I recently had the pleasure to interview Ian Thomas Malone, author of The Princess And The Clown, Five High School Dialogues, Courting Mrs. McCarthy and a Trip Down Memory Lane. You can find these at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com
If you like you can also visit his website
1) I loved reading The Princess and The Clown. It is, quite frankly, a bizarre story. I found it brilliant how you combined genres and also made the characters completely normal and relatable. The Clown wasn’t a muscled millionaire and The Princess an older woman, with some disgusting habits. I’m always saying how erotica can become boring quickly with the same characters they portray. How did you come up with the idea of this novel and did it take you long to write?
The Princess and the Clown started as a parody of erotica, but I didn’t want to be too blatant about it. I always loved how Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels integrated humour into the story while still remaining a fantasy series in its own right. Ralph and Jules were vessels to poke fun at some conventional erotica norms, but I needed them to be real characters and for the book to have a legitimate story beyond its comedic value. I wanted the reader to experience a whirlwind of emotion all the while wondering what the hell they were reading.
2) You have written several books in various genres. Do you have a particular favourite you like to write in?
I like to be all over the place because it keeps my writing fresh. Coming of age stories are my favourite to write. The motif is both timeless and relatable. I love a good romance in my stories, but I find that using that as a secondary plotline works best for my style.
3) Which method do you feel is the best for sharing your work, through workshops, festivals, social media etc.?
Social media! Some people say it’s all a big distraction and there’s something to that, but it’s also the best way to reach people. My fans have been very supportive of my work, regardless of genre.
4) What, or who, is the biggest influence on your writing?
People who think differently. I’m a big fan of arthouse films and obscure modernist writing, even the kind I’m not aesthetically drawn to. The first thing I ask myself when I’m thinking about a new project is how it’s different from anything that came before. Whether that’s a novel or a poem, you should always have something new to offer so I tend be influenced by the people who explore the more extreme end of that spectrum.
5) Do you read? If so, who are your favourite writers?
Of course! Be very wary of writers who say they don’t read. Kurt Vonnegut is my favourite writer of all time, but I’m a big fan of Philip K. Dick, Gertrude Stein, George R.R. Martin, William Faulkner, Edith Wharton, Sylvia Plath, Evelyn Waugh, Thomas Pynchon, Nick Hornsby, and Charles Bukowski among others. I could go on and on.
6) Do you find writing a solitary activity or do you like to have input?
I treat the first draft as a solitary activity, but input is crucial to the editing process. Feedback I received while editing Five College Dialogues changed the ending of the book quite a bit. I’ve found that using people I’ve already established a relationship with has been more conducive to my style than beta readers, but the most important thing is that you find people who aren’t afraid to tell you when a story needs a tweak.
7) Other than writing, what else are you passionate about?
I love to swim, visit used bookstores, and the quest to craft the perfect cocktail. I’m also pretty pop culture obsessed, but I try to justify that by writing about it as much as I can.
8) Any words of advice (or caution) for other writers?
Follow your heart, not industry trends. It isn’t hard to figure out what genres sell better than others, but that doesn’t matter if you’re not passionate about the story you’re trying to tell. I’d also encourage aspiring writers out there to sit down and write something. Anything. A poem, a short story, a blog post, anything that requires you to create words. If that sounds painfully simplistic, it’s because it is. The idea of writing is daunting for many, but the actual process is just all about comfort. Form habits that you put in a good mind-set to write. I know I can’t write if I don’t have a cup of tea at my desk.
9) What are your future ambitions for your writing?
I’ve got a lot projects in the works. My latest novel, Some Rights of Memory should be out sometime in the Spring as should my first book of poetry, Gluten Free Bong Water. I’m also currently working on a pretty strange book about Twitter and editing a few other novels. It’s been very exciting.
I look forward to reading your future work.