Mauro Martone

Interview

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself, your hobbies and interests.

I live in Edinburgh with my rescue dog, and enjoy reading, cooking and watching football.

2. When and why did you start writing books?

I wrote my first book back in 2016 and I think it had always been something that I had wanted to do. I had been a reader of books since I was very young and probably started thinking about writing as a young child.

3. What made you decide to tackle writing as a career?

I had published some short stories and so it just seemed to be the next natural step.

4. Which one of your books or characters is your favourite?

Its strange because I never read my books once completed. Obviously I read the writing stage by stage and then edit it etc, but I never sit down and read the published version because I am so fed up with it by then that I just cant. Consequently its is hard to enjoy the story as a reader might and also take to a character. So I don't feel any particular like or affection for a character in my books, other than the unnamed dog in The Orcadian File whose loyalty and love is obviously unconditional.

5. Which one of your books was the hardest to write and stretched you the most as a writer?

Neither, they were both fairly easy processes. I don't mean that in a conceited way, or to come across as haughty, but after years of writing what others wanted me to say in university papers, it is a pleasure to write whatever comes into my mind, if you know what I mean?

6. Who is your favourite author and book?

I'm often asked this, and I have a few favourites from Mario Puzo, to John Le Carre, John Grisham, Steven Pressfield and Jack Higgins, but I think there are two standouts for me. Stephen King is the best story teller of my generation and George MacDonald Fraser is my all time favourite because he introduced me to historical fiction. Fraser is simply outstanding, and despite having first read the entire Flashman series thirty years ago, I still tend to pick one up and find that I am smiling and cant put it down. I exchanged emails with him once and he was very encouraging and supportive of my writing, as well as generous with his time.

7. What book are you reading right now?

Hollywood Godfather by Gianni Russo who played Carlo in the Godfather movie. He is such a funny man and has so many stories to tell. I was seen to be in stitches watching his YouTube interviews and so was delighted to find his book in my Christmas stocking.

8. Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

Ah well from life experiences and from people I have met and conversations I have heard.

9. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I enjoy cooking and eating out but due to the pandemic I haven't really been out. I enjoy watching football and also listening to it on the radio. I like listening to all the football stuff on the radio as well as the radio in general, and often have a match on the television with the volume turned down and the radio turned up.

10. Do you have any new books in the works?

I'm researching the Bible John case from the 1960's at the moment with a view to writing some fiction about all of that. I learned that the late Syd Barrett used to keep notes of songs and his ideas in a book and so I do that too with things that pop into my head. I have quite a few potential projects in my wee book now and so may or may not commit to any if them, but at the moment its the Bible John thing that I'm exploring.


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