Although the British weather may not think it, it’s still technically summer, and therefore time for one of our last MM Agency Summer Posts. Today we’re grilling Rupert Wallis, whose hauntingly beautiful YA novel ALL SORTS OF POSSIBLE has just been published by Simon & Schuster.
What’s your daily routine when you are writing?
When I’m actually writing a first draft I put down a 1000 words a day, non-negotiable and if it’s going well I try and get as far as I can over that minimum limit. A lot of ‘writing’ is actually rewriting so when I’m editing a manuscript I give myself a set number of pages to try and get through. I’m a great believer in letting things work themselves out so if I’m stuck on something – plot, character or whatever, I’ll go for a walk or a cycle or a run and let my brain think silently about it and that way problems tend to untangle themselves.
If you weren’t writing, what other job would you dream to have?
A psychologist because I love observing people and listening to them. I find them endlessly fascinating – what make them tick, their fears, hopes, problems etc. Writing has a lot to do with empathy – about getting into the heads of characters – so I kind of get to be a psychologist at some level. But it would be nice to be able to be dealing with real people I think.
Favourite book as a child?
I devoured Willard Price’s Adventure books. There were always bits of interesting info in the books, like the advice in ‘South Sea Adventure’ of sucking on a pebble if you’re thirsty and stuck on a desert island!
Favourite food/snack while writing?
I’m a chocoholic but I don’t snack on that otherwise I wouldn’t be able to get up out of the chair at the end of the day! Sometimes I try nuts and fruit to be healthy but I mostly stick to just drinking tea and coffee.
Do you ever get writer’s block?
No, I don’t believe in it. You can always put something down even if it’s rubbish, and it’s far easier to work with ‘something’ on the page rather than a blank screen/piece of paper. I tend to re-read what I’ve written the day before to get me rolling. Sometimes I dip into novels by other people – I just pick a page at random and read it and that gets my mind thinking. I do the same with poetry or music videos or even movie trailers. Some sort of stimulus seems to work for me.
Do you listen to music when you write? If yes, what’s your favourite piece to listen to?
Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t, it just depends on how I’m feeling. If I really want to hear the words I’m writing then I don’t or I listen to music that has no lyrics – either classical or modern. I’m doing a playlist at the moment on Twitter for my new book ‘All Sorts of Possible’ so go check it out
Most unglamorous part of being a writer?
Nothing. I love it all. I feel very lucky to have had two books published and always remember how grateful I should be for that.
Do you have any secret talents (other than writing)?
I’m quite a good mimic – I do a very Sean Connery!
What is your favourite spot to read in?
Bed, before I go to sleep because the words get into my head and help my dreams I think – I love to dream. I’ve done a lot on a sun lounger this summer – two weeks in Turkey – reading and sleeping that is.
What has been your most touching review or message from a fan so far?
I’ve just had a really touching one from The Bookbag for my new novel and here’s a snippet:
“There is one last thing I want to say about All Sorts of Possible but I want to do it without giving a spoiler or really even hinting at one. Um! Ok, let’s leave it at this: this story has one of the most moving, lovely, sad-but-sweet endings I’ve ever read. I cried like a baby at the humanity of it. So, you know, I call that a recommendation, ok?”
Favourite holiday destination? Are you a beach bunny or a city explorer?
I like both. Sunny cities probably tick both boxes for me like Los Angeles or Rome. I do love Cornwall too because you can have rocky coves or sandy beaches depending on how you’re feeling. Current favourite place to go is Ile-de-Re in France. It’s all very shabby chic. Because it’s an island you can hire bikes for as long as you’re there and cycle round to the various harbours, villages and beaches. There’s lots of places there overlooking the water to eat oysters and crevettes and drink wine. It’s pretty lovely actually!
Summer tipple of choice?
Prosecco or Mojitos. Usually both.
Most importantly, favourite ice cream flavour?
Always tend to go for a combo like chocolate (of course!) and lemon.
Cornwall, one of Rupert’s favourite holiday spots