Michael Crowley is a writer and dramatist whose drama has been produced on stage in the UK and Australia for BBC Radio and Sky Arts. The artistic director of The Brutish Multitude Theatre Company, he has worked extensively in youth and community theatre, including with refugees and asylum seekers. He has also taught Creative Writing at Sheffield Hallam and Edge Hill universities. Between 2007 and 2012 Michael was a writer in residence in a prison. His latest novel Baghlan Boy, follows the story of a young boy whose parents are killed in a drone strike in Afghanistan and then travels to the West with his brother on a painful journey before ending up in prison – but why is he there?
Over to Michael..
- What is your name and where do you come from?
Michael Crowley and I was born and brought up in South Oxhey, an overspill housing estate south of Watford, north of London. I live in the village of Heptonstall now, West Yorkshire.
- Do you write fact or fiction and in what genre?
I write both. I endeavour to be versatile as a writer in order to make a kind of living from it. The genre that draws me most as a reader and a writer is historical fiction.
- Are you traditionally or self-published and which route do you consider best?
I’m traditionally published and believe it to be the best route for a writer. I wouldn’t rule out self-publishing if I thought the work was strong enough; T.S Eliot self-published his first collection.
- What’s your work schedule like when you’re writing?
Weekdays I’m at the desk before eight until six with a break for lunch, a short walk. Weekends: eight until ten, then out, then back there from two until six. I write on Christmas day. The ghosts won’t come if you’re not there for them.
- What advice would you give to budding writers?
Read. History in particular. Get your head down, be industrious, humble,
ruthless with yourself and patient. It takes four years to learn to be a bricklayer, why shouldn’t it take a decade to become a writer?
- What are your favourite books?
Memoirs of a Revolutionary by Victor Serge, Orwell’s essays, the novels of Thomas Wolfe, the poetry of Pablo Neruda.
- Are you a plotter or a pantster?
A plotter. Until a character suggests another course of action.
- What helps you focus?
Light duties on the allotment; not consciously thinking about writing.
- How long did it take to write your book/books?
A play I can write in a matter of months, a collection of poetry 18 months or so. My two novels took a couple of years each; my non-fiction takes less time to write but years of research.
- Where can we find your books?
I have a website: michaelcrowley.co.uk and an Amazon author page.
Thanks to Michael. If you are an author and would like to take part in this feature, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
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