Thanks for joining us Kelvin. I know Kelvin slightly as a fellow member of a writing group I belong to. But I found his answers intriguing and I hope that you will too.
First some getting to know you questions and then we will talk about your writing.
Late nights or early morning? As it happens, I am an insomniac so most nights I’m at the computer in the wee hours, often until the sun comes up.
Whats for Breakfast?
Breakfast, Kelvin’s fabulous home -made muesli. If I wasn’t destined to be a world-famous novelist, I would market my home made muesli and be a millionaire breakfast food magnate.
Night in with or without Netflix or Night Out?
Both night out and in, yes with Netflix and Foxtel
Sadly, when I have finished watching a Netflix series, I realise there must be a shortage of good writers. Some of the scripts are beyond ludicrous.
Certainly, G and T, and of course coffee. As for tea, that’s the main reason the British Empire has diminished in the last 100 years. People realised a nation that chooses to drink the abomination that is tea, don’t deserve to have an empire.
What did I want to be?
I really wanted to be a world- famous rock and roll musician. It seemed the only thing that prevented that was a lack of talent. Apart from that I thought I ticked all the boxes.
Talk about a jack of all trades. Shoe salesman, car salesman, real estate salesman, and a would- be politician. I was a professional musician for many years. Those stories are in my autobiographical book ” Oh How We Rocked”. This slim volume was compiled with an ex-band member and lifelong friend Allan Butler.
What brings me joy? Silly question, a good book.
And then of course we have sport. Bugger sport I loathe any game that has balls in it, so that fortunately rules out most of them.
My hero? There are too many to list. Not too many politicians. Certainly, some authors I admire I’m a fan of Ayn Rand, George Orwell, Aldous Huxley and perhaps curiously I remember as a child how enthralled I was with Enid Blyton. She probably helped to spark a lifelong love of literature.
Choose three people alive or dead to invite for dinner.
I would love to have met Mark Twain. My grandfather heard him speak and was enthralled. As a writer his novels are actually far deeper than just adventure stories. Having dinner with Shakespeare, probably the most influential writer of all time, would be a life changing experience. Having a chat with Leonardo De Vinci, just so I could tell him how some of his crazy ideas actually came to fruition.
About Writing, are you a plotter, know what is going to happen or a pantser as in don’t plan, fly by the seat of your pants?
Oh boy, am I a pantser? You bet. I start with the vaguest of ideas and then like a water diviner, I see where it takes me. I like the surprises.
Tell us a little about Spencer’s war.
Life is idyllic for Spencer Marlowe, a successful Gen Y marketing guru, living the dream in Perth, Western Australia. Good-looking, fit and self-assured, Spencer is fascinated by Japanese culture, fluent in the Japanese language, and passionately in love with his Japanese girlfriend, Michiyo. He’s also a formidable karate expert who just can’t stop getting into trouble. After a particularly eventful night, involving bikie gangs and motorbikes, he makes up his mind to marry Michiyo. But on the very same night as his romantic proposal, he is inexplicably transported back in time to Perth in 1942, where he finds himself a recruit in the army and forced to play a war game.As time goes on, with no indication of when he might return to his old life, Spencer embarks on a dangerous mission to Singapore – his assignment to detonate Japanese ships and prevent the invasion of Australia. But can Spencer destroy an enemy he’s come to love? Can he convince his senior officers he’s not a spy? Can he conform to a new culture and its old-fashioned beliefs? And – in this time – can he save the day?Along the way, Spencer’s comrades, and the many colourful characters he meets, become like family. The beautiful and beguiling Trilby Lim, potentially something more. But just as Spencer finds his feet, they’re whisked out from underneath him and he begins to question everything. Including if he wants to go back home..
Are there more Spencer books planned?
Yes I have finished book two of the Spencer series. Hawaiian Intervention has just had its final proofread and is about to be uploaded onto Ingram Sparke and Amazon. “Hawaiian” sees Spencer cast back in time to Hawaii, prior to the Japanese attack. I’m very pleased with the finished result.
How Much research did you do? Research on my novels is an ongoing process I research as needed. Thank God for Doctor Google.
I wish I had started to write earlier in my life. Apart from being a prolific letter writer to newspapers I didn’t start to write a novel until I was almost 70. About two and a half years ago. I’m now hooked.
How do you decide character names? I don’t have a formula for names. I try to make them interesting.
What time of the day do you write ? Anytime.
Difficulties? Grammar and sentence construction at times needs a little work.
Do you have a writing schedule? I have been known to write for ten hours straight.
Writing quirk? I’m not sure what quirks I have. As far as I know, I’m not sure my style is like anybody else’s, so that’s a quirk I guess.
In my third Spencer Marlowe novel, yet to be edited I have a female character FBI agent Savannah Steele, who is a slightly psychopathic, but lovable lady. I was so taken with her I’ve written a third novel featuring her. I’m in love. Sadly, she turns out to be a lesbian, so my love is doomed to be unrequited
Can a writer write if they don’t feel emotions? Absolutely so long as it’s instruction manuals for IKEA
Best advice? Keep writing.
Worst advice? You will never succeed.
Best money spent? Hire a good editor.
Favourite author? Impossible to answer. But current faves are Michael Connolly, Peter James and Stephen Leather. Currently reading ” Memory Man” by David Baldacci.
I really couldn’t say who has influenced me the most. Probably an amalgam of Leslie Charteris, Ian Fleming and I hate to say it, Lee Child.
Favourite quote.” If you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re probably right.”
Favourite book ‘ Pillars of the Earth’ by Ken Follett.
As a child, my absolute favourite was the ‘Magic Faraway Tree’ by you know who.
You are busy! Anything else in the pipeline?
Recently I was invited to collaborate on a “crime noir” novel with award winning author Dr Bruce Russell. I wasn’t quite sure how a collaboration would work, I don’t think he did either. Bruce has a doctorate in creative writing and has taught in American Universities. The formula seems to be, we take turns writing a chapter each. So far no cross words. We are up to around 40,000 words. I’m pretty excited by the project. It’s entitled ” The King of San Francisco” It’s set in 1978 when the main character, an Australian, visits his younger brother in San Francisco, only to find himself dragged into a world of murder and intrigue. Naturally we have lots of sex and violence. At the speed we are going it will be ready for editing within a couple of months.
Congratulations, it sounds like a lot of fun!