Today is my stop on the blog tour for Dead Lands by Lloyd Otis and I get to share a Q&A that I did with Lloyd for you guys!
About the book:
Dead Lands is a thrilling crime story set in the 1970s. When a woman’s body is found a special team is called in to investigate and prime suspect Alexander Troy is arrested for the murder. Desperate to remain a free man, Troy protests his innocence, but refuses to use his alibi. Trying to protect the woman he loves becomes a dangerous game – questions are asked and suspicions deepen. When the prime suspect completes a daring escape from custody, DI Breck and DS Kearns begin the hunt. Breck wants out of the force while Kearns has her own agenda and seeks revenge. Breck has his suspicions and she wants to keep it from him, and a right-wing march provides an explosive backdrop to their hunt for Troy. Dead Lands is the thrilling debut of award winning short story writer Lloyd Otis, and intelligently covers issues of race, discrimination and violence in a changing 70s landscape.
Published by Urbane Books, you can order your copy HERE!
About the author:
Lloyd was born in London and attained a BA (Hons) in Media and Communication. After gaining several years of valuable experience within the finance and digital sectors, he completed a course in journalism. Lloyd has interviewed a host of bestselling authors, such as Mark Billingham, Hugh Howey, Kerry Hudson, and Lawrence Block. Two of his short stories were selected for publication in the ‘Out of My Window’ anthology, and he currently works as an Editor.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Hi, thank you for having me on Bibliophile Book Club.
I was born and raised in South London and in the past, I’ve been a music reviewer and I’ve been a book blogger. My passion for books led me to be the editor of a book column for a monthly lifestyle magazine which was fun, and I’ve always been creative, even when I worked in the financial square mile with a client list of big businesses. I currently work as an editor.
How did you get into writing? Is it something you’ve always wanted to do?
Yes, it was always something I wanted to do because the concept of the story always appealed to me. I think it was while I attended university that my desire to take the writing to another level really took off. I tried my hand at writing longer stories and thought some were great when they probably weren’t. But it became a key learning curve and I was happy getting on with life and practice the writing. I later joined a local writer’s group. We’d meet once a week, write a topic that the tutor chose and then stand up in front of the class and read aloud. At first that was a little nerve-wracking but I have an appetite to learn so it didn’t deter me and it soon became second nature. I also started book blogging at around that time and received requests from publishers to interview their authors.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I’d say everyday life and by observing the smallest of details. Writers often spend long periods in solitude in order to concentrate, which is necessary, but I find that it helps to mingle afterwards and have face-to-face conversations. There is so much that you can pick up.
How would you describe your writing to anyone who hasn’t read your books?
That’s an interesting question that I can only describe by saying, I like to have my characters be declamatory when necessary amidst a punchy prose. I want to lead the reader by the hand to the place where things are hidden. I want to tell the story, that’s important.
Do you think social media helps in regard to promotion and drumming up publicity for a new book?
Yes, most definitely, and there are succinct reasons for that. We’re in the digital age now and an author needs to have a digital footprint. Through social media, a vast amount of promotional ground and awareness can be gained by reaching people, for example, on the other side of the world which is amazing.
What’s your most favourite thing about being an author?
My favourite thing about being an author is finally feeling like one. And knowing that an idea which was once floating around in my head and then scribbled down on piece of paper, is now a story that a lot of people can enjoy. That’s awesome.
What’s your least favourite thing about being an author?
Being initially ruthless with my rewrites and edits while forgetting that I’m then the one that needs to implement them. Ouch.
Where do you see your writing career 5 years from now?
Hopefully, going strong with a solid fan base, with really good books behind me that readers have enjoyed.
What’s next for you?
For the time being it’ll be more promotional activity for Dead Lands – which might eventually see me donning seventies gear – meeting crime fiction fans and having great experiences. And of course, writing something new.
I often wonder are authors voracious readers. Do you read much, and if so, what kind of books do you enjoy?
I like to read as much as I can, sometimes even two books at once. I have a pile of books to be read, a pile that keeps getting bigger, and within that pile you’ll find crime fiction, thrillers, memoirs, and other types of general fiction.
Can you tell me your all-time favourite book, or if you have to, your top 5?
There isn’t a standard set top five list as such or an all-time favourite but I recall reading A Piece of Cake: A Memoir by Cupcake Brown, a hard-hitting book which stayed with me for a while, and The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino, that had such a well-paced masterful build-up as it neared its end.
Has there been any books you’ve read that you wish you had written?
Plenty but it’s probably best to keep it restricted to this small amount. The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger, and more recently, Ghost Man by the late Roger Hobbs who had agreed to do an interview for me a few years back. Unfortunately, it never happened.
When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
I go to the gym, chill out with the family, and read and watch bad TV.
Have you any hobbies that aren’t book-related?
Yes, I’m a bit of a high-end video gamer, and I’m learning to play the guitar so that I can solo like Slash one day.
What’s your favourite holiday destination?
I think the UK has some beautiful places but at the moment, Italy just pips it.
Depends on the mood I’m in but right now, exactly right now, I’m desperate for apple crumble.
It’s got to be Chambord, it comes in the cutest bottle too. Google it.
Last but not least, why writing? Why not something else?
As I no longer have my motorbike, I can’t be a MOTO GP champion. However, I’ve got a vivid imagination where good always battles evil, so the only way to have it utilised thoroughly is through writing. I’ve still got a few more stories to tell yet so it’d be criminal (pun definitely intended) to do anything else.
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