Author Interview - Stephen Bishop (WALTEREGO)

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  1. #1

    Author Interview - Stephen Bishop (WALTEREGO)

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    This month we interview newly published author Stephen Bishop, better known on the forum as WALTEREGO.




    Hello Stephen, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Please tell us a little about yourself and your background?

    Hi Ned, and thanks. Having had the opportunity to experience life in most of its variations, I suppose the best place to start is at the beginning.

    Born and raised in the back streets of Birmingham during the mid-fifties, one of my earliest memories was the evening strip wash. I would be soaked in the enormous Belfast sink that dominated the kitchen, scrubbed pink and tucked into my flannel pyjamas, still warm from off the fire guard. The jacket always buttoned to the neck and tucked in to the bottoms, and neatly finished with the cord pulled tight in a bow at the waist, there wasn’t much money but always a lot of affection.

    I was probably a typical snotty nosed kid who played on the canal banks and the abandoned
    factories of a post war industrial area of Aston, only a mile away from Birmingham’s city centre. Most days I was filthy dirty, often getting up to naughtiness, and sometimes getting caught.

    And then came the house move, from the slums to the suburbs in one giant leap. I had a strong Birmingham accent as a child, so I became the kid who talked funny, and had to punch my way through the next five years.



    Secondary school was, a truly disheartening experience, my only desire was to leave as soon as possible this I achieved with minimal qualifications, a few black eyes and a disproportionate amount of detentions. For some reason my teachers had set the academic achievement bar low, and I worked hard at never proving them wrong.

    Having departed school a short stint at college to satisfy my father’s desire to get myself a “worthwhile career” ended abruptly, as I was now old enough to follow my own path, and it took me straight into the military, this greatly annoyed my father and terrified my mother, as the troubles in Northern Ireland were in overdrive.

    For the next 9 years, I was paid (not much) by her majesty’s government to travel the world, dealing with friend and foe in a professional and soldier like manner, for which they gave me a medal.

    Civilian life was to give me a completely new set of rules to live by, including a wife and a mortgage, these were closely followed by a very expensive divorce. I moved to London and three years later I had my next long term relationship that lasted nearly twenty years, before my second and final divorce.

    Not having any academic skills, I employed my military training within the security industry, I have stood in empty factories for minimum wage in an ill-fitting uniform. Consulted on major systems for MoD sites, ran a close protection team in South America for a major international bank, as well as subcontracting for several media companies in the UK with overseas interests.

    In my late forties, I had a change of direction following the cessation of a thirty-year smoking habit and trained as a clinical hypnotherapist. My claim to fame is that I am probably the only non-medically trained hypnotherapist in the world who has been able to use hypnosis as the anaesthesia in the amputation of a limb.

    During this time, I purchased a narrow boat and spent the next five years living in as big corridor with windows, meeting the most incredible group of people. The canals of England are populated by the most eclectic mix of individuals I have ever known. I took the decision in 2011, to step off the boat and move to Bristol, where I now live.




    At school, were you particularly good at English?

    My teachers and exam results would tell you no, however I remember as a young teenager I tried to keep a journal but didn’t have the discipline. I have always found reading easy and consuming.

    Congratulations on the recent publication of your book 'The Next Eight Days'.
    Without spoiling it, can you give us a brief synopsis and a short passage from the book?


    Eddie Stovis the lead character is about forty years old, wounded out of the military just before his planned retirement. I wanted to make him very different almost unique, so he is nomadic, but approachable, living alone in a converted barge on the London canals.

    He has an easy charm, fiercely loyal with a strong moral code, and a capacity for measured violence, should the need arise.

    Eddie's military background is airborne forces, with a 10-year period of secondment to intelligence work, for a military detachment based in South Wales, this was during the Kosovo / Balkans conflict as he speaks Hungarian fluently. More details will be disclosed as his character developes through the series.

    Sufficient now to say he is a very capable soldier. His army pension provides him with an income, that he supplements with security and protection work.

