Monday, April 9, 2018

Interview with novelist Philip Wilson

Author Philip Wilson is here today and we’re chatting a bit about his new women’s fiction book, Songs for Lucy.

During his virtual book tour, Philip will be awarding a signed paperback copy of the book to a randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit his other tour stops and enter there, too.

Philip Wilson is a retired financial executive who spends winters in Florida and summers sailing on the Great Lakes in his 32-foot sailboat. Songs for Lucy is his second book. His first, The Librarian, was rated one of the best reviewed books of 2017 by IndieReader and featured in the Huffington Post. 

Welcome, Philip. Please share a bit about your current release. 

Allison has just graduated from university and is about to start law school. She has a promising life ahead of her and dreams of a successful law career, marriage, kids and a house with a backyard big enough to build a tennis court. When headaches force her to the doctor, she is diagnosed with brain cancer and given three months to live. Faced with the loss of her dreams and an uncertain future, Allison contemplates ending it all, but gradually builds a new life, finds love and a renewed sense of purpose.

What inspired you to write this book?
My first book, The Librarian, was a revenge thriller. It’s getting great reviews and was featured by the Huffington Post as one of the best Indie books in 2017. It would have been easier to try another in the same genre that could appeal more directly those who enjoyed The Librarian. However, I wanted to try something different – more character-driven, emotive and hopefully more inspirational. In considering possible plots, the story of a talented young woman struck down in the prime of life with a terminal disease seemed to provide a good start.

Excerpt from Songs for Lucy:
Doctor Mackay spoke for the first time. “Allie, I’ve known you since you were a kid,” he began sadly. “You’re a fighter. Your first reaction is to look for other options, to refuse to accept defeat. But — both Doctors Smythe and Graham are experts in their fields. They’ve conferred with some of the leading oncologists at Johns Hopkins, the Cleveland Clinic, and others; and the response has been unanimous and unequivocal. If I thought there was the remotest chance that something might work, I’d say go for it. You’re young, healthy, and should have your whole life ahead of you. But I just don’t believe there are any legitimate realistic treatment options out there, and I don’t want you spending your remaining time chasing false hopes, only to be disappointed. I’m so terribly sorry.”
            Allison looked at him, hearing the pain in his voice and seeing the anguish in his face. Doctor Mackay had known her since she was a baby. He’d watched her grow up; he had been close friends with her father. Now he was telling her she was going to die – and it was tearing him apart.
            “How long do I have?” Allison asked quietly.
            “Each case is different,” Doctor Graham replied. “We’d estimate two months. Could be one, conceivably three. We’ll prescribe corticosteroids which reduce the swelling around the tumors. This should also reduce the headaches and any drowsiness you’ve been feeling. You will probably feel fine for a month or so.”
            “And then?”
            “The headaches and nausea will eventually recur, and will increase in frequency and severity. All we’ll be able to do then is treat the symptoms.”

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’ve started a third novel which is more similar in genre to The Librarian. It is about a young Syrian woman who is orphaned during the recent Syrian civil war who goes to work for the CIA in the Middle East, first as an interpreter, then as a spy and ultimately as an assassin. She becomes one of the most successful and prolific assassins on the CIA payroll, but eventually realizes she can’t do it forever. She finally gives it up and moves to New York to pursue a legal career, but still finds the occasional need to fall back on her old skills.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I don’t – at least not yet. After a career in finance (specifically mathematics), I find writing fun – definitely beats reading and offers more control over the characters and plot. I’ve been very gratified by the positive response and my focus is mainly to keep enjoying the writing process.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I write only 2-3 hours a day, and many days not at all. Apart from that I still do some financial work, I sail, play tennis and generally enjoy retirement. (I should have retired at twenty.)

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I’ve incorporated my favourite drink – Talisker, a brand of single malt scotch, into naming elements in both The Librarian and Songs for Lucy.


Thank you for joining me today, Philip.

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Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Philip Wilson said...

Hi Lisa, Tks for hosting. Look forward to any questions or comments. Will check in throughout the day.
Philip Wilson

Philip Wilson said...

Checking in for final time. Tks for hosting & tks visitors for dropping by. Cheers Philip Wilson

Kim said...

Since you only write 2-3 hours a day, do the words come easily?