Name: Leslie W P Garland
Book(s) Title: The Little Dog, The Crow, The Golden Tup, The White Hart, The Bat
Series Title: The Red Grouse Tales
Genre(s): Speculative fiction
Tell us a little about yourself? Perhaps something not many people know?
Something that not many people Know?! Have you considered that the reason why not many may know is because I don't wish them to know? But to be serious, my brief bio runs something like:-
I was born in 1949, qualified as a Chartered Civil Engineer and worked for several years on projects in
the UK, the Far East and Africa. During this period I won the Institution of Civil Engineers “Miller Prize” for a paper on tunnelling. Changing times resulted in a change in direction and after qualifying as an Associate Member of both the British Institute of Professional Photography and the Royal Photographic Society I started my own stock photograph library and wrote for the trade press. An unexpected break in my Internet connection fortuitously presented the time to make a start on a long cherished project of a series of short stories (see next question, below), and the first two of “The Red Grouse Tales” were drafted. Two more have followed and I am now working on a second batch of tales. The first of these, “The Bat”, is written and published , but I am failing miserably on what might be the second, “The Ghost Moth”, as I am currently in the middle of moving house and all writing has ground to a halt.
What made you want to become a writer?
I certainly did not have writing as a long term plan. Ideas just came into my head and when I read David Almond's book “Skellig” I realised that the subject matter was not so different to my ideas. So I decided to give it a go and get my thoughts down on paper – and as they say, five stories later!
Million dollar question, are you working on another book?
A million dollar question? Short answer is that I both am and am not – ref above about moving house. Boy, this moving business is so frustrating! The house is all so tidied-up for prospective buyers to come and view, I can't find a thing, am beginning to wonder if in fact I do live here, and feel more at home in the log shed!
Have you written any other books that are not published?
No, but I have several that are in various stages of being written.
What do you think about the ebook revolution?
It's a mixed blessing. Yes, everyone, including myself can now “have a go” and that is a good thing. However, the downside is that everyone is “having a go”, so the ebook market is awash with “the good, the bad and the ugly” and trying to get one's work noticed is, I guess, just as hard as it ever was.
What is your advice to Indie Authors? On writing? Marketing?
Oh, it is presumptuous of me to give advice! On the subject of writing however, I would say, if you feel like trying, give it a ago. “Better to have tried and failed, than never to have tried at all” – to misquote Oscar Wilde. On marketing, I know I am hopeless. Like many, I suspect, I am waiting for divine intervention!
Pen or type writer or computer?
Computer for actual writing, pen and paper for notes and flashes of genius!
Do you write Alone or in public?
Alone. I can't understand how anyone can possibly write in public.
Music or silence?
Silence. Total silence!
What tactics do you have when writing? (For example: outline or just write)
Planned outline for both story and thereafter, each chapter. I don't always stick to this 100%, but I have to know where I am heading.
What has your experience been like as an new Indie Author?
Bruises, Highlights, and lessons?
What is/are your book(s) about?
I guess they are a mix of paranormal, philosophy, religion and “what if”, mixed together with what I hope is an interesting story to make the reader think a bit about the various issues raised in the telling.
Does your book have a lesson? Moral?
Lesson, yes, I guess so, but it not a Hollywood boring “the good guy wins.” I like to think any lesson is a little deeper than that! I try not to be too moral as morals are so subjective and illogical.
Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?
Sometimes they take on more of a “life” than I had planned for them - and that is fun when it happens
and I try to run with it. But, as said earlier, my stories are always planned, so whereas the characters can become more rounded and perhaps play a larger part than I had originally proposed, they certainly
cannot hijack the story.
What has been the best compliment?
Readers giving me 5 star reviews and saying that they want to read more of my stories. What greater compliment can an author get?
Who is your favorite author?
I can't say I have any one favourite author, though some have perhaps made a greater impression on me than others for a range of reasons.
When I read David Almond's book “Skellig” I realised that the subject matter of his book was not so
different to that of my ideas. So I owe him a debt of gratitude for making me decide to give this writing
game a go – and as they say, five stories later!
