MEET PAUL CUDE:
I’ve had a small interview on the Author of Bentwhistle the Dragon in A Threat of the Past and this is what he had to say.
AW: Where do you live?
PC: I live in the beautiful city of Salisbury in England, famed for its stunning cathedral and wonderful water meadows. Also, it’s only about nine miles away from Stonehenge.
AW: Your family and status?
PC: I’m happily married to my beautiful, kind and wonderful wife Rachel who works so hard, not only at her day time job, but at editing my books for me. Without her, none of this would have been possible. I have two fabulous children, and I’ve been lucky enough to look after them as they’ve grown up, right from when they were born, and I still do, even now. The eldest is ten, the youngest seven.
AW: Any animals?
PC: Sorry, no animals at the moment. We don’t live in a very big house, so space is at a premium, and it’s pretty crowded with all four of us, and what feels like a million books. Maybe in the future.
AW: Why did you choose the name Bentwhistle the Dragon in A Threat from the Past for your first novel?
PC: The whole story came to me in a dream one night, and in the dream, I could see the main character in his dragon form, with this very clear marking of a bent whistle, etched on his scales……hence his name…..Peter Bentwhistle. Whenever I think of him, that’s the first thing that pops into my head. As for the ‘threat from the past’, that’s more about the opening part of the book, that in my mind loops around and connects to the very ending, while still leaving a few unanswered questions for the readers to think about. All will be revealed, some in the not too distant future.
AW: When did you decide to become a writer/where did the passion for writing start?
PC: I can remember having a distinct passion for writing around the age of nine or ten. I used to be glued to comic books, and let my love and imagination for the Star Wars universe, then quite new, run away with me. But it was at about that time that I found my love of hockey, and so from then onwards all I ever wanted to do was chase the stupid ball about with the stick as part of a team. Much as I still do now, despite my age. As for my current writing, the dream came to me in the form of one long story in my head. I told my wife, and she insisted I must write it. At the time I just laughed her off. But over a period of months, I would dream little updates, or amendments to the story, so much so that in the end, I had little choice but to put it all down in words. First I taught myself to type, and that took about three months. After that, it was finding the time to get the words down on the page, which is still pretty much the same challenge today. Thankfully my family are very understanding, but really the only time I get to do much writing is in the evening.
AW: How did you come up with the story? All the detail of the laminium ball games, mantra’s, grotto’s, dragon cities, etc.
PC: Most of it comes to me while I’m asleep. I think a lot of the influences are just based around my life…….all the crazy things that zip in and out of my head. Hockey obviously plays a big part in the book…….who’d have thought, dragons playing hockey…..unreal. But the rest…I like to read a lot, so influences there are Terry Pratchett, the Harry Potter books, the Star Wars universe – I’m sure a great deal of what’s in my book can be traced back to all of these and more in some way, shape or form. I have a love of gaming, when I have time. I’ve played some online games in the past……..again, most have dragons and those kind of figures in them. Haven’t played for many, many, many months due to time constraints, family life and trying to get my next book finished. As well, on occasion, the writing, or the words, who knows which one, just suddenly takes over. It’s happened on a few occasions, I’ve sat down to start to write, and the words just flow out. You think half an hour’s passed, and you look up to see that it’s been nearly three, you’ve written three or four times what you’d hoped, and the story has either gone off at a tangent, or gone briefly in a different direction all together. Not once have I disliked any of the work that’s come out when this has happened.
AW: What other projects are you working on?
PC: In looking after my kids when they’re not at school, working at a different school as a teaching assistant, most of the cooking and cleaning, I’m trying to finish the next book in the series. The next book is called ‘Bentwhistle The Dragon In A Chilling Revelation’, and so far I’m on just over 190,000 words, and about a chapter and a half from the end. It follows on from the first one, with most of the same great characters, but what I’m really proud of are some of the new ones introduced. Often I’ve thought about which new character I like the best, and strangely, despite there’s always one I think outweighs all the others……I can never choose between them. As well as this, during the last three months, I’ve skipped ahead, due to some more of my dreams, and have written over 50,000 words of the third book in the series. So lots of writing, and linking all of the little things in each book, from characters to plot lines, together.
AW: I see that Bentwhistle is a series, how many books are you planning to write in this series?
PC: It’s hard to say. When I set out writing the first book……….I naively had it all planned out…..ten chapters, each of ten thousand words each. But from experience, I know that I, and probably everyone else, just can’t write like that…..so it’s hard for me to predict how long it will take me to get to the end of the story that I just have to tell. If I had to take a guess, I’d say six books at the moment. But it could be a book one way either side of that.
AW: Where can they find your books?
PC: My book is currently available as an ebook, free for a limited time from Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/286035 in most formats. It is also available on Amazon as a paperback as well as the kindle version. At the moment you have to pay for the kindle version, but hopefully in the next week or so, that will be free as well across all of the Amazon sites.
AW: How can people get in touch with you? Twitter, website, blog, face book page, goodreads etc.
PC: My book has its own website http://www.bentwhistlethedragon.co.uk/ I also have my own blog at http://www.thesoberhockeyplayer.co.uk/which includes all aspects of my life, writing, hockey, books, and anything that I’m up to. The Bentwhistle facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/Bentwhistlethedragon?ref=hl and I’m always looking to interact with friendly new people on twitter. You can find me @paul_cude
AW: Favorite books from other authors? Just name a few.
PC: I’m a big fan of the Star Wars universe as I’ve already mentioned, so pretty much anything from the expanded universe there. As well, I enjoy reading books by Terry Goodkind, Dan Brown, Christopher Paolini, Trudi Canavan and Robin Hobb to mention but a few. But my favourite author has to be Terry Pratchett. The plot lines, characters and humour are just FANTASTIC! I urge you to read at least one of his books…..you will absolutely love it. The ones I like the best are all to do with the guards of Discworld. If I had to recommend one to book of his to read, and I’m finding that really difficult because there are so many that I love, it would have to be ‘The Fifth Elephant’. Even as I’m sitting here typing this now, I’m laughing out loud at one particular part of the book that always has me crying with laughter…..no mean feat. How many books have you read that can make you do that? Well this one does, and it’s not the only one of his. Anyhow………..read it and enjoy!
Thank you Paul and to all my readers, please show your support and get your copy of Bentwhistle the Dragon in A Threat from the Past.
Kind Wishes till next time,