Happy Sunday lovelies! Today I’ve got a Meet the Author post for you! Today we’re talking to Martin Gore about his newest book The Road to Cromer Pier, Britains Got Talent and writing pantomimes….
Family Saga / Contemporary historical fiction/ Holiday fiction.
Tell us a bit about yourself:
I’m a 62 year old man living in East Yorkshire, who semi retired at 57 and created a second career as a non executive director, but with time to travel and to write. Originally from Coventry I lived in Kent for eight years, before moving north.
What inspired you to start writing?
When I was nine years old I told my mother that as I liked composition and drama I wanted to be a Playwright. She suggested that I’d better work hard and get a proper job, so I did. My love of writing was rekindled when I began writing pantomimes for Walkington Pantomime Players in 2010, and I have now written eight. My debut play, He’s Behind You, was performed in 2016, and is now published on line.
Both Pen Pals and The Road to Cromer Pier were originally plays, now converted to novels. The latest version of the plays are available to perform.
How many books have you written and published?
Just the two. Pen Pals was published in 2016, and The Road to Cromer Pier in 2019. I’ve no intension of being a prolific author, I’ll write stories that I feel competent to write, about topics which I care about.
Which book, out of all the books you have written, is your favourite and why?
Difficult question, as I love them both for different reasons. Pen Pals is a story of our time, how we gave away our manufacturing base through inept class ridden management and luddite trade unions, and created the roots of the current austerity. But it’s a really heart warming love story of family and loyalties too.
The Road to Cromer Pier is about a real place of course, and the interaction with Cromer Pier Theatre who have been so supportive, and the reaction of local people and visitors, has just blown me away.
A tough call but I think Pen Pals tells a story which needs telling, but in a very human way. I’d like to see it as required reading in our secondary schools, before the message gets lost.
How do you choose the names of your characters?
They pop into my head I guess, although I think that they need to be of their time. Calling a character born this year Edna probably wouldn’t work. The Murgatroyd name in Pen Pals came out of the need for a strong northern name, and I spotted the name on a fish and chip shop in Leeds.
Which of your characters would you want to be stranded on an island with, and why?
Lauren Evans. A Welsh soprano with a delicious sense of humour. Music is important to me, so having Lauren there would be essential.
Who is your favourite author and which of their books is your favourite, and why?
I tend to read biographies mainly, but in fiction I always liked Arthur Hailey, as his books are so well researched. More recently Nelson De Mille and Robert Goddard. I liked Archers older work too, particularly Kane and Abel, which is the closest in genre to Pen Pals.
What other jobs have you done other than being an author?
Well I started as a programme seller at Coventry City, my favourite team! But my professional career was as an accountant. I started as an office junior at Jaguar in 1973, and retired as Director of Corporate Services with Humberside Probation in 2015.
If you could get in a time machine and had one chance to travel, where would you go? (Backwards or forwards!)
I guess I’d go back to 1969, and land on the moon with Neil Armstrong. A truly out of this world experience that I grew up with.
If you could have one conversation with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
I’d love to meet Martin Sheen the actor, because I’m a huge West Wing fan, and I love his work.
What are your favourite things to do?
I love music and particular musical theatre, so we go to many shows and concerts. We love to travel, be it in the UK or abroad. In June this year we went to California, then on to Cromer to launch the book. Next week we’re going to Northumberland with the grandchildren, so I’ll enjoy that too.
What is the strangest thing that has ever happened to you?
I’m a non executive director in my local NHS Trust, and sing with the choir. We auditioned on Britain’s Got Talent in Birmingham and got four yesses from Simon Cowell and the gang. I high fived Ant as we left the stage!
If you could give your younger writing self any advice what would it be?
Start writing sooner. My career was all consuming and dominated my life for too long. You need to have a work life balance, but didn’t realise that until far too late.
Name one book you think everyone should read?!
I’m going to say Pen Pals of course, because it tells the story of our present predicament, but in a very heart warming and readable family saga.
And finally, tell us about your most recent book and where we can find it?
The Road to Cromer Pier, available on Amazon and through Waterstones. Also from Cromer Pier Box Office and Jarrolds.
Janet’s first love arrives out of the blue after thirty years. Those were simpler times for them both. Sunny childhood beach holidays, fish and chips and big copper pennies clunking into one armed bandits.
The Wells family has run the Cromer Pier Summertime Special Show for generations. But it’s now 2009 and the recession is biting hard. Owner Janet Wells and daughter Karen are facing an uncertain future. The show must go on, and Janet gambles on a fading talent show star. But both the star and the other cast members have their demons. This is a story of love, loyalty and luvvies. The road to Cromer Pier might be the end of their careers, or it might just be a new beginning.
Thanks so much for your interview Martin. I love that you got four yesses on BGT – well done to you and the choir! Also love the fact that you’d go back and do the moon landing!
If you have any questions for Martin, you know what to do!
Enjoy your day all!