GilesGet to know Giles…

Giles was born in East Sussex and lives in Seaford. He is a very interesting character. Initially, he pursued a career in music, releasing several albums, and playing at such prestigious events as The Glastonbury and Essential festivals. That’s when he first began to develop his skills as a writer. Giles’s first book, There’s a Lion in My Bathroom, received much critical acclaim and was made “Book of the month” by The Truth About Books. His work has been likened to that of Spike Milligan. For more info, visit his website.

Let the conversation begin!

What’s one rule you’re dying to break?

I don’t want to break any rules. I’m a good boy.

Where do you get your ideas?

It can spring from anywhere, really. The Fearsome Beastie was initially inspired by my son’s desire to play games where we hide under blankets from scary monsters. It made me think that children actually enjoy that sort of play.

Easier to write before or after you were published?

Being published has opened my eyes to different ways of writing, (what will work and what won’t), which allows me to be much more focused on writing things I hope my readers will like.

Are your characters completely fictional? Or do you base them off real people?

The grandmother in The Fearsome Beastie is based on bits of both my grandmothers. Having had parents that both died young, my grandparents were very instrumental in my upbringing and made me who I am today. 

What advice would you give young writers?

Be tenacious, keep writing, keep sending stuff. You never know when you might get a bite.

What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?

Stay true to what you’re doing. If you’re passionate about your work, then keep going.

What one word describes you? 

Fervent. I like to think I’m sincere about how I conduct myself and my work.

What would you like your life to look like in ten years?

I’ve been pretty lucky already in my life. I have a fantastic family and many great friends, so in many ways I’d like life to look very much like it does now! Although, if I can sell a whole bunch of books, I wouldn’t mind a home with a private cinema and bowling alley. Come on, is that too much to ask?

Daily word count?

Some days none, other days loads. I don’t have a writing routine, so I just write when I get the opportunity.

Outliner or seat-of-the-pants writer?

Seat of the pants, for sure. I just let it come out, then try and work it all out later.

When are you the most productive?

After any meal. My brain always needs food.

If money wasn’t an issue, what element would you add to your writing space?

A Mac desktop. My PC is so slow.

What’s the first item on your bucket list?

Taking my wife and kids to New York.

What do you do to recharge your creative batteries?

Kicking back and watching a movie.

Do you let anyone read your work-in-progress?

My wife and two sons are extremely helpful when it comes to telling me what is and isn’t working.

Would you rather publish a string of mainstream books or one classic?

Definitely one classic.

If you could only write one more book, what would it be about?

A boy who wants to become a dancer, but was born with two left feet, so he can only walk in circles! His mother is really upset when he’s born because she became obsessed with buying baby booties, but only half of them work! You see? I’ve worked it all out.

Is there a genre you avoid?

YA Fiction, too many Vampires.

What initially drew you to writing?

I’ve been playing in bands for years, writing music and lyrics. I then wrote a book of adult poetry, which I sold privately. Then, soon after my first son was born, I stumbled on a book by Shel Silverstein, which just totally blew me away. I wrote my first children’s manuscript that day.

Do you begin with character or plot?

Always plot for me.

Describe your dream vacation.

My wife and I honeymooned in Bath. We keep saying we’ll go back sometime. It’s a beautiful city.

Giles Paley-Phillips