Smart Quill Editorial About the Editor

Interview with a Prize Winner

Posted on November 21st, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-11-21 at 11.34.52

It is a very rare and very wonderful thing when a book you have edited is acknowledged as a success. There are two ways for this to happen: runaway sales, a nod from the readers, or prizes, a nod from the industry. I am delighted to say that Piers Torday last week received a mega nod, by winning the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize for The Dark Wild.

So it seemed an opportune moment ask Piers some questions…

What is the first thing you do before you start writing?

The first thing I do before writing is read a poem from the Writer’s Almanac to clear my head/inspire me, choose my playlist and try and get my social media fix out of the way before attempting to concentrate.

Where did you get your inspiration for stories?

From other people’s books, stories in the news and mainly, completely random things other people say that I’m sure no-one else would even notice or pick up on, but which somehow set a trigger off in my imagination.

What advice would you give to debut novelists?
It’s one of the most exciting things that can ever happen, and publishing  a book won’t ever quite feel the same again, so soak up the experience and try to enjoy it rather than worrying about reviews or sales. Throw the biggest party you can to launch it and make sure everyone knows. Don’t be disappointed if there isn’t a front page review in the first week or if it isn’t top of the bestseller lists straightaway – a book is around for a long time, and truly is the gift which keeps on giving. The best promotion is author events and meeting readers face to face, and creating a distinct personality for yourself online which appeals to your readership/industry base. But don’t over rely on social media – self promoting tweets will only get you so far. (Not very). Most  importantly of all, keep faith in the book, and don’t sit around waiting for miracles to happen but just get on with the next one as soon as you can. That way every good piece of news is a welcome break rather than a drink in the desert.
I love this last point. It is very true. Thank you so much Piers!