Author Series: Peter Germany
Hi! my name is Peter Germany. I am from a small town called Gravesend, which is in Kent just outside of London in the UK. I’ve lived here almost my entire life, and still get lost! I will ramble in this interview as well! So be warned!!! Muwahahahahaha!!!
What initially got you into writing?
A friend from secondary school convinced me to write a novel with him when we were in our early twenties. Unfortunately I appear to have fallen out with that friend (not entirely sure why) and all the work we wrote over a fifteen year period are unlikely to see the light of day.
I remember trying to write the odd story when I was in secondary school but I never got going with any of it (I was a moody, lost, teen).
In the last few years I have really stepped up with writing and the last couple of years I’ve been trying to push harder to finish work to a good standard and get published.
Who are your biggest influences and why?
My parents were pretty cool, so I was watching movies like RoboCop, Predator, Terminator 2, Total Recall from quite a long age, before I was ten I’d say. A film I also recently rediscovered was one called Split Second with Rutger Hauer about a serial killer in a flooded London. I also watched a lot of Red Dwarf and listened to Alice Cooper and Meat Loaf in my early years. When I look back at some of what I try to include in my writing a lot of what I took from these is there.
I didn’t really start reading until my late teens with Tom Clancy and Dan Abnett’s Gaunt’s Ghosts series of Warhammer 40k novels. I read The Forever War by Joe Haldeman around this time as well, and this book changed my life. It was the first story I really consumed that didn’t glorify or dumb down war in any way. Yeah I’m a huge fan of the Starship Troopers movies, but they have that propaganda edge that the director, Paul Verhoeven, grew up under Nazi occupation in the Netherlands. It’s very tongue in cheek in that movie whereas The Forever War felt very grounded and has a lot to say about society and how it evolves away from those who are at war. Haldeman is a Vietnam veteran and a lot of this book came from being that.
I read some Kathy Reichs as well before falling in love with horror. Over the last four years I’ve read almost exclusively horror. That love of horror has been there for years, I love the Saw movies. Especially the first one, but I never explored further than the films I’d watch.
Add in some George Orwell and then I think that is a pretty good idea of who and what my
influences are. I seem to put elements from all of these in my work. I’m a sucker for a walled in fortress of a city, like from Dan Abnett’s Necropolis. I do love a gatling gun as well! But I also like working with the idea that the everyday people don’t have much say in changing the world and that no matter what, those with power will never let go of that power. It’s a subject that really intrigues me and I’ve got a lot I’d like to explore with that.
Are you traditionally published or self-published?
As of this moment I am only published in anthologies, but I should have some self-published novellas coming out in the next twelve months. I am planning to self-publish and submit to publishers. I’d really like to be a hybrid author, releasing self-published work and being published through publishers.
How important is writing as an art form in the world, today?
I think now, more than ever, it’s a vital form of art in todays world. There is so much hatred in the world that we all want an escape from it and I believe that having written stories to be sucked into is a key part of surviving these times. If I can escape into a book, whether its a short story anthology or a novel, then I find the world is a much calmer place.
Do you have a set process when starting a new project?
I set out with the best intentions of doing three drafts, but I haven’t stuck to that aside from a few short stories. This process is the first draft, then an edit pass on a computer and then finally print off the story and read it out loud with a red pen and then make any changes I find. Reading a story out loud is something I’ve found to be very useful, especially with dialogue. It’s a different story when you hear yourself saying the words out loud, and I get into it and start doing bad voices for characters!
What has been your favourite book to write and why?
My favourite book to write has been a zombie book that I am working on. It’s three short stories that all take place during the first few hours and days of the zombie outbreak. This was very easy to write the first drafts and I put a fair bit of myself into the stories. Some of the rants one character has are written how I would have a good ol’ rant.
I will also mention my most recent published piece in the Corona-Nation Street anthology from Burdizzo books called, The Wank Diaries. When I first wrote this after seeing the submission call I knew I wanted to try and hit hard with the ending, but that first draft never felt right and I gave up on it. Then after a life altering moment I saw a reminder that the window for submissions was coming to an end. My life at the time was in pieces. I was at the lowest I think I’ve ever been and I felt lost and broken. So I rewrote the ending and I think I put more of the devastation I was feeling into that ending than I realise even now. I haven’t re-read the story since my final edit, and I’m not sure I want to just yet.