Two other writers that have really grabbed me are Joseph Conrad and William Golding. I like the
structure of Conrad's story telling - a group of sailors on a lighter going down a river together and one
starts telling a story - it is a wonderful way of pulling the reader into the story. You can guess where I got my idea of the Red Grouse Tales from! And I like the way his stories build - “Heart of Darkness”
becoming more and more insane as it goes on. Of course Golding also captures the dark side of human
nature so well. His “Darkness Visible” and “Rights of Passage” are absolute gems - if that is the way to
describe two such books?!
I also have to mention the Bible - no, I am not really religious and I thought I would never have found
myself saying this - but it is a wonderful book. The stories in it are very different to each other, are
variously; darn good stories, wonderful allegories, contain some superb fantasy, can be deeply
philosophical, as well as, of course, being religious. It is one of those books that contains something for
everyone whether you are religious or not, and you can take what you want from it - which is probably
why it has lasted for over two thousand years!
John LeCarre has to get a mention for the way he puts his plots together - there is nothing accidental in his books, no seeing where an idea takes you, everything is meticulously worked out and I like that.
And there are many, many more. I've picked up snips from all over the place. In my “The Little Dog”
story, I gleaned the name of Blackman from Henning Mankel's “Depths”. In “The Golden Tup” I realised
afterwards that I must have absorbed more of Trollope than I had realised at the time! I love Dickens for the names he gives his characters and confess that I have copied this for people and places in my
stories. And of course in “The White Hart”, William Shakespeare might have just had the tiniest of
Could you tell us a bit about your most recent book and why it is a must-read?
Here is the blurb!
“The Bat” A coming of age story involving a search after truth, doubt and a bat!
With “fake news” hitting the headlines, I thought it would be nice to look at “truth” and muse on questions such as “what actually is true?” and “what is Truth?” using a fantasy story as a foil for same.
In this coming-of-age story Thomas recounts the events of a term at school when his class returned to a new beautiful class teacher, a donation of stuffed animals and birds by an eccentric benefactor which he and his friends subsequently discovered weren't quite as dead as they looked, an exorcism in which a bell-jar which had contained a bat shattered, and then things, which up until then had been strange, turned to being sinister and frightening.
In an attempt to understand what was going on, Thomas found himself reading up on Black Magic, Satanism, the early Christian Church, and the worship of evil, but instead of assisting his understanding this made him more confused than ever. Even a conversation with his local priest failed to resolve the problems he found himself wrestling with. What was true? What was the Truth? And of course, where was the bat?
An adult fantasy story for those who like to think about what they are reading.
(Warning to sensitive readers; these are stories for adults and so some do contain references to sex and the occasional use of bad language)
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favorite and why?
I think it is probably Mad Father Patrick in “The Crow”. There is something very real about him. Yes, he is flawed, but he is not a bad man. He is one who has tried and yet sadly in his own eyes, failed to achieve what he set out to do, though in fact, even though he doesn't realise it, has done something very worth while . I ended up feeling quite sorry for him! A strange thing to say about one of one's characters?
Where can we find you online?
If you could have been the author of any book ever written, which book would you choose?
The Bible – but that is asking too much!
Do you consider yourself to be a successful writer? If so, why? If not, what would make you successful?
What is success? This might be an interesting theme to explore in a story (ref my comments on Father
Patrick, above) . No, I don't make any money at it ..... yet. Hollywood directors, feel free to DM me! But I enjoy writing and I have a group of readers who like reading what I write, and as much as the money
would be nice, I don't actually need it – I am writing for the enjoyment it brings, not the filthy lucre! So am I successful, or am I not?
What do your friends and family think of your writing?
I think they think it is a bit of interesting fun.
How did you get to be so witty, funny, and good looking? (This obviously was a question that I was
And do I guess your answer was a modest, “I don't know, I was just born that way!”
Amazon Author Page Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Leslie-W-P-
Twitter Handle: https://twitter.com/LeslieWPGarland
Facebook Page Link: https://www.facebook.com/Leslie-W-P-Garland-781964695236959/
Check out Leslie's books on Amazon!!!