Hi. The book is available for order at MuseItUp Publishing.
(Q) Thanks for stopping by my blog! Let’s start with the basics: where are you from? Is there any place online you’d like to direct us to learn more about you?
Originally I am from Ireland but I lived in Brussels for a few years, then more recently, in Switzerland. Now, although I still work in Switzerland, I live across the border in France. My Facebook page is: http://www.facebook.com/philipcolemanauthor. I will shortly have a website with a blog where I will review other authors and write about other things that I hope my audience finds interesting.
(Q) I always love hearing about how the idea for a particular book came about. Please fill us in on how you got the idea for The Master’s Book.
I suppose the first thing was that I wanted to write a book set in Brussels from a teenager’s point of view because I lived there when my children were around the same age as Sean and Maeve (the “hero” and his sister). It wasn’t that I modeled those characters on my son and daughter or anything, but this was a particularly happy time, when my children were open to the rich new experiences that a spell in another country can bring (we came from Ireland) and I wanted to portray Brussels through the eyes of a young teenager. Brussels and the rest of Belgium are a funny mixture of the modern and the very old, the beautiful and the ugly, and I wanted to capture that mix. And finally, speaking of mixtures, my children went to an international school where there were many stunningly beautiful children of mixed race parentage. That gave me the idea for Stephanie, the book’s “heroine”.
(Q) Which authors have most influenced your own writing?
I read a lot, from high-brow to thrillers and everything in between, so I am probably influenced in many ways I don’t even realize. However, one influence that I am very conscious of is that of Philip Pulman and his trilogy His Dark Materials. Thanks to him and the loveable heroine Lyra Belacqua, I am always drawn to create strong female characters – like Stephanie in this case.
(Q) What do you do for fun other than writing?
Eating and drinking – too much of both! I love cooking and throwing dinner parties. I also read a lot and am a big movie fan. I like classical music and opera. And, finally, I do draw and paint, thogh I never seem to have time of late. I force myself to go to the gym, but I live in the mountains so I do have opportunities for scenic walks and I’ve just started learning to ski. And, like Sean and Stephanie, I do swim.
(Q) If you could describe your ideal writing spot, where would it be? What music would you listen to (if at all)? What treats would you have on hand?
It’s difficult because if you get too comfortable then you slacken off. And the places where it’s comfortable to curl up with a book aren’t conducive to writing, even on a laptop. Si I would say it has to be at a desk, with a good chair that helps my posture (when I’m working hard at the computer my back muscles tend to seize up). Music? Well, definitely classical, but not vocal music and not passionate or romantic – in other words nothing that screams for your attention. Baroque music, chamber music or soft solo piano pieces are the best. Treats? Depending on the time of day, tea, coffee, or ONE glass of wine – with nome nice cheese to nibble on.
(Q) Plotter or pantser? Both? Neither?
(Q) Plotter or pantser? Both? Neither?
Pantser! I try plotting but when I go to write some unplanned scenes just take off while other planned ones fall flat. So I generally sketch out a rough plan, start writing, then I end up ignoring the plan and having to do a near total re-write.
(Q) Do you have any new projects that you are working on? Care to share?
I had roughed out a young adult sci-fi novel when I got the contract for The Master’s Book but I’ve put it to one side to write a sequel to The Master’s Book where Sean and Stephanie get mixed up with fugitives from the Rwandan genocide.
(Q) What kinds of marketing do you think are the most successful in terms of getting your name/book out there? (Curious minds are taking notes!)
Oh dear, I should be taking notes myself. I’m a complete newbie!
(Q) If you'd like to add anything, please do so.
Unfortunately, you can’t do signings for e-books. However, when my website is up and running, I will be having a promotion for the first few months. Anyone who gets in touch with me to comment on the book and who gives me their snail mail address will get a signed postcard with a print of a drawing (by me) of one of the locations in the book.
(Q) How about an excerpt to tantalize the readers?
Okay, here goes:
“So tell me more about this murder.”
What am I to say? I’d love to tell her what I found this morning, but can I trust her?
“There’s not really much more to tell,” I said. “The house was ransacked, but we don’t know what they were looking for.”
“Hmm. So you don’t think there’s still something hidden somewhere in the house?”
She’s near the mark.
“No, I’m sure there isn’t,” I said, trying to hide my surprise.
“Oh, come on.” She poked my shoulder. “You realise you’ve missed a chance to make up a really good story.”
The laugh I gave mustn’t have been very convincing, maybe because I’d fixed my gaze on the floor. She stared hard at me and suddenly gave me a nudge.