Cardiff’s Plastik Magazine has just run an interview with yours truly.
Check it out here (http://plastik.me/author-pledges-book-sales-to-ty-hafan/) or see the full transcript below:
A Welsh Author has decided to donate profits from his debut novel to Ty Hafan, the charity for ‘limited-life’ children.
Ross Farmer (@r_a_farmer), 32, decided to self-publish his novel,The Deconstructing World’ to build on his prior career experience in journalism and marketing.
“Here at T? Hafan we are delighted that Ross has chosen us to benefit from the sale of his first book,” said T? Hafan spokesperson Frank Ady. “With an ever-increasing number of children and young people being referred to our services the support from the general public is vital for T? Hafan to be able to continue with its work with families from across Wales.”
We fired some questions to Farmer to ask him about why he’s doing what he’s doing.
What’s the book about?
The hardest part of writing this novel was coming up with the synopsis! On the surface it’s suspense/mystery about a young man who starts to lose touch with those he loves and tries ever more desperately to cling on to them, despite the whole world seemingly falling apart dangerously around him.
But in reality it’s about little bits of all of us: our drive for short-term goals, our bemoaning of troubles and unwillingness to do anything about them, the sheer flexibility of our ideals and our sense of love and community. It’s about people’s flaws becoming manifest in the world at large, and how they react to facing up to them. Plus it’s funny, and creepy, and romantic, and mysterious. Just like real life!
I’m delighted that those I’ve spoken to who’ve read it so far have enjoyed the dramatic impact of the events beyond just what happens on the pages, but at the same time have been carried along by the excitement and pace of the whole adventure.
Why did you decide to give the proceeds of your book away?
2 years of ‘spare time’ is a lot to give up to something like this, but it’s something I felt a genuine need to do despite working a full time job. I threw myself into it and only really saw as far ahead as finishing and publishing the book; to me that was the goal. So when the time came and I hit the post-book lull, like a fool only then did I start thinking of what to do with it.
It’s often said that few authors get rich off their debut but I wanted to reach as large an audience as I could while doing something I could continue to put my heart and drive into, so choosing a charitable cause was the obvious answer.
I can’t deny that more people reading my book will lead to more people looking out for my next and that can only be good news for me as a writer, but in this way I can dedicate my efforts to helping a wonderful cause at the same time.
Why Ty Hafan?
I’ve done work before to help children’s charities and I probably will throughout my whole life. Ty Hafan provides care and support to life-limited children, young people and their families so they can make the most of the time they have left together.
It’s such a simple, fundamental concept of pure compassion that’s so far removed the clinical world and bureaucracies that face these families’ lives from day to day, and I think that makes it incredible valuable.
Hopefully this way of raising money is something different from the usual coffee morning and helps more people to donate in a way that gives them back something pleasurable and lasting at the same time. I see at as win-win for everyone!
How hard is it to get published in Wales?
There are independent publishers in Wales but they’re often dealing in niches and specialities.The Deconstructing World is closer to a ‘mainstream’ novel, albeit a quirky and mysterious one, and for that world you really are looking at the major publishing houses.
The sad truth is that these only accept manuscript submissions via literary agents and there simply aren’t any of those outside of London or the south east. So there are instant barriers in terms of geography as well as inside knowledge of an industry that exists so far away, and you can become a bit of a faceless entity sending hopefully letters without a sense of actual communication.
So my decision to self-publish – in print and on Kindle – was influenced by that, but also by my typical bloody-mindedness where I said to myself “I don’t need them, I can do it alone!” Who knows, maybe I’ll change my tune on the next one… Or maybe I’ll set up my own literary agency.