The second part of this edition of Pluto Talks is an interview with Aston Parsons, the author of 28 Grams Later
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Stick at it. It sounds like a cliché, but my own experiences have shown that many times you’ll think “Is this worth it? Is this worth the work?” If you have an idea that interests you, keep plugging away at it, even though circumstances will knock you down at every hurdle.
How have you found self-publishing and eBooks?
Not easy. Not easy at all. The good thing about self-publishing is that every author has the same platform. The bad thing about it is that every author has the same platform. If you look at Amazon, there are tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of eBooks out there. This means that good new authors could get little from it because they’re like a tadpole in a sea of tadpoles. I spent three or four months producing the manuscript, five or six editing it, and another month making a marketing plan – promoting the covers, getting it out there on Facebook, speaking to journalists.
What was the inspiration behind your novel?
I was in a bit of a rut. I had to leave work because I’d suffered a head injury and was left on benefits. I was exploring my options on what could keep me going with no investment capital.
I had a brainstorm, and came up with 20 ideas. I then drew a grid, with each square being a scene, and went from there.
Are you currently writing anything else?
Yes – there’s a sequel in the works to 28 Grams Later called The Crystal Grinder. I’m hoping to have it published before the end of the year. 28 Grams Later was long for a debut novel, and The Crystal Grinder will be longer still. I’m lucky in that I don’t really get writer’s block.
What sort of message on drugs did you want to convey in 28 Grams Later?
I didn’t want to glorify drugs. Look at synthetic marijuana – there have been more deaths in recent years due to that than there have been due to marijuana for the last fifty.
In the book, it does describe lots of positive effects of marijuana but at the same time it also features the negatives, such as psychosis and paranoia, very strongly. The big message is that if you’re going to do it, do it responsibly.
Is there an overarching message you want people to take away from 28 Grams Later
Please enjoy it. I wrote it to be enjoyed. But otherwise, I’d say that I want it to make you think about the world. In Chapter 14, you see a lot of the Unitarist movement, a political movement. It’s not about left-right spectrum politics. They talk about the refugee crisis, and what society wants and needs. It’s not about pushing politics, but about progression, as opposed to your normal left-wing, right-wing divide.
To read Part One, click here. 28 Grams Later is available on Amazon at http://amzn.to/1S6bAY9 for £2.69