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On The Table Read Magazine, “the best book magazine in the UK“, author Chris Green shares what inspired him to write his ghostly new book, The House Beneath The Black Hill.
Written by JJ Barnes
I interviewed Chris Green about his life and career, what inspired him to start writing, and the creative process that went into his spooky new book, The House Beneath The Black Hill.
Tell me a bit about who you are.
My name is Chris Green. After leaving University I was a social work campaigner for 5b years before joining Granada TV in 1970 as a researcher/reporter. I ran the Press Office of the Britain in Europe Campaign in 1975 and was Head of Communications for the London Celebrations Committee for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977.
I worked in the Creative Industries for 30 years. From 1978 until 1990 I was the Popular Events Director of the City of London Festival. From 1989 until 1993 I was the Director of The Poetry Society. From 1993-1996 I was a freelance arts consultant working on a number of projects including directing the Tower Bridge Centenary Celebrations, The Tower Bridge Jazz Festival and The Soho Jazz Festival. In 1996 I was hired to bring about the amalgamation of three composer organisations to establish the British Academy of Composers and Songwriters (now the Ivors Academy) and subsequently became its CEO where I remained until my retirement in 2008.
I have been an active member of the Lin Dems since 1965 and contested 6 Parliamentary Elections, the last three in 1979, 1983 and 1987 for Hereford where I came within 1400 votes of winning.
I am married to Sheila who is a senior Iyengar yoga teacher and have two sons. We have lived in rural Herefordshire since 1976 and have a smallholding.
When did you first WANT to write a book?
I always wanted to write, but never really had time to do so until I retired.
When did you take a step to start writing?
I wrote several chapters of a novel about the 1968 Czech revolution way back in 1970, but never completed it. I didn’t take up my pen (or keyboard) again until my retirement in 2008
How long did it take you to complete your first book from the first idea to release?
My first book ‘The Swinging Pendulum of the Tide’ too four years.
How long did it take you to complete your latest book from the first idea to release?
I completed my second book ‘The House beneath the Black Hill’ in two years
Focusing on your latest release. What made you want to write The House Beneath The Black Hill?
I have always wanted to write a ghost story. I also wanted to write a story based in the Herefordshire I have grown to love over so many years and to tell the story of a fascinating moment in Herefordshire political history.
What were your biggest challenges with writing The House Beneath The Black Hill?
The biggest challenge I faced in writing the book was dealing with two very different periods of time so that they fitted together naturally.
Who or what inspired you when creating your Protagonist?
My protagonist Nick Mortimer is an amalgam of several young classical composers I have worked with
Who or what inspired you when creating your Antagonist?
My contemporary part of the novel doesn’t really have an antagonist but in the diary section of the novel I have a powerful antagonist in the form of Frances’ father Charles’ Whitmore. I suppose that for me, he is the epitome of the worst kind of wealthy, arrogant and pompous old school Tory.
What is the inciting incident of The House Beneath The Black Hill?
What is the main conflict of The House Beneath The Black Hill?
There are two notable conflicts in the novel. There is the conflict between Nick and his sister Kate over whether or not to try to restore High House and there is the conflict between Frances Whitmore and her father in relation to her affection for the young school teacher William Cuddington who her farther considers to be a dangerous radical and socially beneath his daughter.
Did you plot The House Beneath The Black Hill in advance, or fly by the seat of your pants and write freely?
When I write I work to an outline plan but my main concern is to allow my characters to develop naturally to the extent that they often take me by surprise as I grow to know them well.
Did you get support with editing, and how much editing did The House Beneath The Black Hill need?
I had a very helpful ‘Copy edit’ by my friend Bob Fowke at You Caxton but this led to very few suggested changes.
What is the first piece of writing advice you would give to anyone inspired to write a story?
The hardest part is getting started. If you can, take time out somewhere where there are no distractions and get your head down.
Can you give me a hint about any further books you’re planning to write?
I am currently working on a love story in which Matt an English novelist and Halimah, an Israeli Arab student are drawn together through a common belief that human conflict can only be avoided through peace and reconciliation.
And, finally, are your proud of your accomplishment? Was it worth the effort?
I am not sure that proud is the right word. Perhaps surprised would be more appropriate in that it has been easier than I expected and well worth the effort.
Pop all your book, website and social media links here so the readers can find you:
The Swinging Pendulum of the Tide
The House beneath the Black Hill
Chris Green Author website
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