Iain Reading is passionate about Root Beer, music, and writing. He is currently working on the fourth book in the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series, which will be released in 2014. He is Canadian, but currently resides in the Netherlands working for the United Nations.
What inspires you to write?
The thing that most inspires me to write and drives me to put words down on paper is my love for the characters and the worlds that are swirling around inside of my head. By writing them I can somehow breathe life into them and sometimes when I find myself too busy to write I can almost feel some of my characters sitting out there somewhere wherever I last left them, impatiently tapping their fingers and waiting for me to start writing again so they can get on with their lives.
Tell us about your writing process
The trick that I’ve found to work for me is to concentrate less on writing or creating a story and to focus more on creating the whole world around that story. The stories of our own lives, after all, are a consequence of the world around us and the choices we make as we navigate through it. It seems to me that fictional stories and characters are no different. So instead of writing a story that takes a character from A to B to C, I try to create (in my head) a world and a character whose just naturally would follow the path that leads from A to B to C (and to every other stop that happens to come in-between that I never thought of).
How do you think writing for children and young adults is different from writing for an adult audience?
I tend to think that for me personally the decision for my Kitty Hawk books to be in the Young Adult genre was one that was essentially made for me by virtue of the fact that the stories and characters somehow seemed geared toward that audience (or at least that’s what I thought). But to be honest I am not sure I could have written the books any differently anyway. My original conception of the books was for them to be for a much younger audience, but I guess I could only really write them one way, which is how they are. Hmmm. I never realised how little decision-making ability I had in this whole process.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I can’t say that I’ve ever had a conversation with one of my characters. No more than I’ve ever really had conversations with myself. I think this is probably because many of my main characters are, in some small way, me to begin with. That said, however, I think I’ve definitely engaged in conversations and confrontations with other people who inhabit my character’s worlds through them.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I am not sure that it was me who made the decision about how to publish my books. I suspect it was somehow made for me because I self-publish my books for the same reason that I self-produce all of the music that I spend the other half of my spare time creating: if I don’t do it, who will? Which isn’t to say that I don’t believe that my books and music aren’t worth creating – quite the contrary, in fact – but you can waste a lot of energy trying to get someone else to do something for you in life that you can just do for yourself.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I am not sure that I am really qualified to answer a question about the future of book publishing when I am not really very well informed about the PAST of book publishing. I think if I’d lived fifty years ago I would have still done the same thing I am doing now, which is to self-publish my books. I am more interested in creating something, be it books or music or whatever, than I am in trying to find ways to convince other people to let me create it. Fifty years ago the process would have been different but maybe the end result would be the same – whatever the end result is going to be this time, that is. Only time will tell.
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