Today we are joined by writer and filmmaker Robert Ford, who stops by for an interview:
Interview With Robert Ford
1- Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself.
Hello. My name is Robert Ford. I live in London and divide my time between writing and working in film and television on the editorial side of things. Currently in training for the Graeco-Roman wrestling, Rio 2016.
2- You’ve written your first novel, The King of Spain. Can you tell us a bit about it?
The King of Spain is set in an old people’s home, in the future. It’s a dark comedy about the people who work there and the adventures they have. It’s quite silly but very serious and hugely entertaining. Of course.
3- What inspired you to write this particular story?
The King of Spain came about through a collision of elements, of thoughts and concerns. There were a set of personal strands that I wanted to explore and a set that were more global. It sound obvious, but the more I thought about things, the more I came to realize that these two tracts were absolutely interrelated, and it was from that starting point that everything else flowed.
4- You’ve written several screenplays, as well as the book. What is the biggest difference you’ve found between writing a screenplay and a novel?
I loved the freedom that a novel affords you. You don’t have to think about the physical or financial constraints of making the final film. About casting or time pressures or any of those things. It felt liberating, not least in the respect that I could suddenly use language in a much more sophisticated manner - my screenplays were probably over cooked in terms of stage directions etc. At the same time I tried to remember that with a screenplay you can conjure a scene, and introduce characters with very few words. There is an economy inherent in their form and at their best this allows the reader to flex their imagination, which is a real strength.
5- You’ve also worked in film and had your directorial debut with Sexy Pig, broadcast on the BBC HD channel. What was that experience like?
It was great, especially as the film was shot for no money and with no resources. Felt like we achieved a great deal with not much.
6- What is a typical day of writing like for you?
Unfortunately I rarely get to write during the day. More often I’ll write at night, when the rest of the world is sleeping.
7- What’s your greatest challenge when it comes to writing?
Finding time. Ideas come to me easily. I write slowly but I get there in the end. The biggest issue I have is finding time after work to write, especially now that I have a daughter. And I’m not someone who does well off no sleep, although I’ve had to adapt. My greatest wish is that one day someone will pay me to write. During the day.
8- Who are your writing inspirations?
Lewis Carol, Hubert Selby Jnr, Hunter S Thompson, Charles Dickens, Graham Greene, Roald Dahl, Haruki Marukami.
9- What’s next for you?
Once all the 4p royalties are in from the book I plan to buy a boat. Well, a rubber dinghy anyway. Yachts are so, like, last year. The dingy is a classic design and cheaper to run. My wife has offered to row us across the Irish Sea so we may hole up in Dublin for a while. TBC.
After graduating from Reading University in 2003, Robert Ford briefly worked as a journalist in India before turning to the world of film editing, where he has been employed ever since. As well as prose, he has written several screenplays, and his directorial debut Sexy Pig was broadcast on the BBC HD channel last year.
He now lives and works in north-west London, roaming the streets in search of inspiration, drinking too much coffee and not writing as much as he should.
The King of Spain
When unworldly 22-year-old Sam is offered the chance to swap life in his regulation bungalow for a job at a countryside retirement home, he drops everything and heads to the rolling fields of Sussex. But things at the eerie Edge Hill are far from what he imagined.
The residents are easily over 100 years old, but due to rigorous cosmetic upkeep they look like they are in their twenties. The strange ‘handlers’ who work in the facility seem to have everything under control – until a geriatric stampede sets off a mind-blowing sequence of events that threatens to alter his life for ever.
In this sensational debut novel set in the not-too-distant future, Robert Ford has created a universe of his own in order to brilliantly illuminate the one – and the age – we all share…
The King of Spain: