Friday, May 6, 2011

Interview with Giles Paley Phillips

Giles Paley-Phillips

Giles has written "The Fearsome Beastie" a delightful picture book beautifully illustrated by Italian illustrator Gabriele Antonini, whose illustrations create the perfect eerie atmosphere for this imaginative tale. It is written in rhyme and tells the story of a hungry beast who leaves his cave in search of a tasty snack! Its humorous but very dark tone is reminiscent of writers such as Shel Silverstein, Roald Dahl and Tim Burton, and is sure to raise a few eyebrows among it's readers.

Giles was born in East Sussex and lives in Seaford. He is a very interesting character. Initially he pursued a career in music, releasing several albums, and playing at such prestigious events as The Glastonbury and Essential festivals, it was at this time that he first began to develop his skills as a writer. Giles's first book "There's a Lion in my Bathroom" received much Critical acclaim and was made "Book of the month" by The Truth About Books, and his work has been likened to that of Spike Milligan.

The Fearsome Beastie is being released by Maverick Books and is available to pre-order from and Waterstones

There's a lion in my bathroom is OUT NOW and available from

and all good bookshops

Giles will have several more picture books released in 2011 and 2012

Q: It's rare today to find an author who does nothing but write for a living. Do you have a day job other than writing, and if so, what is it? What are some other jobs you've had in your life? Have they influenced/inspired your writing?

A:Yes, I work part-time in a book shop and I'm finishing off a degree, I've always played in bands, so writing and being creative has always been something I've done

Q: What compelled you to write your first book?

A:I came across a book of nonsense poetry by Shel Silverstein when I was looking around a charity, I'd been writing adult poetry and wanted to write something for my son who had just been born. I was totally blown away by it, and I wrote my first manuscript, that very day.

Q: Have you always wanted to be a writer?

A:I've been a musician for many years, which has brought me great opportunities and adventures, and it was something I always wanted to pursue as a career. Writing books for children really came out of nowhere.

Q: Tell us briefly about your book.

A: the fearsome beastie is hark back to the cautionary tales of old, I read a lot of Hilaire Belloc before I cane to write it and his work was a huge influence on this piece

Q: What are you working on at the moment?

A:I have several picture books in the works and another book of nonsense poetry, the picture books will be out in 2012

Q: Do you have a favorite character? Why is s/he your favorite?

A: I love the tree in the giving tree by Shel Silverstein, it's endless kindness defines the true meaning if love

Q: How did you feel the day you held the copy of your first book in your hands?

A: it was very humbling

Q: What type of music, if any, do you listen to while you write? Do you need the noise or the silence?

A: I love rock music, so that's normally belting out of the stereo

Q: If you could live in one of your books, which one would you live in? (If you’re promoting your first publication, feel free to talk about an unpublished piece.)

A: in my first book called 'theres a lion in my bathroom' there is a poem called beddy-byes land, it's very surreal there and there's a law against doing chores, which I like the sound of!

Q: How do you balance out the writer’s life and the rest of life? Do you get up early? Stay up late? Ignore friends and family for certain periods of time?

A:I just write when I can, I haven't got a routine, whenever I find a few minutes I just scribble stuff down

Q: The main characters of your stories - do you find that you put a little of yourself into each of them or do you create them to be completely different from you?

A: I guess as a writer you are always going to write about stuff that either relates to you in someway or is something you are inspired or interested in.

Q: Is there an established writer you admire and emulate in your own writing? Do you have a writing mentor?

A: I love the work of Edward Gorey, Brian Selznick and Robert Neubaker

Q: When growing up, did you have a favorite author, book series, or book?

A: I always loved everything by Roald Dahl and one of my favorite picture books was 'Not now Bernard' by David McKee

Q: What about now: who is your favorite author and what is your favorite genre to read?

A: in adult fiction I love quite extreme cult authors like Chuck Palahniuk and Bret Easton Ellis, for children, I love micheal morpurgo, his style is very classic

Q: When they write your obituary, what do you hope they will say about your book/s and writing? What do you hope they will say about you?

A: if I'd touch just one person with my work then I'll be happy

Q: Where you have lived and what you have experienced can influence your writing in many ways. Are there any specific locations or experiences that have popped up in your books?

A: not in any particularly obvious way, but my grandmother played a huge part in my upbringing, and so in a couple of my texts there has been a strong grandmother character who resolves the situation

Q: What is your writing space like? Do you have a designated space? What does it look like? On the couch, laptop, desk? Music? Lighting? Typing? Handwriting?

A: I write mainly on a desktop, but I make notes constantly in notebooks and scraps of paper

Q: Is there anyone who has inspired, motivated, encouraged or supported your writing?

A: my wife and children have been a tremendous support and inspiration for my work

Q: Is there any particular book that, when you read it, you thought, "I wish I had written that!"?

A: the courage of the blue boy by Robert Neubaker, it's fantastic

Q: Is there anything you'd go back and do differently now that you have been published, in regards to your writing career?

A: I've been extremely fortunate so far in my career so I wouldnt change a thing

Q: In my experience, some things come quite easily (like creating the setting) and other things aren’t so easy (like deciding on a title). What comes easily to you and what do you find more difficult?

A:titles I don't have a problem with it's in writing the rest That I struggle

Q: Have you ever had a character take over a story and move it in a different direction than you had originally intended? How did you handle it?

A:The fearsome beastie went in many different directions before I settle on the final narrative, I had to just get it all down then find the solutions afterwards

Q: Do you have any book signings, tours or special events planned to promote your book that readers might be interested in attending? If so, when and where?

A: the book is out may 31st and will be followed by in store signings and school visits

Q: It’s one thing to write a book and another to edit it. How do you feel about the editing process? What was it like to edit your book?

A:I'm lucky to have worked with a great editor, called Emily Lamm, and she's been able to push me in all the right directions, I find editing e incredibly hard, but it is so necessary to bring a text to life

Q: Now that you are a published author, does it feel differently than you had imagined?

A: it's everything I hoped it would be and more, I've been incredibly lucky to have worked with some fantastic people and publishers



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