Author Interview: Lochlan Bloom Reply

Lochlan-bloom-author-writerThis week we’ve been speaking with Lochlan Bloom, whose debut novel The Wave was published earlier this year. The Wave is one of three novels published by Dead Ink via their Arts Council-funded project PublishingTheUnderground.
Lochlan has written for BBC Radio, Litro Magazine, Slant MagazinePorcelain Film, IronBox Films, The Metropolist, EIU,  H+ Magazine and Palladium Magazine amongst others.

Is The Wave your first work to be published? Do you write short fiction as well as longer form?

The Wave is my first full length novel but a few of pieces of my shorter fiction have been  published before.

Last year, Australian publisher InShort published one of my stories The Open Cage as a stand-alone chapbook and Philistine Press also published a short collection of stories Ambi & Anspi and other stories.

My short novella Trade is also available from Createspace.

What gave you the idea to write the novel and what gave you the idea to blend metafiction, historical fiction and screenplay? Tell us a bit about The Wave.

The finished novel came together from a number of different places  but the nucleus of the idea centered around the character μ and his slow dislocation from reality.

From the start, I wanted to create something that questioned the process of reading and explored this idea of a fictional character crossing over from the real to the unreal while balancing that with real life characters and screenplay elements.

The title itself comes from the concept of a guiding wave, put forward by David Bohm, to describe quantum phenomena. Its a hidden variable theory and suggests that, at a fundamental level, all the interactions in the universe are intimately connected. As such the guiding wave concept tied in with the connections between story and reality I was exploring in the book and this idea of a hidden or implicate order.

How did it feel once the book was finally finished?

It was great to finish the first draft of The Wave but I get a single eureka moment when a piece of writing is ‘done’. Often, the first  draft of a section just fits and there is nothing to change but then again for other sections the writing process is more as Borges described it when he said – ‘I do not write, I rewrite’. Getting that balance is the key to getting something that works I think.


Author Interview: Toby Litt 1

We’ve been picking the brains of Toby Litt. Toby is a senior lecturer in creative writing at Birkbeck College, London. He has published three collections of stories and eight novels and also writes the comic Dead Boy Detectives. 

Photo: Kate Cooke

Have you always been interested in writing? Did you write stories from a young age?

For a long time, I was much more interested in TV and films than in writing. I realize now that I turned to books because of what you might call a sci-fi drought. Once I’d seen Star Wars, I wanted more – but there weren’t that many more decent SF films. (And there were a whole slew of godawful ones.) So I turned to Frank Herbert’s Dune, to E.E.Doc Smith, to whatever I could find with a spaceship on the cover. I was an addict – it was desperation.

I wrote the stories I was required to, by English teachers. But I started writing poetry in little orange notebooks I bought from the stationer’s over the road from my house. This went along with liking Salvador Dali’s paintings – and Magritte’s. I wanted to be a surrealist. But I was much more into painting than writing.

This one could be difficult for your modesty, but when did you realise that you were good at writing? Has it always felt natural, or have you had to train yourself and your craft to feel confident in the process?

I’ve been thinking about this a lot, recently. I am writing a non-fiction book called Wrestliana about my great-great-great grandfather, who was a champion Cumberland & Westmoreland wrestler and a brandy smuggler but also a poet and a novelist. He was called William Litt, born in 1785. As I wrote about him, and the little I knew about his schooldays, I found myself writing about myself and my school days. I believe that, from the age of about five upwards More…