Andrew’s Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Andrew-P.-Weston/e/B00F3BL6GS/
Andrew’s author website: http://www.andrewpweston.com/
1. You were born in Birmingham, UK, but now live in Greece. Do you ever get homesick for the UK?
Yes I do, I’d go back there tomorrow if I could. Don’t get me wrong, the Greek country is beautiful and the lifestyle can be healthier in many ways…BUT…there’s a downside too. I hate the uncertainty of not knowing if you’re going to have a reliable power supply at any given time, or receive an acceptable standard of healthcare. It’s a question of compromise, I know…but I’ve reached the stage now where I’d prefer to be in a place where I know I can be settled.
2. Are you fluent in Greek?
Ναι, είμαι. Έχω πάρει μαθήματα για έξι χρόνια τώρα.
Yes I am. I’ve taken lessons for six years now.
Μπορώ να μιλήσω, να διαβάσετε, και να γράφουν ελληνικά.
I can speak, read, and write Greek.
3. Did you win any medals when competing in sport at a national level? If so, which sport?
Wow! Yes I did. I have a number of trophies and medals for martial arts. My main martial art is ju jitsu (I’m a World and European attested/registered Hanshi – 9th degree grandmaster) – but it’s a combat art, not a sport. So I had to compete in things like judo and kickboxing and MMA. I’ve won championships in all those disciplines, as well as a number of awards for rugby and swimming.
4. Which subject did you excel at as a schoolboy?
That would be Physics & Astronomy.
5. Your 596 page historical Science Fiction/Fantasy adventure The IX is a bestseller on Amazon. How long did it take you to write it?
Literally months. I’m still a part-time writer, so have to schedule my time very carefully. The research aspect alone took just over three months. After that, a further five months went by as I got the first draft down on figurative paper. Then the editing started. Joy. It’s a labor of love.
6. You wrote The Guardians Saga, a Science Fiction series dealing with beings possessing extraordinary powers and technological sophistication looking out for us from behind the scenes. Do you think there is sophisticated technology existing now that constantly watches everything we do?
There most certainly is.
I’ve relied on certain aspects of such technology to fulfill my role in previous occupations. It’s remarkable to witness the clarity and sophistication we have at our disposal. Thankfully, its use is tightly regulated – (otherwise there’d be pictures of me all over YouTube wearing my favorite tutu and army boots).
7. If you lived in the UK, how would you feel about the proliferation of CCTV cameras that have sprung up everywhere over the last decade?
To be honest, I wouldn’t be worried about it at all as I can see the value of its presence. It’s a sad reflection on society that we’ve created the need for such surveillance in the first place, and I don’t think we’ll ever be rid of it now. Too many idiots…not enough medication.
8. Who is your favourite author?
It’s a tie between two guys I’ve followed for a long, long time.
Stephen Donaldson – who I’ve read for the past 37 – yes thirty-seven years, and Raymond E. Feist. I’ve followed his work for well over twenty years now.
God, I’m old…
9. What have you found to be the best marketing strategies for your books?
I really do apologize. I’ve been sworn to secrecy.
10. Are you working on anything new at the moment?
Yes, I’m half way through a novel involved with Janet Morris’ “Heroes in Hell Universe”. It’s a rollercoaster ride of fun and action/adventure. I’d love to tell you more, but it’s a little too soon for announcements yet. Sorry…don’t hate me…
11. Will you ever publish the books you wrote for your own children?
Interesting question. I think I’d probably try if I wrote children’s stories. But they were a private project completed over a number of years. Good fun too. I made the covers, packed the pages using handmade paper, used special watercolor pencils to complete the images, and handwrote the simple sentences so my children could follow along. You’ve made me want to dig them out again now.
12. Did you ever consider a writing career while serving in either the Royal Marines or the police force?
Well, I’d always wanted to write but my hectic lifestyle never allowed me to entertain the reality of that desire until an injury forced my retirement. So basically, whenever a really good idea came along, I’d make a note of it and develop the concept as time went by. Then it was just a matter of being patient. I’d literally talk the stories through in my head, and revised several original concepts that way. When I got round to writing…Bam! I was off.
13. If not for your injury, would you have stayed in the police force?
Yes. I didn’t have long to go until full retirement anyway (as police officers do have an excellent pension scheme). My original intention was to apply to become a university lecturer in astronomy or physics, and to start writing in my spare time. However, the fates had a different future in store, and I ended up getting the opportunity to write that little bit sooner.
14. You teach martial arts. Have you ever had to use your skills to defend yourself in a real-life situation?
Sadly, yes. And on a number of occasions too. Enough said. (As I mentioned in question 7, too many idiots…not enough medication.)
15. You write educational articles for Astronaut.com. Would you like to have been an astronaut?
Most definitely. I’ve had an interest in space and astronomy since before I went to school, and always wanted to be an astronaut or an astronomer when I grew up. As usual, life got in the way, and I went into the family business. (Five generations of my family had served in the military before me, and I was expected to keep the tradition going). Oh well, At least I get up there through telescopes and live time NASA links.
16. Have you ever experienced weightlessness?
Twice, while serving in the military. A most awesome experience that sadly, didn’t last long enough.
17. Which one possession would you save in a fire?
18. What is your favourite piece of music?
That’s really hard to answer as I have an extremely wide taste in music. However, the one song I do seem to listen to again and again is Lost in Paradise by Evanescence.
19. Have you ever seen a UFO?
I have, and on several of occasions too. The first time was when I was thirteen and a friend and I had left a swimming pool after training late one night. A disc shaped object appeared from out of nowhere, descended until it was just above the rooftops, and chased us/followed us up the road. When we burst into my house and told my parents, they naturally didn’t believe us. Needless to say, by the time we’d pulled them outside to show them, guess what? Yup – poof! Gone.
Another time occurred when I was in the military. (Something ‘unsavory’ buzzed a nuclear base causing an alert. Spooky with a capital “spoo”.) I think they like military instillations, as I’ve seen a few interesting incidents around a signals base we have at the southern tip of our island. Either that, or they just want to phone home?
20. Which one possession could you not do without on a desert island?
Thanks Andrew, for your very interesting answers!