We loved R.S. Pateman’s clever debut thriller The Second Life of Amy Archer, and can’t wait to get our hands on his fresh new take on a haunted house tale, The Prophecy of Bees. We sat down for a chat to get to know him a bit better.
The Prophecy of Bees is out now in paperback, ebook and audio. Listen to an audio extract below.
Who is your favourite author?
Oh good grief! What an impossible question. There really are too many writers whose books have gripped, moved and entertained me. Naming them would be too much of a list and, inevitably, I’d forget someone so that list would be incomplete and misleading. Plus, that list would soon become out of date as I’m discovering people whose writing is new to me all the time.
Which book do you most often recommend to friends?
I rarely recommend books. I tell people what I’m reading and what I thought but I’m not one for pushing books into hands – perhaps because I don’t really like it when people do it to me. I believe that the right book finds you at the right time. And for me, that usually comes by browsing bookshops, papers or online.
Do you have any writing rituals?
I clean my laptop, keyboard and mouse between drafts and have a good tidy up of files in between novels. And I have to mix up writing with exercise (swimming, cycling, tennis). I find it helps me switch off and yet somehow also lets me process plot subconsciously.
If you weren’t a writer what job would you liked to have gone into?
I’ve got the job I always wanted so it seems unfair to covet another. However, I love history so I’d be happy doing anything connected with that. But if I can go on a total fantasy the other job I’d love is professional tennis player. Anyone who has seen my volleys will know quite how much of a fantasy this is.
What is the best thing about being a writer?
Pretty much everything about being a writer is great – writing, researching, getting feedback from readers, sharing experiences with other writers – but perhaps the best thing is knowing I’ve realised my dream.
What one item could you not live without?
The key to my own front door.
Tell us something that will shock your readers?
I’m a gay man who can’t bear Kylie Minogue.
What makes you happy?
The mute button when Kylie Minogue comes on.
A two-hour hit on a tennis court.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
I took my Dad’s advice about this magical film when I was eight – and haven’t been the same since.
The members of my dream book club would be…
Kate Bush, Tracey Thorn, Kathy Burke, Eddie Izzard, Tony Benn, Richard Osman, Jodie Foster, Clive James.