to, but because I want to. Dedicating time to something or someone is surely the biggest complement anyone can give.
5. What’s your favorite book you have written?
My short story and novel are very different beasts. The short is an emotional uppercut filled with pain and loss. My novel tackles some themes and ideas that have been rolling around my head for a few years. As for my favourite? There will be a different answer depending on when you catch me.
6. Who or what inspired you to write?
I started putting together some story ideas since ‘Lost’. From that point I kept a document filled with random thoughts, ideas, web links, song lyrics, etc. When I wrote my stories I dipped into that treasure trove of wonderment.
However the main impetus that sparked me into action was a knee operation. I went from running and playing badminton to nothing. That sense of frustration had to come out, it did so through writing. It also helped that I had many extra hours a week to spend. It was the second day after the operation that I sketched out Marked, it took two days of planning, then a couple of months to flesh it out. In amongst that, I also wrote my short story. I feel sorry for Jack and Mark, I gave those poor characters hell.
I won’t do them justice by a simple list, but other things I’ve been inspired by are: Alan Watts, Radiohead, Tomato Project, Sage Francis, Chuck Palahniuk, NWA, Slinky (the club, not the spring), Goldie, Sartre, David Lynch.
7. What do you like to do for fun?
My knee is better now, so I‘m getting back into running again. Although it’s been an uphill battle (no pun intended!) to get my fitness back. Two years ago I was running half-marathon distances, now I’m struggling to do 5k. Persistence is not futile, although it does get harder the old you get.
I also enjoy: photography, gardening, music production, travel, website design, hiking.
Film and music also play a large role in my life.
8. Any traditions you do when you finish a book?
No traditions as yet, but I guess it’s, save, save, save! Then ping my trusted proof-readers.
9. Where do you write? Quite or music?
When it comes to handling words I need quiet. I can only deal with one distraction, that’s the voices in my head. Although if I’m editing digital images, I need music, doing that without music can be very dry.
10. Anything you would change about your writing?
At the moment I’m trying to find my own voice, something that works and makes sense to me. I’ve started to get feedback from reviewers, that will be a good indication of what works and what doesn’t. When I proof-read I tend to look for flow. I’m the world’s worst reader, so any sentence that I stumble on takes me out of the story – that’s a deal-breaker. Since I look for that in other people’s work I try to stick to my own rules (for once!).
11. What is your dream? Famous writer?
World peace? Eradicate suffering? Global unity?
For me right now, writing is fun. I can dip in and out of it, there is no pressure. I do it for the sake of doing it – there is no other reason apart from what it is. Who knows what the future will bring? Certainly not me. I’d rather focus on now, because that’s the only thing I can control. So right now I have jotted some notes on potential projects. If I can flesh these into a story then I will. I tend to let things bubble and mature. Even after I ‘finished’ Marked, I went back in to add bits before it was finally submitted. I think that tweaking and playing with concepts was the best part.
12. Where do you live?
I live in the UK, about thirty miles outside London. I feel quite lucky having one of the world’s capital cities on my doorstep.
Currently no pets, but had guinea pigs as a kid. Until recently I had been moving around, it would have been unfair on a pet.
14. What’s your favorite thing about writing?
Playing with ideas and concepts. Finding a theme and twisting it until it’s almost unrecognizable. Creating that journey and having the freedom to do anything you desire. With writing it’s so free, it can be paralyzing. Being able to make one second last for ten pages, or jump in time by 3,000 years within one sentence.
If you like this check out some of the other work from the Sinister Horror Company, for some pulpy terror-inducing goodness:
As always, thank you Stuart for letting us get to know you better. I wish you lots of success and much happiness! Very proud to know you.