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Monday, 13 November 2017

Interview: Roger Bray

From one author interview to the next - today, it's the turn of former police offer turned writer Roger Bray to stop by The Writing Greyhound for a quick chat.

Could you tell me a little about yourself?
I come from Blackburn, Lancashire but am living in Brisbane, Australia, with my wife and her overly cute cat. I served in the Royal Navy before coming to Australia and as a police officer here in Australia before being injured at work. I have three grown children. 
How did you first become interested in writing? 
At school. I wouldn’t describe myself as a great scholar but when given the chance to write fiction I loved it. I won a couple of small awards and was encouraged to write more, but circumstances and life got in the way until I could take it up again. 
dreams-of-a-broken-man, roger-bray, book
Image: Roger Bray
Tell me about Dreams of a Broken Man
What would you do as the sister of a convicted murderer, when all the appeals have failed and you feel isolated and alone? Alice Reed felt as though she was in prison as well as her brother, convicted of his wife’s murder. She is coming to the realisation that all is lost and has given up until a chance meeting with Steve turns her life around. They fall for each other as they work together to pull apart the prosecution’s case and get to the truth. 
What’s the best thing about writing fiction? 
Letting your mind run away with itself. It almost like a meme, ‘Okay, brain, off you go, come back when you have something’. Some of the ideas work out and some don’t but that is part of the fun. 
How do you get inspiration? 
That is actually a hard question to answer without seeming flippant. I am a great observer with an overactive imagination and I get ideas from anywhere and everywhere. Often I don’t even realise that there is a little piece of something useful at the back of my mind until it pops up when I’m writing. 
You campaign against violence towards women – are you aiming to raise awareness through the book? 
People deserve to feel safe wherever they are. Anything that raises awareness of all manner of violence is worthwhile. If my book, in some small way, does that then I would be happy. 
Did your career in the police force influence your writing? 
Ha, yes and probably for the worse. Police writing is very concise, stilted even. Obviously it also has to be precise but there is no place for too much prose. From an experience perspective, though, it has been invaluable. A lot of the points in my writing come from that experience, but so too from the experience of others I have met, in sometimes tragic circumstances. Real life experience of how people react in bad situations. 
roger-bray, author
Image: Roger Bray
What’s your writing process? 
Sit down, type. Actually, I am very linear in my writing. I start at the start and keep writing until I get to the end. That sounds a little simplistic I suppose but I have usually mapped out storylines in my mind and maybe some notes along the way so I can keep the story flowing. 
What’s the hardest thing about writing?
The sitting down and typing part. I need time, I cannot sit down with a spare ten minutes and write a few paragraphs. I like to re-read my previous session’s writing, edit as required, then continue. I will normally write until I run out of steam have a break then repeat the process. It is getting the time to do it that I find the hardest. 
Do you have any tips for aspiring writers? 
The best tip that I have heard, and it is something that I have really taken to heart is attributed to Stephen King.  
‘Amateur writers sit back and wait for inspiration, professionals get on with it’.  
Getting on with it has often got me over a block. It may not be the best writing but as long as the words are on the page you have something to work with. 
What are you currently working on? 
My third novel, about a young woman who, after being attacked, finds out that her assailant is probably a serial killer and she is lucky to have survived. 
What are you reading at the moment? 
An Officer and a Spy – Robert Harris, a historical fiction thriller, the true story of French officer Georges Picquart from 1896-1906, as he struggles to expose the truth about the doctored evidence that sent Alfred Dreyfus to Devil's Island.
Dreams of a Broken Man is available to buy now. For more about Roger and his writing, visit him over at his website

What do you think? Share your thoughts with me over in the comments!

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