Plymouth International Book Festival 2014 Author Questionnaire Caspar Walsh Q. What was the first book that you would say really struck a chord with you, and why? A. Lord of the Rings. The presence of the landscape and the adventure held within it. The mix between the possible, real, ancient history and magic. Q. Was there someone, or something, who inspired you to first get into writing? A. My father and his endless scribbling in a journal and his fascination with the power of stories within movies. For me it was the adventure films that really grabbed me. Jason and the Argonauts. Bladerunner. Brazil. Q. What role do you believe books and literature have to play in an age where so much of our time is dominated by technology? A. Stories are the ancient glue of society. Telling stories live, round fires, in living rooms, up a mountain in a café. Nothing will ever beat the feel of real paper, the sound of the page turning, the solid, soft object in your hand. Vinyl is enjoying a comeback and books will follow the same journey. Q. What can people expect at your talk/event at the Plymouth International Book Festival? A. A return to an old way of telling myths, bringing the story to life in the space and riffing with what the audience bring – and don’t bring. This is a story influenced by many myths and is a very modern take on a very old story Q. Do you look forward to talking to people about your work, and what is the one message you hope the audience will take away with them? A. Yes. I live for the moments in a room when an audience connects to the story I bring and want to know more. The questions and discussion from the audience are very often the best bit. No one knows what will happen and no one can control it. A new idea, a connection with story and their own stories, identifying something that may have been hidden and leaving with more questions than answers. A desire to buy my books and spread the word. Q. What is the best piece of advice you could give to someone who thinks they have a story to tell but is unsure of how to go about it? A. Start talking …to a friend, someone who will listen to any kind of story you have that you think is interesting, funny, tragic, moving. Watch how they respond, you will feel where the story is working and where it needs work. Trust that the story you have to tell will absolutely find you. You do not need to hunt it down, just lay the ground work, make it fertile, read what you love, watch you love, trust the process. When the seed of an idea is there, pick up a pen (or start typing) and let the story tell you. Watch it unfold in front of you. That will be your mojo! Q. If you were to recommend one book that people should read this year, what would it be and why? A. ‘Mezolith’. Haggarty and Brockbank. This is a hidden gem. A graphic novel of great beauty, imagination and magic. Graphic novels are emerging into one of the fastest selling and growing literary artforms on the planet. Start with ‘Mezolith’. Then V of Vendetta, From Hell, Is it a Bird, Chew, Swamp Thing (Alan Moore) There is a treasure trove out there.