Interview With Author Peter Diggins

# Please introduce yourself and your book(s)!

My name is Pete; I make stuff up and write it down.

I live in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. Yes, where the devils are from. I have a day job, but I also write stuff. I jog, bush walk, hike and sometimes ride a bike. I also play D+D. I used to coach cricket.

I’ve written and published three novels and also published two more non-fiction books.

The novels

Crossover Fantasy novels about a man named Duncan Hawkwind who gets drawn from our world into another; that world is more akin to Middle Earth or Westeros.

A superhero/ medieval fantasy novel. The English Achilles, Sir John of Arundel reaches out across the centuries and into the dreams of Harry Tasker. In the modern day, a meteor falls to Earth. In the aftermath, people develop superpowers.

Two history texts written by retired history professors, one of whom is my wife’s uncle.

Gaelic Voices from Australia in the Nineteenth Century, written in English and Gaelic.

# What is/are the real-life story(ies) behind your book(s)?

Funnily enough, a few of things that have happened to the characters have happened to me. I’m also inspired by real-life interactions; sometimes a memorable conversation between my friends, family and I will make its way into one of my books.

# What inspires/inspired your creativity?

Everything. Often watching tv, a movie and I think ‘how would I do that differently?’ ‘How would one of my characters react in that circumstance?’

# How do you deal with creative block?

Depends on the type of creative block. If I’m stuck on progressing a story, I usually write something smaller (a few pages) unrelated to what I’m working on. That always gets the creative juices firing. Funnily enough I ended up with a new passage in my last book from doing just that, where the character walked down a hillside.

If its creative block, i.e. ‘I can’t be bothered to finish editing/ publishing this book right now’, I have to force myself to sit at the computer and just do it.

# What are the biggest mistakes you can make in a book?

Not proofreading. Relying on spell check. In the first version of my first novel ‘Outsider’ it was horrible how many times I’d typed ‘though’ instead of ‘through’.

And not getting others to read it first. Proof-readers are the best thing ever.

# Do you have tips on choosing titles and covers?

I find the titles pick themselves. Usually a pattern emerges, or a phrase is repeated.

If you don’t have the talent/ skill/ resources to do your own cover, find someone who is good at it. I always have a scene in my stories in mind when I do the covers.

# How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?

I don’t worry too much. If enough people tell you they enjoy your work, there will always be others who say they do not. I think it’s more important that you enjoy your stories. I enjoy telling myself my stores. It’s a bonus if other people like them too.

# How has your creation process improved over time?

I’ve become a better writer, and a better publisher. Practice makes perfect. Or ‘practice makes slightly better’.

# What were the best, worst and most surprising things you encountered during the entire process of completing your book(s)?

Finishing my first book was such a wonderful feeling. I’d written a novel. 104,000 words taken from my own brain. And I felt it was a good story.

It lived as an enormous amount of paper within a folder for a few years. I didn’t decide to publish it until a few years later. Publishing was hard work, a steep learning curve, but very rewarding.

I’m glad I decided early on to do it myself. I kinda got the feeling I’d still be waiting to hear back from publishers, otherwise.

# Do you tend towards personal satisfaction or aim to serve your readers? Do you balance the two and how?

Personal satisfaction. As I said before, I enjoy telling myself the story.

# What role do emotions play in creativity?

I tend not to let strong emotions affect what I do, whether it be writing or living life.

# Do you have any creativity tricks?

Nope. 😊

# What are your plans for future books?

Funny enough, I don’t have any. I have a few ideas (maybe about a dozen), but nothing too concrete or very well fleshed out. I’m sure that will change.

# Tell us some quirky facts about yourself

I’m a terrible typist. It takes me ages to write a book!

I’ve played Dungeons and Dragons for nearly 40 years.

I played cricket for thirty years.

I play a bit of guitar and bass guitar.

I walk and jog to keep fit, and sometimes ride a bike.

I don’t have a lot of spare time.