Which genre do you enjoy writing in?
Horror because I can let my dark little soul out to play! As I said earlier, I was watching movies that were in places very gory from a young age, and I like putting that into my work. Hell, I watch movies like Saw and The Final Destination series to relax. So being able to write that gory goodness is heaven for me.
My second love to horror is science fiction, in particular dystopian stories. I’m trying to merge the two at the moment and really hope I can pull it off.
Is writing your primary source of income?
No, not by any means I’m afraid. I’m lucky that I work in retail so I work shift work and have a lot of time to be able to commit to writing at the moment. So I can write before work, or after.
Occasionally I’ll write while on breaks. I’ve only been doing this job since April and have had my life fall apart since then as well. So I haven’t quite got into a new routine for writing just yet, but I am beginning to see the bones of that now. I try to tell myself that even if I’m not feeling like writing to just sit down for twenty minutes, or a Sprint as we say in my local NaNoWriMo group, and write. Set a timer, no faffing about on social media, ignore the phone, and just write. Nine times out of ten I’ve found I’ve got more than the 500 words a day I try and aim for, and normally end up writing for a few hours.
For me, I just need to sit at the desk and get cracking!
What advice can you give our readers, should they wish to pursue writing?
Don’t worry too much about publishing or writing to the market. Just tell the story that is speaking to you. I mentioned NaNoWriMo in my previous answer. If you’re unfamiliar with it, NaNoWriMo is the challenge of writing a fifty thousand word book in the month of November. No editing, no rewriting the same chapter twenty times. Just get the first draft done. And that’s what I’d say to anyone who wants to write. Don’t try and get the story perfect, or the sentence structure. Just tell the story. I am very guilty of this, I strive for perfection far too hard and should really have a sign above my desk saying writing is something no one will ever perfect.
Each story you finish will be better than the last, especially in the early days. But make sure you find people you can trust to read and critique your work, Beta Readers. Take their notes and decide if you agree, if they improve the story. Just don’t dismiss them straight away. Think them through and you will grow and get better.
Also, and this is a big one, find your tribe. I know this won’t work for everyone, but it has for me and I know a lot of other writers it has done. I’ve grown as both a writer and a person since coming into my regions NaNoWriMo group, and massively since I found my horror family.
What does success mean to you?
I’ve not really thought about this to be honest. I know for a lot of people it’ll be to earn a living from writing and have a goof fan base, and those things would be great! But I can be a bit of a realist at times, and I know the odds on me being able to earn a living from my passion is going to be hard, and take a long time. So I think success would having my readership grow with each release. I’ve not had much engagement from readers just yet, but what I’ve had has been positive and almost as good a buzz as an acceptance.
What projects are you currently working on?
As of the moment I am working on the aforementioned zombie novella, which I hope to have
released by the end of the year (artist is working on the cover as we speak). I do still need to have it professionally edited as well.
I’m also working on a post-apocalyptic novel that I won’t self-publish straight away. That’s one that I’m going to submit to publishers.
I’ve got a vampire book I’m working on as well. This is a heavy edit/rewrite and my aim of having it done by November was extremely ambitious.
I’ve got numerous short stories for anthologies I’m working on as well.
Both of these are for charity and for great causes so please consider purchasing them.
What are your hopes for the future?
For writing, just to continue to evolve, and get some more discipline and self-confidence in that I can write. In that people have liked my work. My biggest enemy is myself. I have more faith than I used to but it’s still not great. Second guessing myself only slows things down, so I need to learn how to defeat that negative side of my soul. When I do I’ll be able to write and publish more.
Much of that can be applied to life outside writing. I need to build my confidence so I can also achieve what I want to as a human being.
Lastly where can people find you?
People can find me at www.petergermany.com where I blog each day about writing. I’ll talk, no holds bared, about how I am doing. If that is that I wrote two thousand words, or if I just wrote two. I don’t hold back about how difficult, and how great it can be being a writer.
You can also follow me on social media through my website.
I do have an Amazon Page. All of my work is listed here:
I also have a 'Buy Me A Coffee' page as well where people can support me with a ‘coffee’ or two if they so wish:
Lastly, I’d just like to thank you Leah for having me here today. It’s been a lot of fun!
Are you an author? Want to be interviewed? Please get in touch and fill out your contact details; https://www.leahsolmaz.com/contact