Get to know author Wallace E. Briggs
Wallace Briggs (1943 – present), happily married to Pat, who he first met while walking home from school at the age of eleven. They went their separate ways and didn’t meet again until they were seventeen and, despite not recognizing each other, fell head over heels for each other.
The first half of his life was in and around Durham never living more than 5ml from the Cathedral City. Married in 1964, Pat and Wallace spent many happy years in the North East before employment took them and their two boys to Sussex.
After more than twenty years in Sussex, then Hampshire, employment was again responsible for the move to beautiful rural Lancashire, where they still reside. Wallace is now retired from a long career in sales and marketing of technical products in both the UK and international markets.
Ramona: How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Wallace E. Briggs: How long is the proverbial piece of string? The story idea usually happens very quickly. My first children’s story was created ‘out of the blue’, ‘on the hoof’ to entertain my first-born son and his new-found friends for an hour or so during a downpour on a seaside holiday, while sheltering in a beach tent. It needed the addition of several adventures over the course of the next few days. Subsequently it was not written down for at least a further two years.
In the next itineration, for consumption by my second son, illustrations were added. But when it came to publication any thoughts of an illustrated storybook were quickly put to bed on the basis of cost.
Fifty years later, and after many many submissions/rejections/rewrites “The Magical Adventures of Jimmy Crikey” was published as a book by Blossom Spring Publishing. In the meanwhile the first of two sequels, and other stories, were written and self-published on Amazon Kindle.
To answer the question: writing the story may take only a few weeks, but the honing and improving and editing and re-writing take months and months after that and never really stops.
Ramona: Tell me more about your book: The Magical Adventures of Jimmy Crikey
Wallace E. Briggs: Jimmy is a boy of rather unusual appearance, endowed with a bright red mop of unruly hair, big blue eyes, a small snub nose, pointed ears and enormous feet. Because he looked different he was continually bullied and ridiculed by the neighbourhood children. To escape the taunts Jimmy decided to run away. In his midnight flight through the moon-lit forest he stumbled and fell down a hidden hole. Emerging from the darkness at the bottom of the hole he discovers a bright, new, underground world.
Jimmy comes across an apparently abandoned town in a state of total stupor. Roombelow has fallen under the curse of the sleeping spell, cast by Matilda, the Witch who forgot how to laugh. Only one person has escaped the spell. Gemma is the little, young lady who lives at the bottom of the well. After her rescue she and Jimmy became the closest of friends and devise a plan to try to ask Matilda the Witch, to lift the sleeping spell.
When the town awakens no one laughs at Jimmy’s appearance. He is their newfound hero and Jimmy’s confidence and courage grow day by day facing the many challenges and challengers to Roombelow. Jimmy has found a new home. ‘Now running away is not usually a sensible thing to do but, just this once, it appears to have worked out well.’
In his following adventures Jimmy discovers that there are good reasons for his strange appearance. ‘How else would you expect a child from the starworld of Attalia to look? ’ Jimmy discovers the circumstantial similarities between himself and Gemma. Coming from separate worlds, each has found a new home in Roombelow. Each has found happiness in an environment where they are appreciated for who they are, not what they look like.
I hope that subliminal message gets through to the young readers: it’s not your appearance that define you, it’s what you do to overcome the challenges.
Ramona: How easy or hard is it for an author to publish his own book?
Wallace E. Briggs: Self-publishing is becoming the norm for hundreds of authors and Amazon/Kindle (and others) take the pain out of formatting and cover design.
Ramona: Your best source for publishing was Amazon Kindle Store. What attracted you to go for this option?
Wallace E. Briggs: At that time, new to the market, and not too familiar with the WEB/Internet/FB, I was not aware of any alternatives. I started on Create Space which rapidly became Kindle. The advice available for a newbie was extremely helpful.
Ramona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Wallace E. Briggs: It sometimes seems that the easy part is the writing. It’s what come afterward that is the challenge: the editing/reviewing/rewriting/subbing/ and – top of the list – MARKETING!
Ramona: Where and when do you write?
Wallace E. Briggs: When the children were young my most productive time was between 9:00 pm to midnight, in a ‘home office’. Now retired I am most able to devote undivided attention between 2:00 and 6:00 pm. But I no longer retire to the ‘office’; I’m quite comfortable in my armchair sharing my space with Pat and live-in Sis-in-Law, Denise.
Ramona: Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?
Wallace E. Briggs: I read for almost an hour every morning with a freshly brewed coffee in hand, in bed (one of the joys of being retired), and then later perhaps 30 minutes before sleep overtakes. It is not unknown for me to continue reading a very plausible storyline with eyes closed fast!
My all-time favourite authors have be Tolkien and JK Rowling and Wilbur Smith but I have just finished and love the stories from Baldacci then a plethora of adventure writers of the ilk of Pattinson, Dan Brown, K Slaughter, etc
Ramona: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
Wallace E. Briggs: I do very little research as my stories tend to be children’s fictional fantasy of my creation. But I do want to be as accurate as possible in representing some of the ideas in the story. Even though I’m writing for children whatever I write has to stack up as realistically possible scenarios. I want to excite my readers with plausible adventure even if the story is set in a land of fantasy.
Ramona: What does literary success look like to you?
Wallace E. Briggs: On one hand I have achieved a modicum of success by bringing my stories to the printed word available on Amazon. And that is extremely satisfying. On the other hand I would never be able to support myself and family with the proceeds of book sales. That I think would be my definition of literary success.
Get in touch with Wallace E. Briggs on:-
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/wallaceebriggs
Link to purchase ‘The Magical Adventures of Jimmy Crikey’
in USA http://a.co/d/3oCeBtj