Welcome to Conversations with Authors, where I – Alison Thompson, AKA The Proof Fairy – meet amazing authors and find out what inspires them to write and what advice they would offer other aspiring authors.
My guest today is B. P. Shields. Brendan has been writing for pleasure all his life but it took a trip to China to inspire him to write his first book – in fact three books – the Rise of the Three Kingdoms trilogy, which is a modern retelling of the 16th century Chinese classic Romance of the Three Kingdoms.
In our conversation Brendan tells me why he wishes he’d started writing books 20 years ago. He also shares some ideas on dealing with writer’s block and overcoming self-doubt, and talks me through his editing process.
More About B.P. Shields
Brendan has always written – poetry, short stories – for his own pleasure, but never seriously thought about publishing since he didn’t consider himself the next Carol Ann Duffy or Ian McEwan. Then a number of factors serendipitously came together. First was a trip to China, where he was knocked out by the history and culture. Secondly, his daughter, Lindsay Woodward started to publish her own novels. Finally, after thirty-five years of teaching English in secondary schools, he retired.
He was reading the 16th century Chinese classic Romance of the Three Kingdoms and wondered whether there was a modern retelling of it, in the way that recently a number of authors have written novels based on the Greek myths and legends. He could not find any. He joked with Lindsay that perhaps he should do it. She said, “Why not?”
So, with her example and encouragement, he has just completed the trilogy Rise of the Three Kingdoms. The books are Warlords of the Eastern Han, A Wolf and Two Dragons and the latest book Red Cliffs, and they’re all available on Amazon.
Of course, he now regrets that he did not have the courage in his twenties onwards to try to reach an audience. Let that be a lesson to the listeners of this podcast!