As part of the blog tour for his book, The Punishment, I am joined by Paul Clayton as he proves he is a man after my own heart with a passion for reading past his bedtime. Many thanks to Paul for taking the time to talk to us, and to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part in this blog tour.
What do you do when you are an ex-soap star down on your luck and running out of money?
For Daniel Maple, a chance meeting in a nightclub presents him with an offer he finds hard to refuse…
But crime makes you pay.
And someone, somewhere, wants you punished.
Reading in bed came from the fact with as a child I hated the moment Mum turned the light out. For a long time, I had to have a little purple night light in the corner of the room, but even that allowed corners of darkness to creep into the bedroom, so I would stretch out a chapter or two for as long as I could. It’s still the place where I do most of my reading. There is always a book by my bedside and it’s most likely to be a thriller or a mystery. The well-written ones do nothing for my sleep. Each chapter ending with a question or a problem makes me want to read on and solve it.
I can never forget the night when reading Fingersmith by Sarah Waters, I was approaching the end of the chapter and about to place the book on my bedside table and head into slumber when I read the sentence that changes your perception everything you have read so far. I gasped aloud, and after a quick dash to the loo, it was another three chapters and a very late night. Sometimes I don’t know when to give up and my partner will find me dozing with a Kindle that has fallen to the floor at the side of the bed, but in the main. I will set myself a certain number of chapters to read and hope that I make it.
When it came to writing my first fiction, the idea of keeping somebody up late at night by the nature of the story I told was foremost in my mind. It’s been immensely gratifying to receive messages from readers castigating me for the fact that they stayed up till 3 AM last night in order to finish “The Punishment”. It’s a page turner, hopefully thrilling, clever, and funny. (but that’s for you to make up your mind) It’s the sort of book I love to take to the beach. Something that keeps me glued to the pages. One thing that is important to us as actors as we tell stories that our audience are engaged. You can feel a room of people who are listening. It’s a warm feeling. A supportive cocoon of concentration.
When I became an author, this was the relationship with my audience I thought I would miss. Readers take the books into their own world, at their own speed, and in their own way.
And yet, to know that a story of twists and turns, of double-cross and disaster has made people gasp and laugh across the world is more exciting than I can say.
Creating the world of “The Punishment” and taking the little pinch of truth on which it’s based, sprinkling it with mixed moments of my life and whipping it up into a confection that I hope people want to finish in one go has been the greatest of fun. For to me, that’s what stories are. Fun. A ticket to a world that someone has created just for me. That reaches out and brings the audience closer.
And just as someone says in ‘The Punishment” – “If this were your problem, what would you do?”
I hope you take the time to find out.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Clayton is an actor best known for his appearances as Ian Chapman in five series of the awardwinning Channel 4 comedy Peep Show and as Graham in two series of the BAFTA winning comedy Him and Her. Other credits include Coronation Street, Hollyoaks and Holby City as well as This is Alan Partridge, Doctor Who, The Crown, Vera, Wolf. He is a former member of the Royal Shakespeare Company.
His previous books are So You Want To Be A Corporate Actor? and The Working Actor and he is a regular columnist in The Stage.
He is a proud patron of Grimm and Co, the children’s literacy charity, based in his home town of Rotherham.
Win 5 x E-copies of The Punishment (Open INT)
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Thanks again to Paul for taking the time to talk to us today. For more information on The Punishment, make sure you visit the other blogs taking part on this tour.