An interview with Philip Brocklehurst
Q. Thanks for joining us, Philip, and let’s start by talking about your work. Perhaps you could tell the readers about your latest book, Light of Virtue. I see it’s described as a “collection of poems and thoughts, expressed into words,” perhaps you could expand on that?
A. Hi Katrina, it’s a pleasure and honour to do this interview with you.
With “The Light of Virtue”, it was of those unexpected things that was never planned, it just sort of happened. I was writing my book “Humanity Lost” (also published by Ecanus and available on amazon kindle) and the idea one day sparked inside me. I felt suddenly compelled to express my deepest feelings and thoughts into words, both sentimental and political on the state of the world we live in. Better out than in as they say.
The source of inspiration for “The Light of Virtue” (and all my work) is a very special friend of mine for 4 years. Margie Newton, and to many cult movie followers she was the star of the 1980 Italian zombie exploitation movie “L’inferno dei morti viventi” (Hell of the Living Dead to English speakers), I really couldn’t have done it without her. She’s a true gem.
With “The Light of Virtue”, it’s a roller-coaster ride of emotions to fill readers with various powerful feelings, the main theme is something that is greatly lacking in the world today: love and positivity. I think now more than ever people need to be enlightened with good emotions.
Of course, not every poem and phrase are written to be uplifting, some are a tad more romantic, in a great tragedy kind of way, others make statements on the injustice that is befouling the world and as a civilized race, we have the power to make the world far better for all living things, we can end the unnecessary evil that is cruelty to animals, war, poverty and greed. Mankind has done so many great things, they show the ability to do good, yet they still hang on to a primitive violent and selfish attitude.
I’m hoping with those particular poems and phrases, they will stir some powerful emotions and guide them to becoming a better individual and species as a whole.
It’s 2014, it’s about time we advanced as a civilization for the better, because if not now, when?
I’m hoping the book lives up to its namesake and is the light of virtue to many readers now and for many generations to come.
Q. Apart from writing, I see you are also passionate about animal welfare. Do you have animals of your own?
A. Oh yes, three: two dogs and one cat, I love them to bits, the household just wouldn’t be the same without them. Life isn’t complete without the unconditional love of our four legged friends.
I feel animals have the right to live a rich full life as much as we humans do, and until all our furry friends are given such a gift of respect and equality, I will keep on defending and helping them.
Q. Aside from poetry, do you write in any other genres?
A. I sort of dabble in whatever genre takes my fancy, my first book was a sci-fi romance, this is poetry, my next is a sword and sorcery fantasy in the style of the old 1980s fantasy movies like “Conan the Barbarian”, “Sword and the Sorcerer” “Conquest”, the list goes on with the films. And I’m currently awaiting the publication of a little novel I wrote which is a satirical comedy and drama on the clashing of modern and old generations and the bringing together of such differences.
Q. I see you write under the name of P M Thomas, what’s the reason for this?
A. The genesis behind the pen name was that my name seemed a bit too big to fit on the cover to a book. I took my first name and middle names (Melvin and Thomas) and gave life to the author name P.M. Thomas, which has a ring to it. The initials add a little intrigue and mystery. It stays with the reader, like V.C. Andrews.
Q. Is this the first time you’ve had your work published?
A. It sure is, “Humanity Lost” and “Light of Virtue” are my two debut books and what an indescribable feeling it is. It’s an amazing sensation to see my work available for all to read and enjoy. Almost like a dream come true.
They’re like badges of honour.
I have to give many thanks to fellow Ecanus author Davie Graham, writer of the popular “Silent Blade Chronicles” fantasy series, if I hadn’t met him, I would have never have got in touch with Ecanus and thus my work would never had been published and I wouldn’t be where I am now, an author with credentials. Seems almost like it was fated to be.
And many thanks as well to the chief at Ecanus, Darren Humby, who liked my work to want to have it published.
Q. What process led you to the writing game? For instance, are you an avid reader, and became inspired to become an author yourself?
A. My love for storytelling started when I was a young boy, I wasn’t much of a reader, as a matter of fact, I only started reading books in my late teens and early twenties. I used to watch, and still do when I have the time, lots of films and be captivated by the visuals and story. The first two films that really triggered my love for the art of a story was “RoboCop” and “The Terminator”, a little young to be seeing them but without those masterpieces I doubt I’d have that love for the wonders of the imagination. I didn’t have many friends, I was kind of like the walking lone wolf cliché at school and at home, so while wandering the grounds or at home, I’d visualize my own stories in my head. As I got older, I reached a point where I didn’t want to keep these tales locked away in my own subconscious; I wanted to share them with the world.
I wrote my first book when I was 16 after dropping out of college, an awful experience that was (college, not writing the book). It was a gritty urban splatterpunk novel called “Warriors of the Night”. Looking back at it now, it’s evident how inexperienced I was as a writer then, I still cringe at it. The book is a crazy, gonzo mess of different genres all thrown into a blender to make one insane story. It would be nice to have it published just as a curiosity, but I think the outlandish gore puts publishers off, Ecanus included. Maybe one day it might be possible for authors to see the origin of a budding young author and see the difference between it and my later work as an adult.
It would probably make an entertaining read, one of those books in the style of a cult b-movie that would’ve been shown on BBC’s moviedrome with Alex Cox. A privilege that would be.
Q. Who are your favourite authors, and why?
A. Ooooh, I have quite a few, too many to count. But I think the most influential for me is Gary Brandner, author the “The Howling” trilogy. He started my interest in writing books after seeing the 1981 loose adaptation but still a great film of “The Howling” directed by Joe Dante, the film piqued my interest in wanting to read the book, I’m glad I did. Gary’s slick style definitely helped mould my own work.
Q. What do you hope to achieve, writing wise? Is it fame and fortune, or simply the need to share your work with others?
A. I’d say simply the need to share my work with others. Fame and fortune would seem too far out for me.
As long as readers enjoy my work, that’s what counts.
Q. How often do you write? Do you write a certain amount of time every day, or simply when the mood takes you?
A. I’m a workaholic, I tend to write as much as I possibly can. I write from morning to early afternoon. Have a break, then late afternoon until night. When I have an idea, I have an insatiable urge to get the story down and shared.
If I’m having a slow day and not many ideas are flowing, the writing periods are less and the breaks are longer, which can be a nice little vacation in itself. Lord knows, I need one, hahahaha.
Q. Finally, what one piece of advice would you give any fledgling authors?
A. My advice would be: if you’re an aspiring author and you have a story that you want to tell, go with it, follow your dream and get your work shared to the public. The more, the merrier. Remember, there are no limits to the imagination, believe in yourself and express your visions into words.
The road to publication can be bumpy, I know firsthand, and at times, moral can flee, but stay vigilant and don’t give up. There’s a publisher out there, try Ecanus Publishing, and if it comes to the crunch you can self publish with Ecanus Imprint, so there are many options and many eggs to place in ones basket.
Well thanks for being with us today, Philip. It’s been highly enjoyable talking to you, and best wishes for your writing career.
Humanity Lost – amazon link
The Light of Virtue – amazon link
Facebook Author Page
This entry was posted on March 25, 2014 at 8:01 pm and is filed under New Authors section with tags Conan the barbarian, fantasy 1980's, humanity lost, Philip Brocklehurst, The light of virtue. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.