I was born in Pensacola, Florida but have lived most of my life in England. I have 3 children, a couple of grandchildren and about a hundred stories running about in my head at any one time.
I visit schools & tell stories. This is totally necessary because I am an accountant and would otherwise bore myself & everyone else to tears every day...
INTERVIEW WITH ED WICKE:
How did you get started writing?
I used to make up stories every night when putting my children to bed. One night, I began a tale about three orphan children who fell up a tree – yes, up – and found themselves in a world where large bear-like creatures sang to one another. The story grew nightly and they persuaded me to tape it as I made it up, and then write it down. I sent ‘The Muselings’ to a few publishers and the third one – Kingsway – loved it. Since then I’ve written eight more middle grade or young adult novels in various genres, interspersed with five books of wild short stories – which also dabble a little in genres; the latest (The Grimm Selection) has scary elements!
Who influenced you?
I’m influenced by every book I read, and often find myself devising books in that author’s style, filtered through my own way of thinking. For ‘The Game of Pirate,’ R L Stevenson hovers somewhere in the background, though there’s a hint also of the darker Russian biographical novels of (eg) Gorky, a touch of Dickens, a little Conrad and a dozen others. For my ‘Akayzia Adams’ series, there’s a distant J K Rowling influence. ‘The Muselings’ owes something to C S Lewis, who had this wonderful gift of being able to write simply, conjuring images without tangling the reader in long literary knots. ‘Wicked Tales’ however probably has no influences apart from cartoons I watched as a child! One of my favourite authors is Raymond Chandler, so it’s no surprise that I’ve now written most of an adult detective book.
Do you have a favorite book/subject/character/setting?
I like all my widely-differing books and characters. I love variety in literature and am always disappointed when an author’s books all feel similar. However, I note that there are some things I repeatedly favor. For instance, I love to see characters developing in response to stresses. I love it when those who seem to have all the power and advantages are thwarted by their “inferiors,” by powerless persons armed only with a sense of duty and a sense of humour. I love characters that seem real, with a feeling of hidden depth to them, even if it’s an Easter Bunny wearing a cowboy hat and carrying a machine gun. In my ‘Wicked Tales’ series, I love to take the impossible and make it enormously believable and funny. And in all my writing, I love to create situations that make the reader question the prevailing wisdom and fashion of the current age.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to be an author?
Enjoy playing around with stories. Start with something small. Write the stuff you would like to read yourself, in the style and genre and pace and language you enjoy. Pass it to others to read. Value your own ideas: if a crazy thought comes to your head, try it out.
Where is your favorite place to write?
When I don’t feel like writing, a train or plane is the best place. When I really want to write, then I go to my study upstairs and shut out the world.
What else would you like to tell us?
I visit a lot of middle grade schools where I tell stories, run creative workshops and generally create literary chaos. I recently signed 190 books at one sitting, after a half-hour presentation at a school. That was awesome.