Alec Reid Interview
The Indie Book Butler Interview –
Indie Book Butler: Let’s start things off with an introduction. Tell us a little about yourself for those not already aware of you and your work.
Alec Reid: Until I was thirty, I thought writing was something everybody did! When I was 18 I joined the BBC, spending all my time with creative people, so it was a not unreasonable assumption.. My own writing began early, with stories for the local children’s library magazine. In my twenties I was on the poetry circuit, having poems broadcast and occasionally published. Later I wrote and directed a couple of music dramas for radio, which led to my becoming a full-time radio drama and documentary director. After I went freelance I wrote book and lyrics for ‘Muscles the Musical’, which was produced in London some years ago. A revival was planned, but the pandemic put a stop to that. Until now most of my writing has been drama-related, but something in my subconscious urged me towards my first fiction book. Given my background, I had intended to go ‘straight to audio’ and directed the whole thing with a cast of sixteen actors. It’s available on Audible. In the end, I was prevailed upon to publish the text as well.
IBB: You’ve got twenty words to tempt us to read your book(s). What would you say?
AR: My ghosts may breathe alongside the supernatural, but do not need the darkness to bring terror to your daily lives.
IBB: Where do you like to write?
AR: Makes no difference. If I need to write, I write.
IBB: Is there anything you must have in order to write?
AR: Coffee, a working computer, and a chair, with some superglue to keep me sitting in it.
IBB: What books have influenced you most, both as a person and as an author?
AR: I used to read Dickens when I was in primary school. He gave me vocabulary, fed my imagination and instilled the faint beginnings of empathy.
IBB: What is the one thing that has helped you develop most as an author?
AR: Not being ‘An Author’, but throwing myself into life and relationships.
IBB: What do you want to achieve most from your writing?
AR: That’s a tough one. I always want to entertain, but am starting to feel the need to get my stories out while there is still time.
IBB: Have you received a favorite review of your work?
AR: It wasn’t a review, exactly. Someone contacted me via LinkedIn to ask if I had written ‘Misrule’, a radio musical from way back. When I said I had, he told me that he when he had listened to it as a teenager it gave him the ambition to be a writer. He now writes for television.
IBB: Were there any particular parts of the writing/publishing process that you struggled with?
AR: Marketing. Generally speaking, my writing has been commissioned, and other people used to take care of that.
IBB: Is there something specific you do to improve your writing?
IBB: What is the ideal relationship between editor and author?
AR: I’ve never had an editor, although have frequently been one. There have been no complaints, but I haven’t tried to analyse the process.
IBB: If you had a direct line to someone who loves or hates your writing, what would you say?
AR: Thank the lover and apologise to the hater.
IBB: If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?
AR: Try to cram as much into your life as possible. The rest will follow if you cannot prevent it. Writing is not compulsory. Only do it if it becomes uncomfortable not to.
IBB: What does your writing future hold for you?
AR: Ask me after the event.
IBB: How have you set about the task of creating enticing cover art?
AR: I’ve never done so. When I wanted a cover for my book, I researched cover designers online and commissioned the one whose work I most admired, Jacqueline Abromeit – firstname.lastname@example.org – I was delighted with what she produced.
IBB: How often do you read? What genre?
AR: All the time, not least because I produce a couple of audiobooks a month. I read everything from literary fiction to scandalous thrillers.
IBB: Before we let you escape, it’s your chance to name-drop. Anyone who you feel is deserving of more recognition at present or someone whose writing you have recently enjoyed? Now is your chance to spread the word…
AR: The actor David Collins is a friend of mine and a really excellent poet. He hasn’t published yet but has started to talk about it.
Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. Best of luck in the future.
For more on Alec’s first book of fiction — For Her Bones: Dark Tales — please visit: