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Write On! Interviews: Author David Algar

Write On! interviews author David Algar

David says: “I could best be described as a ‘middle class itinerant’, always moving from school to school and place to place.

My first degree, from Aberystwyth University, was in Economics and International Relations, top and tailed 40 years later by finishing off a second degree in Psychology and Politics. The wandering life continued with a long-term career in industry, carefully changing jobs in the nick of time to avoiding being found out. Along the way, I’ve managed to pick up a wife, two kids and five chickens, three bikes and a kayak, all to be found in a small village in South Buckinghamshire. Writing has come late in life but is fuelled by the curiosity brought on by being continually on the move. If not writing, or gazing into the middle distance, I would be happiest travelling, playing sport or just being badly behaved with friends.”

WO: How would you describe your writing to someone new to it?

 DA: I hope my work is honest and refreshing, in that it tackles difficult subjects with humour and candour. It likes to challenge and open things up for debate, rather than take an opinionated or prescriptive stance.

WO: Can you tell us a bit about your latest book, Man Trouble?

DA: It’s a series of essays exploring masculinity and what it means to be a man in today’s world. It also covers social commentary and the sheer craziness of how men think and behave. The book aims to reconcile two conflicting ideas. Firstly, that men should take themselves more seriously for the sake of their mental and physical health and, secondly, that men should not take themselves too seriously at all, because we are all subject to silliness and chaos as we navigate this complex world.

WO: What inspired you to write in the first place and what inspires you now?

DA: I’ve been a reader of books all my life which, combined with my itinerant lifestyle, has given me a curiosity as to how the world works. I love humour as a way of disarming difficult subjects, and how a self-effacing approach can give permission to dive into some deep and profoundly human subject areas. Going right back to my teenage years, I was inspired by M.A.S.H, which beautifully mixed humour and pathos.

WO: The current issue of Write On! explores the theme of ‘Realities And Perspectives’. With that in mind, we have two questions for you. Do you always write realistically, or do you aim for alternative realities? Can you always confidently write from someone else’s perspective?

DA: I think I write realistically, though, what’s important to me is understanding reality stripped of its social artifice; to get to the real person or experience. I like to think I can understand another’s perspective, though I would find it very difficult to write in another’s voice.

WO: What one piece of advice would you give an aspiring writer?

DA: Get a really good editor!

WO: Question from Twitter user: @lisalovesbooksx What were you looking for when you chose Constellations Press to publish your book?

DA: I wanted to work with people who understood my particular voice and were happy to let me roam free (with the occasional raised eyebrow if I go too far).

WO: Can you tell us anything about future projects?

DA: I’d like to do a Man Trouble Two and have already started on another series of essays.

WO: Lastly, if you could choose one fictional animal/creature to be a pet or companion, who would it be and why?

 DA: I’d have the young dog in the Incredible Journey. He made a lot of mistakes but was high energy and restless throughout. He could be part of a team of three but always moving. I think I cried at this film, which wasn’t cool.

You can find out more about David Algar on the Constellations Pres website

Man Trouble is available to buy from all good bookshops, and on the Constellations Press website.


Issue 19 of Write On! is out now and you can read it online here. Find it in libraries and other outlets. You can find previous editions of our magazines here

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Get a really good editor!