Fred Lockwood, author of Total Loss and Overdue, published his second novel with Pegasus in November, 2017. We wanted to catch up with the author and see what he had been up to since being published.
Did you always dream of becoming an author?
The simple answer is no! In fact, at school, my performance in English was no better than average.
What was your first job?
My first full-time paid job was with VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas), when I taught in a Teacher Training College in Malawi, Central Africa.
What was planned as a one year attachment became a five year appointment – it opened my eyes to a new world and changed my life.
How did you come about writing your book? Was that your intention or did you start writing for fun?
My hobbies and interests have been mainly sporting – playing soccer, rugby, squash, golf etc.. However, I realised I couldn’t play competitive sport forever and so, looked for a less physically demanding hobby. I thought writing a short story would be fun. My first novel grew from my first short story.
What was your life like before you became an author?
The nature of my work in universities meant I was already an author. I published dozens of academic papers, reports etc. in my career as well as several academic books. However, I do remember the thrill at seeing my first academic book in print.
My life has changed little since writing novels rather than academic texts. The subject matter is different, but the process of researching the topic, assembling the evidence and presenting the argument is similar.
Did you face any struggles before becoming an author? If so, how did you overcome them?
The easy part of writing - the hard part is getting published! When I decided to seek publication, I found repeated rejections a depressing experience. I simply set myself a target of no more than six rejections – Pegasus accepted the book before I reached six.
Now that you are a published author, how has your life changed, if at all?
I now channel more energy into my writing – but not at the expense of other interests. It’s not a case of having to write, having to sell books. I write because I enjoy writing – I enjoy the whole process.
Can you please describe a typical day in your life now?
I do not write every day. I do not even think about writing every day.
However, part of my usual routine is to cycle every morning around the country lane where I live. The process of cycling is mechanical and automatic – it lets me think of other things. On many mornings, I mentally rehearse story lines, action sequences and who would say and do what. Sometimes, I write this up immediately on my return home – at other times, I do so days later.
What is your most memorable moment of your life as an author?
The thrill and satisfaction of seeing your name on the front cover
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