Interviewed by M Garcia

familiarity breaks vs a newspaper with pennies for scale

As a writer do you prefer using a pen name or real name? Why?

I'll polish this up in August

I use a pen name called Tynamite, because I’m the only person in the world with my name, so because I am cyber-skeptical hence I care about my privacy, I don’t like the idea of someone being able to type my name in Google, and see everything I’ve ever done online. So I keep my writing under a pen name so people can’t stalk me online and enter my real life. Loads of people have the same name as someone else, so they can afford to put their real name on everything they do, but I’m cyber-skeptical and don’t want stalkers, as there are all sorts of crazy people on the internet. 😉

Which genre do you normally write? Are you comfortable going out of your comfort zone?

I write realistic stories about urban life. People say that I’m good at writing, but as with everything good, I don’t want to be complacent and be the one trick pony person, that person who is typecast who can only do one thing and not any other thing. I’ve wrote a sitcom episode, horror story, faux fantasy story, but even though I’m writing about different types of things, I haven’t really broke out of writing about urban life. Romance, horror, fantasy, science fiction, I haven’t really wrote it. That’s not me. So you could argue that I don’t go out my comfort zone at all! That I only write about urban life and nothing else. Really though, I cannot write fantasy stories, as they are the complete opposite of what I write about, at the other end of the spectrum. People say that I can though, but that would be the complete opposite of me.

How old are you? Male or female?

Male and right now I’m 20. I quit writing last year to work on new things and I wrote all my novels at 18.

Do you like cats or dogs?

I don’t know. I don’t really like pets, or I like them when they’re behaved and happy in their environment where they live, but when they’re sad, I don’t like pets, so it depends. If you merged a dog and a cat into one animal, it would be the perfect pet. A dog is loyal, playful but misbehaves, and a cat is unforgiving, dependent and behaves. You know what? I don’t even know what I’m talking about. Cats and dogs are both good.

Tell me something about you that no one else knows.

I skipped lessons in school for 2 years and got away with it. Don’t copy what I did.

Are you married, dating, or single? If you’re married or dating; have you ever cheated on your spouse or significant other? If you’re single; do you like to play the field?

I’m dating right now but some people think I’m single. Well anyway, I don’t like playing the field because as fun as it is, it gets boring quickly. It’s only the social aspect that doesn’t, you know, climbing social ladders, playing games, controlling and dealing with people’s emotions. The way I word things! One day you’ll want something to look back on. What is good is being available but not using anyone. Sometimes it’s about thinking, sometimes it’s about doing, and sometimes it’s about talking. Sometimes things happen that make me want to kick myself.

Have you ever contemplated suicide? If so, why did you feel that was your only option?

I’ve been suicidal, I’ve been depressed, and right now….Let’s not get too into that, but I found out I had it last year, and I never knew what it was before then. After I knew what it was, I thought, damn, I’ve had this for 5-7 years. I don’t want to influence your choices, because I don’t know about your life. All I can say is not to kill yourself because it’s not worth it, bad advice alert, All I can say is the minute I feel that my life can’t get any better, everything that kept me going will stop, and the floodgates will burst. And apparently I’m supposed to be an inspiration because I got myself out of depression which is a really strong thing to do. I’m making this topic long enough, so I’ll just put it in an understandable way. I am the ghost in the midst. Unable to influence anyone’s life. I merely pass through things, without being able to affect the things I see. Try living with that for years. This is an advantage of having a pen name or anonymity that I can say things like what I just said. Isn’t it great?

Have you ever been in trouble in school? At work? At home?

I’m a good boy. I don’t get in trouble. I don’t do bad things much, but when I do, I get away with it. If you only do something so rarely, you’re going to make every effort to get it right, because the longer you keep doing bad; the more likely you are to get too confident or lax for yourself. I haven’t been in trouble at home or work, but sometimes people don’t like my attitude. At school, I was always late for lessons. In Year 10 it added up to 10 hours, and I beat that record in Year 11 with 15 hours. That’s 3 school days lost due to lateness. Combine that with late homework, and that soon sorted itself out quick when I moved to a strict sixth form. Seriously, don’t copy what I do. I’m not a role model. No matter how cool I may seem, to live the way that I live, won’t make you happy. It’ll get you in TROUBLE!!!!! So make sure you behave, because you’ll regret it! Seriously though, I was a very well behaved person, better than most. People describe me as a well behaved person. I’m just going off on a tangent.

Did you have siblings growing up? If so, how many?

2 sisters and 3 brothers. Some people, who are a single child, don’t understand the concept when you say that you don’t talk to your brothers or sisters. Well I do talk to them, just not everyday. They think I should every day, just not every couple of days or weeks.

