Author Interview: Alex Rushton

Does writing energise or exhaust you or both?

The stream of creativity while the ideas and images of scenes come to me is completely exhilarating. The editing I find painfully hard work.

How did you come up with the title for your book:

My most recent novel was originally called ‘Jungle Alchemy’ but this title wasn’t quite right. I was looking for a title to represent a man who, wherever he was, he didn’t fit in. Someone suggested ‘The Asymmetric Man’. This fits as the man is asymmetric in other subtle ways as well…

How do you develop your plot and characters?

It’s hard to describe, it all comes in a rush of creativity. I could be anywhere, not necessarily at my desk writing. Scenes with fully formed dialogue appear in my mind, as large as life, as I scribble it down really fast. I then try to knit them all together in a cohesive way. This can be a challenge. I rarely start my novels with a fully formed plot and timeline, although I think it would be easier for me if I did.

How many books have you written, which one is your favourite?

I’ve written three books. The latest one to be published ‘The Asymmetric Man’ is the first one I wrote, and is my favourite. This is the first of the Blake Carter trilogy, but ironically, the last to be published. The other two in the trilogy are The Girl at Conway Place, followed by Sunrise at An Lac.

How much research did you need to do your book?

A massive amount. I spent months researching jungle survival, the Vietnam War, the SAS and espionage.

What book have you read more than once?

Animal Farm by George Orwell. Completely brilliant. I wish I’d read it earlier.

Where do you get your ideas for your book?

It’s difficult to say. I think it’s quite subconscious.

Who do you trust for objective and constructive criticism of your work?

I have been a member of my local writing group, Walton Wordsmiths, for more than 15 years. We share news, manuscripts and publishing successes and failures. All our feedback is constructive and we find friendship and inspiration within the group. I would encourage every writer to join a local group for support.

How do you celebrate when you’ve finished your book?

I don’t feel my book is ever really finished until I’ve got the final copy in my hands ie. opening my box of books. It is a moment of huge relief that it’s done and finished. The next big celebration is publication day itself, when it goes out into the world. What happens to it after that is out of my control.

Alex Rushton


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