Thursday 23 April 2009

An Interview - Alex Wheatle

Alex Wheatle Born 1963
BRIXTON ROCK (Blackamber/Arcadia 1999)
EAST OF ACRE LANE (Fourth Estate 2000)
THE SEVEN SISTERS (Fourth Estate 2002)
CHECKERS (X-Press 2003)
ISLAND SONGS (Allison & Busby 2005)
THE DIRTY SOUTH (Serpents Tail 2008)

Awarded the London New Writers Award in 2000 for EAST OF ACRE LANE
Awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2008

Q1. What are you writing at the minute?

I am writing a childrens/teenage fantasy story.

Q2. Can you give us an idea of Alex Wheatle’s typical up-to-the-armpits-in-ideas-and-time writing day?

I write in the mornings from about 8am until about noon.

Q3. What do you do when you’re not writing?

I teach creative writing in schools, colleges, prisons and I work a few hours a week at a local youth club.

Q4. Any advice for a greenhorn trying to break into the crime fiction scene?

Be different, unique. Don’t try to copy another crime writer.

Q5. What are you reading right now?

The Other Hand by Chris Cleave

Q6. Plans for the future?

To develop film and TV ideas and to continue with my fiction.

Q7. With regards to your writing career to date, would you do anything differently?

Yes, learned English at school instead of in a library!

Q8. Do you fancy sharing your worst writing experience?

Approaching publication date for my third novel, THE SEVEN SISTERS, my editor at Fourth Estate suddenly announced he was leaving to work at Penguin. No other editor championed my cause when my editor departed and THE SEVEN SISTERS floundered as a consequence but I regard it as my best piece of work.

Q9. Anything you want to say that I haven’t asked you about?

BRIXTON ROCK is being adapted for a play at the Theatre Royal, Stratford East for spring 2010 and EAST OF ACRE LANE is in early development for a feature film.

Thank you, Alex Wheatle!


adrian mckinty said...

Nice IV Ger, but really Alex needs to come up with a more humiliating worst writing experience than that.

Gerard Brennan said...

Adrian - I agree. Played it very close to his chest, didn't he?