Did you have siblings later in life? If so, how many and at what age did you get them? Were they adopted?

Not really no.

Where do you get your inspiration?

Good question. I know a lot of people who if they read my work and then read this, would want to know this. I suppose we all want to know where people get their ideas from. I want to know where 13 year old girls get their ideas for their fanfics. They write really well and imaginatively and I’m surprised all the time by them. I could write about the things that they write, or write the things that they do. In fact I wouldn’t be good at writing fanfics at all! Some person said that I have some mad imagination skill, because the way that I write things, and I mean simple things, is so amazing. I had another person ask me how I get all the ideas for the different stories Iand novels write about. Some ask about ideas for stories, and some ask about ideas IN stories. I’ll address both. I write realistic novels about urban life, as I already said, and everything else that’s not a novel, is just some side project type thing like when a band releases an EP. There are certain things in real life, that when I see them, I find it very fascinating. So in every one of my novels or collection of short stories, there is always a concept that runs through it, a running theme, no, running concept. For Familiarity Breaks it was loss, how everything that made your life special can fall apart in front of your very eyes, how what you found important at the time isn’t important to you anymore now you look back, and how we should appreciate life and life the life that we have and not get run down by our little hang ups and snide comments that we get. The sort of perspective, that loss, or forcibly moving on, gives you. That. That concept went in the book. For Leah Behind A Fence, it was class divides, how the socially elite group is aware of the socially inferior group, and they don’t want their way of life to be worsened, and the question asks, is it right to give degenerate hooligans asylum, if they’re implement cultural erosion and bring the standard of living down. Someone could read that and relate it to real life, as it actually had like 3 different concepts in the book linking up to 1 main one. And that novel is set in a place called The Sanctuary that is not here on Earth, heaven, or hell. It’s in between heaven and Earth in hierarchy and position, for the angels who can’t get into Earth for obvious reasons, and the humans who live there and know nothing else. They don’t even know that Earth, heaven and hell exists. Let’s just say that The Sanctuary is like a dream world, a utopian version of our world. And in The Sanctuary there’s an angel called Naomi who wants to get to Earth because it’s beautiful she says, but she’s trapped in The Sanctuary. It’s called Wayfaring In Envy because that’s what she is, as she is isolated for being abnormally beautiful and stunning, so she is mostly shunned, and if not, put on a pedestal to be gawked at and not seen as human. And she wants to feel human, and live like the people do on The Sanctuary. And there’s Excess Rah Style set inside that world, that came from my dreams, and maybe the number 2 I might write of Leah Behind A Fence called Selena Behind The Trains. The Stupid One, girl thinks her family are stupid, big whup, and Key To The House, children’s story about a magic key that glows and lets kids go on adventures, big cliché. Really though, all my story ideas come from concepts I see in real life, and I don’t have much experience in my life so it’s not about me being well cultured. It’s about seeing how people behave or how people feel, finding that particular strand of life interesting, and writing about that. Because let’s face it, Familiarity Breaks, loss with time, Leah Behind A Fence, divides with class, you cannot really change those things, you can’t stop the sands in an hourglass from passing, but you can do things to work around that, avert it, and give the illusion that time itself doesn’t matter and isn’t passing. We set our clocks back for Daylight Saving Time to give us more sun so the sun is always at its peak in noon, no matter what. We can’t change time, but we can hopefully try to change how it affects us. I think that’s, no that’s what my books do when I write about real life, the main characters can’t exactly change what’s affecting them (although maybe they can), but life has its stranglehold, and they have to live out life to make sure things don’t affect them so they can live happy or either ruin their life. And that’s why I like to write about real life, because the people in it are real. If I started writing fantasy stories, I wouldn’t be able to take snapshots of life so easily, so I would be so stuck at what to write about, so I’m lucky in that sense. How I decide what to put in my stories, that’s a hard one. I have a different method to writing each of my stories that I can’t answer in just one question about all my work. I’ll just say 2 pieces of advice. 1> Don’t dictate what conventions your writing will use, let your story dictate that to you. I saw someone whether to write their story in 1st or 3rd person, advantages and disadvantages. I told them to let the story decide for them. 2> If you’re stuck for what happens next, instead of frantically thinking of what happens next, racking your brain, you can instead think of what you have that you could use, and focus on what of that you can take, in order to write what you want to write next. When I say all this now, it sounds amazing how I had all these ideas for stories, but you’re forgetting that I had these ideas from when I was born up to when I was 18, so I just wrote them all when I was 18, well most of them unless they were novels.

