Interviewed by Sue Leonard.
Published in the Irish Examiner on 15th March
Beginner’s Pluck. Stewart Foster
Stewart never read much, but English language was his best subject at school. He studied journalism for a month, but when he sent a poem about the IRA to his tutor, Robert Maxwell and it wasn’t published, he realised it wasn’t for him.
“I spent the next twenty years selling insurance, but six years ago I stopped, and studied creative writing. I drove a taxi for a while, to make money. It got me out, talking to people, and was a good antidote to the loneliness of writing.
“I wrote a novel on the MA; it almost found a publisher.”
Who is Stewart Foster?
Date of birth: 20th November, 1963 in Bath.
Education: Culverhay School, Bath; Bath Spa University, BA then Masters in Creative Writing, Finished the Masters in 2010.
Home: 4 miles from Bath
Family: Separated; two amazing daughters Lois, 20, and Tallulah 17.
The Day Job: Full time writer. “But I do a small amount of market research.”
Interests: “I run, I cycle, and I play football. I love listening to music.”
Favourite Writers: “I still don’t read much, but I love Cormac McCarthy, David Almond, and Kerouac.”
Second Novel: “It could be one of two; the one I wrote for my BA, or one I’ve just written.”
Top Writing Tip: “If you’re stuck take exercise. I was doing 40 mph on my bike, and was inspired to put the end of my book at the beginning.”
Web: www.stewartfoster.com Twitter: @stewartfoster1
The Debut: We Used to be Kings: Jonathan Cape: €18.75. Kindle: €7.31.
It’s Tom’s eighteenth birthday, but for him, that means a move from a care home for troubled children to an adult institution. Unless, that is, he can convince the doctors that the voice of his dead brother Jack has gone from his head.
But he doesn’t want that; it’s all he has left from his old life; from before his mother died and his father travelled to the moon.
“The novel started with a 500 word short story I wrote years ago. Then the voice of Tom, and of Jack got into my head, and I couldn’t stop writing.”
The Verdict: An extraordinary debut. The author trusts the reader to suss out the plot.
© Sue Leonard. 2014.