Author Review: Peter Rendell
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a small village near Bath in the west country of England. My parents had a camper van and we did a lot of travelling. Both my parents were born in the Home Counties near London. They considered themselves to be townies and preferred village life in the countryside. I was more attracted to the nightlife in Bath and took every opportunity to escape on the local bus.
I went to college in the North of England where I spent 8 years in a town steeped in the traditions of the Steel and Chemical industries. Life was good in the pubs and clubs with plentiful talents in country, folk and jazz music. I kept short notes about the best events but still hadn’t been bitten by the writing bug.
When did you first start writing?
I wrote letters to my mother while I was at college, but a once a week habit became once a month as my studies grew; eventually it became half term only as I returned home at the end of each term.
My first attempt at writing a short story began for all the wrong reasons. I was away in Belgium on a contract. I was alone in a small bedsit. I was writing to preserve my sanity. A writer needs the desire to write about a subject they believe in. I was writing about whatever came into my mind. It was emotional rubbish but it achieved its objective; sanity was preserved.
What's the story behind your latest book?
At the great risk of annoying religious people, I look at what I might believe to be the philosophy of life. Reincarnation is a subject that fascinates me. I am a lapsed Christian. I was educated by both Roman Catholic and Church of England faiths. I do believe in God; however, I do not believe in all that is written in the Bible. There is too much vanity written in the laws.
I don't believe you can blame God for everything. If I was God then the first thing I would do is to delegate the task of maintaining the Earth; and so, I have proposed that Gaia is the soul of the Earth and it is her responsibility to look after herself.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I guess that comes when I am finished. There are many highs at the end of each section and I get a great deal of pleasure from describing an emotional scene. It is particularly satisfying when someone else gets the feelings that I intended.
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything. I cannot expect to please them all, but I will do my best to listen to them.
What are you working on next?
The next book "Athena's Table" will show Samantha Merlin setting up a new home in Cartagena in Spain. Will this be her dream home or is it Athena's Fortress?
What is your writing process?
I start with an idea and then list everything I know about that idea. I try to define the birth and death of that idea; if I can see lots of little steps between the two events then I know the idea is viable. This string of steps is the backbone of the book and of each individual chapter. Each character has a diary and, in the magic world, a list of changes.
How do you approach cover design?
This was a nightmare for me. A book is judged by its cover.
I wasn't confident that I could describe to a third party what I wanted on the cover and I was almost certain that I would end up changing it; so I decided to do it myself. I use 'DAZ 3D' to compose my 3D scenes that are eventually saved in 2D. ‘DAZ Studio’ is free but you do have to pay for the characters and clothing. I use Gimp to add the Title to the final 2D image. Gimp is another free product with a large user community.
I try to choose scenes with blank areas to the top and bottom of the scene. I like to put the title at the top and the author name at the bottom.
I try to choose an image that represents the story content. I will keep drafting images until the killer emerges. I can spend several weeks on a single cover.
What can you say about your next book?
I am an author writing ‘Fantasy’ novels for a general audience. I am not a person who habitually swears and so my characters will only use profanities in extreme states or where it is expected of the character.
I write stories that are set in the world of “real magic”. Imagine just how you would feel if you suddenly became caught up in a spell. Of course, it depends on the type of spell and where you are. They say it is a fine line between genius and insanity; a similar distinction can be made about your feelings for magic. At what point does curiosity overcome your fear?
Your host tells you he is a magician who uses ‘real magic’ in his stage illusions. Would you volunteer to be his assistant?
Just like any science, real magic has its limitations. These limitations lead to frustration, desperation and death; no one can cheat death.
- Peter Rendell Publishing