AUTHOR INTERVIEW WITH THOMAS BARTLETT
Thomas Bartlett’s debut novel is Americans Bombing Paris. He is also a published ghost writer. He was born in Belfast and grew up in Galway. He lived a year in the states as a child. In his twenties, he lived in Paris for four years and Spain for Two. Now, he lives in Dublin. He has been a teacher, a resturant manager, a waiter, and a cook. Finally, he became what he always wanted to be, a writer.
For Johnny and Naya trouble was unavoidable and in truth they never tried to avoid it. Humour, war and love entangle as Paris gets bombed and four lives come together and fall apart.
Paris October 2002, the Americans are going into Iraq and the French are acting all ornery. Irish Johnny and his English and American friends indulge in personal score settling with some low hum, non-lethal terrorism. The group creaks and yaws under the pressures of the looming bombing, their dividing loyalties, and the encircling French security services.
Who are your favorite authors?
My favourite authors are people like Donna Tartt, Michel Houellebecq, Patricia Highsmith I say these names because I can see their books from my desk but I am not fussy and will give anything a go.
What are your favorite genres to write?
I tend to just start writing then try and attach a genre at the end. I would not recommend this approach as it plays havoc with pitching your book and is murder on marketing. Americans Bombing Paris is a case in point. I would have described it as a satire, but I have been informed by almost everyone who read it that it is a love story, or a romantic thriller.
What are your favorite aspects of writing?
I enjoy cadence and rhythm, I love when I explain something that I did not understand before. I generally like all aspects but I work hardest at dialogue.
What time do you do most of your writing?
Early morning. I try to be at my desk by 0630. The Christmas period was a disaster in this regard. However I am determined to get back to the early mornings, it is quieter in my head and all around me.
Do you have any writing habits? If so, what are they?
Nothing unusual. I make cups of tea and coffee normally at the same time. Social media lures me towards it and I have to fight that. I enjoy procrastinating as much as the next writer and I spend a lot of time in search of tea spoons.
Do you usually type or write your first draft?
I type everything. I would be worried I’d be unable to read my own handwriting at this stage. Strangely despite the fact I have written five books (some are ghosted) and I type in my part time job, I am still not a great typist.
How long does it take to write your first draft?
A month maybe. I tend to be ready to go when I sit down to write it. I am full of bs already, the process then is to spill onto the page unhindered.
Are you a self-publisher? If yes, what made you decide to self-publish?If no, how was the process of finding a publisher?
I started out trying to get my book published the old way. After around thirty rejections most of whom did not even read any of it I decided to try a different tack. Like everything there are pros and cons. Pros are you are in charge, you get a considerably larger cut from any sales you make on the book. Cons it really is self publishing, you do everything unless you can afford for others to help you out.
What’s your most recent book?
My most recent and first book is Americans Bombing Paris. A story centred around a young couple getting mixed up in things that are bigger than them and that they cannot control. I tried to write a book that would appeal to anyone who likes to read. So it has elements of romance, satire, humour, thriller in it.
On your recent book, what inspired you to write it?
I used to live in Paris and I was there around the time the book is set, 2002. I used to sit on the balcony looking out on Paris thinking what it would be like if Paris was being bombed, imagining how it would feel and impact my life. This was the first kernel and the idea grew from there.
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