I’m pleased to welcome fellow #RRBC author, Steven Neil here today.
Q & A FIVE
Getting to know Steven Neil, the author of THE MEREST LOSS.
A story of love and political intrigue, set against the backdrop of the English hunting shires and the streets of Victorian London and post-revolutionary Paris.
Authors are often told that the best way to learn is to read. Do you agree?
I couldn’t agree more.
- What do you prefer to read now?
I try to keep a balance of classic and contemporary. I love the nineteenth century English tradition, especially Anthony Trollope, Thomas Hardy and Jane Austen and the twentieth century American tradition, especially Scott Fitzgerald, Hemingway and Steinbeck. I’ve recently enjoyed books by Tim Pears and William Boyd.
- How do you read (kindle/book/audible)?
All three. I have recently discovered audible books and I am using my monthly credits to revisit the Barchester Chronicles by Anthony Trollope. The writing is quite brilliant. Trollope is such a witty observational writer and Timothy West, the narrator, does a great job in bringing the characters to life. Recommended.
- When do you read?
All the time. One of the benefits of being retired.
- Has becoming an author changed the way you read?
I’m probably more critical. I’m much less likely to persevere with a book I’m not enjoying. This also might have something to do with getting older and realising you only have a limited number of books left to read!
- Do you post reviews for books and if so, do you have a review policy?
Yes, I always try to write a review. However, if I really don’t like a book and could only honestly give it one or two stars, I don’t post a review. However bad it is, someone has put blood sweat and tears into it and I think it is disrespectful to another author.
- What is the best book you have read recently?
Alexandre Dumas: The Count of Monte Cristo. Genius.
- How do you choose which books to read?
Audible bombards me with suggestions all the time. I’m more likely to respond to a friend’s recommendation. I also have a list of classics I’ve not got round to reading. Some of these age well, others don’t. I thought Dracula was terrific but found Frankenstein hard work. I’ll skip the review on that one.
- Which lesser known author would you recommend?
I would recommend two. One older and one more contemporary. I think Norman Maclean’s great book A River Runs Through It is rather overlooked these days and Jon McGregor’s If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things has slipped under the radar. It is a fantastic book.
- Do you have a favourite book?
Alain-Fournier: Le Grand Meaulnes. Sigh.
© Steven Neil
THE MEREST LOSS is available in paperback and eBook in the UK, US, France, Canada and Australia.
4Wills Blog Tour
The Merest Loss by Steven Neil ISBN: 1788039718
‘A story of love and political intrigue, set against the backdrop of the English hunting shires and the streets of Victorian London and post-revolutionary Paris.
When Harriet Howard becomes Louis Napoleon’s mistress and financial backer and appears at his side in Paris in 1848, it is as if she has emerged from nowhere. How did the English daughter of a Norfolk boot-maker meet the future Emperor? Who is the mysterious Nicholas Sly and what is his hold over Harriet?
Can Harriet meet her obligations and return to her former life and the man she left behind? What is her involvement with British Government secret services? Can Harriet’s friend, jockey Tom Olliver, help her son Martin solve his own mystery: the identity of his father?’
Historical Fiction and Victorian Historical Romance
Steven has a BSc in Economics from the London School of Economics, a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing from the Open University and an MA in Creative Writing from Oxford Brookes University. He has been a bookmaker’s clerk, bloodstock agent, racehorse breeder and management consultant amongst other professions in his varied career. He is married and lives in rural Northamptonshire, England. The Merest Loss is his debut novel.