Thursday 22 November 2012

Writer - Keith Osborne

I'd like to welcome you to my interview with writer, Keith Osborne.  Enjoy.

Keith Osborne

Hello Keith.  Can you introduce yourself?
I'm Keith Osborne based in Lincoln.
How long have you been writing?
Since 2000.
What first got you interested in writing?
Therapy after a long illness.
Do you attend a writing group?
I attend Lindum Scribes and Ancaster group.
Why do you attend a writing group?
For their encouragement support and sensible criticism.
What is the most valuable thing you have taken away from your writing group?
A chandelier, a grand piano, and a full sized oil painting. I don’t think anyone noticed but getting them into the boot of the car was a bit of a struggle. Luckily, a couple of passing nuns gave me a hand. 
What genre(s) do you write? 
Crime, comedy, and real life.
Are there any genres that you don't enjoy writing?
Children, not my style or target audience. 
What types of things do you write?
Have you ever had anything published?
Have you sent your writing to agents/publishers?
Would you consider self-publishing/e-publishing?
Who/what influences your writing?  Where do you get your inspiration from?
Real life.
How do you come up with your characters' names and personalities?
From people and situations I meet in real life. 
Do you have a writing routine?
I start as soon as I wake up until 7.00 when I get my wife a cup of tea, continue until 8.00 when I get her car out for her to go to work. At 10.00, I have a break, clear up, make the bed, open the post, and return to writing. 12.00 I finish. 
Do you start out with a complete idea for your stories, or do you just start writing and hope for the best?
No, I just have the gist of an idea and begin with that. It works for Stephen King…
Do you have an editing process?
I edit the work as I go along. Then I give extracts to my writing group for their input, but all the mistakes belong to me. The writer Laura Wilson advised me to read my work aloud to get the rhythm of speech and the pacing right. Doing it in front of a mirror is not an option; my face would shatter any mirror. 
What do you enjoy the most/least about writing?
Editing and editing. I enjoy it the most when it’s working, and the least when its not. 
Have you ever attended an open mic event for spoken word performers?
Have you ever entered any writing competitions?  Have you ever won?
Yes once and no. 
How important is it for you to share your writing?
Very but never with family and friends other than the friends within the writing group. 
What is the best piece of writing advice you've ever been given?
Val McDermid said:
Write what you know
Write what you want to know
Treat as a job, not a hobby
What advice could you give a new writer?
Keep on writing; it’s the only way you’ll be published even if the publication is in a way you would not expect. 
Apart from writing, what are your other hobbies/interests?
Gardening, family tree research. 
What types of things do you read?  Do you think your writing reflects your book tastes?
Crime, history, biography, autobiography, and comedy and yes it does affect my book tastes. 
Do you have any favourite lines from novels/plays/poetry/songs, or any favourite literary quotations?
"You fail only if you stop writing." ~ Ray Bradbury/

"There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are." ~ W. Somerset Maugham.

"There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed." ~ Ernest Hemingway.
If you could have written anything, what do you wish that could have been?
Radio Head. It was Radio 4 Book of the Week, then serialised in Daily Mail, became a stage show John Peel’s Shed, which was also performed at the Edinburgh Festival, then on Radio 4 and finally went on tour round the country. It was written and performed by John Osborne and he’s my son – and he never asked for my input at all.  Details on  or type John Osborne poet into Google, or John Peel’s Shed into Google. 
What are you working on at the moment?
John Peel’s Shed on Tour - a diary of me driving my son.

An unnamed novel, I’ve got to chapter 8, which means it will get finished eventually.

My autobiography.
Would you be able to provide a short piece of your work?
An extract from a work still in progress John Peel’s Shed on Tour © Keith Osborne 2012.
I’m too old to be a groupie. Or a roadie. In fact, I’m not even sure I know what the terms mean any more. I knew what they meant when I was eighteen but certainty on so many things disappeared as soon as I became a member of the ‘bus pass generation’. As I remember it, a ‘groupie’ was a miniskirted so-called ‘dolly bird’ who jumped into bed with the lead singer of the rock band she adored whereas the ‘roadie’ was the road manager who took the pick of the bunch after the other members of group had accepted their allotted quota of adoring fans. But that was in the Sixties and I don’t jump into bed with anyone these days. To be honest I didn’t even behave like that in my early days. Between you and me, with my artificial knee and arthritic hips I don’t jump anywhere. If I ever got the urge to jump, my glasses would probably fall off. 
I mean, let’s not get excited… it’s just my son and me in a Ford Focus. I don’t know why he’s taking me, I suppose I’m a bit like a companionable rabbit, easy maintenance and giving some comfort. If I ever dreamt of a career in the pop industry, then the Ford Focus never featured. 
Neither did insurance. 
The car is insured for domestic and pleasure; and he is my son and therefore it is domestic, and obviously because he’s my heir it’s a pleasure, I still think the insurance company should know we’re going from one stand-up performance to another. 
            …I’ve honed my worrying skills to ‘A’ level standard, if not University level. It’s not a skill I’m proud of; I worry today about what I should fret about tomorrow. 
John rings to say… 
Thank you Keith.

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