Interrogating R.M.F. Brown
How do you strike the balance between writing something you want to write and writing something that people want to read, in terms of the compromises you make, if any?
I never worry about balance. If I have a story idea in mind, I just write it. Publish and be damned. If you start thinking about the general public, you’ve had it. As somebody once said: “the general public thought it was a good idea to vote for the Nazis and buy Coldplay albums. What do they know!”
Do you have a box, drawer, folder etc where you keep thoughts and ideas for future stories? Such as names you have come across, bits of dialogue, ideas, characters - even if you have no idea when you might use them?
I carry a notebook around with me to scribble any good ideas down. I’m also lucky to be blessed with a good memory, so I can carry plot ideas around with me. Good ideas and dialogue can be a distraction sometimes, a poison to the mind, so they need to be filtered out from time to time.
How do you manage plot bunnies (ideas that invade your mind that aren’t usually helpful to the story you’re writing but breed like...er...bunnies)?
I’m speaking metaphorically of course, but plot bunnies, like their real life counterparts, need to be shot! Sometimes, it’s not easy to ignore them, but I find deep breathing helps!
How much of you is in your characters? Which of your characters is the you that you’d most like to be? Or be with ?
I consciously try my best to avoid adding bits of my personality/character to my characters. It’s not easy, but the law of polar opposites can help. For example, if you are brave, smart, charismatic etc. you can make a character who is the complete opposite. This is an excellent device for devising characters that has served me well over the years.
Do you become so wrapped up in your writing that your spouse wonders if they're married to you or one of your characters?
Where I live, it’s hard to become wrapped up in your writing. There is always somebody with a power drill, or a lawnmower working away underneath my window, or call centres ringing me up day and night. If I can get a few hours of writing under my belt every day, then it’s been a good day.
What type of book do you like reading? Is it the same genre as you write?
I write in a variety of genres, and I read a variety of genres. Biography is what I usually go for, (Roger Moore, Sean Connery) but modern fantasy is another genre I dabble in.
What lengths do you go to to convince us readers that your book has the X factor?
I try to avoid cliché, and make an effort to add unusual plots and situations to spice things up. It’s hard to be original, but I’m always looking for fresh ideas.
How do you feel when a reader points out the spelling mistake(s) you have made?
I feel like taking a long walk from a short pier!
What do you like most about visiting KUF/GR/forums?
I like the banter and the book recommendations, and to have a place where being a book lover is not the mark of shame that it normally is in society!
What is on your near horizon?
More writing competitions, a novel set in World War Two, and a fence that needs painting.
Where can we find you for more information?
You can find me on twitter (RMFBrown@twitter.com) and on Goodreads and Amazon under the name R.M.F.Brown.