How do your approach your writing? Are more OCD? Plan everything out with outlines and what amounts to storyboards? Or do you just fly by the seat of your pants and work everything out as it comes?

Good question. I’m not like Roald Dahl. You can’t just sit me in front of a pen and paper, ask me to write, and then all these crazy ideas come out. I’m not like that. I don’t have an Encyclopedia Britannica of ideas to spew at you, at any time. I’m a very methodical person, and my ideas come to me from rational thought and what I write in my stories, comes to me from a methodical process. Just that I made it up. I would love to plan out an entire book in advance, but that’s not how it went because I never had that many ideas. For my 1st novel I had the 1st chapter and knew how it was going to end. I just wrote the middle. For my 2nd novel, I was the same but had a good idea of what happened in the middle, but nothing concrete. I write the chapter name before I write the chapter, and I write a couple of chapter names out in advance for the next chapters, before writing the next couple of chapters. People must think that I can just spew out loads of ideas and interesting ways of writing things like a factory, but if someone actually worked with me on some writing with me as I write it with them, they would realise how methodical it really is, like a machine.

Do you like horror movies? Comedy? Pick your poison.

Both. I don’t really mind, just as long as I like the movie. I hate Star Wars. I watched one of the movies 3 times, and each time I did not understand the storyline or the plot or anything. It’s just a huge blur to me. I hate those movies.

Do you enjoy certain types of books, but like to write in another genre? If so, why?

I don’t write about what I read, and I don’t read about what I write. I write realistic urban life books but read about fantasy, and vice versa. The reason why is because whenever I go into Waterstones to find books I like, I hardly find ones that I do like. Most times it’s zero books. If I’m lucky it’s 1-3. Actually, Familiarity Breaks was actually an attempt for me to write the sort of book that I would of wanted to read at the school library. I was sick of horror and fantasy books for boys, and teenage and romance books for girls. So I wanted to write something that I myself would want to read, I could rid myself of all those labels from, just brand it as realistic, write it, and be the book that I would have loved to read in the school library. No matter what school I go to, it’s the same. Kids want to read, but they can’t find any books that they like. Oh and what else? I don’t read much. I haven’t read for years. I haven’t read an adult book in my life!

What are you currently working on? Do you have any novels?

I’m not working on any writing right now, because I’m currently working on new things elsewhere. Well anyway, today I’m finishing off The Stupid One and Wayfaring In Envy, the chapters I forgot to write. Really though, my novels out now on Amazon are called Familiarity Breaks and Leah Behind A Fence. Familiarity Breaks is about the butterfly effect and what happens to a teenager over 10 days. I can’t reveal more than that. Leah Behind A Fence is about being different, asylum, cultural erosion, and being divided. It’s not a political book like 1984, and I ain’t got any chips on my shoulders like Noughts on Crosses. I don’t play like that. Someone told me to put Christianity or positive morals in my novel, and I said no, even though I’m a Christian! The book’s concept is very subtle, set in a fantasy world, so you could read it to your 10 year old (Don’t, it’s an adult book), and they wouldn’t feel it’s about anything more than the characters in the book in a fantasy world. People who start reading my books have no idea what they’re like or how sophisticated they are. My novels are just what it is with what I said it means. Don’t look into it. I think I’ve just said something really stupid. No ask me whatever questions you want about them. My next novel would be my 1st children’s novel called A Prisoner of Dartmoor set in WWII. I’m not going to say what it’s about as people will keep bothering me to write it when I’m working on new things elsewhere with my life. The sequels of my existing novels, Lies, and Selena Behind The Trains, I don’t think will be wrote soon. I would need to write Lies with someone else as a collab, as I would ruin romance with my cynical attitude. Could you imagine me writing a romance? Is that possible? OMG! In the next couple of weeks I’ll be teaching kids how to write at a youth book club and they’ll be reading and analysing my book. Asking and answering all sorts of questions. If I get them to act scenes out from my book which I was told could happen, no guarantees, then I’ll let you know. Seriously though, I’m not working on writing. I’m working on something other than writing. Booyah!

Anything else that you would like to say before we end?

This is the part of the show where I want to say something really snappy, but can’t think of anything, and then 2 weeks later, I’ll have something snappy pop into my head, and then wish I wrote it here. Follow me on twitter @tynamite To all you lot who wants to say something about what I’m thinking, I don’t have much words to say. Weird, I know. I only have lots of words to say now because I was asked. And I’m subscribing to this blog post’s comments, so I’ll be replying to your comments. Hopefully this blog post won’t come back to haunt me in future. And to anyone wondering why this post is so long, I actually think all these thoughts in a split second, it just takes me ages to write it down in words because there are too many words.