We bid a warm welcome to author Alan Hardy
I’m a director of an English language school for foreign students. Married, with one daughter. Poetry pamphlets: Wasted Leaves, 1996; I Went With Her, 2007. I’ve had poems published in such magazines as Orbis, Iota, The Interpreter’s House, Poetry Nottingham, Poetry Salzburg Review, Poetry Cornwall, and others. I have now written five novels. I would describe them as surreal novels exploring the nature of relationships, romantic and sexual, and Britain’s class-system, with liberal use of comedy and satire, creating original and riveting settings full of humour, romance, sex and adventure.
Alan Hardy – Interview with Grey Wolf
1. How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing prose (in a serious way) for about 6/7 years. Up till then I’d been writing poetry for more years than I care to remember (and am still writing it)
2. What is the earliest work of yours that you have published or intend to publish?
My first published works were poems in magazines, and then of course a couple of my own poetry pamphlets. My first published novel was Gabriella (2013)
3. Who were the earliest authors to be an inspiration for your writing?
Maybe Oscar Wilde, and the Italian poet, Giacomo Leopardi.
4. Which other authors do you consider to be an inspiration and for what reason?
Perfume by Patrick Süskind and Rain by Karen Duve, although not necessarily inspirational in the traditional sense, were 2 books I read about 6 years ago (translated into English from the German) and which were, if you like, the added spur to me to get writing novels. They are of course seminal works in modern novel-writing (their particular blend of surrealism, originality, tone, etc.)
5. Are you inspired by any landscapes or buildings, or even towns and cities?
I think my writing is rather surreal, satirical and individualistic, so, although I’m sure particular places may well influence the setting of my stuff, I don’t think it’s tied to a particular time or place.
6. Which was the first book you published and why?
Apart from my poetry books, GABRIELLA was the first. I just felt I had to get something out there (I’ve got 4 others primed and ready to go). I picked on Gabriella because it was comic, cheeky, sexy, surreal, but maybe less complicated and shocking than some of the others. They’ll all be coming out soon…You have been warned.
7. Have you been surprised by a negative reaction to any of your work?
Some people have been a bit outraged by GABRIELLA. They’ve found it shocking, too erotic, etc., and one or two had to stop reading. That surprised me; the book is a bit cheeky, saucy and bawdy (rather like a sexy seaside postcard) but is quite harmless fun, and is, if anything, just an attack on the British class-system, of course at the same time using a fair bit of humour, bawdiness, etc.
8. Other than authors (and friends and family) who are your heroes?
Rigsby, Basil Fawlty
9. If you could go back in time to learn the truth about one historical mystery or disputed event what would it be?
Well, I’d love to go back to Greek-Roman times, or to Victorian times. Fascinating epochs. Specifically to have a particular event/mystery cleared up…well, maybe late Victorian times to discover the true identity of Jack the Ripper, and hope it was a member of the royal family
10. Why the name ‘Gabriella’ for your book?
I reckon it sounds both posh and sexy, so it fits the nature of the book, a bawdy satire on our class-ridden society.
11. How do you see the future of the ‘indie’ world?
There are thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of ‘indies’ milling around, liberated by the social media/publishing revolution from the exclusive straitjacket of traditional publishing, yet at the same time imprisoned within the resulting baffling, overcrowded marketplace. Indies are all fighting to gain a tiny foothold on the ladder of success, and are all dancing to the tune of the media/publishing giants of Amazon/FB/Twitter/GR/etc., and tweeting/FB-ing/reviewing/GR-listing/’liking’/etc. in a rather unhealthy frenzy of self-promotion. ..basically indulging in every form of social media brown-nosing yet invented…What each person is constrained to do is shout and scream as loudly as possible in the vain hope of being heard over and above the mass hubbub and din of all the other indies screaming and shouting as loudly as they can…I think one possible answer to this conundrum could be for indies to band/club together to produce anthologies/books under a writers’ collective banner, such that their group becomes a known ‘brand’ in the marketplace, and readers would be attracted to that brand, rather than to individual authors. I’ve taken part in such moves recently, for example with the group known as THE INDIE COLLABORATION, with its anthology TALES FROM DARK PLACES (see link below), and its forthcoming anthology entitled YULE TIDE TALES. This is a way of rationalizing the market, and authors achieving traction and recognition through being part of viable ‘mutual/cooperative’ units. Anyway, it’s an idea…
Alan Hardy, Thank You very much!