    His first adventure “The Next Eight Days” sees him involved with an Afghani terrorist on the run from the Americans, a Glaswegian drug dealer called Dougie Killick and the American intelligence services, “The next eight days" is exactly as the title says - the events happen over a Friday to Saturday week.

    It begins with the murder of a young security guard on his way home. Four hours later Eddies best friend is almost beaten to death and dumped on the side of the M25, these two events are the catalyst that brings him back into his former role as an intelligence operator.

    The first Book is set in his garrison home of Aldershot and uses places and names that anyone who has served in the military or taken a canal boat through London will immediately recognize. I want the reader, if they have served in the military or taken a canal boat trip to think I might have been in that pub or know that place.

    The train of events are coincidental and could possibly be real and work on the ripple effect as one
    event expands and dictates the next with its own energy until it is expired with the conclusion holding the reader in place ready for the next event to happen.

    On the Kolola Pushta Road...

    "He had been leading a routine patrol along the Kolola Pushta Road in Kabul, one of the locals took a hit and run from a second story building. Whoever the shooter was they had spent far too much time watching the amateur-hour videos on the internet, the round had been flattened and cut to make it a dumdum. Fortunately, for Eddie the bullet had been badly cut and lost most of its kinetic energy in transit.

    However, it was still able to smash into his shoulder burying itself in the soft muscles and bone just behind his left shoulder blade. The bullet now resided in one of the drawers in a clear plastic specimen tube given to him by the surgeon who had cut it out just before he boarded the aircraft taking him back home to England."




    Can you tell us something about your military service (if it’s not classified)?

    Yes, it’s no mystery. Nine years’ service with an infantry regiment joined as a young 17-year- old with a taste for adventure, Served in Northern Ireland, Germany and The United States.

    This book is part of a series, please tell us a little about it?

    Without giving away too much I wanted to develop a character and stories that use real people real situations and real events. The main character Eddie Stovis will be pulled into a much darker environment sometimes by coercion and at other times by his own volition. The plan is that each adventure will see him partnered with a member of another countries special forces.

    The next book sees him involved with a former French legionnaire, a shadowy government organisation, a wheel chair bound intelligence director, and a people smuggler forging 500euro notes. All set in the city of Bath on the Kennet and Avon canal, again real places and locations.




    Which writers inspire you?

    Of all the modern writers, it must be Lee Child, and the Jack Reacher stories. They are a mix of fact and fantasy giving the reader the idea that its possible this type of guy might just exist in part.

    Other writers such as Sven Hassel, who builds strong characters, Terry Hayes, I Am Pilgrim, was a brilliant read, other authors such as Jack Higgins, Alistair Maclean, capture my imagination, I have just discovered James Lee Burke who lets his lead character Dave Robicheaux drive the stories at almost break neck speed.

    The first book I ever owned was a copy of Kipling’s “The Jungle Book”. Good stories will always draw me in - strong characters and interesting locations are key, Len Deighton’s character Harry Palmer in “The Ipcress File, Funeral in Berlin”, is a great example.

    Which actor would you like to see playing the lead character from your book?

    Interesting question, It would be too obvious to say a young Sean Connery, But Jeremy Renner of “The Bourne Legacy" and "The Hurt Locker” - if he could master a Birmingham accent.

    Can you tell us about the book cover and how it came about?

    I use a camera to photograph locations, places and people. Like a picture journal. The cover is a photograph I took from a bridge in Uxeridge where I had my own boat moored, the soldier is a heavily photo-shopped image taken from the internet.




    How are you publishing this book and why? (e.g. indie, traditional etc)

    I have had the desire to write for many years, I have had no formal training, so I just put the words on a page and sent it to some friends it is the kind of story I like to read.

    I could have gone down the vanity publishing route. But with Amazon and smashwords and Nook by Barnes and Noble. E Books are a good way for anyone wanting to write and get published, book reviewers are still demanding paper copies so I have just found a company who can do short run print at competitive prices.

    That is the next step, details will be on the web site www.eddiestovis.com

    Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?

    Language not being an obstacle it would be Anton Mesmer, an 18th century doctor who first utilised the power of the imagination to remedy and cure physical and emotional pain and discomfort.

