Interview with Ian Hutson

Posted on October 1, 2013

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I am bringing you the wonderful interview with Ian Hutson! He is a true sweet heart and give some interesting and entertaining answers! Enjoy! 🙂

Do you write under any other names? 

No other names (that I will admit to).

What are you currently working on?

An anthology called ‘NGLND XPX’. Ten blathering short stories ranging from 4,000 to 20,000 words each, all with thin characterisations, weedy plots and a few giggles along the way. The amuse-cerveau on offer include the rather untidy migration of the entire Human Race, time-travel in extremis, dealing with rogue comets the English way, National Service in the modern era, how to do “First Contact” properly, some terribly polite zombies and the chance encounter between Mr Moses and a cute little robot on Mount Lincolnshire-Wolds.

How many (if any) books do you have published and what are their titles?

That I will admit to? No others. Four short stories are currently available – The Owl Wood Publications. These chronicle some of the wildlife in our little patch of woodland, and story number 5 is due out next month.

What inspired you to write your first book?

My first books were inspired by annoyance with the books I’d read at that time – I liked the stories in my own head much more and put them down on paper!

Do you have a specific writing style or one that you prefer?

I can’t write anything serious to save my life, but I do love words and the shape and flavour of the English language (English English, not American or “global” English – there’s a huge, huge difference to my eyes and ears between the two). The homunculus in my head rants and I just transcribe it to paper as quickly as I can and then go back and edit and edit and edit. The homunculus in my head rants in the voices of Margaret Rutherford, James Robertson Justice, Kenneth Williams, James Mason et al. I can’t stop them.

How did you come up with the title of your book(s)?

NGLND XPX is, at least to my fuddy-duddy eyes, ‘England Expects’ written in text-message code. I despise text message code and I guffaw very unkindly at anyone who lets it creep into anything from a Tweet to a telephone text message. It’s horrible, and it’s entirely unnecessary. It did, however, seem to present a catchy title for the anthology.

Is there a message in your writing that you want readers to grasp?

Life is too serious to be taken seriously, and too funny to be laughed off. As an Englishman I am well-versed in making fun of myself and my fellow countrymen. I do so wish that more people on the planet would loosen up and deflate their own egos. The world would be a much better place for it.

How much of the book is realistic/true?

All of it and none of it. I think that my brain may have been damaged by early exposure to lager & lime or something because my senses present the world as a cartoon caricature. The book is nonsense, and that is how I view the world. We are delicious specks of confused life clinging to a whirling ball of mud in the vacuum of space rather too close to a big nuclear fire and all of it rushing headlong out from some ancient explosion into an infinity that may or may not exist. I document that process but do not expect anyone to take it the least bit seriously. It’s all splendid fun.

Are the experiences in your writing based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

There’s an old Welsh-Peruvian saying “Never offend a writer”. Every character in my books, had they been bright enough to read or not incarcerated and thus at liberty to purchase books, would be able to recognise themselves. I’m not certain that it is even possible to write about something that you haven’t experienced because to imagine it in a wildly under-medicated brain is surely to experience it.

What books have most influenced your life most?

The early (non-“dirty-old-man”) books of Mr Robert Heinlein. All of the literary works of Mr Tom Sharpe. All of the works of Enid Blyton and W. E. Johns (Famous Five; Biggles).

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a “mentor”?

That would be some unholy gestalt created by mixing up Rbert Heinlein, Tom Sharpe, Enid Blyton and W E Johns – except that I’d never be worthy enough to claim the title of “Mented” by them. Or whatever a “Mentee” is to a “Mentor”!

What book are you reading now?

I’m re-reading The Day of The Triffids by Mr John Wyndham. Splendid concept.

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

Your blog! The ASMSG group – Authors Social Media Support Group.

Do you see writing as a career or a hobby?

Career. Conventional jobs are just a time-consuming nuisance. I’ll be dead soon enough in the grand scheme of things, and no-one will remember a single telephone call I made, a single form that  I filled in or whether the cause of my death was “starvation” or “crushed under the weight of literary awards during a small earthquake in Lincolnshire”.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

No. I have changed so much, so often in the run-up to signing it off that I need to move on to making copious changes in the next thing.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

My mother could read a book by sniffing the cover through a shop window while rushing past. She introduced all of my family to Enid Blyton, W E Johns and encouraged us to explore from there for ourselves.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

What I am currently working on is a post-apocalyptic utopia. I want to redress the balance a little between cheerful, optimistic things and the current Hollywooden (sic) trend of dark, depressing dystopias. I don’t have a title for the work in progress but after the utopian thread the next most important feature is the exclusively mature (elderly) characters. This is, again, a deliberate choice as counterpart to the current, all-pervasive youth worship of every Western establishment and society. Set in England of course, lots of dogs, summer sunshine, breezes, meadows and not a zombie in sight.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Like most writers, I think, I read what I have written and feel seriously embarrassed at how poor it all is. It’s only pure stubborn ego and desperation that make me put it out there at all – and I’d like to take this opportunity to apologies for it all! Thank you.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Robert Heinlein. He created who worlds and then added scenarios that a reader could swim in forever. Splendid.

Who designed the covers of you books?

I did.

What was the hardest part of writing your any of your works?

I can only write when I’m in the mood for writing – sometimes weeks can pass without my being in the mood!

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Don’t do it. Or, if you must, then form your own support group of one because you’ll need it.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Hello. Live long and prosper. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you and do it first. Do whatever you want so long as you do no harm.

What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing your stories to to life?

Having no interested third party with NGLND XPX meant that I was soley responsible for making the choice of stories to be included, and for editing them. Weighty stuff.

What character from your writing is your favorite and why?

I don’t really have a favourite – I love them when I’m writing them, and then they’re old hat and I’ve invented someone new. It’s a shame, but as the film says, time is fleeting, madness takes its toll…

Additional Information you’d like to share:

Whoever you are, you are already the very best you that there could ever be, so be nicer to yourself. Hendrick’s Gin is the finest in the world. You’re alone inside your head and you always will be, so you may as well try to find a way to live with that fact. Meat is, I’m sorry to have to tell you, murder. Dogs do not have souls – but then neither do humans. Lastly, forget my agent, my publicist and my Nanny – I’d like to thank the 8,000,000,000 people on this planet for making it such a groovy place to pass out. Thank you.

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