Since I have a book to get finished and a new one to get started on straight after, let's get cracking with this week's round of #TwentyQuestions...
ACT ONE – all about you…
I was born and brought up in Devon (south west England). After university I spent ten years living abroad, mainly in Italy. I came back with a decent command of the language and, more importantly, my artist wife, Mariangela. Our daughter is a poet, so it must be something in the water down here. A few years ago I gave up my day job running a big English language school and have been concentrating on my writing ever since.
1) Have you always been a writer or is it something you fell into?
Ever since I first wrote The Lake Dwellers (shameless Swallows and Amazons ripoff) at the age of 14! And that’s a long time ago. I have been writing as a hobby all my life.
2) Do you have a particular writing style or ritual?
When I was working full time, I used to write in the evenings as relaxation. Now I “binge write”. I can go days, even weeks without writing and then, suddenly, I find myself fully immersed, to the exclusion of all else. I wrote Dirty Minds in a month.
3) Is there a book or an author that has influenced you in your writing?
I love Tom Sharpe and I love JP Donleavy (but not so much The Ginger Man, more his other stuff).
4) Is there one piece of writing (or life?) advice that has stuck with you, or that you would like to share?
Without any doubt: “Writing is the easy part. Finding a publisher is a hell of a lot more difficult.” Anon.
5) Can you tell us three things about yourself that we probably don’t already know?
I have written three serious historical novels, set in the Middle Ages. I cycled from here to Santiago de Compostela in Spain a few years back. I was once vomited on by amazing singer, Joe Cocker.
6) What five luxury items or gadgets would you hate to be without?
Bike, iPad, mulching lawnmower, corkscrew and, of course, my personal Italian chef!
ACT TWO – all about your new release…
Roger Dalby is a lucky man. He inherits a manor house in Devon and a huge fortune. But all he wants is to study medieval history and marry Linda, the love of his life. His problem is managing to find the courage to tell her how he feels about her. His friend Duggie, on the other hand, has less honourable intentions. A Royal decree from the Middle Ages means that the Manor is the only legally licensed house of ill repute in England. He decides to return it to its former glory. Unknown to Roger, the second floor of the manor is soon filled with a disreputable collection of people getting up to some very naughty antics. And as if that were not enough, somebody is trying to kill Roger. This is a very English story, written with a very English sense of humour, set in very English surroundings.
7) Congratulations on your recent release of The Room on the Second Floor, what was your inspiration for writing the story?
I really don’t know. Maybe it was just that after writing Dirty Minds, which is a funny book about people trying to write an erotic novel, I thought I should stick to the same slightly smutty, humorous subject matter. Although it is a love story (well, two to be precise) and a murder mystery, it is also about a guy trying to set up a brothel in an old manor house. I felt that ticked the humorous and smutty boxes quite well.
8) Did the story flow from your finger tips or did some scenes take a bit of cajoling?
It flowed pretty well. In particular some of the weird and wacky characters popped out of nowhere quite remarkably easily.
9) How long did it take for the initial spark of the story to make it onto the page and then onto the publisher’s desk?
A remarkably short time. About four months.
10) Do you have a favourite paragraph or sentence from your story that you would like to tantalise us with?
As with my other books, there is always my trademark black dog in it. His job this time is to act as Cupid.
“He held her tighter and kissed her again. Jasper, satisfied by his matchmaking, strolled through to the bathroom and drank deeply and noisily out of the toilet bowl.”That’s dogs for you.
11) Over to you, what can you tell us about The Room on the Second Floor, to make us rush out and buy it?
It’s a book about love, some the good type and some the less noble type. And it’s also a murder mystery with a twist. I hope it will make you laugh most of the time.
12) What can we expect from you next? Is there something you are working on right now?
My next book, due out in a few months time is called Danny. It’s less smut and more romance. Alice has just lost her job of 17 years and is looking for a complete change in her life. She moves down to Devon. There’s a black Labrador, a handsome windsurfer, a damaged lord of the manor and a little baby. And they’re all called Danny… My next big project is going to be a (serious) book, set in 1919 about a shell-shocked war veteran. I have just come back from visiting the Somme to research it this week. Although I love writing the humorous stuff (it cheers me up, too), my heart will always be in historical fiction.