    Some say he was a charlatan but he opened the pathway to modern psychology with his understanding of how powerful words and dialogue are. His name is the basis for the word Mesmerize (capture the complete attention of (someone); transfix) which is what a good story should be able to do.

    What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

    Write as you like to read. There are rules of grammar, but sometimes they need to be broken, if you follow the rules completely you lose the passion and meaning in the story you want to tell. Feel the moment before you commit it to words.

    And know your subject. If you don’t know ask someone who does, your readers will know if you are bullshitting and that will kill a story, and your audience.

    What are you working on at the moment?

    The second episode of the Eddie Stovis series “The Gates of Tartarus” ( In ancient Greek mythology, Tartarus is the deep abyss that is used as a dungeon of torment and suffering for the wicked and as a prison for the Titans.

    Where can readers discover more about you and you work?

    www.eddiestovis.com or email Stephen@eddiestovis.com

    WF Profile - www.writingforums.com/members/59813-WALTEREGO

  2. #2
    I enjoyed reading your interview, Stephen. Nice to get to know you a little better.
    What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

    Write as you like to read. There are rules of grammar, but sometimes they need to be broken, if you follow the rules completely you lose the passion and meaning in the story you want to tell. Feel the moment before you commit it to words.
    I think you are right about losing the passion. Words are just words without it.

    How do you market your book?
    Last edited by PiP; February 2nd, 2017 at 01:25 PM.
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  3. #3
    Member WALTEREGO's Avatar
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    Hi, at the moment i am the mercy of kindle Barnes & Noble and smash words. However i have just found a company who will print and bind paperbacks short runs 60 of for about £2.50 each finished and delivered ideal for distribution to agents and such. they will also be available as a hard copy via Amazon and direct from the web site. I will keep you updated
    A human mind, the largest uncharted environment in the known universe. Filled with shifting sands, turbulent waters, a perfect calm, hate love jealousy and envy are the stumbling blocks, sometimes love and laughter will accompany you on your journey. But always remember, it's your journey.

  4. #4
    but what do YOU do on a personal level to market your book?
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    Member WALTEREGO's Avatar
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    Hi Pip, at the moment it is word of mouth, i belong to some specialist forums and drop the word in their, i also had some business cards printed with the cover design and web address. these i have in abundance and when i visit a book store they manage to find their way between the covers of similar publications on the shelf.

    naughty but effective
    A human mind, the largest uncharted environment in the known universe. Filled with shifting sands, turbulent waters, a perfect calm, hate love jealousy and envy are the stumbling blocks, sometimes love and laughter will accompany you on your journey. But always remember, it's your journey.

  6. #6
    That's certainly a creative way of marketing your book
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  7. #7
    Member WALTEREGO's Avatar
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    they are also good when i see people using a kindle they get one
    A human mind, the largest uncharted environment in the known universe. Filled with shifting sands, turbulent waters, a perfect calm, hate love jealousy and envy are the stumbling blocks, sometimes love and laughter will accompany you on your journey. But always remember, it's your journey.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by WALTEREGO View Post
    Hi Pip, at the moment it is word of mouth, i belong to some specialist forums and drop the word in their, i also had some business cards printed with the cover design and web address. these i have in abundance and when i visit a book store they manage to find their way between the covers of similar publications on the shelf.

    naughty but effective
    Haha, excellent idea! I wouldn't have the nerve to do that, but the idea is genius! Interesting interview, btw.

  9. #9
    Member WALTEREGO's Avatar
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    If you check out my website www.eddiestovis.com you will see I have nerves of steel, stunning good looks, heart melting charm and i occasionally tell lies.
    A human mind, the largest uncharted environment in the known universe. Filled with shifting sands, turbulent waters, a perfect calm, hate love jealousy and envy are the stumbling blocks, sometimes love and laughter will accompany you on your journey. But always remember, it's your journey.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by WALTEREGO View Post
    If you check out my website www.eddiestovis.com you will see I have nerves of steel, stunning good looks, heart melting charm and i occasionally tell lies.
    Haha, funny. I will definitely have a closer look at your book

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