Author Interview: Q & A with Kyt Wright
Why did you start writing? Was there a specific moment where you decided to put pen to paper or words to a screen?
I had an epiphany on approaching 60 and actually wrote the novel that had been burning inside me since I conceived it at 17 (incredible isn’t it) but life sort of got in the way and I’d fulfilled several other goals (fatherhood, local radio, singing on stage, although being an astronaut has evaded me thus far, but I live in hope). Anyway, I digress and after so many years the story almost wrote itself, greatly changed of course.
What has been your hardest challenge this year?
I have a grandchild in France and Covid 19 has really made it difficult for us to visit and vice-versa for my son and his partner, and the little lad.
The book market has never been so tough as it is now. What advice would you give to aspiring authors to stand out from the crowd?
Don’t write science fiction! Alternately, get yourself known, exploit social media, or get interviewed on radio/ YouTube.
What’s been your favorite book that you’ve read this year?
I have read the Rivers of London series recently and I like the humorous mash-up of police procedural and magic. Best of them would be the titular first novel.
Other than your own, which BLKDOG title would you recommend?
The Hostiles; Storm Area 51, by Tom Ashton, well-deserved winner of BLKDOG Book of the Year, 2020 (curse him!).
A mystery basket turns up on your doorstep. Would you prefer it contained a dog or a cat?
Would that be Schrodinger’s Pet, it could be either and you won’t know which until it’s opened? It would have to be a cat, we used to have a little fluffy ball of hate called Eric until his untimely demise. Plus we already have a dog.
Do you have a book in your mind that you know you’ll probably never actually write?
Kyt Wright, first author on Mars.
Which famous author do you most admire?
Every time I’m asked this I always come up with a different answer, but I’ll say Terry Pratchett, he was so witty and inventive.
Which book have you read which you feel deserves much more acclaim that it has received?
Sirkkusaga obviously J. The Hero of Downways, by Michael G Coney (who?), it starts out like a post-apocalyptic story set underground then turns into something quite different, it’s a clever story which I think has been largely forgotten. I’ll also add a mention of Winter’s Children by the same author, a survival tale set in a frozen world.
One of your books suddenly sells a million copies, how do you react?
After I’ve finished jumping up and down and shouting YES? Retire immediately and book a cruise, and of course demand creative control of the inevitable film.
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Books by Kyt Wright
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Connect with Kyt Wright
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Born in the 1957 the year the Space Race started when the USSR launched its first satellite and growing up with astronauts and cosmonauts on the TV meant Yuri Gagarin and Gordon Cooper were familiar names as a child. Getting up early one morning just in time to see a grainy Neil Armstrong make one small step for mankind on black and white British television started the obsession for science fiction, the same television that showed Doctor Who and Gerry Anderson’s Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet and a personal favorite, UFO with the Moonbase girls in their shiny costumes (very interesting to a growing boy!) and the joy of seeing Star Trek on our first colour set, their uniforms in varied hues like a rainbow palette.
An early otherworldly memory is a picture book about mice building a rocket and travelling to the moon for green cheese! Reading Science Fiction at a young age by way of Kemlo, Tom Swift Jr and the wonderful TV21 with its pseudo newspaper format and the later and lesser Countdown comic that followed, the first “big” read was The Fall of the Towers by Samuel R Delaney, the book was his father’s, quite a weighty tome and many others were to follow. At school the English teacher set him reading John Wyndham’s The Day of the Triffids, The Chrysalids and the great-grandad of alien invasion stories The War of the Worlds by HG Wells.
Completely hooked, he worked his way through the Mars series by Edgar Rice Burroughs and the Lensman series by EE Smith then anything by Arthur C Clarke, Isaac Asimov, Edmund Cooper, John Wyndham, Ray Bradbury et al. Reading everything of worth and many not so worthy, Kyt wanted to write and wanted to write what he loved most, Science Fiction! The English teacher had several large essays thrust upon him about a secret organisation battling aliens (sorry UFO), robots that looked like human beings and a story about a policeman on a colonised planet with his girlfriend playing the damsel in distress (might re-use that one) and the teacher read them patiently and gave them his critique, they were not at all bad!
Plotting and planning, drawing characters and vehicles but somehow never writing much down. His family moved from Lincolnshire to Leicestershire and Kyt started an apprenticeship, enjoyed a social life and eventually met a wonderful girl (who would put up with him!). Marriage and children followed and Kyt found himself sharing books with his eldest son in an echo from the past, occasionally tinkering with writing but still no book emerged…
Six months from sixty, the urge to write returned and an old plot from teenage years re-emerged, the hero remained as was, but a minor character pushed her way forward to become the heroine and the original ending became the new beginning. McGuffins and contrivances moved with the times and book was finally written!
It has been a long journey and his wife is still putting up with him!