PAUL V. WALTERS
- Guest Author -
Welcome to an interview conducted with another lucky author who lives in Bali.
Welcome, Paul ...
1. TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR WRITING JOURNEY.
I have technically been a writer for all of my working life. I found out early that I had an ability to write clever headlines and body copy for ads. Thus I spent most of my life writing copy and being a creative director.
2. WERE YOU A GOOD READER AS A KID?
I devoured books…. still do
3. WHEN AND HOW DID YOU BECOME A TRAVEL WRITER? WHAT INSPIRED YOU?
After I had sold my advertising agency I de- camped to Bali in Indonesia to write a book. That done I thought what now? A magazine in Jakarta approached me to write a piece and suddenly things snowballed. I now contribute to a stable of about a dozen international publications on all things travel and a bit of humorous vox pop
4. WHAT PLACES HAVE YOU WRITTEN ABOUT?
I have covered several destinations in Africa, SE Asia, Canada, USA, Australia and New Zealand as well as tons of stories from the more remote islands of Indonesia
5. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BEING A JOURNALIST?
A bit like advertising, every day is different and the subject matter changes like the wind.
Also I have the luxury of being able to pick and choose my assignments for which I am blessed.
6. WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING A WRITER?
Sometimes inspiration disappears over the horizon and the words on the page often tear and strain to rhyme. I hate it when I write a piece and think…that’s garbage, especially when right up against deadline.
7. WHAT WERE YOU IN A PAST LIFE, BEFORE YOU BECAME A WRITER?
Oh nice leading question!!! Gosh, …a king, a wandering minstrel, poet or perhaps a Roman senator… however I was probably some downtrodden slave.
8. WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST WRITING ACHIEVEMENT?
I guess writing the first book (Final Diagnosis) then turning that book into a trilogy. After a slow start, suddenly the books gained traction and now they sell well.
9. HAVE YOU BROKEN ANY BIG STORIES?
I have launched major products but as to breaking a ‘news ‘ story. No
10. DO YOU ENJOY WRITING / REPORTING FOR A MEDIA CORPORATION?
Again, a leading question, these days, as the print media seem to be on its knees and downsizing each day quality journalists and feature writers are let go then re- hired as freelancers and paid a pittance to churn out 1000 – 2000 word pieces.
11. WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE TOPICS / PLACES TO COVER?
I Love writing about Indonesia as for me its one of the most diverse cultures on the planet. However having spent a lot of time in Africa, that continent provides material in spades!
I really love doing ‘tongue in cheek’ pieces, which take a humorous slant on every day situations.
12. WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST JOY IN WRITING?
Sometimes it simply just ‘clicks’ There is nothing more pleasurable than reading a paragraph you have written and saying something like,“ That’s a delicious sentence!”
13. WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE AUTHOR AND WHY?
That’s a hard one! Gosh there are so many and I read right across the genre spectrum. Dickens however is right up there along with a bunch of other ‘classic’ novelists.
14. DO YOU WORK AS PART OF A TEAM, FREELANCE OR BOTH?
When writing books I guess my editor becomes part of a two- man/ woman team. However on the whole I work alone except when on assignment with a photographer when I will write around the images that he/she provides.
15. WHAT’S THE GREATEST COMPLIMENT YOU EVER RECEIVED FROM A READER?
Couldn’t put it down!
16. WHAT WAS THE WORST COMMENT FROM A READER?
What a load of crap!
17. WRITERS ARE SOMETIMES INFLUENCED BY THINGS THAT HAPPEN IN THEIR OWN LIVES. ARE YOU BY THE STORIES YOU COVER?
Without question! I travel extensively and keep a daily journal scribbling down all I see and hear. I ‘steal’ people and have become a master thief!!
18. HAVE YOU WON ANY PRIZES OR AWARDS?
I have won numerous advertising awards in several countries.
19. WHAT DID THEY MEAN TO YOU?
Actually, I know it sounds blasé, but not much after all it’s advertising is it not?
20. ANY OVERSEAS WORK? WHERE?
I have three projects coming up. A motorcycle journey up and down Sumatra, an overland trip through Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe as well as a story on the Hornbill festival in North East India.
21. OTHER THAN WRITING, WHAT ELSE DO YOU LOVE?
I also love watching my two daughters forge their careers in the tough industries they have chosen. I also have a wife who continues to astound me with the work she does in her academic field. Oh and I am a passionate rugby watcher.
22. IF YOU HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK TO THE ENTIRE WORLD, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY?
23. DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT DAY.
Well, I do live in Bali, for which I am blessed. I live by the beach on an island that Nehru once described as, “ the morning of the world.” So every day is pretty much perfect.
24. WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS / ASPIRATIONS FOR THE FUTURE?
I have broken away from my usual genre and now am at the tail end of a book of short stories, which I find hard. I aspire to write a book a year.
25. DO YOU THINK PRINT NEWSPAPERS ARE SERIOUSLY CHALLENGED BY THE INTERNET? HOW?
The Internet seriously challenges newspapers. We now live in 24-hour news cycle days and there is no ways the print media can do that. However I do think quality journalism is getting harder to find
26. WHO OR WHAT HAS INFLUENCED YOU IN YOUR WORK?
27. WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
28. DO YOU TAKE PHOTOGRAPHS TOO?
I do. I often (when not on assignment with a photographer) supply the pics to accompany the story. I’m not the greatest of photographers however the quality of cameras today certainly helps.
29. WHAT WOULD BE THE LAST SENTENCE YOU’D WRITE?
“ IS THAT IT?”
30. ANYTHING YOU’D LIKE TO ADD?
YOU KNOW, I THINK WE HAVE COVERED OFF MOST THINGS HOWEVER; FEEL FREE TO READ MY BOOKS!!!!
Clancy's comment: Thank you. I'm very envious, Paul. Bali is a beautiful place,especially for a photographer. Hope to meet you there and enjoy some beer.