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Sunday, 28 November 2010

Interview with Paul A Rudd, Author.

Paul Rudd works in Hollywood. You may know him as an actor from the hit show Friends or the comedy film Role Models and other megabucks movies. At weekends he spends his time by the lake house, writing poetry and expressing his musical tastes with his acoustic guitar…hold on a minute?

Can you set the record straight?

I must regret those expecting the Hollywood actor can look away now.
The real Paul A. Rudd works in London within a legal firm’s accounts division. In
his spare time he likes to spend time with his 15 month old daughter Alyssa and
fiancée Natalie.
When not enthralled by the entertaining cbeebies, he enjoys watching Liverpool
FC as much as possible and the rest of his time scribbling furiously into his
notepads. One day he hopes to ditch the day job and express his ideas to a wider
audience. And on a final note, he can categorically confirm, he has no acting
talent whatsoever!

Tell us about The ARC in a few sentences.

The ARC is my first novel and is a sea creature feature based around a floating city called the Aquatic Research City or ARC, for short. I threw in the mix, a prehistoric Megalodon shark, the Governor of California and a chum slick wide enough to encapsulate a rip roaring yarn filled with blood and guts and excitement. What is there, in that mixing pot, not to be intrigued by?

“Why a Megalodon? It has been done before,” I hear you ask.

Yes it has. I toyed with the idea of Huge Evasive Radioactive Biologically Enhanced Rainbow Trout or Herbert for short, but it didn’t quite have the same ring or menace to it! “Sir, we’ve got Herbert on the scanner?”
I simply love sharks and always have. Ever since a young age they have fascinated me. I could have chosen the vampire, werewolf, zombie or police genres but the shark genre (if there actually is one) has very few books to choose from, and not many recent ones. You have the greatest of all time, “Jaws” and that could never be matched. My ideas are straight from the hip. A new light shining upon a marble head, as I like to call it! So jump in and take a swim with the big fishes……that comment so needs to be followed up with the Jaws theme tune!

Where and when is your novel set and why did you make these specific choices

The basis of the story is set during the present day, with a few hops back in time, in the early stages. I started to write with one goal in mind as to end with a bang, but the further I got into the story the more I thought I could spread the basis of my ideas across more than one book. So to start in the present day, and perhaps finish a second or third book, within a ten year period in the storyline, seemed appropriate.

How did you come to write this particular book?

I can sum it up in one word, “stress”. After some self motivation, I needed to boost my horizons and writing seemed to take away any thoughts that I had of reverting back to a stressed individual. I had always wanted to write a story, but had never tried until 2006. After several false starts I thought of the sort of books and movies that I loved, and they just so happened to be creature features. So I thought why not just give it a try and see what happens. I had nothing to lose, except my mind!
At first, completing the manuscript was just for fun, but in the end I loved it, so did a few others that read it. I managed to get an agent and the rest, as they say, is history.

Beginning writers make many mistakes; what do you think is the most harmful?

This is my major gripe. I would say not ensuring your manuscript was the best it could be, before self-publishing. And I hold my hands up, “I am a culprit.”
I wrote mine in the present tense, as I knew no better. My agent informed me present tense normally related to film scripts etc so it would be better to change it. I’d already edited it myself on numerous occasions, so when it finally went for editing to another party, it was reverted back to past tense, but in some sections of the book it got jumbled. And to this day I have no idea why? I expected all the niggling bits and pieces to be rectified. I’ve learnt to ensure it is checked fully before it goes out.
With a baby daughter at the time, I didn’t have time to double check the edit and so I have to hold my hand up to the fact that the grammar and tenses are not the best that they could be, although this is nothing against the person who edited it. Being the author, the ball stops firmly at my feet. It is my responsibility overall.

Your one pet hate?

Is this the section whereby I can let off some steam?
I note Stuart nods from across the table, while holding up a copy of my book for protection!
In that case it is simple. My pet hate is people that criticise but have never tried it themselves. It’s like anything you try. Are you expert when you start out, no, but you learn from your mistakes and carry on regardless?
I feel so sorry for all self-published authors struggling to make a name. Ever since I self-published The ARC, I get the same thought when I hear the words, “I read your book but…” It seems to me that despite the fact I knew of no other person who had released or even tried to write a manuscript, it turns out the day I released it, everyone I met since is a ****** expert!
Don’t get me wrong, everybody is entitled to their own opinion, but read the story and then comment. Don’t read a few lines and then rant about the errors.
These people have no idea how much time and effort goes in to building a story up or what research you need to undertake. It doesn’t happen overnight.
For example; to ensure the Megalodon shark, that no longer exists, was as accurate as I could make it, I could not simply Google a video and expect to see one smiling back at me! And then you have the ARC itself. I needed to know would it be feasible to write about a city that floats on the sea. Now come on, do you narrow minded so and so’s care to enlighten me with the details? No, I didn’t think so. Perhaps my original idea of inflating rubber rings under the city would have been adequate after all!!

(Note from Stuart…….In a rage Paul ripped his copy of The ARC in half and demanded his entourage bring him fresh water produced from the most natural pools of earth‘s water fountains and a slice of bread touched by the fairest of maidens. After a thirty minute cooling off period, and Paul informing me that the last comment about rubber rings was actually tongue in cheek, we continue the interview.)

Do you have a website or blog that readers can visit?

I am in the process of designing a website that has some great ideas on it. I’m really impressed with what these guys can do. It will express some short stories, other ideas I have, that sort of thing. So should anyone have managed to escape from questions six and seven I hope it will eventually be named or something along those lines? In the meantime, I have a blog….have a look folks, just keep your feet out of the water.

What are you writing now?

I have my fingers in many pies and ideas that are all just waiting to burst free from the seams. I just want to get them out there and I need the time to do it. So any publishers reading this who may want to take a cheeky punt on an unknown, contact me and I’ll be all ears! I just need a chance.

What would you say to anyone who may be interested in your book?

Just give it a go. I’ve highlighted some errors already that I wished I had ironed out, but the story is, well I shouldn’t say really, I want people to judge for themselves. It is hard enough to self promote, but in the end I believe it is the story that matters. If I receive enough praise or I am noticed, the inconsistencies can be amended at a later date. It is a shame, but those who have looked past the minor errors have loved the outcome of the story. Just take a look at the reviews on Amazon. I know two people who left reviews and I am one of them. As for the others, I have no idea who they are. Surely that means something, in this day and age?

How can people buy your book?

Waterstones & Bookfinder are useful and lists lots of different ways to purchase it.

Sum up your story in one sentence?

A rip roaring yarn for the new generation of shark enthusiasts!

Thanks Stuart for giving me this chance to express my views and for allowing me and my entourage to invade your privacy! And to anyone who dares venture forth with the Megalodon, enjoy the read, it’s just a bit of fun.

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