Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Phil Kilduff Author Interview

Today WITS is hosting Paul Kilduff as part of his blog tour.

Paul Kilduff was born in Dublin, Ireland, graduated from University College Dublin with a Bachelor of Commerce degree in 1985 and later qualified as a Chartered Accountant. He moved to London in 1989 and spent six years working in the City of London. He returned to live in Dublin in 1995. He began writing fiction in 1996 and finished his first novel in 1998. Square Mile was published in 1999, The Dealer in 2000, The Frontrunner in 2001 and The Headhunter in 2003, which were published by Hodder & Stoughton in London and by Muelenhoff in The Netherlands. 

He decided to write a travel book a couple of years ago and was extremely fortunate shortly afterwards to be abandoned in Malaga airport for ten hours, where he had the germ of an idea for Ruinair - an epic tale of human endurance on Europe's low fares airlines. Ruinair was published in February 2008 by Gill & Macmillan Ireland and entered the Irish non-fiction bestseller list at number one where it has spent six weeks to date and continues to sell strongly.

Here is a synopsis of Ruinair
Stung by a ten hour delay and a €300 fare to Spain on his native “low fares” airline, Dubliner Paul Kilduff plots revenge - to fly to every country in Europe for the same total outlay, suffering every low fares airline indignity. Armed with no more than 10kg of carry-on baggage, he endures 6 am departures, Six Nations boarding scrums, lengthy bus excursions, terminal anxiety and cabin crew who deliver infamous customer service. Kilduff travels to places he never knew he wanted to go that are probably not quite where he thinks they are and he is not sure what he will do once he gets there, including beautiful Beauvais, cosmopolitan Charleroi, electric Eindhoven, heavenly Haugesund and tropical Tampere. And all this on a cheap Irish airline led by a self-proclaimed "obnoxious little bollocks," which flies from A to somewhere remotely near B, weighs baggage like gold, charges its passengers to check-in or for wheelchairs, sells them hangover cures and scratch cards, lands its aircraft at the wrong airport, takes court cases against its own pilots and doesn’t even care if Kilduff shows up. On his miserly pan-European exploration he reveals the secrets of the new travel phenomenon favoured by one hundred million plus passengers annually. And his advice to fellow travellers in the ultimate airport holiday book? - "Don’t get mad, get even - Get a one cent airline ticket."

The book may be purchased directly from Paul’s publishers, Gill & Macmillan: http://www.gillmacmillan.ie/Ecom/Library3.nsf/CatalogByCategory/9E072A1AE0512C0A802573C5003E9B2D?OpenDocument

*********** Interview conducted with author Paul Kilduff *************
1.) Is this your first book?
Paul: No, I have written four financial thrillers previously for hodder headline in London. Ruinair is my first work of non-fiction and is published in Ireland.
2.) How long have you been writing for and what started you off?
Paul: I began writing in 1998 - what started me was when I read a financial thriller where the author got a large advance and I knew I could write a book at least as good as his
3.) How would you describe the writing that you’re doing?
Paul: It’s vaguely funny travel writing at present, full of informative content, fast paced, lots of variety, topical stuff, with amusing anecdotes and some insights
4.) Who is your target audience? Who influenced you? (Favourite writers and why).
Paul: Passengers of the Irish low fares airline Ruinair and its CEO Mick O'Leary ! and all those who love travel writing and having a go at large corporations. I was influenced by Bill Bryson, Pete McCarthy, Tim Moore, Don George, Simon Calder, Alain de Botton and many good guide books and maps over the years
5.) Is your fiction writing autobiographical at all?
Paul: My fiction features the work environments, places, cities, people, scams and scandals I had encountered in real life when I lived and worked in the City of London.
6.) What are your biggest challenges as a writer?
Converting from writing fiction to non fiction was a big challenge. also balancing a writing career as well as holding down a day job in a US investment bank
7.) Do you write every day, and how do you begin and end the process?
Paul: No I work every day until I can retire! I write on weekends, holidays, Christmas, Easter, time off, and on my sick days off work!
8.) What aspects of your writing do you enjoy most?
Paul: I enjoy the creativity, of producing an end product and seeing it on book shelves in shops, such as being the No. 1 non-fiction bestseller in Ireland right now. I enjoy being taken for slap up meals by my agent and editor in Dublin's top restaurants and I enjoy PR work where I meet some of Ireland top radio personalities!
9.) What is your book about and what inspired it?
Paul: My book is about travelling around Europe on a cheap Irish low fares airline called Ruinair and seeing the good and bad of a most amazing continent - all for a 1-cent fare!
10.) What sets this book apart from what you’ve written in the past?
Paul: I think this current work of fiction is much more populist than my former financial thrillers. also I think non-fiction is easier to write than draining your imagination for fiction
11.) How long did the whole process take, beginning to end (beginning to write it to publication)?
Paul: I was abandoned by Ruinair in Malaga, Spain for 10 hours in August 2004, I began the book in 2005, finished it in 2006, sold it in 2007, and it was published in Feb 2008
12.) Did you begin writing for the love of it or did you always aim to become published?
Paul: It was always my aim to have my books published - I really believe that's the main aim of any writing - I want to share my half decent writing with as many people as possible
13.) What’s your most significant achievement so far?
Paul: I think seeing the book enter the Irish non-fiction bestseller list at no 1 and stay there for the past 7 weeks since publication has been fantastic.
14.) Where do you get your ideas? Do you build characters and events slowly or do they come to you in a flash?
Paul: My ideas for travel books come to me when I am on the road - I have to travel and fly frequently to get my observational and literary powers humming.
15.) What’s next for you?
Paul: Next up is the sequel to Ruinair - this will be a book about travelling on low fares airlines to the twelve countries of Eastern Europe - the book is called 'Ruinairski', due Feb 2009.
16.) Do you have any advice for other budding authors out there?
Paul: I would say read all the books you can in your chosen genre, write often, read books on “how to write,” attend writing classes and workshops, persevere, be realistic, enjoy

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