Andrew Willmer is the author of The Temple.
Born and raised in a leafy London suburb, Andrew’s first forays into writing consisted of illustrating comic books before he progressed onto appalling space operas! These days he focuses his attention on historical fiction and short stories. Aside from writing, Andrew’s main interests are losing money on the stock market, breeding leopard geckos and speaking terrible French. He is currently writing more Henry Chiswick adventures.
Author Q & A
Can you tell us about the inspiration behind this story?
I suppose Chiswick started out as a kind of Indiana Jones type character. However, I was keen to try and do something darker and make him a bit more world weary and jaded. As for the setting, I wanted to play around with the idea of this alternate historical reality and just see where that took me.
Do you have a favourite genre?
I try to read a wide range of stuff from historical fiction to classical Greek, but I guess I am particularly drawn to science fiction and fantasy. Recently, I became aware that I hadn’t ever really read much crime, so I’ve been working my way through Ian Rankin’s stuff, which I’m really enjoying.
What’s your favourite book or short story?
It’s a bit of a weird one, but if you put me on the spot I’d have to say the Epic of Gilgamesh. It’s the earliest story we have and there’s something pretty mind blowing about reading a text that’s four thousand years old.
Also, I’m not sure if I should admit this, but I once bunked college to read ‘The Chamber of Secrets’. I started in the morning finished up at around six p.m.! That was back before the films came out and I’ve still got a soft spot for it.
What has been your biggest challenge as a writer?
Coming up with ideas!
Are you currently working on a full-length novel and looking for a publisher?
I’ve got a few irons in the fire. I’m big into the ancient Greeks and I’m working on an action/adventure novel set around that time. With a bit of luck it’ll be the start of a series. I’m also keen to develop the universe of ‘The Temple’ and see where it takes me.
What do you most enjoy about writing?
I think it’s a case of escapism. As a kid I was into video games, but that’s someone else’s daydream. There’s something liberating about taking a wander around inside your own imagination.
Amazon: Friend or foe?
In terms of providing a service to consumers, it’s great. They’re cheap, reliable and sell just about everything. That said, that they’ve been squeezing publishers is something of a worry from a writer’s perspective and I think they need to think very carefully about their business practices. It should be something of a worry to their shareholders that the company’s been going for nigh on twenty years and has never made a profit…to me, that suggests they haven’t got things quite right.