Raised in the Chepstow, South Wales, Hugh went through life thinking his dyslexia would stop him expressing his love of writing, but he proved himself wrong and prepares to publish his second collection of short stories next year.
Thank you for joining me Hugh. What was the catalyst to your change outlook?
I discovered blogging. Shortly after retiring, I thought it about time I let my writing become public. Becoming a blogger seemed to be the perfect way to do this. It was the gateway for me to publish my writing to the world. If it had not been for the fantastic blogging community I became part of, I would have never gone on to publish my first book or have written and published so many blog posts. I’m amazed by how many followers my blog has and how many comments get left for me.
Can you tell me how dyslexia effected you?
The condition was not really recognised when I was at school. I struggled with both reading and writing (and still do to this day). I was lucky in that one particular teacher could see the struggles I was having. She encouraged me to carry on with writing, and even gave me the part of ‘The Mad Hatter’ in the school play. This went on to not only boost my confidence but also helped my creativity when writing short stories. I eventually come to terms with the fact that I could not do anything about being dyslexic.
You have a very successful blog, Hugh’s Views and News. How long have you been blogging for?
Since early 2014. I blog just about every day, be it writing posts or reading and commenting on the posts of other bloggers. The blogging world is full of some wonderful authors and writers who offer plenty of free advice on writing and publishing, as well as offer support and encouragement to other writers. I’ve learned a lot, and now write and publish my own blogging tips.
What do you still hope to achieve with your writing?
I hope to publish a few more books, and also write for television. I’m currently nearing the end of getting my second collection of short stories ready for publication. I also want to publish a book based on my diary from 1988. This year, I’ve been featuring some of the entries from it on my blog, and the whole series has gone down very well with my readers. Many of them have asked me to publish a book based on the dairy. It’s something I’m seriously thinking about.
I’d also like to write a few storylines for the BBC’s sci-fi series Doctor Who. My biggest aim is to have some of my short stories serialised for television. I think it about time that we have a new British version of The Twilight Zone, one of my favourite TV shows.
Do you have any advice for new writers?
Don’t let anybody stop you if you have passion for writing and entertaining people with the words and stories you want to tell. I’ve come across lots of people who told me I would never fulfil my dream of becoming a published author because I was dyslexic. I’m glad I never listened to them.
Also, make friends with other writers and authors who blog by reading and leaving comments on their posts. Most of them read and reply to comments. Becoming a part of their blogging community will go a long way in helping you become a better writer.
Glimpses is your first collection of short stories, published in December 2016. Can you tell us all about it?
Each of the 28 short stories has a ‘Twilight Zone’ feel to them. The stories are full of twists and turns that take the reader to an unexpected ending. I’ve been amazed by the great reviews it’s picked up. One of the best things I hear from readers when they read any of the stories is “I never saw that ending coming!”
‘Glimpses’ allows the reader a peek into the lives of everyday people who are about to have life lead them on an unpredicted path. From a mysterious deadly iPad app, to a hole in the fence that is not all it seems, to a strange lipstick that appears to have a life of its own, you will encounter terror, laughter, sadness, shock and many other emotions on journeys which promise a thrilling and gripping climax.
Who do you think would enjoy this collection?
If you are a lover of shows such as ‘The Twilight Zone’ and ‘Tales of The Unexpected’, then you’re in for a real treat. There are a number of genres in the collection, including, paranormal, LGBT, horror, sci-fi, drama, murder/mystery, comedy, fantasy, supernatural, and thriller.
Whilst building your author platform, what has your experience of social media been?
It’s had its ups and downs. The biggest mistake I made with social media was trying to spread myself too thinly on it by trying to run accounts on lots of different social media platforms. I soon learned that concentrating on no more than three worked far better for me.
How do you measure your success?
Whilst selling lots of books is regarded as being successful, it doesn’t mean that all those books will go on to be read. For me, success is getting good quality book reviews or comments left on my blog. When those reviews and comments prove that somebody has read your book or blog posts, it’s one of the best feelings in the world. It’s proof that all your hard work and time in producing a piece of work has been acknowledged.
Thank you Hugh for talking with me today. I’m sure your journey will be an inspiration to others who don’t have a straight road laid out to their dreams and aspirations. I wish Hugh every success with his writing. You continue to follow Hugh’s journey on his blog or on Twitter and Glimpses is available to buy on Amazon now.
If you enjoyed this interview then why not follow my blog where I’ll be posting more interviews soon. I regularly provide an insight into my own experiences as I work towards publishing my debut novel, In The End. If you’re an author, or work in the industry and you’ve got an interesting story to tell, drop me a line on firstname.lastname@example.org