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Bradley Somer - Author

About the Author

The author, Bradley Somer, was born in Sydney, Australia and grew up in Canada. His short fiction has appeared in literary journals, reviews and anthologies. His debut novel, Imperfections, was published in Fall 2012 by Nightwood Editions in Canada. Imperfections earned a starred review from Quill & Quire magazine, won the 2013 CBC Bookie Award for debut of the year, was one of the Canadian Bookseller's Top 8 Picks for 2012, and has received a host of other critic's praises (I've included some of that review attention, below). Bradley has spoken for many radio interviews, festivals and literary events and he continues to tour with reading engagements. Fishbowl is his UK debut.

Below is a Q&A with this author

Have you made any unusual career moves in the past? My whole career path has been a little unusual. I trained and worked as an archaeologist for more than 15 years before switching into real estate and am now, slowly, making the transition to writing as a full time career.

What are your hobbies?
My hobbies are mainly related to literary endeavors. When I’m not writing, I’m reading. I attend local literary events and readings, shows, theater and am interested in everything related to the craft of the story, in whatever form they take.  When I’m not doing these things, I am hiking, snowshoeing or visiting with friends and family.

What or who inspires you?
Taking a minute out to step back and watch how life works, and doesn’t work, is endlessly inspiring. With a little distance, the seemingly connected can be discerned as being totally unrelated and the blatantly serendipitous can be found to be intimately linked. Whenever I need inspiration, I consciously do this, take a break and watch.

Have you got any strong cultural interests – for example a particular passion for a genre of music or film?
I have a great appreciation for anyone who can make music as I think there is a special kind of magic in generating feelings using sounds and words… a magic that I am totally hopeless at even though I’ve tried playing instruments. Instead of making music, I’ve settled on having a collection of titles in the thousands, across many genres (mostly more contemporary) and have music playing every day of my life. Only my car will know how truly inept a singer I am.

Who are your favorite authors?
Rupert Thomson, Willy Vlautin, Craig Nova, Stuart O’Nan, J. G. Ballard

What kind of experience has writing your book been for you?
Every novel I’ve worked on has been an excruciatingly fantastic time. Each is a different experience and that is one of the many reasons I continue to write. Regardless of how easy or uncooperative a piece of writing is being, I find the process of playing with words is always a rewarding one. When working on a novel, building a world and a story and having it make sense is just a little more pleasurable than when I read a novel and get to build a world and watch a story unfold in my imagination.
Fishbowl was different from other novels I’ve worked on in that it had to be so intricately plotted as all the storylines work with, against and through each other simultaneously. The plotting for Fishbowl was the challenge and the process of writing it was like working on a puzzle of characters and events, putting the pieces together over the course of a few years.

Tell us anything about you as a working writer that you think might be interesting or unusual:
I’m a morning-time binge writer. It feels confessional to type that but I find a few hours in the early morning more productive than any time else to write. Perhaps its because the brain is still set to dream but story elements seem easier to manipulate in the early hours. I also write solidly for a block of days or months and then write nothing for a long span as well.

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