QUICK FIRE ROUND – it’s pop quiz time…
13) Plotter or pantser?
Pantser. The story so often leads me off in unexpected directions. I love that feeling that the story has developed a life of its own and is leading me on.
14) Digital books or print books?
Digital is here to stay, but I must admit to still feeling nostalgic for paper.
15) Tea or coffee?
No question. Has to be tea, preferably with a chocolate hobnob.
16) Extrovert or introvert?
Probably more extrovert.
17) Facebook or Twitter?
Facebook every time, though I’m still learning how to use it.
18) Christmas or birthday?
Definitely not Christmas. Specially when it starts in the shops in November…
19) Morning person or night owl?
20) Sweet or savoury?
And that’s a wrap!
Thank you so much for taking part, Trevor, I wish you every success with your new release.
To discover even more about Trevor Williams, and to keep up with his latest projects, you can visit him at:
Buy it now…
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Release date: 22 January 2014
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‘How fascinating. It seems that it is dated July 13th 1131. And I was right in my assumption. The King did indeed sign it. Here, do you see his name?’ Duggie and Linda could see nothing but a blur, so they took his word for it. ‘King Henry of the House of Normandy. That would be Henri Beauclerc, one of the sons of William the Conqueror, if my memory serves me right.’
He concentrated on the Latin. He muttered to himself, as he followed the lines across and down the page, until he reached the end. Then he blinked, re-read the last lines and then roared with laughter. The others, dog included, looked at him curiously.
‘It says…’ He stopped to blow his nose and wipe his eyes, while his outburst of laugher subsided into a subdued chuckle. ‘It says, in recognition of the magnificent hospitality afforded to his Royal Highness by Arthur of Toplingham and his retinue, it is hereby decreed that this Manor shall henceforth and in perpetuity be licensed to carry on…’ He paused and looked across at the others in disbelief. ‘He uses the words ad praeclarum quaestum meretricium faciendum, which translates as something like, for the admirable purpose of making meretricious gain.’
Seeing the lack of comprehension on their faces, he explained. ‘Meretricious is the adjective that goes with the noun “prostitution”. I do believe this decree means that Toplingham Manor is a fully licensed house of ill repute. Licensed by Royal Decree, no less.’ The other two stared at him open-mouthed.
‘A knocking shop?’ Duggie couldn’t believe his ears.
‘A brothel. Just imagine that.’ Linda was equally shocked.
‘How amazing. I must write to the British Journal of Medieval Studies about this at once. How fascinating.’ He paused, deep in thought. ‘I wonder if it really was active in plying its trade in those days, and how long it went on for. I wonder whether, when Oliver Cromwell was going round closing down all those sorts of places in the seventeenth century, he might have missed this one. A Royal Decree in perpetuity is a pretty solid document. Who knows if it would really hold water today. It’s almost worth running across the legal bods at the university.’
As his voice tailed off, Linda gave him a disapproving look. She raised an eyebrow.
‘Were you thinking of going into business? Surrounding yourself with painted harlots perhaps?’
For one unforgettable moment, a graphic vision of Linda burst into Roger’s head. She was dressed in high heels, stockings and suspenders, a come-hither expression on her face. She was leaning provocatively in an open doorway, her lace-gloved arm stretching up above her head, her mouth…
‘Roger, are you all right?’ The concern in her voice cut into his reverie. He came up for air like a drowning man.
‘What? Me? Yes, I’m fine thanks.’ He cleared his throat. ‘I was just thinking about something.’ Mercifully she did not ask what.
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Release date: 30 August 2013
Amazon UK / US
Nook UK / B&N
Tom, a widower and aspiring author (with a penchant for Hobnobs) is in need of a new start. Inspired by his therapist, the ‘Fifty Shades Phenomenon’, and his lack of literary success, he sets out to write an erotic novel – after all, how hard can it be?
But as writing erotica proves a challenge for a man more unsure than hardcore, Tom finds himself enlisting the help of an eclectic group of co-authors. Brought together by their authorial ambitions and fondness for innuendo, their project becomes a collaboration that will change lives, open minds … and prompt the purchase of an unfortunate PVC catsuit.